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Photovoltaic Panel Bypass Diode Protection

Authored on: Oct 19, 2010 by Sweetman (Soo Man) Kim

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Most solar panels are assembled as photovoltaic (PV) panels attached to glass or poly-carbonate, materials which easily build up ESD due to wind and other factors. Schottky barrier are often used in bypass diodes for these PV panels, but are highly susceptible to ESD damage. This article will discuss how transient surge suppressor (TVS) devices can protect bypass diodes against high-power transients and induced electricity and the considerations to take into account when selecting a TVS for solar applications. Metal oxide varistors (MOV) will also be explored and how their clamping voltage compares to TVS devices and Schottky bypass diodes.
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