One of the key elements of a solar power farm is the combiner box, the first step in a string of technology that delivers solar power energy to the grid. Its purpose is to amass, or combine, the solar energy collected from each of the farm's multiple solar panel segments. As the boxes are located at the site of the solar farm, they are affected by environmental conditions, which can include extreme heat and wide temperature fluctuations. Protection of the delicate components inside the box is paramount. One prominent manufacturer of these combiner boxes was faced with the problem of how best to prevent rain from entering the interior of their boxes - a material that had been used to construct a gasket for the box’s door was compressing too much over time and allowing rain water into the box. Water posed a great risk, with the potential to cause an electrical fire that would affect the processors within the box, destroying internal components, and leading to a massive power failure in the energy line.
Rogers’ BISCO® HT 800 silicone material proved to be an excellent solution to the manufacturer's dilemma. The material's benefits are twofold; its compression set properties enables the gasket to maintain a highly efficient seal around the box's door, and the material meets stringent flammability requirements. With a flame rating of UL94 V-0, the material may melt but it does not burn over long periods of time, eliminating the possibility of it perpetuating a flame and causing extensive damage.
The incorporation of Rogers' BISCO® HT 800 silicone into the combiner boxes led to significant benefits for the manufacturer from both a functional and cost-savings perspective. The compression set properties of BISCO® silicone allow for frequent opening and closing of the box's door with no compromise to the gasket's integrity. In addition, the manufacturer no longer has the added expense of purchasing materials to repair damaged boxes, nor do they need to pay for labor to travel to the solar farm site to make those repairs. The solar farm can operate efficiently, free from the risk of combiner box failure.