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University of Maryland 2005 Solar Decatholon
Solar Panel

Photovoltaic (PV) Combiner

Out Back Power Systems PV Combiner

Each PV panel has two wires, one positive and one negative, that are used to connect it to the rest of the PV system. Two panels are connected to each other in series, for a total of two wires per every two panels. This amounts to 50 wires for the 50 PV panels on the Maryland 2005 house.

We do not want 50 wires to come down into our home, so we use a PV combiner to combine many wires into a few wires.

The 2005 Maryland house uses 3 OutBack Power Systems PSPV PV combiners.  Each PSPV combiner can handle 12 PV panels. So instead of 50 wires, we now only have to deal with 6 wires (2 positive, 2 negative, and 2 grounds). However, these 6 wires will be larger than the wires coming from the PV panels because they will be carrying more current. These larger wires travel to the DC Disconnect where they are tied into the Charge Controllers.

For more information about OutBack Power Systems products, please visit their website at

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