Our Energy Advisors are frequently asked in which sense the PIDbox of iLumen is different from other PID solutions in the market. The answer could not be any more straightforward.
The PIDbox of iLumen increases the efficiency of PV modules and extends their lifetime. When installing a PIDbox, efficiency losses due to Potential Induced Degradation are cured while the PV modules are prevented from further degradation. But what is the difference between the PIDbox solutions of iLumen and other solutions in the market?
Patented solution in series
The PIDbox technology of iLumen is patented in the sense that the device is installed in series between the inverter and the PV modules. Therefore the PIDbox works completely independent of the inverter. At night when the solar panels are inactive, the device can disconnect the inverter from the array and only apply a voltage to the array. This way the PIDbox does not harm (because of high voltages) the inverter in any way.
Other solutions in the market are installed in parallel between the inverter and the PV modules. This means they apply a voltage on the inverter which of course will influence lifetime and void inverter warranties. This is why a lot of manufacturers only approve the PIDbox series solution.
Next to the PIDbox solutions in series (PIDbox, PIDbox Mini), iLumen also developed the PIDbox Light which is installed in parallel between the inverter and the PV modules. This device is only compatible to a limited number of inverter types, as is proved by this statement by SMA.
Cure and prevent from PID
To summarize, PID solutions in parallel are only appropriate with inverter manufacturer approval. Further, these solutions only have a PID preventive function and will not fully regenerate PV modules that suffer from efficiency losses. Bad modules therefore should be replace.
The patented PIDbox series technology of iLumen is unique in the sense that it is compatible with any type of inverter. Since the device also has, next to its preventive function, a regenerative function PV modules with high energy losses do not have to be replaced.
More information about the difference with PID solutions in series and parallel is to be found here.