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Updating DC Balance of Plant

These past two weeks were spent updating the DC balance of Plant. Original figures were found by using packaged solar systems and subtracting out the cost of the inverter and panels. When this was performed the actual cost per watt of the DC balance of plant was much less than it had been for the 2007 Solar Decathlon House. This difference is probably due to the fact that the previous house had a stand alone system, and as such, more DC components and electronics were used.
Since many of the cables used for connecting photovoltaics together are specialty products, it took some time to find a supplier. The next step was determining approximate lengths for the runs on the roof. Certain suppliers only offered specific lengths of the cables. It may be to our advantage to buy in bulk and then use the specialized connectors, so the DC runs can be sized as exact as possible. This may depend on the ease of working with these components or a trade off of cost for the wire versus the actual losses in the system.


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