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FAQs - TRIO 20.0/27.6

These FAQs are designed to provide you with a better understanding of ABB, our inverters, and our monitoring products. The intent is to provide simple answers to some complex questions. If you have additional questions about ABB’s products that are not covered here, please call ABB North America at: +1-877-261-1374. In the United Kingdom, call 0800 0232341. In Australia, call +61 3 8577 7001.


Are there application notes for this product?

Yes, there are a series of application notes regarding the 1000V application on the ABB website.

Can 1000Vdc arrays be used in the US and if so, are there any restrictions?

Yes. Since 2002, Article 690 of the NEC has allowed for systems rated over 600Vdc. Systems can be installed on any building which is not a single or two-family dwelling. Therefore, PV systems with a 1000Vdc PV array are permitted on any building not classified as a single or two-family dwelling, such as commercial office buildings or storage warehouses.

Can I access the interior of the TRIO’s wiring box while it is operating?

The wiring box DC disconnect is mechanically interconnected to the front cover of the wiring box such that the interior of the wiring box cannot be accessed unless the DC disconnect is in the Off position. This mechanical link prevents access to interior of the wiring box and PV array combiner fuse holders while the fuse holders are under load.

Can the TRIO be used in a wide range of environmental conditions?

Yes, because it has a NEMA 4X environment rating, the TRIO has a wide operating temperature range that allows installation in harsh environmental conditions.

Can you give reference to the NEC section that allows for a 1000V for rooftop commercial application?

Article 690.80 in the 2008 and 2011 codes; 1000V will be standard in the 2014 code.

Does the TRIO have an environmental protection rating?

Yes, it is NEMA 4x.

How does the 10% over rated output impact the OCPD rating, since these are typically calculated based on rated power output?

The maximum output current on the datasheet includes the extra 10%. The OCPD size is also listed.

How many wiring box configurations come with the TRIO?

The TRIO-20.0-TL US and TRIO-27.6-TL US models are available with four different wiring box configurations; -S, -S1, -S1A and -S1B. The -S1, -S1A and –S1B wiring box configurations include a load break rated DC disconnect switch integrated with an 8 string fused PV array combiner designed to enable a system integrator to meet the requirements of the Article 690.16 in the 2011 National Electric Code without the installation of external equipment.

Is the TRIO Listed to UL 1741?

The TRIO-20.0-TL US and TRIO-27.6-TL US are certified by CSA (an OSHA authorized National Recognized Testing Laboratory) to the following standards:
  • UL1741-2005 which includes requirements for an inverter integrated DC Ground Fault Detector/Interrupter.
  • Tested to comply with UL1741, 2010 Certification Requirements Document (CRD), which further defines requirements for Non-Isolated EPS Interactive PV Inverters Rated Less than 30kVA.
  • UL1998 as required by UL1741-2005 and UL1741, 2010 CRD.

The TRIO inverter has demonstrated compliance to these standards and carries compliance markings (CCSAUS) from CSA.

Is there any additional hardware to govern the individual inverters at the coupling point?

No, inverter outputs are combined/merged in a standard CB box - no additional hardware is needed.

I’m a commercial designer/installer, why would I use a TRIO for my next installation and not a central inverter?

The majority of commercial roof top PV arrays in the United States are designed with a maximum voltage of 600V and thus the length of PV strings are limited by this maximum voltage. However, market conditions have changed with the introduction of UL1703 certified modules rated at 1000Vdc and the introduction of the UL1741 certified TRIO-20.0 and TRIO-27.6 1000Vdc inverters. Commercial PV installers may now benefit by reducing balance of system components and labor by designing and installing a 1000Vdc PV array with a string inverter rather than a 600Vdc array on a central inverter.

The ABB TRIO modular option is 165 lbs, can be wall or roof mounted with smaller/ less cabling, does not require a cement skid to be installed, and can be mounted by just two installers. This lowers the Balance of Systems (BOS) and installation costs. The ABB TRIO also has an integrated combiner box option which eliminates the need for the combiner box, further reducing BOS costs.

Over a range of system sizes from 100kW to 2MW, the TRIO 1000Vdc string inverter architecture consistently lowers capital cost at all power levels with the average savings ranged from 4% up to 7%.

The Levelized Cost of Energy savings is 3% on average and as much as 5%. For a 700kW system, the TRIO saves $98,000 cost at installation and reduces the LCOE by 5%.

What are some of the advantages of the TRIO with respect to installation?

The TRIO operates quietly so it can be mounted on a roof or in a locked indoor environment. The installer will not need a crane or a concrete pad which will keep installation costs low. The inverter and wiring box are installed separately. The wall-mounting system and available handle kit reduces installation time. The TRIO also features plugged openings to save installation time, concentric EKOs for DC entry, and dedicated communications entry points. The TRIO also has an industry-leading NEMA 4x environmental rating and a wide operating temperature range with allows for installation in harsh environmental conditions. The flexible TRIO 20.0/26.7 inverter design is a wall or roof-top mounted inverter that replaces larger inverters mounted on expensive concrete skids.

What are the benefits of a 1000Vdc inverter system vs. a 600V system?

There are several advantages of using a 1000Vdc inverter system:
  • 8x more MPP tracking for greater energy harvest.
  • 40%+ reduction in BOS cost.
  • 0.5%+ Reduction in conducted losses (a.k.a. more energy).
  • Elimination of external combiner boxes and subcombiner.
  • Shorter total PV array cable length.
  • Smaller cable size makes cable handling easier.
  • More modules per string.

A 1000Vdc PV array allows for longer strings of modules than a 600Vdc PV array. Longer strings have more PV modules and thus more power per string. Because the strings will be wired with more modules, a 1000Vdc PV array will have fewer strings and fewer conductors to return to the integrated combiner box of the TRIO-20.0 or TRIO-27.6. The longer continuous strings can allow for easier optimization of the array layout on a rooftop which can further reduce the length of the conductors used in the array design. Because of these factors, a commercial roof top installation with a 1000Vdc PV array can result in up to a 40% reduction of the length of conductors and, due to the higher array voltage and thus lower current, it can also result in up to a 40% reduction in the conductor cross section.

A commercial PV system designed using a traditional 600Vdc PV array with a traditional central inverter requires the use of combiner boxes for each string and an array recombiner to combine the conductors from each combiner box before the inverter. Designing the same system utilizing a TRIO-27.6 or TRIO-20.0 with an integrated string combiner box eliminates the need for external combiner boxes along with the conductors and the associated labor. This can decrease installation costs by thousands of dollars in a 120kWdc PV System.

The DC Balance of System cost per watt is flat for PV systems utilizing the TRIO inverters since the components are limited to the DC conductors.

What are the benefits of TRIO’s dual MPPT technology?

It’s as if you have 2 Inverters in 1. Fully independent MPPTs are managed separately for improved energy harvest. Dual independent MPPT channels offer greater design flexibility for layouts including multiple azimuths, tilts and/or shading concerns. The MPPT Efficiency is >99% across the entire input range and at the majority of power output conditions.

What communication protocols does the TRIO support for 3rd party data logging?

The TRIO has two RS485 communication busses, each set-up with a different protocol:
  • RS485/Modbus RTU – this is intended as the main communications bus for monitoring as the Modbus RTU protocol is used by the majority of third party data loggers as well as the datalogger offerings.
  • RS485/ Protocol – this is intended to be used as a servicing port for such tasks as firmware upgrades.This port can also be utilized for monitoring. The Protocol is available on the Universal series of dataloggers and some third party monitoring companies have integrated this protocol into their hardware.

The intent is that the Modus RTU channel be used for monitoring. A secondary benefit of this protocol is that it is very easy to translate to Modbus TCP for use over LAN systems

What is the full power operating temperature range for TRIO?

-22° F to 185° F. The TRIO begins to derate when the ambient temperate exceeds 113° F. Please see pages 135 and 136 of the manual for the temperature derating curve.

Don't see a question here that you need answered? If you're in North America, please call ABB at: +1-877-261-1374. In the United Kingdom, call: 0800 0232341. In Australia, call +61 3 8577 7001.

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