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The National Electric Code (NEC) stipulates that any splice or other connection between separate sets of wires must be contained within a junction box or other electrical enclosure. This insures protection from moisture, wind, sunlight, friction and critters. For PV systems, a junction box or combiner is typically placed at or near the array site.
Array Junction Box
Array Box is a junction box which allows several photovoltaic arrays to be connected in parallel. The total DC power is then distributed to the photovoltaic inverter. It includes photovoltaic Array protection, overvoltage protection and a DC output switch disconnector.
The Array Box also integrates a monitoring module and communicates through Modbus protocols. For each string of panels, Array Box realises DC current measurement, DC voltage is also measured and abnormal behaviour or failure are detected. Array Box can also propose safety opening control and remote control of the switch disconnector.
String combiner box
A String combiner box provides the added function of "combining" wires from multiple module strings into one beefier pair of positive and negative wires. A combiner should include over current protection (i.e. fuses) if you have three or more Array Strings. (For AC and low DC voltages, circuit breakers are used instead.)