Use of diodes when connecting solar panels in parallel?
My question is, physically, where do you stick them, and related to this, what is the purpose of using a combiner box? Is the box just to provide a weatherproof place to make the connections? Are they used to provide the place to stick the diodes? I see they have circuit breakers inside, and it appears there's one for each panel, or string of panels, but I don't see the point. If a panel can generate 10 amps, you'd want a breaker bigger than that so it doesn't trip at full output, but what could trip it then? You can't get more than 10 amps even if there is a short.
This should be common sense, but since I don't have a combiner box yet to look at, can I assume if it's made to combine four panels or strings of panels, you can connect just two or three and save the unused ones for adding on later?