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How do solar junction boxes work? Answered

With solar systems, you often see a junction box that apparently is necessary equipment for a solar installation.

What is it?
It has diodes inside, right?
Why do you need it?

Discussions

Websearch for "solar junction box" finds a few manufacturers, some of whom describe what the product is intended to do. No endorsement implied, but one such is

http://www.molex.com/molex/products/family?channel=products&chanName=family&pageTitle=Introduction&key=solar_junction_box_assembly#overview

Diodes are often used with solar panels to keep the power flow going in one direction, and prevent power from feeding back into the panels in the dark...

.  Without seeing what you are talking about, it's difficult to say for sure. The j-box is probably just a good place to wire the sub-assemblies together and/or interface with the "outside world."
.  It's probably not 100% necessary, but does keep corrosion at the terminals to a minimum by excluding water.