Solar Panel Combiner Box
A solar panel combiner box whether an AC or a DC they do the same thing, just as AC disconnects and DC disconnects do the same thing. The only difference is that one deals with the AC side of your system and the other deals with the DC side of your home solar power systems.
An combiner box can be thought of like a hub where several inputs are combined into a single output or a single input is split into several outputs.
A DC solar panel combiner box combines several solar panels into a single DC output to the rest of your system. This allows you to only have to purchase one of everything that is down stream of your solar panels–making it much cheaper.
An AC combiner panel does the reverse in that it takes the single AC input from your system and then splits it up into several AC outputs to distribute to several AC circuits.
This reduces the need for redundant components in your system and simplifies the overall systems.
Things to Think About
Choosing the right DC combiner box really depends on your systems specifications. So make sure you know the specs of your systems before hunting for one of these (e.g. wire sizing, max output current, max continuous output current, etc.).
The most basic decision you should consider when choosing the right DC combiner box is how many inputs it supports. First you need to make sure that it can support your current system by having enough connections for each one of your solar panels.
Second, if you ever plan on expanding your system you might want to purchase DC combiner box that has more connections than your current system to allow for your future planned expansion.