Swapping a Conext SW in place of my Trace - wiring clues...

LorenAmelangLorenAmelang Posts: 3Registered Users
Just in case someone is thinking of installing a new Schneider Conext SW into an existing system... 

(Many of these concerns result from my need to replace an existing Trace SW4024 in an already installed system. If you are starting fresh, you definitely want the Schneider DC Switchgear, or the compatible MidNite product.)

Current production SW cases do not have the four large eye-slot mounting holes shown in most of the online photos and factory documentation. They have four small (~1/4") round holes plus four smaller threaded holes, designed to attach to the H-shaped mounting bracket designed for the inverter and DC switchgear combination.

If you already have a DC breaker box and don't use the custom fit "switchgear", the big H-shaped bracket for mounting both cabinets wastes too much wall space. But if you try to screw the inverter directly to the wall, you can't just hang it on already placed screws any more. And you'll find the larger screw hole at the top left is directly behind the positive battery cable connection. If you have a screwdriver with a really long, uniformly thin shaft, with no sockets or other protruding larger diameters, you can just barely reach it.

The AC connection box is _tiny_ and difficult to connect to using heavy wire and LFMC conduit. The AC line connections use those horribly inconvenient "wire protector" metal tabs under the screws, and they have apparently been partly tightened already - restricting the wire entry diameter. Even if you unscrew the screws until the threads disconnect and the heads extend to the ends of the plastic tubes, the metal fingers may interfere with inserting your wires. You want to open all the screws and use a tool to expand the protectors _before_ you mount the inverter and start wiring it! Wish I'd known... 

I was able to force my existing AWG6 generator cable conductors up into the holes and displace the wire protectors successfully. But the last one of the 19-strand AWG8 wires I bought to slide into the existing conduit for the new inverter output lines just wasn't strong enough to force its way in. I ended up tinning it together with solder so I could force it up into place.

If you have the option, connect the inverter end first! Connect the conduit clamps to the inverter knockouts before inserting any wires. Even then, if you are using the bottom knockouts, you can barely reach down inside to thread the nuts onto the clamp threads. Then insert each wire through the conduit and slide it directly up into the connector hole, so you don't have to struggle with any loops or bends for clearance. Whatever you have on the other end of your conduit is almost certainly easier to connect than the inverter end!

The other end of each of my cables was already installed and connected, so I thought it would be smart to just connect the loose ends to the inverter. Would have been much easier to undo the far ends and connect the inverter first!

The ground screws are nice for AWG12 or maybe even AWG10 solid wire, but I had AWG8 stranded. The existing ring terminal on my wire was far too large to fit down inside the plastic dividers between screw sections. None of my AWG8 terminal options were even close to narrow enough. I ended up finding a longer screw and a stack of tiny lockwashers that would fit inside the ears and raise the connection surface up so my ring terminal connected solidly.

Now that it is installed, the new SW4024 runs all the same things my old Trace did, even the 1Hp Code K table saw nobody would commit to starting. The no-load (but not in search) power consumption really is about 26 Watts, not the 40 shown in older documentation. The installation struggle memories are fading... 




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