Code Requirements for small solar systems?

Hey guys i've had hard time trying to nail down what is legal for small systems. I realize a lot could be grey based on the town permit rules. I've done 110 volt work in the house and had it inspected. I'm not really ready for a full solar setup that is inspected at the house but I would like to be safe and follow codes to best I can. The short story is I've been collecting panels for last few years but I prefer them not to get them stolen or have safety risks. There is currently 3 small arrays laying in my utility trailer that service charging the boat, RV, portable kayak battery each respectively. They about 10-15amps at 12volts for each array. I'm asking for someone to steal these panels one of these days, The question at hand is how to "mount" them without making them have to be part of building or electric inspection. I bet they would love my charger cable running across the driveway :smile:
 These panels are only 100 watts or 60 watts so they are not panels I'm going to use to for the roof racking in the future project(More likely 200-250 watt and inspected :blush: ). Can you mount these to ground/pole and bury up to 30 volts without a raceway? I haven't seen anything about the amps from NEC for burial. I can move the charge controllers to a box outside if that makes it easier since the wire and batteries are outside already.

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,416 ✭✭✭✭
    My suggestion would be to run it by the local authority informally if possible. They can advise you what, if any, parts of your plans require pulling permits.

    I think direct bury with no protection is limited to 12v, but I'm not sure and it may be different in your locality. I don't think 30v would pass (maybe a typo - s/b 30a@12v?). If 12v and no permit needed, I would at least protect with pressure treated lumber over the wire.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BurntTechBurntTech Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    The 30v I read from NEC rules for enclosed panels arrays for required fences. Might not be related to burial but I'm pretty sure 12 volt lighting we have is safe. I'm hoping 18v from the panels vs 12 volt for burial should be ok? Worst case I could mount the charge controllers on the same mount then make the run 12 volt instead of 18 volt. I'll see if I can get any info about a permanent pole install. Otherwise I could mount them together and leave it in the trailer and lock the frame so I could remove it from the trailer if we need to use it as a trailer :smile:  I put a lock on the trolling motor did save that from getting stolen one night. Thieves in our area seem to go after easy marks even tho they could use bolt cutters.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,416 ✭✭✭✭
    My guess is 18v would be ok, but I'd really suggest talking to local authority. In most places they'll let you run a general plan by them verbally first and flag areas of concern to them and what needs permits.

    Thieves are a problem almost everywhere, but they're usually lazy and go after what's easy. Mind you, there was a recent theft in the city where they stole 5 large sections of railing off a busy bridge, and sold for scrap!
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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