Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
Hello,

I moved into an apartment where there was a previous solar array installation. The installation was set up as a standalone or autonomous setup with a battery bank, charge controller and solar panels. The system is meant to be used via a manual knife switch for when the power goes out. The user goes downstairs and pulls the switch to bring the inverter power on line. I must then turn on the inverter to get power to the 4 circuits which are connected to the aux panel (some lights, fans and 120V outlets around the house).

Im a little confused about the wiring of the aux panel from the main panel. This is what I understand from it:

(UNFORTUNATELY ALL CABLES ARE WHITE IN THE PICTURE, BUT I LABELED THEM WITH COLORS)

1) The Aux panel is right next to the Main Circuit Breaker Panel (MCBP).
2) TWO RED CABLES enter the Aux Panel from the Main. Cable 1 goes right thru the Aux Panel, out to the knife switch. Cable 2 goes to the top of the Aux Panel and connects to what I assume is the Neutral Bar of the Aux Panel.
3) THREE BLUE CABLES COME/GO from the Aux Panel to the knife switch. Cable #3 appears to come from the knife switch to the Aux Panel's Neutral Bar. Cable #4 also seems to go to the neutral bar? Cable #5 appears to go to the Live Bar.
4) Then there is ONE GREEN CABLE ... Cable 6 which bridges the Live Bar with (but it cant be) the Neutral bar?

Here is a picture...could someone please explain, in laymans terms please :)
Attachment not found.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Definitely not am expert here but it seem to me that you should be able to wire in an Auto-transfer switch,http://www.solar-electric.com/pomaxpmautrs.html or http://www.solar-electric.com/miso30amp240.htm or such like, and be able to get rid of that knife switch, so that when the power goes off it seamlessly turns on the battery powered system or at least only one switch to throw....

    Tell us more about the 'autonomous' system too please.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Do yourself a big favour: remove all that same-colour mare's nest of wiring and do it properly. If you leave that stuff it will simply cause more trouble somewhere down the line.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Yes that is what I intend, that's why I'm asking for help. I want to understand what I'm doing and not simply try to reconnect everything.

    As for the switch, I did have an ATS switch once but it didn't work properly for some reason. I'll look for it.

    I'd appreciate y'all's help on explaining the wiring in that box.
    Do yourself a big favour: remove all that same-colour mare's nest of wiring and do it properly. If you leave that stuff it will simply cause more trouble somewhere down the line.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    The box shown appears to be a standard 240 VAC sub panel.
    Large connector top left that #6 is on is one leg. Then there is a neutral bus bar with a large connector on the right that #4 is connected to. Below that on the right is another large connector which #6 and #5 are connected to. This is the other leg of the 240. Evidently wire #6 is jumpering the two hot sides to make all breakers fed off one 120 Volt source.
    The loads (two small white wires, one green wire, one blue wire) connect to the breaker outputs.
    Evidentlt #1 and #2 are feed from one power source. #1 is probably hot as it seems to pass through to where the other power source and knife switch (used as a transfer) is. #2 appears to be neutral as it connects to the neutral bus along with #3 (probably neutral for loads) and #4 (probably neutral from the other power source).
    There is no ground apparent. That's worrying.

    What you should have:
    Inverter power (Hot, Neutral, Ground) passed through to transfer switch.
    Grid power (Hot, Neutral, Ground) passed through to transfer switch.
    Transfer switch output (Hot, Neutral, Ground) connected to load distribution box (the panel in the picture).

    Neutral + Ground bond location is dependent on the type of inverter used. If it is pure sine then the bond can be present anywhere (but only one) and remain connected at all times. If it is an MSW inverter the bond must be lifted when power source is switched from grid to inverter (placed on the grid side of the transfer switch so that it 'doesn't exist' when power is supplied from the inverter).

    With a pure sine inverter only the hot output needs to be switched: the neutrals and grounds can remain connected at all times. If it is MSW the Neutral must also be switched in order to remove the N-G bond when power is transferred (grounds can remain connected).

    You can jumper the two hots of the distribution box as now, but be aware of the difference it makes to Voltage (all 120 on the same leg) and current (feed has to be able to handle the full capacity of loads; there is no current balancing through neutral).

    Any help?
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    That's interesting that there are two neutral wires going to the knife switch (#3 and #4).

    My guess is that you have a 2-pole knife switch designed to switch the neutral too. But the way it's wired it doesn't switch neutral.

    If you want to switch the neutral, you would need to disconnect #2 and connect it to #3 or #4 (you must figure out which one!!!). You will also need to bring the neutral wires of individual circuits (which probably are connected at the main panel) into this aux box and connect them to the neutral bas here.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Ok here is the diagram, cleaned up.

    I understand that I have 2 problems:

    A) The Neutrals. What Cariboocoot tells me is interesting but I dont understand it. Im just not very electrically inclined, but I would like to understand it because I will have to translate to my electrician :). My inverter is MSW and as you can see from the clean diagram, the neutrals must be different because the switch has a neutral from the GRID and a neutral from the inverter. What NorthGuy says is related to the above. As you can see from the diagram, yes, the knife switch has 2 poles and the neutral "is" being switched or rather could be switched, were the neutral from the GRID not connected to the neutral bus bar, right? So I need to do as North Guy says which is discconnect 2 from the bus bar and connect it to cable#3 coming from the knife switch, the GRID neutral. It may have had something to do with my ATS I had before. I replaced the knife switch with an ATS switch (IT30) and it worked fine for a while and went out with a storm (probably because there is no ground :)) and i switched over to the knife again, but the wiring remained the same. I do rememeber that the ATS switch didnt work at first and the electrician modified the wiring to what it is right now. Then it worked fine, until it burnt out and I had to replace it.

    Attachment not found.

    b) The Ground. There are no grounds. Our houses in C.A. have been wired without ground for years. The newer houses I believe are being wired with grounds. I guess thats why it wasnt wired with a ground.
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    That's interesting that there are two neutral wires going to the knife switch (#3 and #4).

    My guess is that you have a 2-pole knife switch designed to switch the neutral too. But the way it's wired it doesn't switch neutral.

    If you want to switch the neutral, you would need to disconnect #2 and connect it to #3 or #4 (you must figure out which one!!!). You will also need to bring the neutral wires of individual circuits (which probably are connected at the main panel) into this aux box and connect them to the neutral bas here.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    In a normal AC service the Neutral line is connected to the Ground rendering its Voltage potential zero to ground. This makes Neutral "safe to touch" and allows switching of only the Hot side. There would be one Neutral-Ground bond at the service panel.

    MSW type inverters usually fry if their Neutral AC output is connected to ground (due to the nature of the circuitry it creates a short in the inverter). So you must not have that bond present when loads are connected to the inverter.

    Your diagram has a few too many wires connected to the inverter. There will be three AC wires to deal with: Hot, Neutral, and Ground.
    You will have these same three from the utility power and the load sub-panel. These will all 'meet' at the transfer (knife) switch.

    Since your main power comes from a grid service panel (I assume) there is probably already a Neutral-Ground bond present there. This will work if the transfer switch changes both the Hot and Neutral lines to the loads.

    You need a grounding terminal strip in your load sub-panel. The Neutral terminal strip must NOT be connected to it in any way.

    The Load Hot and Neutral will be on the common terminals of the transfer switch. One switched side of it will be the utility power (with its N-G bond) and the other side will be the inverter power (no N-G bond). With the switch in one position the load sub-panel is connected to the utility; in the other position it is connected to the inverter output.

    Do not make any wiring junctions in the sub-panel; it will confuse things. If you have to, make insulated splices there and pass the wires through to the transfer switch location. It is best to remove all the existing wires and make sure you are using ones of the right gauge, length, and colour to keep things kosher.

    Your loads should come in to that sub-panel and connect their hot leads to the breakers, neutral to the neutral terminal strip, and grounds to the ground terminal strip (which needs to be added).
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    From what Cariboocoot says, you must switch the neutral. That could be why your ATS got killed.

    If you can replace wires without crashing drywall, I would certainly do that. If not, you must label them with a tape of appropriate color. Otherwise, it's all too easy to connect something wrong.

    At the switch, wires #1 (hot, white, but must be black) and #3 (neutral, white) bring power from the main panel. These should be connected inside MAIN panel. If you can, remove them from aux panel completely.

    Other two wires bring power from the inverter.

    The third set of wires - #5 (hot, white, must be black) and #4 (neutral, white) take electricity from the switch to the aux panel.

    Since #3 and #4 are both white and connected the same at the moment, you need to correctly identify which one is which.

    #6 is internal to the aux panel, and must be black or red.

    You also need to add ground, which you can get from the main panel.

    However, when you connect it this way, that's not all. The neutral wires of individual circuits are likely connected at the main panel. If you start switching neutral, it won't work. You should take them from the main panel and connect to the neutral bus in aux panel. This way, when you switch to inverter, these individual neutrals will get connected to the inverter.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Ok, wow! I can see it all coming together in my head. I have a few holes in the whole thing but I understand a lot of what you are saying and it makes sense. Here are my doubts:

    Cariboocoot

    1) N-G Bond from Service Panel
    In a normal AC service the Neutral line is connected to the Ground rendering its Voltage potential zero to ground. This makes Neutral "safe to touch" and allows switching of only the Hot side. There would be one Neutral-Ground bond at the service panel.

    Honduras is by no means normal, so please keep that in mind :). You are saying that normally, the grid's neutral line is "included somehow" or interconnected to the Ground Line at the Main Service Panel? Ill look for it but what am I looking for? Or do you mean I need to take my Neutral from the Grid and splice it to get a Ground from it, and actually stick it in the ground?

    2) The last inverter I connected to my system (battery bank & aux panel wiring) went pzzt...pffff...smoke! So its possible that I do have the bond, how do I check?

    3) My Diagram has a few too many wires
    Your diagram has a few too many wires connected to the inverter. There will be three AC wires to deal with: Hot, Neutral, and Ground.
    You will have these same three from the utility power and the load sub-panel. These will all 'meet' at the transfer (knife) switch.

    I think you may have misunderstood my artistic abilities :). The inverter is not drawn in the diagram. The big black box is the load panel. The small black rectangle at the bottom is my rendering of my knife switch.

    The switch itself receives Cables #1 & #3 from the Grid at the left. [Actually Cable #1 HOT from the Grid and either 3 or 4 from the Load Panel's Neutral Bus Bar - i haven't checked which one].

    The switch receives 2 lines ( red & green ) from the right, coming from the inverter (not shown).

    The switch also has 2 lines at the middle., Cables #4 & #5 which are where the Load Panel gets its power from.

    4) Yes the switch's Hot comes directly from the Grids Main Service Panel to the switch.
    Since your main power comes from a grid service panel (I assume) there is probably already a Neutral-Ground bond present there. This will work if the transfer switch changes both the Hot and Neutral lines to the loads.

    There is that N-G bond mention again...I kinda understand...you are saying that because the NG bond exists from the Main Service Panel, and that because the power grid usually combines the two (N&G), that "it" works because the knife is switching both HOT & Neutral when I pull the switch.

    5) Grounding and Neutral.
    You need a grounding terminal strip in your load sub-panel. The Neutral terminal strip must NOT be connected to it in any way.

    You are saying that I need to get a Load Panel with a Ground Strip in it. And you are saying that the Neutral and Ground should not be interconnected anywhere. So I get a new Load Panel with the same 2 120VAC bars, 1 Neutral Bar PLUS 1 Ground Strip? And I connect that strip to a grounded copper pole stuck in the ground I think? Of course Ill have the electrician do it :) Do I need to do anything else with the Ground? And I need to disconnect Cable #2 from the Neutral bar in the Aux Panel and connect it to the Knife switch's GRID left-side Neutral connect where Cable #3 is right now.

    6) Load Panel Junctions.
    Do not make any wiring junctions in the sub-panel; it will confuse things. If you have to, make insulated splices there and pass the wires through to the transfer switch location. It is best to remove all the existing wires and make sure you are using ones of the right gauge, length, and colour to keep things kosher.

    Ok this refers to that Cable#2 I guess. I need to remove it form the Neutral bar as mentioned above. I dont see any other junctions. Please let me know if Im missing any.

    7) ReWire hots, neutrals and add ground.
    Your loads should come in to that sub-panel and connect their hot leads to the breakers, neutral to the neutral terminal strip, and grounds to the ground terminal strip (which needs to be added)

    Ok I will redraw the diagram as I understand it and I will post before making any changes of course...I will then proceed with the electrician and make sure to consult anything back here if he makes any changes.

    NorthGuy

    8) The cables from the Main Svc Panel were threaded thru the Load Panel for aesthetic reasons I believe because the Main Svc Panel & the Aux Load Panel are on the kitchen wall. But I can definitely add a new hole to the wall and run some conduit thru it.

    9) I understand I need to identify if 3 or 4 are coming from Grid or AuxPanel feed. I will do so ASAP.

    10) You say my Main Svc Panel could have a Ground in it? If so, I could use that to wire it into my Load Panel? But the Main Svc Panel Ground must actually be connected to the ground, right? :) Ill have to make sure, but I doubt it is. Thats something I will have to do.

    11) Ill double check to make sure how the neutrals from the Main Svc Panel are wired. But I understand I should wire them individually to the Neutral Bar in the Aux Panel.

    Ok I have a lot of work to do :) Thanks all for the help. Will keep you posted.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Normally the North American 240 VAC 60 Hz "split phase" grid system feeds your house with two "hot" lines L1 & L2 across which is the 240 Volts and a "neutral" line which is from the center tap of the supply transformer and gives you 120 VAC between either of the two hots and the neutral. This neutral is usually connected to the Earth grounding system; yes, literally a rod driven into the ground that provides a safety Voltage sink for the whole system. Proper grounding of any system is one of the most talked about subjects there is in the field. Unfortunately much of that talk can be classified as "discussion", "argument", and "changed rules". :roll:

    If your last MSW inverter fried instantly when you connected it, it's a good bet the output side of it found that Neutral-Ground bond and didn't like it. The main service panel should show a wire running from the Neutral terminal strip to the Ground terminal strip. The Neutral should have all white wires going to it and the Ground should have all bare wires going to it (they are safety grounds and ordinarily carry no current). Breakers would have black and/or red wires connected to their individual terminals as these are the hot lines (240 is usually one black and one red, but not always).

    They sell these handy plug-in electrical outlet testers up here: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/2/Electrical/ElectricalTesters/PRDOVR~0520027P/Gardner-Bender+GFI-3501+GFCI+and+Receptacle+Tester.jsp?locale=en You should be able to get one similar. It lets you know at a glance if the wiring you're dealing with is correct or goofed up. Everybody should have one.

    When a Neutral-Ground bond is use there should be only one. If it gets tied together in more places then you can have a ground loop, where differing resistance in circuits can actually cause the safety ground wires to carry some current - effectively making them bare live wires.

    You want to do this with the right wire, going point-to-point. As it is it looks like only the hot lines for that sub panel come in there, which means the neutrals are connected ????

    If you bring all the load wires (Hot, Neutral, ground) into that box and then take the three to the transfer switch and then from there to either power source it will be so much easier to keep straight what is connected to where.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    If your last MSW inverter fried instantly when you connected it, it's a good bet the output side of it found that Neutral-Ground bond and didn't like it. The main service panel should show a wire running from the Neutral terminal strip to the Ground terminal strip. The Neutral should have all white wires going to it and the Ground should have all bare wires going to it (they are safety grounds and ordinarily carry no current). Breakers would have black and/or red wires connected to their individual terminals as these are the hot lines (240 is usually one black and one red, but not always).

    In case you would like a little more detail on what may have caused the inverter to lose all of its magic smoke:

    <start lecture mode>

    The neutral conductor is technically one for which the voltage from it to all of the phase lines (either the two lines, L1 and L2 of a single phase 240 volt arrangement as is common for US residential or the three lines, L1, L2 and L3 of a commercial three phase system) is equal in magnitude.
    If you have only a single 120 volt circuit there is technically no "neutral" conductor since there is only one phase conductor to compare it to. :-)
    In the US that same conductor is usually the "grounded conductor" meaning that for safety purposes it is connected (bonded) to the earth ground reference somewhere (one single point) in the wiring.
    For an MSW inverter, the inverter case and one side, usually the negative side, of the battery bank are also connected to the ground point but NOT to the neutral wire.

    To make the circuitry simpler and cheaper, the MSW inverter will actually deliver its 120 volts by putting +60 to -60 on one side of the AC line and -60 to +60 on the other side. That allows 120 volts between lines without using higher voltages with respect to ground. It could also put out +120 to 0 on one side and zero to -120 on the other side. Unfortunately that means in either case that in the resulting AC circuit, there is not only no neutral conductor, there is no grounded conductor. When the main electrical panel connects the white wire to ground, it shorts out one side of the inverter output, destroying it. (Semiconductors are devices which burn out to protect fuses. :-))

    In a European 240 volt system there typically is neither a neutral conductor nor a grounded conductor, leaving what is called an ungrounded system.
    Both types of system can be safe, but they require different wiring practices.
    If you used an MSW inverter with a European 240 volt system, there would be no grounded conductor to short out its output.

    So if you have a US style RV or other system which is sometimes connected to commercial power (shore power from marine terminology), it will typically have a ground to neutral bond somewhere. Ideally it will be on the shore side of the transfer switch and the transfer switch will switch both the hot wire and the "neutral" wire so that in one position the white wire is grounded and in the other position it is not. If instead the bond is on the house side of transfer switch or the transfer switch does not disconnect the white wire, then you will have to use a PSW inverter instead as these typically do allow the white wire to be grounded.

    <end lecture mode>
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel
    quique wrote: »
    10) You say my Main Svc Panel could have a Ground in it? If so, I could use that to wire it into my Load Panel? But the Main Svc Panel Ground must actually be connected to the ground, right? :) Ill have to make sure, but I doubt it is. Thats something I will have to do.

    Grounding is a safety feature. Everything will work without grounding just as well. So, it is possible, however unlikely, that you do not have it. If you do have it, it must be in the main panel. Usually, this is a green or bare wire which connects to a ground bar, or may be screwed directly to the metal that the panel is made of. There could be a grounding bar, or simply a set of screws that let you connect wires to the ground.
    quique wrote: »
    11) Ill double check to make sure how the neutrals from the Main Svc Panel are wired. But I understand I should wire them individually to the Neutral Bar in the Aux Panel.

    Each circut has three wires - hot, neutral, and ground (which go to three prongs in outlets). All three used to be connected at the main panel, as they do now for other circuits. When someone installed the aux panel, they only brought in hot wires. Neutrals, most likely, were left in the main panel. Now you would need to bring them to aux panel too. You need to carefully find neutrals for your four circuits. Be careful not to in move neutrals from other circuits.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Thanks so much for the explanation. I hope they invent teleporting soon cause it would be awesome to get your expertise here even if for a couple of hours.

    Ill look into getting one of those. So basically if you plug that into a socket it will tell you if its wired right? I know that in most houses in Honduras, when you plug an APC brand surge protector or UPC, we almost always get a ground fault wire led because as i explained, they didnt start grounding outlets until recently.

    Tomorrow Im getting together with my electrician and having him open the mail breaker panel with me and we'll take a look, some pics etc.

    Ill ask him to pull out all the wiring to the aux load panel and use the right color wires for everything.

    Ill post back when I get all this sorted out.

    Thx again.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Ok, I took off the lid to my HOME MAIN SERVICE PANEL and found this:

    Attachment not found.

    There seem to be 3 grid wires coming in, the thickest ones. 2 connect at the top and one at the bottom which is not visible in the picture because there is a bar, which I assume is the Neutral.

    The top right thick wire is red and comes down along the right side and into a hole at the bottom.

    The top left thick wire is black and comes down along the left side but then there is a join to a red thick wire (the black wad at the bottom) and then that red thick wire sinks into that hole at the bottom.

    There is another red wire coming in form that hole at the bottom which connects to a block at the very bottom, the one obstructed from view by the black wad and a small bus bar which I assume is the Neutral one.

    There is no other bar in the sp so I dont think there is a ground. Unless the ground is elsewhere (like at the meter like my electrician thinks it might be).

    Again no color coding. Im thinking of telling my electrician to just rewire the entire house :)

    Again there are breakers with more than one wire, but in here (as opposed to the office) there is no more space for breakers.

    I tried to take a closer picture of that bottom section. There seem to be a few wires (5-7) connected at the bus bar at the bottom.

    Attachment not found.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. :p
    Yes, that looks like a neutral terminal strip along the bottom and no signs of ground wires anywhere. Do you have three-prong (round hole in the middle bottom) outlets or two-prong?

    Possibly the service is grounded (neutral center tap from the service transformer) at the pole and maybe at the meter but that does no good for safety ground of the wiring!

    If you can get a good Earth ground near the box (cold water piper running underground) and check Voltage of the neutral line against that. If it reads Voltage that would mean there is no N-G bond. If it reads something low it may be grounded at the pole but not at your service. If it reads high it may not be grounded at all. With poor quality grounding the Voltage can go up and down along these lines and can still fry an MSW inverter.

    It's best to have a good N-G bond, and second choice is none at all. In between lies a lot of trouble.

    I like the idea of rewiring completely. Making sure first of all that the service feed is good.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Yes the electrician believes it is grounded at the meter because he says the power company will not install the meter if the system is not grounded (to protect their equipment) but they dont care much about the user's equipment of safety.

    I asked my electrician and he told me rewiring the entire house is an option and we'll look at costs on Thursday. On Thursday we meet to at least rewire the aux load panel, (individual neutrals and grounds) and ground the MSP as well as solar array, inverter and other equipment along the way.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Post the picture when it's rewired
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Well it ain't pretty, but you don't always get the panel you wished you had and you have to deal with what you got. Those single breakers seem to be 30 Amp breakers going to your branch circuits, it's hard to tell the wire gauge. I'd worry about some of those things more so than the grounds. Will you be able to pull all new 3 conductor wire ??

    Most houses here built before the early 1960's have no grounds. it's not the end of the world, just something to be wary of.
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Attachment not found.Here is the rewired aux panel. The electrician didnt have much time, but we removed the bridged neutral, separated them and now:

    Neutral & Hot from MSP go to one side of the switch
    Neutral & Hot from Inverter go to one side of switch
    Neutral & Hot from Aux Load Panel go to center of switch

    Next week when it stops raining we will
    1) add a ground bar to the Aux Load Panel,
    2) ground the solar panels
    3) ground the inverter
    4) buy new sealed batteries to reconnect my solar array to CC & Inverter
    5) finish wiring the disconnect breakers from the panels to the BB and add disconnects from batteries to inverter

    He said it doesnt make much sense to add a ground bar to the MSP because there is no ground wiring on any of the outlets. Its just not customary in HN to add grounds to outlets. So we may have to leave that for later because I do plan to move out into a new apt soon and that would be ideal to pull out all wires and add new wiring including the ground ones.

    And since Ive gotten into Ch10 of the SEI book, I have learned a few things which should help me calculate my production and loads better so as to take better care of my bb.

    Im feeling better already :)
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Well that looks a lot better!

    Now if the load neutrals came into the box and connected to the neutral terminal strip.

    One step at a time, eh? :D
  • quiquequique Solar Expert Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Correct, thats the other thing that that's missing. Thanks for reminding me.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,913 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    Looks very nice.

    You have two free 30A brakers. If you wish, you can connect the incoming hot wire (from the switch) to one of these breakers instead of the bus directly. If you do, it'll become your main breaker and you will be able to switch off all the loads on the panel with a single breaker flip.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring of Auxiliary Panel

    It is not necessary to have a 'main' breaker on this sub panel. The utility power will have one, and the inverter itself will fault before any breaker it is feeding trips. If you want to kill power to this sub panel, turn off the inverter and flip the transfer switch from 'utility' to 'inverter'.
Sign In or Register to comment.