# fuse between inverter and load

Registered Users Posts: 9
hello
i have a question on off grid system
if i have a system like this :
panels
charge controler
battery
inverter

normaly ,i do put a fuse between battery and inverter ,but do i need to put ac breaker or fuse between inverter and load
and if a suppose that a short circuit happen on load ,what fuse will shut down the first between battery and inverter or the one between inverter and load
«1

Re: fuse between inverter and load

Welcome to the forum Hello!

Fuses/breakers are to protect wiring from high current power sources.

The primary source of high current will be your battery bank +/- bus.

So, any (typically positive) wires that leave the battery + bus should have a fuse or breaker sized for the loads and wiring capacity.

You used about an AC inverter--So, the generic calculations for a 12 volt 1,200 Watt AC inverter (running at full rated load) would look something:

1,200 watt * 1/0.85 inverter eff * 1/10.5 inverter cutoff * 1.25 NEC derating for wire/fuses = 168 Amp branch fuse/breaker/cable minimum rating

For each circuit that leaves the + battery bus, the fuse/breaker/wiring needs to be rated as above. You can use NEC or other standard (marine for example) to then pick the wire that meets those requirements.

DC fuses/breakers are a bit more difficult to find, and can have issues between 12/24/48 volt rated battery systems.

Fuses may be cheaper to install, but many high current DC fuses are not cheap--So, many times, it is simply "better" to use a DC Circuit Breaker instead. You get the protection of a fuse, plus a handy "on/off" switch in one unit.

Besides fusing the DC battery bus--You may have fusing requirements for your solar array (typically three or more solar panel/strings in parallel usually need a fuse/breaker per string). On the AC output side--It depends. For example, the minimum AC curcuit in the US is rated for 15 amp on 14 AWG wire... If you have a 300 Watt AC inverter--You really do not need a fuse/breaker. If you have a 2kWatt+ inverter, then you may need a fuse/breaker per branch circuit.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 9
Re: fuse between inverter and load
BB. wrote: »
Welcome to the forum Hello!

Fuses/breakers are to protect wiring from high current power sources.

The primary source of high current will be your battery bank +/- bus.

So, any (typically positive) wires that leave the battery + bus should have a fuse or breaker sized for the loads and wiring capacity.

You used about an AC inverter--So, the generic calculations for a 12 volt 1,200 Watt AC inverter (running at full rated load) would look something:

1,200 watt * 1/0.85 inverter eff * 1/10.5 inverter cutoff * 1.25 NEC derating for wire/fuses = 168 Amp branch fuse/breaker/cable minimum rating

For each circuit that leaves the + battery bus, the fuse/breaker/wiring needs to be rated as above. You can use NEC or other standard (marine for example) to then pick the wire that meets those requirements.

DC fuses/breakers are a bit more difficult to find, and can have issues between 12/24/48 volt rated battery systems.

Fuses may be cheaper to install, but many high current DC fuses are not cheap--So, many times, it is simply "better" to use a DC Circuit Breaker instead. You get the protection of a fuse, plus a handy "on/off" switch in one unit.

Besides fusing the DC battery bus--You may have fusing requirements for your solar array (typically three or more solar panel/strings in parallel usually need a fuse/breaker per string). On the AC output side--It depends. For example, the minimum AC curcuit in the US is rated for 15 amp on 14 AWG wire... If you have a 300 Watt AC inverter--You really do not need a fuse/breaker. If you have a 2kWatt+ inverter, then you may need a fuse/breaker per branch circuit.

-Bill
thank you
i need to know ,if i use a 2kwatt inverter ,and i use a fuse/breaker after the inverter ,did this breaker will shot down before the dc fuse in battery or not? because if a short circuit happen on the load side ,this means that the it will short circuit the battery and the inveter can be damaged? because if the ac breaker work that means that the short circuit current from the battery will passe throw the inverter to the load side ,and can damage the inverter?
• Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
Re: fuse between inverter and load

Sad to say this but circuit protection, CB's of Fuses, are NOT there to PROTECT inverters, appliances, etc, but to protect the wiring and PREVENT a FIRE

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• Solar Expert Posts: 235 ✭✭
Re: fuse between inverter and load
westbranch wrote: »
Sad to say this but circuit protection, CB's of Fuses, are NOT there to PROTECT inverters, appliances, etc, but to protect the wiring and PREVENT a FIRE

(from an electrician's/NEC perspective) that is mostly the way it is. There are a few pieces of equipment that the NEC requires to be protected from overload by an overcurrent protection device: The most common one is panel boards (408.36). Transformers require protection also but this OCPD can be up to 250% of the transformers nameplate in certain situations. Motors: occasionally fuses are used to protect the motor from overload, but usually the OCPD is there to protect the conductors and other means are employed to protect the motor itself.

In stand alone systems the conductors of the the inverter output circuit are sized based on the output rating of the inverter, and these conductors are suppposed to be protected by an OCPD "at the output of the inverter". Usually the NEC is quite specific as to the exact location and length of conductors until protection for taps and transformer secondary conductors but this is a little vague.

Regarding your question about what happens in the case of a fault, I think that most of the time the inverter will detect the fault and shut down before the OCPD trips. I think it would depend on the impedance between the fault and the inverter, the trip curve of the OCPD, whether the conductors and OCPD were sized for continuous load (125% rule), and the inverters tolerance and scheme for dealing with overloads. Maybe others have practical experience with this but my guess is the inverter will shut off before any OCPD's trip.
Re: fuse between inverter and load

In general, fuses and breakers have pretty slow trip times (minutes to fractions of a second for serious overloads). For electronics, they can fail in microseconds--And it may be over voltage, not current, that causes a component failure.

As said by others, the over current protection by inverters is going to be much faster than any breaker/fuse. Fuses/breakers are there to prevent the wiring from catching fire if the failure is (for example) a dead short (fairly common failure mode for many electronic components).

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 9
Re: fuse between inverter and load

i need to know if the inverter will shot down before the ac breaker fuse shot down when the short circuit happen in the load side,what will be the job of the ac fuse/breaker ?
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
Re: fuse between inverter and load

Transistors, ICs and other semiconductor devices are designed to blow out quickly to protect expensive fuses.

More seriously, it depends on the design of the inverter output circuit:

Some of them will limit the power output (specifically lowering the voltage to keep the current within limits, or else just shutting down). In that case the fuse or breaker will never blow and if the short circuit is generating heat you could have a fire unless monitoring at the inverter shuts the whole thing down.
Others will not have that sort of immediate current limiting, having only a thermal detector to deal with long term low grade overloads and/or high ambient temperatures. For that type of inverter, see my first characterization above.
SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
Re: fuse between inverter and load

If you have an inverter with 30 amp output and connect a 14 AWG branch circuit--The 14 AWG branch circuit would have a 15 amp breaker on it to protect the 14 awg wire from getting 30 amps (from the inverter) if there is a short/overload on the 14 AWG branch circuit.

Exactly what is your AC inverter and the loads you want to run?

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 9
Re: fuse between inverter and load

but if the ac breaker shot down to protect the 14 awg , when a short circuit happen in the load side after the 15amp ac breaker ,the short circuit current will go from the battery throw the inverter ,the problem is that the short circuit current of the battery is very big and it is a dc cuurent this means how can the ac breaker shot down befor the dc breker or the inverter?
or that mean that the ac breker is to protect against overload and not short circuit?
Re: fuse between inverter and load

In a typical overload of ~25% too much current, it will take seconds to minutes for a fuse/breaker to trip.

And the current on the input is proportional to the output of the inverter... For a 12 VDC input and 120 VAC output inverter:

15 Amps @ 120 VAC => ~150 Amps @ 12 VDC

Because Power = Voltage * Current... If your voltage is 10x higher, the current is 1/10 as much. So, you would have a 15 Amp fuse on the AC output and a 150 Amp fuse on the DC output.

The 150 Amp fuse protects the DC wiring. And the 15 Amp fuse protects the AC wiring. Both fuses/breakers are needed because there are different types of failures (wiring short circuits, failure inside the inverter, etc.) that can cause different fuses to blow depending on the exact failure.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 9
Re: fuse between inverter and load

thank you all for your help
• Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
Re: fuse between inverter and load

I have portions of my house powered by an off-grid solar/battery/inverter setup. I had been considering various methods to use fuses or breakers on the output of the inverter. Not so much for the protection of wires (inverter will shutdown if overloaded anyway), but rather being able to isolate parts of the system when working on it. Also, if one area has a failure, it doesn't shutdown the entire system. The breaker for that section should pop first.

I lucked out and a coworker brought me a Paneltronics breaker panel. He was refurbishing his boat, and didn't need this anymore. It had some corrosion, so I took it all apart, cleaned it up, and installed two more breakers. Has the capability to hold 6 breakers, but only came with 4.

I have fuses actually mounted on the battery terminal, which are the only protection for the battery cables feeding the bus bars inside the garage.

I also added a DC circuit breaker between the solar panels, and the charge controller. It has a built-in switch, allowing the solar panels to be disconnected from the system.

I'd rather reset a breaker, or replace a fuse, than deal with a fire!
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
Where did you buy the termnal fuse blocks I could use six of them
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
What kind of terminal/fuse blocks are you looking for?

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
Where did you buy the termnal fuse blocks I could use six of them

I bought mine from here:  http://www.bestboatwire.com/blue-sea-systems-5191-fuse-block-for-terminal-fuse

There's two parts to the terminal fuse blocks.  The fuse block itself (link above), and the fuse (below).

http://www.bestboatwire.com/blue-sea-systems-5187-terminal-fuse-200-amp

These fuses are available in 30-300A.  Since it mounts directly to the battery, it protects the all the wiring downstream if properly sized.

• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
In my bank could i use these between battery's for safety if one battery shorts
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
In my bank could i use these between battery's for safety if one battery shorts
I'm not sure exactly what you are asking... Do you have parallel strings of batteries?  Are you asking whether to put a fuse in each string?

--vtMaps
4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
I have 12 - 12 volt in bank would like to put fuse between 12-12 not on 24 volt side
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• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
Or between + - not ++ or -- if that makes sense
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
null
Yes in each string between batterys
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
How many parallel strings of battery do you have?  What size fuse/breaker do you presently have between the battery and the inverter?

It can be tricky picking a fuse size for individual strings.  Both charge and discharge currents are not likely to be divided evenly among the strings.  If the fuses are too large, they fail to protect.  If the fuses are too small, then the uneven current flow may blow one fuse leading to a cascade of blown fuses... when one blows, the current must go through the remaining battery strings which get overloaded and blow their fuses.  It happens fast and expensively.

One reason to avoid parallel batteries is that adding all the fuses and connections to a system adds potential points of failure to the system.  Parallel batteries are an unstable system to begin with, and adding all of the (necessary for safety) extra connections just makes it less stable.

--vtMaps
4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
6 strings was told by recycled solar company in salida co this was OK but found out here is not safe. Have e panel with 250 amp breaker between battery and inverter maybe should split to 3 strings.
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
Figured 75 amp between battery's would be OK if a battery shorts
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
6 strings was told by recycled solar company in salida co this was OK but found out here is not safe. Have e panel with 250 amp breaker between battery and inverter maybe should split to 3 strings.
What do you mean "split into 3 strings".  You have 6 strings in parallel... are you proposing to disconnect 3 of the strings?

Also, can you provide a picture or a wiring diagram of how you have these batteries interconnected?

Also, do you know what a DC clamp ammeter is?  You need one if you are going to be running parallel strings of batteries.

--vtMaps
4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
Yes I meant to disconnect 3 strings and I do know what a DC clamp meter is just bought wrong one have a friend that has one when would be the best time to check under load or while charging and used smart gauge will try to up load in a min
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
Photos
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
The inverter goes to one side positive and on opposite side to neg and cc is opposite corner to corner
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
All outside
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer
• Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
The inverter goes to one side positive and on opposite side to neg and cc is opposite corner to corner
I can't see in the picture how/where the 6 strings are combined.  In any case, unless you are using bus bars to combine the strings, your wiring is making a bad situation (parallel batteries) worse.

--vtMaps
4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
No bus bars 2/0 between all cells
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer