Best way to set up equipment in room, on other side of house from electrical panel.

I'm planning on installing a grid tied system with battery backup and would like to have all the solar equipment(inverter, battery, etc) on the other side of the house (about 100') from the electrical panel (outside). What's the best way to go about this? I'm assuming this involves running thick gauge wires in the ground...or is it possible to run the wires in the attic crawl space? Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    How large of solar array, battery bank (AH and Voltage), and branch circuit from the AC main panel (120/240 VAC and what amps?) are you aiming for with your system?

    Are you doing this to save money, going "green", or preparing for possible power failures?

    There is nothing really special about the cabling from the AC main panel to the solar hybrid inverter... A bigger question is "what will you be wiring" for backup power/etc... Normally, one would put the AC hybrid inverter near the main panel so you can wire up the "protected circuits" to be powered by either AC Mains or Hybrid inverter output. However, you can run AC panel to hybrid inverter (AC 1 input)... And from the AC output (hybrid inverter) back to near the main panel for powering protected circuits...

    Doing it in the attic vs underground--Are you going to have a licensed electrician do the wiring/pull the permits? There is no big reason to choose attic vs underground. Just which gives you the cheapest (and cleanest) installation costs.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The wires will not be 12ga "romex" style, for a 100' run, they will be larger and may need to be in conduit. Don't know if they can share the same conduit, or if you need 2.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • solar95119solar95119 Registered Users Posts: 3
    Thanks Mike & BB. I'm planning on using about a 5kw solar array and 8 AGM L16 or 8 Rolls S550 flooded L16 batteries.
    And yes all of the above to save money, going green and power failures. Also could you tell me about the process with interacting with the utility company, PG&E in my case. Would i still be able to sell back power if i have a grid tied w/ battery backup system?
    And yes I'll have a licensed electrician help with wiring and permits.

    Yes BB, I'm assuming I'll need go thicker than the 12ga romex style.

    Thanks again guys.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,821 ✭✭✭✭✭
    solar95119 wrote: »
    ...... I'm planning on using about a 5kw solar array and 8 AGM L16 or 8 Rolls S550 flooded L16 batteries.
    And yes all of the above to save money, going green and power failures....
    Once you add the batteries (which require a backup generator for cloudy/storm days when the grid is down) the battery replacement costs overwhelm any electricity charges savings. Assume replacement batteries every 7-10 years, if you are a good battery maintainer. AGM has shorter lifetime than flooded. If these will be for emergency usage, maybe a minimal bank of golf cart 6v batteries will be better, you only will likely use a dozen cycles out of them, and won't spend near as much replacing them.

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 231 ✭✭
    solar95119 wrote: »
    I'm planning on installing a grid tied system with battery backup and would like to have all the solar equipment(inverter, battery, etc) on the other side of the house (about 100') from the electrical panel (outside). What's the best way to go about this? I'm assuming this involves running thick gauge wires in the ground...or is it possible to run the wires in the attic crawl space? Thanks in advance.

    You could run the conductors between the inverter and the electrical panel either above ground or below ground, either in conduit, or in a cable/conductors approved for the location. It sounds like the house is already there so Im guessing going underground isnt a good option. Type SE or SE-R would be a good inexpensive option, looks like you want around 6 or 4 gauge. Just beware of cable assemblies with PV as PV runs are often upsized for voltage drop and that triggers a NEC required increase in the equipment grounding conductor size. Sometimes you would have to get a cable with an extra conductor and abandon the bare EGC. Just make sure your electrician is on top of it!

    I agree with Mike about the batteries. Get a $599 home depot generator instead, or if you want automatcia transfer, get a small propane gen with automatic transfer switch.
  • solar95119solar95119 Registered Users Posts: 3
    Got it, thanks Mike and Ethan for the feedback.
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