Rate my wiring diagram

flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
Ok I now have all the major pieces here and ready. Now it's time to put everything together! I want to be sure my wiring is correct so can some people look over my solar wiring diagram drawing to tell me if this is going to work or not? Any and all suggestions are helpful! Thanks!

Comments

  • mshen11mshen11 Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    can i interject and ask if you need/consider bus bars/ breakers/fuses in the system? (asking because im curious to review such properly wired diagrams myself)
  • DeltaFoxDeltaFox Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    I'm new here also but I think I'd put a fuse box in there some were. Have a fuse box with a place for several grounds.
    I think your diagram is O.K.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Fuse (or breaker) every run of wire. Between the PV and the controller, (some suggest fusing each Pv), fuse between the battery and the inverter. Fuse between the inverter and the loads.

    You can use a number of individual fuses, or install fuse/breaker boxes. (Do not install any box with both 120vac and 12 vdc in the same box!) Remember that there are few breakers (readily available that are rated for DC. The Square D QO series are the exception).

    Good luck,

    Tony
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Ok, it is a start.

    1. Panels- currently shown as all in parallel for 12 volt, with a MPPT should be wired for 24 volt. With the note at the charge controller, I think you just over looked this. As noted by BB, This maybe incorrect. If you can only use a 12 volt, then I would use 10 AWG wire instead of 12 AWG.

    2. Inverter should be wired to positive of one battery and the negative should be the other battery. Just like have the charge controller is show.

    3. Fuses or circuit breakers, after redoing panel wiring, need 3 there, one for each string. One between the charge controller and batteries. One between inverter and batteries.

    4. If you use fuses, you will need disconnects between the PV and charge controller and one between the battery and inverter. If you use breakers, they also can server as disconnects.

    5. Negative side of batteries should be grounded to a ground rod.

    6. Neutral side of inverter. Some inverters can have/should have this tie to the ground pin and a ground rod. DO NOT do this till you post what inverter you are using. I do not know that one in your drawing.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    If you are using the Blue Sky controller--check the specifications for your unit... I believe that the panels have to be wired for "12 volts" as wiring two in series ("24 volts") would exceed the Vmax panel for this controller.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Ok very good points.
    I did not think fuses were important and it never even occurred to me to put them in. The reason for this is because all of the youtube videos I watched of people with their own self installed solar panels NEVER PUT FUSES IN. Once in a great while I saw someone with a shutoff but I never heard anyone talk about fuses. I never saw any FAQ relating to fuses on Wind and Sun's website or anywhere else. So can someone kindly guide me to a website that can explain what I have to do with fuses.

    BB I think you're right. As I was going to bed last night I knew something was wrong with my panel wiring but I didn't know what. I think if I combine 2 panels in series this would create 3 groups each with 110w 34v 3.2A. If I hook those 3 groups up in series then I won't overload my charge controller rated amp's and only send it 9.6A which is below its rated 12A. I suppose it's ok to send 34V to the 24v controller though?

    The inverter I have is a Xantrex Prowatt sw1000 Sine Wave inverter. I found it for a good deal.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    For the inverter, just need to ground the frame as per the manual.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    it's rather simple to see why fusing would be needed as you have the capacity during a short circuit to dump a huge amount of power through your wires. this heats the wires and can be dangerous when nothing stops that high flow. it is often required per nec rules as well. although many inverters may have a fuse or circuit breaker in them, it may be better to place one at the battery and this is true for the wiring of the charge controller as well for it's that battery current that will heat the wires and a short on the wires would preferably have a fuse in line to be popped for any shorts occurring before the fuse will not pop the fuse. pvs too can unload a large amount power and should be fused.
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    So I assume that if I have a 17v, 3.2A solar panel then I need a 5A fuse on each panel? This will mean that when it for some reason doubles the Ampres then it'll blow? [edit] I just read the solar panel and it tells me which fuse to actually use! 6amp.

    I also have a typo on my charge controller. I had to double check it but it is a 24Amp 12volt charge controller. Which means if I hook up all 6 solar panels up it'll be 17V @ 19.2Amp which my charge controller can handle just fine. So they will be all hooked up in parallel.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    i saw your typo and the cc should be fine, but won't leave much room to expand.
    as to the fuse i think you could get away with a 5a fuse for each pv if they will be easily accessible and if not then you have to go 6a for each.
  • mshen11mshen11 Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    indoor breaker question:

    when breakers are involved, do you have to mount them in a breaker box? ive seen DIN rail mountable breakers - but for some reason they are all below 50amps. for 80 or 250amp breakers (specifically ones designed by outback), how do you mount them on the wall with your charge controller, inverter, etc... (w/out a box) - or you just dont [w/out getting a breaker box]?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    you don't need a box if the breakers are made to not need it such as the square d qou style. normally most breakers are meant to be mounted in a box though and it makes installs a little bit neater.
  • mshen11mshen11 Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    thanks for the reply.

    where can i find DIN rail breakers that are 80amp and 250amps? im not sure (but it seems like) DIN rail breakers are limited to around 50-60amps
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    mshen11,

    You also need to specify the voltage and type... Large DC breakers are even more rare and expensive to come by (large DC currents are much more likely to sustain an arc vs AC currents of the same value).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mshen11mshen11 Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    12VDC for type and voltage
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Hey I 'm starting to get a little worried here. After combining all the panels in a combiner box on the Array itself, my plan is to then use a 10 gauge wire traveling 40 ft to the charge controller. This is a 17V DC @ 18Amp load on the wire. According to this page I'm in the red zone and can't do it.
    Seeking helpful advice on this. Thanks.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    you should worry after putting big $ into everything that you'd cheat the system with a small wire that can't properly carry it. what's worse is that it won't work at all until you put in the second wire going 40ft. razzing you a bit here, but yes, you should use bigger wires and to help you figure out what you need you may want to try the vd calculator and no that's not for stds.:p
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=29
    if you have trouble figuring it out then chime back in with the setup you have going with details and specs.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    dont worry about all the calculations just use #6 wire and all will be ok #10 is way too small.:cool:
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Using 10 AWG was my bad, was thinking 10 AWG to combiner box, but failed to list wire from combiner to charger controller.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Tony my flightless friend how can you say

    (Do not install any box with both 120vac and 12 vdc in the same box!)


    Because If Im not wrong what to Midnight E Panels do ?

    Sos for being a pain :D

    Nigel
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    What size fuse/breaker should I put between the batteries and inverter? I'll be running the batteries in 12V and it's a 1000w inverter.

    It took me like 3 or 4 hours to connect the 4 wires into the blue sky charge controller today. 6 gauge wire is way too big to fit into it, very frustrating. The moment I'd get the 4th wire in, the first one would pop out.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    well its simple if you dont use#6 wire you going to have very nice warm #10 wires.. That means lots of wasted power.. you just really have to find a way to do it.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Fuse + Heavy Duty DC switch (if needed) will be a lot cheaper.

    Large DC rated circuit breaker would work fine--but probably too expensive to justify.

    Large breakers and fuses
    350 amp battery switch

    Many inverters include an internal fuse--and the external fuse is a bit of over-kill, especially when most people use pretty short wire runs between the battery and inverter (little chance for the wires to be damaged and shorted)--however, a wiring/battery fire is a pretty frightening experience too...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Partially successful!

    Today I am charging the batteries! Actually using the solar energy. The inverter is not here yet though so I'm waiting for the very last piece. Some new questions arose though.

    How do I know that all 6 panels are working? For some reason my volt meter isn't reading amps at all. I'm guessing because it doesn't have a load on it. I tested all 6 panels on the roof before putting them in the combiner box but how would I know if a fuse blew on one of them? Do I need to get the trimetric meter to read all that info?

    How do I know how charged up my batteries are? I suppose, yet again the trimetric will answer that question for me but I kinda thought there would be a way to test it myself.

    Would it be ok if I used a 30Amp fuse between the battery bank and the inverter? I got one of those air conditioner fuse boxes that permits me to also disconnect the whole thing. This is rated at 30amps but allows me to put two different circuits through it. It would be nice if I could just use both sides to allow one box to have 2 fuses and 1 disconnect.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    Fuses must be rated for the Amperage & Voltage of the system, and be DC type fuses.

    Best way to tell the state of charge of a battery (wet cell) is with a hydrometer - less than $10 at just about any automotive store.

    Panels will not show much current output without a load on - charged batteries don't need any more charge, obviously. Don't worry too much about the panels; If they showed working before install chances are they'll be good for 20+ years unless something hits them.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,007 admin
    Re: Rate my wiring diagram

    A quick and dirty way to see if you have DC current flow and no DC current clamp. If you have a fuse or breaker, measure the voltage drop across each (may need to set the DVM to 200mV scale).

    If the panels are all working correctly, the voltage drop across each fuse will be approximately the same. If the voltage drop is out by a large amount (more than a factor of 2x between the high vs low reading)--you may have an issue.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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