Wiring Book Recommendations

CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
Hello,
I am looking to find a book that will teach me step by step how to wire the entire solar system.
I need a great book that will help a beginner with no electrical wiring history figure this out.
I do have a family member that knows how to wire a house/breaker box for grid electricity...are they pretty similar?
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Thank You!
Crystal

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations

    From the Working FAQ thread:
    Regarding Solar Books:

    What's a Good Beginners Book?

    From the above thread:
    FL SUN wrote: »
    This is a link to a PV textbook I find very informative. It was a requirement for the FL contractor's exam I took last month. It even has a very good interactive CD with a bunch of informative extras. A quick search on-line shows this book goes for about $75.00 USD everywhere.

    Don't forget nothing compares to OJT when it comes to installation. It's always best to apply in the field what you've learned from a good textbook first.
    http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?show=HARDCVR%20W/COMP%20MEDIA:NEW:9780826912879:75.00
    TnAndy wrote: »
    Rick,

    Here a good "textbook" on solar......it actually IS a textbook for some solar courses, and is set up that way with practice questions at the end of each chapter, but it's also a good self guide as to the basics of components and how they mesh together to make a system. Worth the money, IMHO.

    Solar Book Here
    Some information on NEC and how it applies to solar power:

    PV and the 2005 NEC -- Reference Document

    And, of course, the NEC Code Book (current edition or version that is used by your locality).
    -Bill

    PS: Our host also has a Book they recommend:

    Book - The New Solar Electric Home

    PPS: From another poster:
    KeithWHare wrote: »
    I recommend "Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual" from Solar Energy International. This does a pretty decent job of explaining everything except for battery banks.

    Keith

    And: Electricity for Boaters - BoatSafe.com

    It also is a good idea to have the NEC (current National Electric Code) reference book.

    It may not be required in your area--But, if followed correctly, you will have a nice conservative design and it will be pretty safe too.

    I have not read any of these (other than the NEC)... Just recommendations from other threads/places I have seen on the web.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations

    Thank you for the suggestions!
    I'll definately check them out.

    ~Crystal~
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations

    If you are planning a grid tide installation. Talk to your local code officer and the power company first. Some will make self install very hard if not impossible at all.
  • CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations

    Thanks for the info...thankfully we are off-grid, so this should make it easier.
  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations
    Crystal wrote: »
    Hello,
    I am looking to find a book that will teach me step by step how to wire the entire solar system.
    I need a great book that will help a beginner with no electrical wiring history figure this out.
    I do have a family member that knows how to wire a house/breaker box for grid electricity...are they pretty similar?
    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
    Thank You!
    Crystal

    Several things to keep in mind:
    • If you take the time to do the electrical work neatly to start with, it will be easier to maintain and modify later. When you change or add to wiring, it will always get messier; it will never get neater.
    • When you are dealing with low voltage, high amperage, wire size is really important in order to avoid significant voltage drop. You will end up using much larger wire for 24 volt DC than you will for 120 volt AC. (The difference is the voltage, not DC versus AC.) There are several voltage drop calculators around. Practice with them.
    • You will need to use the following calculations a lot, so memorize and practice them:
      Volts * Amps = Watts
      Watts / Volts = Amps
      Watts / Amps = Volts
    • When PV panels (or batteries) are wired in series, add the voltages
    • When PV panels (or batteries) are wired in parallel, add the Amps
    • Grounding is not as simple as it seems like it should be.
    • Battery banks are not as simple as it seems like they should be.
    • Read the specifications on everything you can get your hands on. The more you practice reading specifications, the easier they it is to read them.
    • Ask questions. There are a lot of people on this forum who know a lot about solar electricity and are happy to share their knowledge.

    Keith
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wiring Book Recommendations

    Crystal,
    Don't fall into the trap of thinking that off grid means you shouldn't follow code. In Ontario here, you need any electrical services inspected and sticker-ed. If you don't and you have a fire the insurance companies have lots of wiggle room to get out of claims if your work was not inspected and approved...even off grid.

    It might be a couple of bucks to have the local authority inspect your work...it's a long time behind drywall, and you want it to be done right.

    Ralph
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