Clarian plug-in solar

2»

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    there's no big conspiracy going on here that everybody is just keeping quiet about. there simply are safety issues the average person does not understand or know. a plug? so should i guess who you would have installing that? heck you haven't even considered that the item itself could be unsafe as it is untested or certified. i am not a big person here on the nec and many here will tell you that, but the average person will do one of the following,
    1> operate ok be it accidentally or with knowledge
    2> blow out the inverter(s) and/or circuits and items they are attached to
    3> get shocked, possibly hurt or killed
    4> catch the unit(s) and/or circuit wiring on fire
    5> keep popping breakers
    6> some combination of these

    these are not appliances to plug into a wall. if you really want to do it and want to semi skip some of the hassles of gt then go off grid with batteries and run a appliance directly and that may need to be a prechecked kit to semi see to it that this is being done ok. any deviation from that may be hazardous too for those of the typical public. to be honest with you, even for off grid i have recommended learning before you do anything and have not advocated kits because you don't know what you need or what options you have. electrical generation isn't simple, easy, and safe when done by inexperienced and unknowledgeable people. those on this forum are in favor of solar, but we all had to learn some of the ins and outs to do it right. if you don't want to learn then you shouldn't do it. at least with this stuff you can do the work yourself in your home without a license if it's inspected, but never with unapproved equipment.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    lime wrote: »
    trying to limit or prevent the plug n play model - how soon before x number of noodle-heads plug in too many panels / turbines into a power strip and burn down the neighborhood...

    Rather than having a lengthy review process for permitting - everything is pre-approved by way of manufacturer, so the inspector simply comes out and makes sure that the circuit is a dedicated circuit and the plug in properly connected...

    ____________________
    Lime Light Renewable Energy

    Yes - babbling! The manufacturer is going to control? When the manufacturers of this type of unit are generally on the shyster side to start with.

    Nothing is limited - sorry but no conspiracy - they simply have to meet the regulations and nothing more.

    The pin heads supporting these units probably were saying how wonderful about the Mag Lev as well.

    Dedicated circuit for this type of garbage? Just has to be connected to the panel as everyone else's and no problem. These guys are just trying to sucker people in to spending bucks on junk.
  • NEOHNEOH Solar Expert Posts: 74 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    niel wrote: »
    there's no big conspiracy going on here that everybody is just keeping quiet about. there simply are safety issues the average person does not understand or know. a plug? so should i guess who you would have installing that? heck you haven't even considered that the item itself could be unsafe as it is untested or certified. i am not a big person here on the nec and many here will tell you that, but the average person will do one of the following,
    1> operate ok be it accidentally or with knowledge
    2> blow out the inverter(s) and/or circuits and items they are attached to
    3> get shocked, possibly hurt or killed
    4> catch the unit(s) and/or circuit wiring on fire
    5> keep popping breakers
    6> some combination of these

    these are not appliances to plug into a wall. if you really want to do it and want to semi skip some of the hassles of gt then go off grid with batteries and run a appliance directly and that may need to be a prechecked kit to semi see to it that this is being done ok. any deviation from that may be hazardous too for those of the typical public. to be honest with you, even for off grid i have recommended learning before you do anything and have not advocated kits because you don't know what you need or what options you have. electrical generation isn't simple, easy, and safe when done by inexperienced and unknowledgeable people. those on this forum are in favor of solar, but we all had to learn some of the ins and outs to do it right. if you don't want to learn then you shouldn't do it. at least with this stuff you can do the work yourself in your home without a license if it's inspected, but never with unapproved equipment.

    Where did you read that Clarian is actually selling uncertified or untested product? It is not correct for you to imply that they are. Nothing is for sale until their product gets UL approval. Why all the negativity for a company who is trying something new/different? Clarian is playing by the all of the rules by going through the UL approval process. Why are you implying otherwise? Maybe Clarian has technology that will make it safe and that is for UL (not this board) to decide whether their design is safe or not.

    Before passing such harsh judgement (ie deaths and fire) caused by use of their product, for which you have no detailed information, let's wait and see if there is UL approval (and a product for sale) or not.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    Technical point: it is not illegal to sell non-UL listed goods. Many panels are available without UL certification, for instance. I doubt any inspector would allow the install of such equipment, however.

    I don't know if the Clarion units are being sold or not. That isn't the issue. The issue is the danger posed by making improper installs very easy to do and afford. You can't stop people from buying regular GT inverters and illegally hooking them up to their grid in an unsafe manner. But the notion that all you have to do is plug it in the outlet (no doubt via an extension cord or other unsafe means) is very troubling to me. If the UL label gets added to these, potential users will think that means "safe" and off we go to a rash of "solar caused" fires giving the whole industry a bad name.

    And a friendly little warning here that the tone of this thread is wavering towards uncivil in some posts. *ahem* :grr
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    neoh,
    where did you read that i specifically said clarion was uncertified? i only made a general statement that certified equipment is all that would be allowed.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    NEOH wrote: »
    I disagree with your assumption that the Gateway is "wired between the breaker box and the circuit in question". If you look closely you will see that the Gateway is simply plugged into another outlet on that same branch circuit.


    I think the Gateway is for the internet connection for Online Montoring & Power Tracking of the modules.

    EDIT: (I was wrong. The Gateway can do more than just internet access. I found this info below after posting ...)

    "... A third piece of equipment is a circuit monitor, which looks something like a thermostat, that ensures electricity flows into the home wiring without overloading any circuits, explained Maglaque ..."


    The Inverter Modules do support Anti-Islanding.
    There appears to be an Enphase type inverter mounted on the back of each Solar Panel.
    There is a limit of 1,000 watts total power generation per 15A circuit.
    How does their system enforce that?
    I hope they do get UL approval for this concept.

    Yes, I see now that the Gateway seems to be plugged in. The question then remains, how does it monitor total circuit amperage?? I see no way of doing it by only using plug-in modules.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    Yes, I see now that the Gateway seems to be plugged in. The question then remains, how does it monitor total circuit amperage?? I see no way of doing it by only using plug-in modules.

    The inverter(s) could send amperage information over the power line or wireless to the gateway. To limit power on the AC lines, bet the gateway limits total power for the entire house to 1000 watts. This way, whether the inverter(s) are on a single line or different lines. It will be within NEC safe limits.
  • Paul54Paul54 Registered Users Posts: 18
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    [
    How about creating a common "plug n receptacle" that is unique to renewable energy plug n play systems - for example like the J1772 for electric vehicles? So, for instance you have solar or wind with integrated inverters, that produces A/C power, goes from source to "new plug and receptacle" that has a dedicated branch to the breaker panel. Rather than having a lengthy review process for permitting - everything is pre-approved by way of manufacturer, so the inspector simply comes out and makes sure that the circuit is a dedicated circuit and the plug in properly connected...

    Hmmmm... am i just babbling? I feel like there is a solution, it just has to be sussed out.

    Ken
    ____________________
    Lime Light Renewable Energy

    Lime,
    I like the idea of some kind of pre-approved standard "input" plug into the average home panel. Imagine if it became standard practice to have input connectors and net metering on the average home. I could see this happening someday in the future.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    If you have a dedicated solar branch circuit--then it is less of a problem.

    But I can add one of those any time (assuming the panel is rated large enough, I have a hole to install the breaker, I can get the conduit routed, my utility supports GT/Net Metering/etc.)....

    The issues, in my humble opinion, with Grid Tied Solar (mounting, lightning suppression, safety grounds, etc.) all sort of rule out a plug and play setup...

    If somebody want to run an extension cord onto the roof trough the bedroom window and drive a few nails in panels nailing strip--it could be done...

    If you are looking for a pre-wired junction box/standard PV Array Plug under the eaves--That would not be difficult to add to a new home...

    The bigger issue is I see many homes that simply did not design for a flat south facing roof, or there are trees on the property, or even power lines down the sidewalk...

    Those issues make it impossible to install Solar PV / Thermal systems... The lack of a pre-wired junction box at the roof line is just a small expense vs a home design that does not have a south facing roof or home/landscape placement that shades the next home over.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    just simply having a specific plug or plug type is not necessarily an answer as the outlets and plugs would also need to be installed by a qualified person and inspected.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    The allure of the plug-n-play inverter is that the wiring installation is simply plugging it into an existing outlet. That is also the problem. If there were a GT specific outlet; no reason for the "3-prong" panels. Might as well go hardwired to a dedicated circuit - as it should be.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    Clarion is just looking for another round of funding and trying to get excitement about their product on the net to show their new suckers how wonderful they are.

    When will they really have a product to sell? Who knows and it may well be never.

    Russ
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    n3qik wrote: »
    The inverter(s) could send amperage information over the power line or wireless to the gateway. To limit power on the AC lines, bet the gateway limits total power for the entire house to 1000 watts. This way, whether the inverter(s) are on a single line or different lines. It will be within NEC safe limits.

    The inverters can measure their own amperage input to the circuit and could transmit that information but the question that remains is how does any of this plug-in stuff know the current contribution entering through the circuit breaker (assuming the load on the circuit exceeds that current supplied by the inverters)?

    IOWs, the inverter(s) may supply 12 amps for example and the breaker might supply 6 amps (for a 18 amp example total load) which would exceed the capacity of #14 circuit wire.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    There are ways it could be done with "smart outlets" or "smart breakers" plus "smart GT" inverters... Even retrofit a current transformer on a branch circuit plus a smart GT inverter could all work together safely and probably even to code...

    However, then you get into cross talk with other branch circuits, configurations, even sharing data with a neighbor's home...

    In the end, calling an electrician and adding a 15 amp circuit is going to be a small part of the overall cost of a proper installation (panels on roof, inverters wired and installed, building permits, etc.).

    A 200-400 watt installation becomes cost prohibitive, and a large installation would be done with a dedicated circuit anyway as it would, most likely, be cheaper in the long run (I could see plugging a large system into a "smart electric drier" outlet/circuit--But mounting a sub panels the drier outlet (share the 20 amp 240 volt branch with drier and 3kW array) would be about as easy and already supported by code.

    Small solar PV GT systems just don't seem to make economic sense--if they are installed per code/utility requirements. And may not be safe if not installed to code/utility requirements.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar
    BB. wrote: »
    There are ways it could be done with "smart outlets" or "smart breakers" plus "smart GT" inverters... Even retrofit a current transformer on a branch circuit plus a smart GT inverter could all work together safely and probably even to code...

    -Bill

    Sure but all I was saying was that it cannot be done with only plug-in units plugging into ordinary receptacles (at least I can't see any way it could be).
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,644 admin
    Re: Clarian plug-in solar

    I agree. :-)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.