Weird issue

Installed a 16kw grid-tie system. House had a huge short due to wires hitting water from contractor not paying attention.
House has not been occupied yet but meter shows a 6000kwh increase in the last 2 mths.
My question is this... could the solar have been wired wrong(it's line side tapped) now. to where the solar is actually putting kwh to meter instead of spinning it backwards?

If this is possible..how would you look at wires to find out? Or could meter have gotten screwed up and is now not letting solar register correctly.

System has been installed since Jan of 2011 and bills have been small...although again we have not moved in and weather was pretty cruddy.

It's very confusing and reliant is zero help...it seems meter has been damaged IMO

Below is a pic of junction box after short happened...it looks bad. Fuses did not blow..any of them. Looks like someone brazed on top of box..very square looking. This is wire run from array....4awg x 6. Inverters are up and going, so no damage to them it looks like

Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Weird issue

    Obviously something in that box got very hot. Is the box still hot, or warm to the touch? It's possible that one of the "hot" wires going to the meter had or is making contact with an earth ground wire or connector, and is dumping power into the earth. It's possible the ground rod is conducting a lot of power to ground, but not enough to blow a fuse/trip a breaker. A friend of mine was having a problem with a high meter reading and high bills. When I checked it out, the ground rod was connected to one of the hots instead of neutral. Was winter time and all the snow had melted in a 10 foot circle around his ground rod. Sticking one of my meter leads on the rod, and poking the other into the earth a foot from the rod was showing 20 VAC. Moving the probe further out from the rod gave progressively higher voltage readings. In his case his house was newly wired. In your case, did someone work on connections in, or related to the box that got hot? Maybe one of the "hot" wires melted it's insulation someplace and is now shorted to earth ground? Normally, if shorted to ground, it will blow fuse/breaker, because ground is usually bonded to neutral, but that bond could have been disconnected someplace? Sure seems related to whatever caused the box to overheat. Would like to see a photo of inside that box, what's going on under it's cover. What is that box mounted on? Looks like white styrofoam insulation, if so, that stuff burns like gasoline when it gets going. You say the problem started when wires were hit with water? Were the wires not insulated? Something very strange and scary going on here and there's no way I'd live in that house until the problem is found and fixed! I have no desire to be burned to death.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Weird issue

    be sure you have a meter that does not add to your kwh usage when power is sent back to the utility. it is supposed to subtract.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Weird issue

    "Disconnect and inspect."

    With the GTI off, does the meter still spin? No loads, no grid-tie inverter; there should be no meter activity. If there is, then there's a wiring fault as Wayne suggested that's causing a "load". If the meter only spins up when the grid-tie is reactivated then there's problem with the meter or the GTI is shorted and drawing instead of producing. You should be able to check that with a bit of investigating too.
  • stumpy40stumpy40 Solar Expert Posts: 35
    Re: Weird issue

    Definitely checking into it. Meter usage for previous mths were 530kwh, 550kwh...etc, etc. Nothing over 600kwh until wires fell into water pond outside of property. I don't believe wiring was wrong...but you guys might be onto something else.

    The box in pick come to find out was used by plumbers to solder pipe...what a joke right? So no wires from solar array has been damaged.

    Last few mths have been in the 6600kwh after wires caused major fault. They pulled meter to test it and I suspect it was not spinning correctly....although 16kw system doesn't even produce enough power to warrant 6600kwh usage for 3 straight mths. unless I'm mistaken.

    It's a mess to say the least...everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else.
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