Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !!!

Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
I am a Newbie, still trying to get my Off Grid system up and running. I have hired three different electricians to help me install my 4 solar panels and the last one just never came back, mainly because they didn't have enough knowledge of how to complete the job! I was left with a lot items purchased from Home Depot that I just returned today. The electrician even agreed that the advice given to me from this forum was Great Information. I even purchased a few items that Bill suggested from Norther Arizona Wind&Sun Website, such as the E-Panel, Fuse holders and Fuses.
Since this is the forum, that I feel is most knowledgeable about, the "How To" of Solar Installation, I am willing to try to install the system myself, if you guys are willing to help me once again. I have done an awful lot of reading and watching videos, just need help in certain areas. I would like to start at the very beginning, a
step at a time. I think with your help, I CAN DO THIS!!! I am located in the Dallas, Texas area, where we get close to 7 or 8 hours of sunshine a day.

Here is what I have that needs to be installed:
  • Four Sharp panels @230 Watts, 29.3 volts and 7.85 Amps each.
  • A Morning Star 60 Amp Charge Controller (12, 24,48) MPPT,TriStar
  • Xantrex ProWatt SW 2000 (Thinking about getting a 24 volt,1000 Watt instead).
  • MidNite MNDC 250 AMP, E-Panel. ANL Holder with 0.4 and 8 GA. Fuse.
  • Trimetric Battery Monitor 2025A.
  • 150 feet #10 AWG wire,
  • 78' feet of #6 AWG, and a
  • 63 Amp Fuse inside the E-Panel.

I had four 6 volt 100 amp batteries AGM that I returned because I thought 12 volt would be better for a 24 volt system.

I intend to get four 12 volt AGM, 200 Amp.

Also have
  • 6, 4/0 battery interconnect cables, and
  • 6' feet of #2/0 cable for inverter.
  • I also have a Junction Box, 6"x6"x4" to be used as a combiner box.

My four panels are already installed in my backyard, on Galvanized pipes. Distance of Panels in backyard to nearby brick wall of house halfway up, is 27' (feet) for disconnect box to be installed, and to be wired 30 feet away, to equipment inside of my house, where batteries will be on a wire rack 3" from the floor on a wooden board. also have an 8' ground rod buried in ground below panels.

My biggest problem is knowing what size wire and fuses to use where? How do I wire Panels and Batteries, Series or Parallel? Was told to use electrical house wire AWG, correct gauge in the attic and not Solar cable according to NEC?

I think I can do this if I can get step by step instructions, very Basic. Any and all help and suggestions are will be appreciated!!!!...especially with electrical calculation where needed!
Hope I have supplied enough needed information. Very Big Thanks in advance!!!

Sincerely,
Sharp230

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Okay, a little basic wiring set-up info to start with.

    For a 12 Volt system those panels would work on an MPPT controller all in parallel or two parallel strings of two.
    For a 24 Volt system you would have to use two parallel strings as the Vmp of the panels is too low to properly charge 24 Volts on its own.
    A bit about panel configurations: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?16241-Different-Panel-Configurations-on-an-MPPT-Controller

    The good news is: the two parallel strings would work with either 12 or 24 Volt and won't require any fuses on the panels.

    Batteries. Just happen to have a thread about that too: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?15989-Battery-System-Voltages-and-equivalent-power

    Now, once you get the configurations finalized we can talk about wire and fuse sizes. Part of that will depend on distances between things, so be prepared to measure twice and cut once.

    I don't know who told you to use standard house cable, but that's not your best choice for the DC side of things. It's solid, and tends to be hard to work with. If this is an install that has to be NEC compliant, you've got a ton of headaches coming your way as it requires DCGFI on the panels and DC disconnect accessible outside and a lot of other things which are not strictly necessary from an engineering POV.

    Break it down into small steps and soon you will reach your destination. :D
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Thanks ever so much for all your help! With the help of this forum, I should be up and running real soon!!!

    One question, once I wire the two parallel connections, do I still need a combiner box? Since there will be only two cables extending from the Panels once connected? Seems, I should be able to just run them straight to a "Disconnect" switch, at the brick wall of house in back yard? I do have the parallel adapter connectors that will tie the two sets of panels together. leaving only the two cables coming from the Panels, "Positive and Negative".
    This will be done today, in a couple of hours.
    Thanks again!!,
    Sharp230
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    Sharp230 wrote: »
    Thanks ever so much for all your help! With the help of this forum, I should be up and running real soon!!!

    One question, once I wire the two parallel connections, do I still need a combiner box? Since there will be only two cables extending from the Panels once connected? Seems, I should be able to just run them straight to a "Disconnect" switch, at the brick wall of house in back yard? I do have the parallel adapter connectors that will tie the two sets of panels together. leaving only the two cables coming from the Panels, "Positive and Negative".
    This will be done today, in a couple of hours.
    Thanks again!!,
    Sharp230

    You have a choice. You can combine the two parallel strings in a box at the array, or you can run four wires from the array to the disconnect and combine them there.

    A quick look at some V-drop calculations over 30' distance (array roughly "48 Volts" @ 16 Amps):
    Combined at array: 10 AWG gives about 2% V-drop
    Combined at disconnect (1/2 current, twice the wires): 14 AWG gives about 2.5% V-drop per set of wires. 12 AWG gives about 1.6% V-drop per set of wires.

    I'd combine them at the array and use one pair of 10 AWG.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    actually, if there's only 2 strings of pvs that they don't need fused or circuit breakers that you can just tie both lugs straight to the same disconnect switch post when running all 4 wires as a home run. the negative side can also be done similarly or just combined to run into a single wire with a nut, washers, and a bolt. if done at the pvs then you can combine 2 pvs or strings of pvs together with 2 of these,
    http://www.solar-electric.com/mumc4colam.html
    remember that you will need differing types due to the fact the negative and positive leads have differing sex connections. this means one will be mff and the other fmm.
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Hi Everyone,

    I have just completed the two pair of panels parallel wiring, and routed the two negative and two positive into combiner box using #10 AWG. I have a 60A Disconnect, can I use that
    at the back wall of my house 27 feet away? In actuality, the wall is only about 15 feet away, however when you measure the wall from the ground up halfway to the disconnect and from the ground up to the panels on the galvanize pipe the total come to about 27' feet. I also have about 37 feet of #6 AWG for inside.
    Would it be safer to connect the panels at night?
    Thanks again for everyone's help!
    Sharp230
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    It depends on how you feel about working with live power...

    I will change wall outlets and I have a couple times worked on a live drop from a pole transformer (it is scary).

    However, if you not up to it--Then don't risk it.

    I have a friend that used to work in manufacturing/machine shops... In the olden days, the reason you hired electricians was so they could work on the equipment without shutting down power to 1/2 the shop for every job.

    And, in the old days, if somebody got hit with 120 or 240 VAC (raises hand)--And they seem to be OK, then that was the end of the story.

    The new rules are now something like (as I remember from him) 120 VAC you go to the hospital for a checkup and 240+ VAC you are kept overnight. There were report(s?) of electricians getting good sized shocks, seeming fine, and passing aways hours later.

    The big picture is that this stuff is a lot more dangerous than we typically realize. The chances of something going wrong is small, but the possibility is there.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Thanks for the heads up! However I'm fine, and enjoy working on the system and learning a lot. It's just that I saw this Youtube video, where this guy was installing a system and he thought it was a good idea.
    I am now eager and ready to get the system up and running, as I have waited long enough!!
    Sharp230
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Bill gave you some examples of AC shock hazards. It sounds like you might be working on live DC wires. MUCH more dangerous. I would cover the panels with an opaque tarp and do it at night. You can get full voltage (but low current) by moonlight.
    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    I have just completed the two pair of panels parallel wiring, and routed the two negative and two positive into combiner box using #10 AWG. I have a 60A Disconnect, can I use that
    at the back wall of my house, 27 feet away? In actuality, the wall is only about 15 feet away, however when you measure the wall from the ground up halfway to the disconnect and from the ground up to the panels on the galvanize pipe the total distance comes to about (27' feet). Also have some (37' feet) of #6 AWG. Can this be used for inside, from the disconnect to Charge Controller?

    Thanks again for everyone's help!
    Sharp230
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    The distance doesn't have much to do with whether or not you can use the disconnect, rather it's an issue of if it is rated for both the Voltage and current DC. That last bit is very important because DC is harder to interrupt than AC and a switch/breaker designed for 60 Amps AC may not be able to handle the same on DC. And of course if mounted outside it has to be rated for that as well.

    If the wire gauge is calculated from the array to the controller (total distance) then you use the same for the whole distance, even if it is "broken up" by a disconnect. If you have larger wire to go from the disconnect to the controller that is okay, but not smaller.
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Are you saying that, the 60A Disconnect is ok, as long as it is 60A DC? What do you think would be the ideal wire gauge to use, from the Disconnect to the Controller, @ 35 feet away to an E-Panel?

    Sharp230
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Can I configure my system as the setup below,without any problems, since I have a Midnite MNDC 250 E-PANEL? If so, what size fuses should I use?
    PAUSE THE VIDEO QUICKLY @ FRAME TIME 8:05 DIAGRAM!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ01UUZrHqI&feature=player_detailpage#t=488s

    Sharp230
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Configuration finalized! You said that once I get the configurations completed, you would suggest wire and fuse sizes.

    I have wired the 2 sets of panels (Four 230 Watts panels each) in Parallel, with two strings going into the combiner box at the panels, for 24 volt system. A few feet away is one string of wires, (1 POS AND 1 NEG) into a Disconnect.

    In the mean time I have change the Inverter size from (Xantrex 2000 watts, 12 volts) to a Samplex 1000 watts, 24 volts. in hopes that this will help with smaller wire size.
    Also, have added (4) more batteries now have a total of (8 AGM, 6 volt) batteries. Everything else is the same.

    Below was the original set up:

    (4) Sharp panels @230 Watts, Voc (37.1), Isc (8.48), Vpmax (30.0), Ipmax (7.67), Max. Sys. Volt (600 v), Min. Blocking diode (15 A), and Series Fuse (15 A).
    A Morning Star 60 Amp Charge Controller (12, 24,48) MPPT,TriStar. Maximum Solar Input 150 volts dc, Nominal Max. Input Power 1600 watts,
    Xantrex ProWatt SW 2000 (Thinking about getting a 24 volt,1000 Watt instead). NOW HAVE A SAMLEX 1000, 24 VOLTS
    MidNite MNDC 250 AMP, E-Panel. ANL Holder with 0.4 and 8 GA. Fuse.
    Trimetric Battery Monitor 2025A.
    150 feet #10 AWG wire,
    78' feet of #6 AWG, and a
    63 Amp Fuse inside the E-Panel.

    Now ready to move on to wire and fuse sizes!
    All help is appreciated!!!
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Okay, since you haven't had any screaming fits I'll guess the combiner box is close enough to all panels that no extensions were needed to get the panel wiring to the box. :p

    You must wire two of those panels in series in order to have enough Voltage to charge a 24 Volt bank; 30 Vmp will not be sufficient. This means two parallel strings of two in series for an array of 60 Vmp & 15.34 Imp. No fuses are required here as there are only two parallel connections of panels. BTW, no blocking diode is required either; leave it out. The charge controller will handle that function.

    So the two biggest wiring hassles are:

    From the combiner to the disconnect to the charge controller. This will be carrying 60 Volts @ 15 Amps under maximum power conditions. How far is this distance? The goal is to both handle the current and keep the Voltage drop minimal (preferably <3%).

    From the batteries to the inverter. As you guess the 24 Volt system will use less current for the same Watts vs. a 12 Volt system. But you've also gone down a size in inverter. You now have 1000 Watts (and no appreciable surge capacity with a Samlex) @ 24 Volts which is roughly 42 Amps. Pretty easy to handle 24 Amps; 4 AWG would do providing the wire runs are less than 6'. (Note to nitpickers: I've included upping the current for low voltage operation which is still less than 50 Amps). NEC regs would put an 80 Amp fuse on this. But to be sure, check the manual that came with the inverter. It should have Samlex's recommendations for wire size/length and fusing.

    The wire from the 60 Amp controller is going to be limited to 6 AWG (biggest that fits in the terminals I believe) and the fuse/breaker is fixed by the maximum output. Now Morningstar says their controllers do not need to be derated so 60 Amps is 60 Amps and the NEC requirement should be a 100 Amp fuse. Your array will be running at around 1/2 the controller's max output so you could "down-size" the current protection. But if you're going to increase the array in future, you might as well put in the max wiring/circuit protection now.

    Sorry but I cannot view videos on this system.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Checking your batteries.
    You now have eight 100 Amp hour 6 Volt AGM's in a 24 Volt configuration. Correct?
    That would be 200 Amp hours @ 24 Volts. Your array should be more than sufficient to recharge this.
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    No! the battery bank now is eight UB-GC2 AGM, 6 volts @ 200 ah, will that make a big difference?, Would I be able to run a load of 836 Watts once installation is complete?

    I sincerely want to thank for all of your help!!!!!!
    Sharp230
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    Sharp230 wrote: »
    No! the battery bank now is eight UB-GC2 AGM, 6 volts @ 200 ah, will that make a big difference?, Would I be able to run a load of 836 Watts once installation is complete?

    I sincerely want to thank for all of your help!!!!!!
    Sharp230

    Better choice in batteries in my opinion, although AGM's first time out can be asking for trouble.
    So what you have there is a battery bank of 400 Amp hours @ 24 Volts. Now your 30 Amp potential peak charge current is 7.5%. Still viable, and I think you'll be happier with the greater capacity.
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Hi Everyone

    I just ordered (6) 4/0 Battery interconnect cables from "Wind&Sun", and while I am waiting for shipment to arrive, I had a couple of questions to make sure I am doing everything correctly.
    *For my outside "Disconnect Switch" I used a 60 Amp Air Conditioner Disconnect(Non Fusible) from Home Depot, is that OK?
    *How should I wire my Battery BanK, that will be best for my system?

    As you can see, my system is almost complete and I give all the credit to this forum and Wind & Sun. Never experienced such great profession support and information!!!!

    Once again your help is always appreciated!!!!
    Sharp230
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    The issue with the 60 amp disconnect is that it may arc when disconnecting DC power--So throw the switch quickly and completely (on and off) to reduce arcing.

    But, I probably would use it. The number of times you will need to switch it under power is not going to be very many. Finding a DC rated disconnect is going to take work, cost a lot, and it is still better than the rotary battery switches for an emergency disconnect (probably, in my humble opinion).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    BB. wrote: »
    The issue with the 60 amp disconnect is that it may arc when disconnecting DC power--So throw the switch quickly and completely (on and off) to reduce arcing.

    But, I probably would use it. The number of times you will need to switch it under power is not going to be very many. Finding a DC rated disconnect is going to take work, cost a lot, and it is still better than the rotary battery switches for an emergency disconnect (probably, in my humble opinion).

    You were previously warned to only use DC rated switch for this purpose. If that home depot switch on the side of your house starts to arc you could burn down your house and your insurance may not cover it because it is not UL listed for that purpose. Your E-panel should have a DC circuit breaker that can serve as a disconnect. Also, you can flip the breakers in your combiner box to disconnect the panels.

    If your looking for an emergency disconnect, it would be a good idea to use properly rated equipment so you don't make the emergency worse. If its not an emergency, why not use the breakers in the combiner box or E-panel?

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Some places may require a disconnect on the outside of the home before the power enters.

    The ability of the switch to carry DC power when closed is not usually an issue. Just the disconnecting action itself (which causes arcing).

    After what I have seen for previously UL Listed devices and DC disconnects ("small" rotary switches that fail quite often when used under load)--I really do not have a big fear of a 60 amp AC disconnect switch for his Array disconnect.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    BB. wrote: »
    Some places may require a disconnect on the outside of the home before the power enters.

    If it is required by code, then it is also required to meet code. The AC switch does not meet any code for disconnecting DC.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Yes, you are a absolutely right, I was warn, I guess I kind of got a little ahead of myself. I guess the real reason I thought that the disconnect switch would be a good idea, is because,
    it would have given me that reach advantage needed to use the excess #6 AWG cable from the outside wall of my house, to the Charge Controller inside, whereby only using the Midnite E-panel as my real disconnect.
    Without the A.C. disconnect switch, I will have to buy new cable to reach from the array, to charge controller, about 60 feet of #4 AWG. one way. I will do it if I have too. I agree, safety comes first.
    Is there a way that I can find out if NEC or local laws requires an outside switch? As I want to do what's right. I live in the Dallas Texas area.

    Thanks again,
    Sharp230
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    Sharp230 wrote: »
    Is there a way that I can find out if NEC or local laws requires an outside switch? As I want to do what's right. I live in the Dallas Texas area.

    The 2011 NEC does. My system was installed by the rules of the 2008 NEC which, I believe, did not require an external disconnect. If you have building inspectors in your jurisdiction you should check with them. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    I have the Midnite MNDC 250 E-PANEL, and the Morningstar Charge Controller calls for a 75A Fuse/Breaker, The largest Din Rail Mounts seem to be 63 Amps, as I do have one that came with the Panel. I Would like to find the 75A or 100A, as suggested!

    Thanks again,
    Sharp230
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Midnite just anounced 80 and 100 Amp Din rail breakers, looks like they take 2 slots. I suspect NAWS will have them shortly. The suggested retail is $54 so this option might not be the best...

    ...Your E-Panel should have a plate for panel mount breakers, which come in sizes up to 100 amps.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • Sharp230Sharp230 Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !

    Thanks for the tip Photowhit!!!
  • Coach DadCoach Dad Solar Expert Posts: 150 ✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    vtmaps wrote: »
    You were previously warned to only use DC rated switch for this purpose. If that home depot switch on the side of your house starts to arc you could burn down your house and your insurance may not cover it because it is not UL listed for that purpose. Your E-panel should have a DC circuit breaker that can serve as a disconnect. Also, you can flip the breakers in your combiner box to disconnect the panels.

    If your looking for an emergency disconnect, it would be a good idea to use properly rated equipment so you don't make the emergency worse. If its not an emergency, why not use the breakers in the combiner box or E-panel?

    --vtMaps


    I believe that he used this Disconnect which is not a switch but a "pull out" disconnect.
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100022598/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=air+conditioner+disconnect&storeId=10051

    This is the same disconnect which is recommended by the Solar training video below..
    http://www.sunshineworks.com/solar-installation-video.htm

    Based on my calculations he will be putting about 16 amps through this 60 amp box. I can't see how that can be a problem. Of couse he needs the proper DC rated circuit breakers and GFP at the input and output of the Charge Controller
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie! Where do I go from here? PART #2, (4) 230 Watts Solar Panels, Please help !
    Coach Dad wrote: »
    I believe that he used this Disconnect which is not a switch but a "pull out" disconnect.
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100022598/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=air+conditioner+disconnect&storeId=10051

    This is the same disconnect which is recommended by the Solar training video below..
    http://www.sunshineworks.com/solar-installation-video.htm

    The unknown issue here is that a disconnect, by definition, is not intended to be opened under normal load, let alone under fault current. it is meant to isolate the wiring at a time when there is no active load so that maintenance can be done on the load side with no risk of power coming back on.
    As you say, it is not a switch.
    What would happen in terms of arc when the OP or a first responder pulls on the disconnect under load is, as far as my knowledge goes, an open question!

    The disconnect at/near the service panel must be one which can safely be operated under load.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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