Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

williatywilliaty Solar Expert Posts: 60 ✭✭
So, thanks to learning quite a lot from this forum and others, I've got my head around alt power systems on a component level. What I'm curious about is information on the best practices for hooking the components together. I'm looking for information both on what the best ways to wire it together are AND what safety features are needed. My system will eventually consist of the 900W of panels I bought when they were on sale, a Midnite Classic (yet to be purchased), a Victron MultiPlus inverter/charger (on its way), a Victron Orion DC-DC converter to step down from the 24V system voltage to 12V (for ham radios, already here), and a battery monitor (already being used) all built around [email protected] of AGM batteries (already here as well). The solar stuff won't be integrated for a while but I want to get the rest of it up and running ASAP in a way that's efficient, safe, and allows easy integration of the solar sometime in the next year.

My questions include things like where should I put switches to isolate portions of the system for service, where to put fuses or breakers for safety, and basically any other sort of introductory info you think I might need to have. Got any good suggestions for where to get this sort of info in a condensed, organized form?


Thanks guys.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

    Have you look at an Epanel as it gives you battery disconnect and such for the inverter, etc. for example;

    http://www.midnitesolar.com/products.php?menuItem=products&productCat_ID=1&productCatName=E-Panel%20-%20Outback

    A call to NAWS and they can tell you which one would fit with your planned equipment.

    OB MX/FX mount same as MN CL family (wonder why?)
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • williatywilliaty Solar Expert Posts: 60 ✭✭
    Re: Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

    Wow, the ePanels are way out of what I can even pretend is my budget for just a single piece of the system.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

    to what extent you may want to go may depend not just on costs of items, but also how this is implemented. some electrical inspectors may wish to chime in on what they would require of you, but if a system like for an rv or some uninspected off grid systems it's somewhat straightforward. in looking up the inverter as an ups i will assume this is to be tied to utility ac and there's almost no doubt this will need inspected so check with your municipality on this for requirements not covered here by me in general speak.

    there should be a fuse or breaker rated for the dc voltage passing through it as close to the batteries as you can get and at least one for the input to the mppt cc from the pvs. if using more than 2 strings of pvs it is mandated to have each of them with a fuse or breaker. there should also be a switch rated for dc before and after the cc and note that some use the breakers to serve as a switch too.

    although many inverters will have a fuse/breaker built into the inverter, i recommend one nearer the batteries as a short on the wires would prove disastrous if at the inverter.

    i realize the epanels are expensive, but you can still get an idea of connections for them by looking over their diagrams. it's hard to say specifically without more info, but even then your area may expect something different from your local inspectors if they go by the nec rules, what year, or if they go by the seat of their pants as many will do.

    ps---i have accessed the 76 machine in columbus a few times in the past before they stuck a machine on in the wv panhandle that is not pl-ed. if i miss my guess you are north of that machine.
  • williatywilliaty Solar Expert Posts: 60 ✭✭
    Re: Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

    It's a stand-alone off grid system. The MultiPlus was chosen because it does some interesting things that seem like they'll help it all work together better when I'm bulking the batteries via a generator if it's been cloudy or when I need to do something that consumes a lot of power so I want to kick the genny on.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Where do I find info on the wiring and safety aspects of hobby alt power systems?

    sounds straight forward enough and what i said holds true enough. of course you will want to observe proper wiring and don't go by the usually ac current ratings for wires as voltage drops are higher when discussing 24v. you should feed the ac to a breaker box even if it is a small one due to fewer ac loads.
Sign In or Register to comment.