Grounding charge controller on portable systems

Mike at Energy CommissionMike at Energy Commission Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
I am working on my portable system for my condo patio which will act as a *charging station* for different individual batteries. When one battery gets full I will swap it out for another that needs a charge. I want to use the Xantrex C35, however, the manual says the chassis must be grounded. Driving rebar through the concrete patio and the asphalt parking lot isn't going to work out. I need an RV type solution surely the RV people must use the Xantrex C charge controllers and similar that say they must be grounded. Any suggestions.
Thanks m




patio seeking solar panels

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,018 admin
    Re: Grounding charge controller on portable systems

    The controller, solar panels, and charging batteries will work fine without grounding. If this was mounted on a metal trellis or outdoor structure, then you would ground the controller chassis and the solar panel frames to the trellis/metal roof/etc.

    Basically, if this was in a vehicle, you would ground the C35 chassis to the vehicle chassis ground.

    This is all so you don't accidentally energize the controller chassis (and/or metal framework it is mounted on).

    If you get static discharge (like when you get out of a car on a very dry day and touch something metal), then a small wire touching the ground (static discharge) is probably good enough.

    If there is lightning in the area, you should be somewhere else anyway.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Mike at Energy CommissionMike at Energy Commission Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grounding charge controller on portable systems

    awesome I'll pick up the Xantrex from Northern AZ wind
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,018 admin
    Re: Grounding charge controller on portable systems

    One thing you may need to do... Most charge controllers require you to connect the charge controller to the battery first, then connect the solar array. So, you will probably need to attach an On/Off switch to the solar array before connecting/disconnecting the battery bank.

    Also, make sure you have very good battery clips for your connects (or even better, a good quality polarized plug so you don't accidentally connect things up backwards). It is not unusual for even jumper cable style clips to not do a very good job of making low resistance connections to the battery posts.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Mike at Energy CommissionMike at Energy Commission Solar Expert Posts: 50 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Grounding charge controller on portable systems

    thanks, exactly what I need, trying to get those added to my Xantrex shipment. I am looking at all the other components that are in your kits here for ideas, the parts seem all high quality, which is all I am interested in. I'll research wire sizing and inverter connectors next. I am probably going to go with 3 seperate inverters a 600 watt and 2 smaller 200- 300 watt range, the Samlex look within budget. I will start of with Costco flooded batteries and make all my mistakes on them.

    4-100 watt Grape 12V panels, Xantrex C35 charge controller enroute for my vacant patio.
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