Anyone used WEEBs

I am getting ready to install my panels, I am making a homemade aluminum frame and was going to use the Wiley WEEB system to create a bond and then ground. I would make a rectangle, put one of the WEEB clips at each connecting point and then two on each of the three panels. On the side of the panel I would run a single ground lug to with wire to ground.

Anyone got any strong thoughts on whether this is good system?


Thanks

INJ
In Niger, trying to keep a LG FMA 102NAMA fridge(This has the inverter compressor) backed up with solar using a Victron Multi-Plus Inverter/Charger Compact 12v 1600w with a 70a charger built in.I want to back it up for 4-8 hours. I am also running a few O2 cool fans and a few Thin Lite LED's of my batteries for when the grid is down so my kids can sleep.

Comments

  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    I am getting ready to install my panels, I am making a homemade aluminum frame and was going to use the Wiley WEEB system to create a bond and then ground. I would make a rectangle, put one of the WEEB clips at each connecting point and then two on each of the three panels. On the side of the panel I would run a single ground lug to with wire to ground.

    Anyone got any strong thoughts on whether this is good system?


    Thanks

    INJ
    Usually the way it's done is to use the WEEBs to ground the modules to the rails and then ground the rails.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    A lot of AHJ's won't recognize WEEB's to meet code for grounding.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    solarix wrote: »
    A lot of AHJ's won't recognize WEEB's to meet code for grounding.
    It's getting better. Here in Austin the inspector refused to allow WEEBs at all for the longest time, but now he will if the installer can get written approval to use them from the module manufacturer.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    ggunn wrote: »
    It's getting better. Here in Austin the inspector refused to allow WEEBs at all for the longest time, but now he will if the installer can get written approval to use them from the module manufacturer.

    what a bunch of red tape bull chips.
    forgot smiley:p
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    Used WEEB clips, WEEB 6.7 Bonding jumper across rail splices and WEEBLug 6.7 with clips on previously installed system and using the same on second 5 KW system currently be installed. Using IronRidge rail System, which recommends them.

    Your only issue should be the application to your self made rails/frame and the material and anodized surface specification.

    Like a lot of items that are torqued down they can only be torqued once then need to be replaced.

    Really like them, make bonding very easy and save's some #6 bare coper wire.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • jaggedbenjaggedben Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    The words "WEEB" and "homemade" don't really go together. There are a couple dozen different specific types of WEEBs for use with particular manufacturer's components and applications. They have each been UL listed for that specific purposes and not anything else. How do you know the WEEB that you pick will create the proper bond between the pieces of your home designed rack? You don't really know, nor can you really prove it. Even an inspector who otherwise has no problem with WEEBs will probably not accept this.
  • inthejungleinthejungle Solar Expert Posts: 91 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    I am just curious if anyone has had good success with them. I know that what I have will work, because when I was interested in using them, I called and spoke to one of there engineers about my design and asked if they had something that would work. Finding the pieces was a bit tricky but I did in the end find them.


    INJ
    In Niger, trying to keep a LG FMA 102NAMA fridge(This has the inverter compressor) backed up with solar using a Victron Multi-Plus Inverter/Charger Compact 12v 1600w with a 70a charger built in.I want to back it up for 4-8 hours. I am also running a few O2 cool fans and a few Thin Lite LED's of my batteries for when the grid is down so my kids can sleep.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    I am just curious if anyone has had good success with them.
    How do you define success? By passing an AHJ inspection, or by having your array survive an electrical event where the integrity of the grounding was crucial?
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    niel wrote: »
    what a bunch of red tape bull chips.
    forgot smiley:p
    Well, yes, but it's not that hard to get in most cases.
  • inthejungleinthejungle Solar Expert Posts: 91 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    Sorry you are very correct, if your opinion what is the best way to ground 3 solar panels in an aluminum frame? Should I just jump, from each panel to the frame. Then run a ground line to the grounding rod from this point?

    The problem that I am having is that I have lots of #2 wire, but my panels will only accept up to #4, I am in the middle of nowhere what to do?


    INJ
    In Niger, trying to keep a LG FMA 102NAMA fridge(This has the inverter compressor) backed up with solar using a Victron Multi-Plus Inverter/Charger Compact 12v 1600w with a 70a charger built in.I want to back it up for 4-8 hours. I am also running a few O2 cool fans and a few Thin Lite LED's of my batteries for when the grid is down so my kids can sleep.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,645 admin
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    In the US/North America... The "safety" ground wire is not allowed to have "connections" in it. The idea is that they don't want somebody do disconnect the safety/green wire ground 1/2 way down the wall or from the ground rod and let the solar array (or any sheet metal on any electrical appliance) to become "hot" and shock/kill somebody.

    You are in Africa--No code guys yet to rain on your parade.

    So, a good mechanical ground connection is fine. Aluminum is difficult to make good electrical connections and usually stainless steel hardware is best (keep corrosion down) with "sharp" star washers to cut into the aluminum (through the anodizing). Either put a dab of weather proof grease under the washers, or some aluminum compatible paint on the connection afterwords (keep dry and reduce corrosion).

    Grounding--That is a huge discussion. More or less, there are two reasons to ground. First is simple. If there is a shorted wire (or panel) to your frame work, you want the voltage/current to have a safe return path. Generally, this is to some sort of ground rod (in the US, that would be a copper cased steal rod driven 8-10 feet into the ground (or a copper plate buried a couple of feet deep). Your ground wire (6 awg minimum) from the solar array/mountings down to the ground rod. And a second #6 awg wire from the ground rod to the battery bank negative bus.

    Any "good" wiring practices will be fine. For the most part, you do not need "earth grounding" until you have a larger power system (with AC inverters and such)--And you have metal sinks/plumbing/buried metal water pipes and such. The idea is if you have an electric appliance (or wires in the wall, etc.), and there is a short circuit. the "metal sink" does not become "hot" and when a person has their hand on the sink or in the water, goes to turn on a faucet and get electrocuted. All "faults" have a grounded return path to keep metal "at ground" and/or pop a fuse/breaker if there is a short to ground. A battery system and small AC inverter will work find without DC/Earth grounding--it is a matter of safety...

    With that said, there are a few appliances that do need earth grounding. Some Florescent tube fixtures will not "start" reliably if the metal fixture is not grounded. And some spark type lighting systems (such as spark gap stoves without pilot lights) will not work reliably/correctly if not properly grounded.

    The other issue is lightning. If you are at risk for lightning strikes at your location--Then grounding your outside solar array is critical (don't want to bring lightning into the home.

    A minimum of 6 awg wire from the panel frames/mounting racks to the edge of the roof, down the wall and to a ground rod near the foundation (as straight as practicable) and using "soft curves" in the wiring (i.e., something like 18" radius minimum). You should also have a couple "lightning rods" connected to a ground wire directly to ground on ridge line of your metal roof too... Lightning is "Radio Frequency" current and does not always follow the wire if the rules are not followed. And a metal roof (or even structure) is not very good for lightning protection by itself.
    BB. wrote: »
    A couple threads about Lightning:

    Off Grid Grounding Technique?
    Another Question, this time about Lightning

    Note, the above are discussions, not a do A, B, and C--and you will be "safe". There probably is no such thing with lightning. Several different techniques are discussed--and a few of those posters even have experience with lightning. :cool:

    And our host's consolidated FAQ page:

    www.windsun.com
    Lightning Protection for PV Systems

    From other past posts here, Windsun (admin/owner of NAWS), he said that most of lighting induced failures he saw were in the Inverters' AC output section.

    Towards the end of this thread is a very nice discussion of proper generator grounding.

    -Bill

    For a small system--most people do not worry about grounding. But it is something you should at least be aware of. Grounding for lightning protection--Very important (and something that US NEC does not always do well).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    solarix wrote: »
    A lot of AHJ's won't recognize WEEB's to meet code for grounding.

    No inspections in Mesa AZ so nobody cares here. City of Pheonix is ok with WEEBs.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    Folks get confused on the code versus getting a system inspected frequently. If a state in the US has adopted an electrical code, than every new installation in that state must be installed to the code unless they get a inspector to waive a requirement. In the cases where there are no inspections the code still applies, if electrician get paid to do an installation and it fails or cause injury to someone, if its not installed to the code in effect, than the systems owner has a full right to sue for damages. If the system is homeowner installed, the homeowner is taking responsibility for the installation and therefore they are liable. If there is a claim in insurance and it related to a non code installation, they have the right not to pay. When I worked in VT, I ran into two cases where the owners of off grid systems had insurance claims that were delayed due to non code installations. In both cases they were small claims and the insurance paid off (with the proviso that the replacement system be built to code) but it was courtesy on the part of the insurance company. They were both told that had the claims been significant, they may not have been paid.

    I just used weebs on an install and compared to lay in ground lugs, they sure look like they have more potential to be misinstalled. On the other hand they are a lot less hassle and cost than lay in ground lugs.

    98% of the code is there to make a system as safe as possible given current knowledge and equipment plus it also factors in longevity, I.E 20 years down the road when the homeowner is long gone is the system going to be safe?
  • jaggedbenjaggedben Solar Expert Posts: 230 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    peakbagger wrote: »
    I just used weebs on an install and compared to lay in ground lugs, they sure look like they have more potential to be misinstalled. On the other hand they are a lot less hassle and cost than lay in ground lugs.

    We use weebs mainly because they are less hassle. I tend to put them on all mid-clamps, rather than skipping certain ones as you are allowed to do. This is partly to save time by avoiding confusion about where they need to go and how many midclamps to assemble with and without weebs. It also mitigates some of the concern about misinstalling them, by adding redundancy. (I must also say, lugs can be misinstalled, too. I'm not sure I agree that weebs have more potential for that.). It does more or less erase the cost savings, but regardless the difference in hardware cost between weebs and lugs is negligible, a fraction of a penny per watt.
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    I used WEEBs on my 2nd array install. Very easy to use - no brainer installation IMO.

    The initial inspector - who was kind of a hard-ass - didn't even bat an eye at them - even though he was focused on grounding- was not happy with my array only ground rod and made me run an ground wire 130 feet back into the utility room of my home..:grr
  • SkiDoo55SkiDoo55 Solar Expert Posts: 414 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs

    As long as WEEBS are approved by the rail mfg and panel mfg and you have the documents, should not be a problem.
    Have used them on 1st system in 2010, building dept just wanted to see approval document, never a question after that. Was first time he had seen them. For 2nd system this year they never questioned them.
    Only problem that could occur is either improper torquing of the hold down clamps or someone that likes to play around and trying to move panels and re-use them, which is not approved by manufacture!
    Saved @ 75 ft of #6 bare copper on first array and @ 80 ft on the new one plus 40 ea. lay in lugs. I have spare WEEB's in case I do have to lift a panel. Haven't had a reason yet.
    GT3.8 w/4600W Trina 230W, TX5000 w/5000W ET-250W, XW4024 w/1500W ET-250W, 4 L16, 5500W Gen. (never had to use) Yet!!
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Anyone used WEEBs
    solarix wrote: »
    A lot of AHJ's won't recognize WEEB's to meet code for grounding.

    Since when? My Helios 6T250's don't even have a marked grounding point on them anymore and WEEB bonding and grounding is the only approved method of installation by Helios Solar Works. I used Lumos rails on my rooftop panels

    Attachment not found.

    --
    Chris
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