Inverters OK to be INSIDE? or not??

cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

What's the final word on this topic? Are DC-to-AC inverters safe to be mounted INSIDE a house/cabin? Or must they be mounted on the outside of a structure?

--cake
~1.5Kw PV in parallel
Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭✭
    Well... yes for UL 1741 properly wired will pass code and even for most insurance companies, though you may have to acknowledge that you have installed a solar system and may be asked to have it inspected if not required in your area.

    Unfortunately the Samlex 2000 is only UL 458 (for mobile vehicles) but also carries ETL which I believe is accepted in many/most places and doesn't differentiate between Mobile/Home/Telecommunications.

    So answer for me would be yes, if properly installed.

    Answer for your insurance company or code inspector might be no...

    Clear as mud?
    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
  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Well... yes for UL 1741 properly wired will pass code and even for most insurance companies, though you may have to acknowledge that you have installed a solar system and may be asked to have it inspected if not required in your area.

    Unfortunately the Samlex 2000 is only UL 458 (for mobile vehicles) but also carries ETL which I believe is accepted in many/most places and doesn't differentiate between Mobile/Home/Telecommunications.

    So answer for me would be yes, if properly installed.

    Answer for your insurance company or code inspector might be no...

    Clear as mud?



    Why must solar be such a grey area?
    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • scrubjaysnestscrubjaysnest Solar Expert Posts: 175 ✭✭✭
    To muddy the waters is what government is all about. I've even seen inverters factory mounted right above the batteries in RV's. Would think RVIA would have heart burn with that.
  • ajbelcherajbelcher Solar Expert Posts: 25 ✭✭
    In many telecom closets I have seen batteries with top lugs on a shelf in a rack with an inverter on the next position above the batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,356 ✭✭✭✭
    Inverters perform best in a cool, dry and clean environment. I think some are equipped to deal with an outdoor environment but not most. Heat is their enemy. Humidity is their enemy. Dust is their enemy. I think these rules pretty well apply to electronics.

    But you also want short runs to the batteries. 10' maximum. Shorter being better.

    Then you have theft to think about. My 5000 watt inverter was stolen out of my minivan. They bent the door frame so they could access the door lock. Now my window doesn't work. Thieves are brazen as hell.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    I have mine in a pantry/storage room in the house, batteries too. They are AGM's though. Even with that being said, there are a lot of cabins up here with FLA's and everything inside, running next to the woodstove. That way the works stay secure, warm and dry.
    Never heard of anyone I knew having a problem, I never have.

    I'm sure there are plenty of horror stories out there though. Just like there are planes that never make it to the final destination. It's a game of probabilities.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,356 ✭✭✭✭
    "running next to the woodstove. That way the works stay secure, warm and dry."

    Different world up in Alaska. Kudos to those with the savvy to adapt and thrive. Many of these lower 48 wimps wouldn't last a month in an Alaskan winter. Shiver me timbers...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Eh, It's all relative. I couldn't survive in Southern California....... ;-)
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    I recently looked at the local codes for battery systems here, and found a few surprises. Obviously hydrogen ventilation is a big one (for AGM as well as FLA). But there are also clearance requirements such as 500mm between the battery and other surfaces, doors, etc and a requirement to have no electronics mounted above the battery bank. Access to system has to have a door of a certain size (1.8m x 0.75m). Disconnects have their own clearance requirements (basically space to stand directly in front of it). Labelling requirements for hazzards, shutdown etc etc.

    The effect of which is that the electronics and battery need to be mounted some distance apart. One way to solve that is to put them on opposite sides of a wall. Using the likes of fibre cement or plaster board as fire resistant materials is recomended.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


Sign In or Register to comment.