Whole House Surge Protectors?

SurfpathSurfpath Solar Expert Posts: 382 ✭✭✭
You know, the ones that take up a couple spaces in your breaker box.  Like this one (click here for a link to a Schneider Electric product on Amazon):

Are they useful to have? Like many off gridders I periodically experience lightning strikes nearby. After a few this weekend it had me thinking.....

FYI: My house has been grounded on the AC side.  Also I have a Midnite MN-SPD surge protector connected to my outside combiner box.

I also realize that with a direct hit, all bets are off.


Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,176 admin
    In times past, our forum founder (now retired), said that on average the AC output of Inverter is what seems to fail most often when lighting is around. So, good surge protection and wiring/grounding practices is a good idea.

    Here are some links/discussion from our forum (more or less) FAQ:
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/4426/working-thread-for-solar-beginner-post-faq/p1
    Re: Working Thread for Solar Beginner Post/FAQ

    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 FAQ:

    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
    The modern lightning suppressors (such as from Midnite) are much better than the old (for example) Delta sand filled spark gaps.

    http://www.midnitesolar.com/pdfs/howLightningProtectionWorks.pdf

    Midnite has lots of videos about their products (search SPD):

    http://www.midnitesolar.com/videoDisplay.php

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    So where exactly do I mount my Midnite suppressor? I forgot having bought it a couple years ago.
    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
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,422 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    So where exactly do I mount my Midnite suppressor? I forgot having bought it a couple years ago.
    AC or DC ? AC usually in or as close to the main distribution, I used one similar to the OP's like this but single pole as here there is no split phase. https://www.schneider-electric.ca/en/product-range-presentation/64329-square-d-cqo250pspd-qo-plug-on-neutral-spd-whole-home-surge-protection-device?parent-category-id=87138&parent-subcategory-id=87143

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,176 admin
    If DC, near the entrance to the home from the solar array... If you have another DC device, you can also mount at the array/combiner box (if box is mounted at the array).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    SD look at pages 25 anb 28 of the latest manual
     
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,928 ✭✭✭✭
    Think I felt one thunder clap yesterday while inside my house. Had to be very, very close.

    Have a couple of the sand filled spark gaps mounted.
    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
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    for the on grid house which has not yet suffered any damage from lightening as yet, I was looking at putting AC 600 on the main entry to the house and then some 150's on sensitive circuits, those with TV's  and cpu's etc...
    We lived in a mobile when married and near the end of the  70 mile long single phase line ... in the 70's they sold a resistor of some kind to put in the socket ahead of the TV power cord.... Wen we moved in '79 I decided to look inside the resistor thingy as it was rattling...  I was surprised to see a 1/2 circle piece broken off a larger 1/2 Circle....  simple but effective, and it appeared to still be working...
     
    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
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