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How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers (Read 7725 times)
tiggeroush
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Re: How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers
Reply #4 - Jan 7th, 2013 at 4:10pm
 
690.5 Ground-Fault Protection
" Roof-mounted dc photovoltaic arrays located on dwelling shall be
provided with dc ground-fault protection to reduce fire hazards.
! (A) Ground-Fault Detection and Interruption
" The ground-fault protection device or system shall be capable of detecting a
ground fault, interrupting the flow of fault current, and providing an indication of
the fault.
! (B) Disconnection of Conductors
" The ungrounded conductors of the faulted source circuit shall be automatically
disconnected. If the grounded conductors of the faulted source circuit are
disconnected to comply with the requirements of 690.5(A), all conductors of the
faulted source circuit shall be opened automatically and simultaneously.
Opening the grounded conductor of the array or opening the faulted sections of
the array shall be permitted to interrupt the ground-fault current path.
! (C) Labels and Markings
" Labels and marking shall be applied near the ground-fault indicator at a visible
location, stating that, if a ground-fault is indicated, the normally grounded
conductors may be energized and ungrounded.

Keep in mind the NEC is up to the local inspectors translation.
This might not help at all but I hope it gives a good start.
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electron
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Re: How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers
Reply #3 - Jan 7th, 2013 at 9:08am
 
If you are talking about something like a DC disconnect box on the side of your house for solar, it is usually a distance from the panels and electrically isolated so I would ground that to the normal house electrical ground if possible, or a direct ground as close as possible.

I think some electrical codes require a DC disconnect for solar at the side of the house.
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Solar Freak
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Re: How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers
Reply #2 - Jan 7th, 2013 at 9:02am
 
I was talking about DC breaker box boxes ground to the solar panel or should it just go directly to ground.
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electron
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Re: How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers
Reply #1 - Jan 7th, 2013 at 8:41am
 
I should qualify this by saying I am not a "certified" electrician and you should consult the National Electrical Code (NEC) and local electrical codes for grounding solar panels or other outside electrical equipment because it's a serious business.

There are two reasons I can see for grounding your panels, one is lightning protection and the other would be to keep you or workers from being shocked when using a high voltage solar system (over 48V), or maybe if a GTI fails in a strange way and sends AC to a outside wire somehow.

For lightning protection, I would run a wire as straight to the ground as possible from your panels or tracker. Lightning wants to go in a straight path to ground.

I have seen a solid bare copper wire used for this on a lot of systems, usually #6 ga. The idea is to get a path started for the lightning to follow instead of going down the other wire path to inside your house.

Some local electrical codes I have seen say to hammer in a copper rod 6 ft into the ground or if that can't be done to bury it sideways as deep as possible. You should look up the codes for your area.

Generally your AC breaker box is already properly grounded per code so I don't think you have to worry about that, and if you are running a plug in Grid Tie Inverter (GTI) then that has it's own 3 prong standard ground.

Some of the metal cases on GTIs have a nut to allow connection of a case ground, you could ground that to the normal electrical ground or an actual direct earth ground if the situation only allows that.

Solar panels are normally isolated to 600V, or 1000V in some cases, see the sticker on the back side. Which means the + and - wires are isolated from the metal frame by that much voltage.

Whatever wire size you chose for ground should be used throughout your system to ground each panel using a good connection to each frame. I would say #12 ga. is good and #6 is better for longer runs.

Hope this helps.
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Solar Freak
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How Should I Wire In MY Ground Wires On Solar Panels and Breakers
Jan 7th, 2013 at 7:46am
 
I was wondering how I should run my ground wires on my solar panels and breaker box. Should I run a bare ground wire from panel to panel then run the ground to the Breaker box then to a the earth using a grounding rod? Or another guy said he ran his panel ground to earth ground rod close to it. Then he ran his breaker box to the earth grounding rod that was close to his box. So he used two separate ground rods.  Shocked
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