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Solar PV Inspection Walkthrough Inverters 6 of 8

We're at the inverters. With the plans we're on page E13, same place on the checklist is titled inverters. What we want to look at here is a couple things on the exterior before we open it up. First, we've got the DC disconnect, the AC disconnect, some labeling, and a display. From the display, we can see that this is a PVP 260 that matches the plans and it has already been preapproved for this project. We want to look at the labeling. The labeling should give us some information as required by section 690.53. We're going.

To have the operating current, the operating voltage, the short circuit current rating, and the operating current. This AC disconnect is a little bit redundant on this job as we've already got an additional utility AC disconnect, but this is part of the equipment and it's part of the inspection. Here what we care about is that these are identified, what they are, what they do. We can see we've got some great pictures that show that. We're going to open up the inverter doors. We're going to start on the DC side of the enclosure. What we're going to do is.

We want to look at the output circuits that came down from the roof that we've already looked at. We want to look at their termination point, coloring and polarity. Additionally, we're going to take a look at the grounding system. With these inverters, we've got a lot of grounding concerns here. We've got equipment grounding concerns, system bonding jumpers, which should be installed from the manufacturer. We've got also another requirement for the grounding electrode of the system, which we're going to look at shortly. We'll look at those conductors. We can see that they're color coded properly.

They're terminated. Everything looks good. We're going to move across to the AC section of the inverter where we got the same thing. We're going to look at the conductors. We're going to look at the phasing, coloring of them. We're going to look at the grounding. Make sure that all those are sized properly per the plans and specs, which we've already approved and reviewed. Then we're going to follow out the grounding electrode conductor. Here we can see that this grounding electrode conductor exits the back side of the inverter. Let's go take a.

Look at that. We're on the back side of the inverter. We're following out where the grounding electrode conductor leaves the inverter, enters into this raceway, which is properly strapped. We've got our requirements per chapter three. We follow that across and we can see that that conductor ends up across the wall and then attaches to a rod. Let's talk about that rod. That's a 5H rod with an acorn clamped and a very large conductor. We know that when we're using the ground rod, we're never required to use anything larger.

Than a six because that's all a rod is good for. We know that's good. One thing that we could debate here is whether or not this connection here where the acorn clamp on the top of the pipe is, is that protected from physical damage. Like we've said before, the code only gives you about half the answers. The other half come from the Authority Having Jurisdiction. I feel pretty confident that we've got a corner here for protection. We've got this fence here, and they're just storing some trashcans in front of this typically.

Solar PV Inspection Walkthrough Interconnection 7 of 8

We're at our last stop on the inspection. Here we have the PV system main disconnect. This is an 800 amp threephase switch that's fused. On our checklist, we're on the interconnection portion of the checklist. On the site, we're located in the main electrical room of the property. With the plans, we're located on page E13. We can look at the plan and get a good idea of where we're at in relationship to the rest of the system. At this point in the project, the whole system is shut down. We can see at the main switch here that this.

System is off. At this point nothing is running. This switch gets its power from the main service equipment. Here we have the main breaker for the service for the school Located on the top side is the supply side of this switch, so the conductor is attached here as you can see in the picture are from the transformer supplied by the utility. From there, the supply side connected service conductors go across this box and through the short pipe stubs. Let's take a look inside. Inside the disconnect here, we can see this is the service.

Conductors on the right. This is the inverter output circuit. The colors are brown, orange, yellow. They represent a 480volt threephase system. There is 3800 amps 600volt rated fuses. The grounding is located here on the top left hand side. Commonly, with these enclosures, the things that people do wrong are they don't protect the conductors properly. They don't identify the conductors, and they'll be missing a ground or something like that. On the exterior of the box, we can notice we've got a code violation. Here on the front of the enclosure, we've got a label. What's important to remember.

About labeling anything in a PV system is you want to identify what it is, what it does. Here we've got a Photovoltaic utility AC disconnect switch main. I would say that defines what it is and what it does. Additionally, we've got a requirement to identify the nominal operating voltage of the system which is 480 and the operating current of the system, which is in this case 632 Amps. Additionally, what we would need here is another label. That label is a requirement from section 705.10. Basically, what that says is that when you have more than one source, you've.

Got a utility here and we've got a PV system on the roof. We have to identify where those source disconnects are. In this case, we've got a source disconnect for the utility here in the basement and then outside where we just were at the inverters. It's important to understand we get permission to have the switch installed on the supply side of the service conductors in section 705.12 of the NEC and previously in 2008 in 690.64. Both of those articles are going to. sections are going to reference back to 230.86 where.

Plants vs Solar Panels Which is better at capturing solar energy AtBristol Science Centre

This is an aquatic plant called pondweed, and we can see that it's making tiny bubbles of gas. This gas is oxygen and all plants produce it in a process called photosynthesis. The word photosynthesis comes from the Greek meaning light' and putting together'. Plants use the energy in sunlight to make sugars, out of the simple ingredients of carbon dioxide and water. And do you remember those bubbles of gas we saw earlier Well. deep breath they're pretty useful. To make the sugar, or glucose, the bonds which hold the molecules together.

Have to be broken apart and rearranged. The bonds are made of electrons. So the water needs to lose electrons, and the carbon dioxide has to gain electrons. And the colour of leaves gives us a clue to what is responsible for this rearrangement of electrons. Every leaf cell contains a pigment called chlorophyll'. It's the chlorophyll which makes the leaves green and helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll has the amazing ability to release electrons when exposed to sunlight. The electrons from the chlorophyll are replaced by splitting apart water into ions of hydrogen and oxygen.

The excess oxygen is then released into the air. The flow of electrons from the chlorophyll is then used with the remaining hydrogen ions to produce the energy needed to synthesise glucose from molecules of carbon dioxide. So sunlight provides the energy we need to move electrons from one molecule to another turning light energy into chemical energy ready for our plant to use. But can we do the same thing artificially How does photosynthesis compare to a solar panel Well, solar panels like those on the Energy Tree.

Use light as an energy source, and they also generate a flow of electrons. But they don't store chemical energy they convert light energy into electrical energy. They do this by using something called the photoelectric effect'. When photons come and hit a metal surface, they knock off electrons. We then capture and store these electrons. These photovoltaic cells are made of a silicon crystal. But silicon is a poor conductor of electricity. So impurities are added to help. This creates something called a 'semiconductor'. As light hits the surface, electrons are knocked loose.

The electrons then flow from areas with a high concentration, to areas with a low concentration. It's this flow of electrons which generates an electric current. We've done this on a big scale on our roof. We have 560 square metres of solar panels, which generate 47,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. So which is better, leaves or solar panels How efficient is each system at transforming the energy from sunlight Well, a leaf can turn only three percent of light energy hitting its surface into chemical energy through photosynthesis.

Whereas, a solar panel of the same area can turn roughly ten percent of the light energy into electrical energy that's over three times more efficient! But it's not quite as simple as that. There's all sorts of other things to take into account as well. Such as the time of day, the location, types of plant, and transport and storage costs on the other side as well. Solar panels may be able to absorb more wavelengths of light than leaves, but leaves can grow and repair when damaged. The Energy Tree may be able to charge your phone,.

How to Install Solar Panels Wiring for Solar Panels

Alright! We've got the panels mounted and now we're ready to connect the wiring that brings the power down to our charge controller which is located on the ground. We're going to be using this BX style wire which is just twelve gage wire with a wrapping of sturdy aluminum on the outside to protect it from the elements. Typically used in household wiring, pretty common at your home improvement center, twelve gage is adequate for a small system like this. Black wire for our positive connection, the white wire will be negative.

It's also called the neutral in an AC system. But for this we can use the white wire as negative, and then the green will go to our frame as a ground. So, we'll just strip a little bit of wire off here. We've got our DC wires already marked coming from the panels. Red, positive and white is negative. So we'll follow that here, again, and strip these wires down. Special wiring comes out of these panels. It's USE rated versus THHN for instance. And this USE wire is UV stabilized so it can actually be out in the sunlight for many years without.

Degrading. We're using the shielded wire here could be in different styles of conduit or even a UV rated wire for a small installation like this. And your bigger grid type connections, all this can be in conduit and the wire choices would be a little more limited because of the high voltages concerned. But here, twelve to forty volts, we're not really as concerned with that as we might be. Still, it's nice to have everything solid. We're going to use our linesmen pliers here to get a nice solid twist on our positive wires and a little wire nut on top of that, snug.

It down. We've got our negative wire here, and you notice I didn't strip these both at the same time. Even through it's only 40 volts, you can still get a pretty decent shock off of these panels. So, it pays to keep the wires separate. In fact, at the other end here, we're not quite ready to make this connection, we should connect down at the bottom first before making this wire completely hot, just for safety. So now, let's leave this for a moment and go down and wire up our charge controller here in the laundry room.

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