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Cable to run for future PV setup?

  • 15-01-2019 11:24am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭ Zenith74


    Hey guys,

    Quick query if somebody can give me a steer. We're doing quite a bit of work to our house at the moment, so have floors up etc. with easy routes between the attic and consumer board. At some point in the future (1/2/3 years) I'd like to put in a PV system, so while I have all the routes available I'd love to get some cables in, lifting floors afterwards would be messy.

    I pulled in two 2.5sqmm (flat grey three-core) from the attic to the consumer panel, will this be enough or is there something else I should be thinking about? The house is a small 4-bed detached with a smaller than average south facing roof, so max is probably 4-6kW system.

    Are there any other types of cable that need to get back to the consumer panel, switch wires for diverters/load-balancers/priotity-switches, ethernet etc.?


    Cheers for any thoughts!


Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    From memory a 6mm Sq. or 10mm Sq cable is required to connect the invertor to the Consumer unit.
    May also be worth while running an Ethernet cable from the attic space to where the router will be so you can hardwire the invertor for remote monitoring. its not strictly required as mine connects over wifi but still, easier for it to be hard wired IMO.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,914 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    You will need at least 4mm2 for a small PV system, but I would recommend you go up

    I'm having my new solar inverter hooked up to my consumer unit by an electrician this week. It's only a short run, so 6mm2 would be more than good enough for up to a 7.2kwp solar PV system (that's huge, about 25 panels), but for the sake of a few euro he suggested he would use 10mm2. I'll never have to upgrade that :D

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Again,i will not install an inverter in the attic...
    Why dont you fitted beside the main meter panel,on the side of the wall,where is not too sunny ?
    You can see it,hear it,touch it and be proud / excited about it in the morning when you hear that speciffic start-up zoom.

    Just get some PV 4mm sq pair of cables for up to 8 panels from the roof (with maybe some meters spare left in the attic) all the way down to the meter panel.If you will fit the inverter there,thats all.
    The electrician will run the AC side of the system from inverter to fuse board.
    Same,the DC side will be already there and just needs connected to inverter.

    Not a bad ideea is to run a 3.5mm sq EandT cable from the fuse panel,through a 16A RCB,all the way up beside the hot water cylinder...just in case you get a PV solar diverter.

    Enjoy it...


  • Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭ Zenith74


    Thanks guys, I'll get myself down to the electrical wholesalers at the weekend and pick-up some 10sqmm.

    For those who have internal runs put in, I assume they are just three-core flat grey cable, no need for SWA or PVC-PVC?

    @rolion - I'm in a corner house on a housing estate, so where the meter box is on the front-side of the house is quite exposed to public view. Already have two car chargers on the wall there and it makes me a little nervous. But it's a fair point, I could totally stick it on the wall behind the side gate and find a route over to the meter box, has to be safer than in the attic from a fire safety point-of-view.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    Zenith74 wrote: »
    Hey guys,

    Quick query if somebody can give me a steer. We're doing quite a bit of work to our house at the moment, so have floors up etc. with easy routes between the attic and consumer board. At some point in the future (1/2/3 years) I'd like to put in a PV system, so while I have all the routes available I'd love to get some cables in, lifting floors afterwards would be messy.

    I pulled in two 2.5sqmm (flat grey three-core) from the attic to the consumer panel, will this be enough or is there something else I should be thinking about? The house is a small 4-bed detached with a smaller than average south facing roof, so max is probably 4-6kW system.

    Are there any other types of cable that need to get back to the consumer panel, switch wires for diverters/load-balancers/priotity-switches, ethernet etc.?


    Cheers for any thoughts!

    You could get one of the pv companies down to look at a system and quote you fir a full system, then you would have a design to base it on and decide from there ?

    Remember, as well as as mains cable, you will also need some data cabling as well for load and consuomtion feed to your inverter


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  • Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭ Zenith74


    You could get one of the pv companies down to look at a system and quote you fir a full system, then you would have a design to base it on and decide from there ?

    Remember, as well as as mains cable, you will also need some data cabling as well for load and consuomtion feed to your inverter

    I actually had the company whose name shall not be mentioned but ends in 8 out a few months back. Sales techniques directly from The Wolf of Wallstreet I suspect :eek:.

    I hate wasting trades peoples' time when I know I wouldn't be going ahead this year though.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    You could get one of the pv companies down to look at a system and quote you fir a full system, then you would have a design to base it on and decide from there ?

    Remember, as well as as mains cable, you will also need some data cabling as well for load and consuomtion feed to your inverter

    What is load and consumption feed?
    What is the data cable for and what purpose will it serve going to your consumer unit?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    @Zenith
    I've attached my ABB inverter instalaltion guide.
    Please take a look and see if they recommend attic instalaltions.
    Actually,i cant as the file is too big,sorry !

    @Kceire
    I am guessing that he wants to mention cables from the hybrid inverter,that has two outputs for : one cable,main AC direct coupled for grid consumption;second cable, for AUX devices in case of the grid going down and powering only selective devices via bateries.
    Data cable,maybe for some reporting gadgets or maybe some sort of data probes / CT / router internet type of !?

    Be good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    kceire wrote: »
    What is load and consumption feed?
    What is the data cable for and what purpose will it serve going to your consumer unit?

    Ah sorry I'm probably not using the correct terms, just referencing my own install and the cables used to and from.my consumer board and the inverter.

    1) mains cable from inverter to fuse board.
    2) cat 5 cable from fuse board to inverter for reading pulse meter measuring consumption/grid load etc
    3) mains cable from.inverter for essential load (optional)
    4) I believe a cable from.the inverter to the immersion for wiring of the eddi ? Might be wrong on this, as they have not installed mine yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    Zenith74 wrote: »
    I actually had the company whose name shall not be mentioned but ends in 8 out a few months back. Sales techniques directly from The Wolf of Wallstreet I suspect :eek:.

    I hate wasting trades peoples' time when I know I wouldn't be going ahead this year though.

    Ring arounnd a few, tell them waht you are thinking of doing, and get some pricing from them. Be up front about it, I would imagine they would be happy to drop round and give you a quote and if you are looking to install the cabling for them they might be happy.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Ah sorry I'm probably not using the correct terms, just referencing my own install and the cables used to and from.my consumer board and the inverter.

    1) mains cable from inverter to fuse board.
    2) cat 5 cable from fuse board to inverter for reading pulse meter measuring consumption/grid load etc
    3) mains cable from.inverter for essential load (optional)
    4) I believe a cable from.the inverter to the immersion for wiring of the eddi ? Might be wrong on this, as they have not installed mine yet.

    Agh ok, may be just more options on your particular investor.

    1. Mains cable from investor to fuse board (as discussed earlier, maybe 10mm sq).
    2. Cat 5 to fuse board - what will this be then plugged into? Mine connects by WiFi so I can remotely monitor generation and current status. My recommendation to run an Ethernet cable earlier was to go to the internet router for hard wired internet access so WiFi signals wouldn’t be a problem.
    3. I’m not sure what the essential load is. Can you explain what this does. Maybe this is what Rollon is talking about with the newer hybrid investors.
    4. No cable required for Eddi. Eddi connects directly to your fuse board on the immersion circuit and this is the main reason it’s located directly beside the fuse board. That’s where my installer done it and my house was gutted so he had the option to place it anywhere he pleased. Maybe there’s another reason to locate it elsewhere?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    kceire wrote: »
    Agh ok, may be just more options on your particular investor.

    1. Mains cable from investor to fuse board (as discussed earlier, maybe 10mm sq).
    2. Cat 5 to fuse board - what will this be then plugged into? Mine connects by WiFi so I can remotely monitor generation and current status. My recommendation to run an Ethernet cable earlier was to go to the internet router for hard wired internet access so WiFi signals wouldn’t be a problem.
    3. I’m not sure what the essential load is. Can you explain what this does. Maybe this is what Rollon is talking about with the newer hybrid investors.
    4. No cable required for Eddi. Eddi connects directly to your fuse board on the immersion circuit and this is the main reason it’s located directly beside the fuse board. That’s where my installer done it and my house was gutted so he had the option to place it anywhere he pleased. Maybe there’s another reason to locate it elsewhere?

    The cat 5 for my install is connected to a power meter in the main fuse board and feeds back house load data to the inverter . It's not Ethernet, just uses a few pairs for comms (prob rs232 or something ) and connected to a port in my inverter.

    The essential load is exactly what Rollin refeeered to, backup for power outages to a small number of circuits.

    The eddi, thanks, tbh, mine is not installed yet, so i don't know the setup.


  • Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭ Zenith74


    Thanks guys, this has been a really useful discussion!

    Shame I didn't ask a few weeks earlier as I had a very nice route to the meter box from the fuseboard/attic, but could do this externally if a comms cable to a monitor is required.

    I found an installation guide from ABB for one of their inverters thanks rolion (https://library.e.abb.com/public/96bc250205724ca28dba7d51d003e57f/TRIO-50%200-TL-OUTD-Quick%20Installation%20Guide%20EN-RevD.pdf). Some interesting installation location notes in there, these would make me feel that putting the inverter in your nice dry wooden attic above bedrooms is not the ideal location.
    - Do not install the equipment on wooden walls or other flammable surfaces
    - Do not install in inhabited rooms or where the prolonged presence of people or animals is expected due to
    inverter’s noise level during operation
    - Installation of the unit in a location exposed to direct sunlight is acceptable

    So I'll pull a couple of ethernet from the consumer panel to the attic anyway. I'll pull in a 10sqmm as well (consumer panel to attic), even if the inverter does end up on the side of the house, it would be much easier to go up the wall through the eaves into the attic and make a join than to find a route to the consumer panel.

    The essential load piece is interesting, I didn't realise the price of systems that could work without the reference frequency of the grid-connect had got to the point that us mere mortals could put it in. Don't think I'd go splitting up the system for it though, maybe just a couple of sockets in the attic for emergencies.

    Re. calling some installers, I actually did this 6 months ago or so, I rang a few off the SEAI list. One (who had a solar website) told me solar was kind of a waste of time and panels+battery would be €20k, maybe look to attic insulation etc. instead. Another said he'd come out for a survey, never did. Then via Electric Ireland I got in-touch with those who shall not be mentioned, who to be fair were very organised, came out and did a survey, knew their stuff and were very helpful, but the price (started at just shy of €25k before 'discounts') and hard sell was astounding. So in short, not much success with ringing around :). Anybody in Dublin you guys could recommend?


    Cheers!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    Even here,on boards,you can have a qustion and three different answers.
    Personal,i never seen PV inverters installed in a typical home atics recommended by any manufacturer, never heard about monitoring gadgets running on CAT / Ethernet cables as the length of the remote probe cable is calibrated.

    Also,if you go with big array you need big cables so you ran big cables.SAme,opposite.
    If you go with a small array and you run big cables,you may have problems due to cable type.

    You may end up running cables up and down and the installers,to do it his way or to justify the time charged for installation,it will say is wrong and change or rerun those leads. Im not an installer but if i have to quote you a job like this, i will never ever sign off the installation report based on your laid out cables already present in your house.Who's to take liability if something is not right at a later stage ?

    Friendly advise...get a professional installer that knows his stuff.
    Ask them for best way to do the job and then take it from there.
    Work with them and save yourself the hassle of dealing with uncertainty and DIY things.
    There is not a big job to install a proper PV array and inverter,all cabling is well known and guys prepared to do it properly...if you know what you doing base don experience and not on boards' sharing and caring .

    Be good


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    rolion wrote: »
    Even here,on boards,you can have a qustion and three different answers.
    Personal,i never seen PV inverters installed in a typical home atics recommended by any manufacturer, never heard about monitoring gadgets running on CAT / Ethernet cables as the length of the remote probe cable is calibrated.

    Also,if you go with big array you need big cables so you ran big cables.SAme,opposite.
    If you go with a small array and you run big cables,you may have problems due to cable type.

    You may end up running cables up and down and the installers,to do it his way or to justify the time charged for installation,it will say is wrong and change or rerun those leads. Im not an installer but if i have to quote you a job like this, i will never ever sign off the installation report based on your laid out cables already present in your house.Who's to take liability if something is not right at a later stage ?

    Friendly advise...get a professional installer that knows his stuff.
    Ask them for best way to do the job and then take it from there.
    Work with them and save yourself the hassle of dealing with uncertainty and DIY things.
    There is not a big job to install a proper PV array and inverter,all cabling is well known and guys prepared to do it properly...if you know what you doing base don experience and not on boards' sharing and caring .

    Be good

    Every PV system been fitted in new estates in Dublin currently is in the attic space. Where else would you put it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 737 ✭✭✭ Zenith74


    To be fair lots of the videos I've seen of people putting in Tesla Powerwalls, they'll have it mounted on the outside of their house, along with the inverter etc. I have lots of space around the side of the house, so it would actually make sense to have it there; no risk of the noise waking kids (compared to being above bedrooms) or annoying me in a home office, reduced risk of creating a fire by something hot being close to nice dry roof timbers, less of a risk of the whole house catching fire if the unit itself goes up in flames, easier to access etc.

    I'd been all on for putting it in the attic, but the more I think of it around the side of the house makes a lot of sense...


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Zenith74 wrote: »
    To be fair lots of the videos I've seen of people putting in Tesla Powerwalls, they'll have it mounted on the outside of their house, along with the inverter etc. I have lots of space around the side of the house, so it would actually make sense to have it there; no risk of the noise waking kids (compared to being above bedrooms) or annoying me in a home office, reduced risk of creating a fire by something hot being close to nice dry roof timbers, less of a risk of the whole house catching fire if the unit itself goes up in flames, easier to access etc.

    I'd been all on for putting it in the attic, but the more I think of it around the side of the house makes a lot of sense...

    Are the invertors water proof?
    Mines on the External wall in the attic storage space.
    When you say noise, I haven't heard any noise from mine and my attic is converted. mines fitted 18 months or so now and there's more noise from my DVR connected to the Home CCTV system.

    Americans fitting the stuff, are they external or in side garages?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,914 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Zenith74 wrote: »
    Already have two car chargers on the wall there and it makes me a little nervous. But it's a fair point, I could totally stick it on the wall behind the side gate and find a route over to the meter box, has to be safer than in the attic from a fire safety point-of-view.

    Yup, that's exactly what I'm doing this week. For the same reasons as yourself. Most inverters are IP65 these days, so perfectly fine outside. Most EVSE car chargers have the same or a lower rating than that (and are obviously still considered to be water proof) Zappi and Rolec are also IP65 and the ABL unit installed as the standard by eCars until 2018 is IP54

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    rolion wrote: »
    Even here,on boards,you can have a qustion and three different answers.
    Personal,i never seen PV inverters installed in a typical home atics recommended by any manufacturer, never heard about monitoring gadgets running on CAT / Ethernet cables as the length of the remote probe cable is calibrated.

    Also,if you go with big array you need big cables so you ran big cables.SAme,opposite.
    If you go with a small array and you run big cables,you may have problems due to cable type.

    You may end up running cables up and down and the installers,to do it his way or to justify the time charged for installation,it will say is wrong and change or rerun those leads. Im not an installer but if i have to quote you a job like this, i will never ever sign off the installation report based on your laid out cables already present in your house.Who's to take liability if something is not right at a later stage ?

    Friendly advise...get a professional installer that knows his stuff.
    Ask them for best way to do the job and then take it from there.
    Work with them and save yourself the hassle of dealing with uncertainty and DIY things.
    There is not a big job to install a proper PV array and inverter,all cabling is well known and guys prepared to do it properly...if you know what you doing base don experience and not on boards' sharing and caring .

    Be good

    Hi rollion,

    On the cat 5 for monitoring, I would have thought it was a fairly standard solution ?

    1) energy monitor to measure incoming and outgoing grid power mounted in consumer board.
    2) clamp meter using the calibrated cables within the consumer unit.
    3) comms back to the inverter, to feed ack the neasured grid power, in my case a cat 5 cable sending data back to the inverter, using rs232 or similar


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Hi rollion,

    On the cat 5 for monitoring, I would have thought it was a fairly standard solution ?

    1) energy monitor to measure incoming and outgoing grid power mounted in consumer board.
    2) clamp meter using the calibrated cables within the consumer unit.
    3) comms back to the inverter, to feed ack the neasured grid power, in my case a cat 5 cable sending data back to the inverter, using rs232 or similar

    Is this all to do with the battery so the CU knows when to use generated power from the panels or power from the grid or the battery?

    I have nothing coming from the invertor to the CU other than the electrical cable. My monitoring is done by way of the invertor connected to the online portal by WiFi. But I don’t have a hybrid invertor or battery.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    kceire wrote: »
    Is this all to do with the battery so the CU knows when to use generated power from the panels or power from the grid or the battery?

    I have nothing coming from the invertor to the CU other than the electrical cable. My monitoring is done by way of the invertor connected to the online portal by WiFi. But I don’t have a hybrid invertor or battery.

    Yep,.I think that's it, but if you have no measuring of your grid input or output load, how do you know when you are pushing out to the grid, and how do you measure your consumption ?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,305 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Yep,.I think that's it, but if you have no measuring of your grid input or output load, how do you know when you are pushing out to the grid, and how do you measure your consumption ?

    I only have it in real time through the Eddi
    It shows you where the power generated is going on screen.

    It tells you if it’s going to the immersion or back to the grid and it also displays the the total sent to the immersion in the current day if you get me.
    I’ll take a snap of mine in a bit.

    To work out what I’ve generated, I use the Trannergy-log app


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭ rolion


    I have 4 (four) different management and reporting systems, each doing various things.
    I cant recommend going same route but at least You guys need a OWL with PV module.
    Gives you all the information you ever need.

    See below a picture / graph that I found on my device for now:
    It does real-time generation versus consumption.
    It does historical analytics.
    Over time, you will learn what those spikes means and take pro-active action
    But don't expect wonders...ie,i taught my wife to don't switch on oven and kettle and microwave, all at the same time but rather in series. She told me to keep dreaming, in the kitchen she's the man...
    well, as across the whole house.


    471363.jpg


    471366.jpeg


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