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Where does the PV inverter need to be located?

  • 03-05-2019 12:11am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭ Charlie-Bravo


    I am sussing out a PV install. I have the option of putting panels on the main roof to front (more cost), or could place then on a flat roof of a shed out back. The shed has a dedicated mains cable going from the main consumer board to the mini-board in the shed.

    Any knowledgeable persons out there able to tell me if it is possible to have the inverter feed onto a mini-board in the shed, and will the whole system on the consumer side of the ESB meter benefit from it?

    [ESB]
    \/
    [Consumer Board]->-house appliances
    \/
    [Shed Mini]->-washing machine
    ^
    [Inverter]
    ^
    [Solar PV]

    -. . ...- . .-. / --. --- -. -. .- / --. .. ...- . / -.-- --- ..- / ..- .--.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    astrofluff wrote: »
    I am sussing out a PV install. I have the option of putting panels on the main roof to front (more cost), or could place then on a flat roof of a shed out back. The shed has a dedicated mains cable going from the main consumer board to the mini-board in the shed.

    Any knowledgeable persons out there able to tell me if it is possible to have the inverter feed onto a mini-board in the shed, and will the whole system on the consumer side of the ESB meter benefit from it?

    [ESB]
    \/
    [Consumer Board]->-house appliances
    \/
    [Shed Mini]->-washing machine
    ^
    [Inverter]
    ^
    [Solar PV]

    The inverter, in addition to being wired to the solar panels themselves, does need to have clamps wired to the main fuse board also to measure your import/export levels, so mains cabling is ot the only thing you need to consider


    Some.inverters and batteries are also outdoor rated, but its expensive equipment to be leaving outside, I would concern myself with potential theft since this stuff becomes more widespread and well known, it could become an actual target.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,926 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    ... but its expensive equipment to be leaving outside, I would concern myself with potential theft since this stuff becomes more widespread and well known, it could become an actual target.

    Is in fact a target now, as panels are so light and easy to remove


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


    astrofluff wrote: »
    I am sussing out a PV install. I have the option of putting panels on the main roof to front (more cost), or could place then on a flat roof of a shed out back. The shed has a dedicated mains cable going from the main consumer board to the mini-board in the shed.

    Any knowledgeable persons out there able to tell me if it is possible to have the inverter feed onto a mini-board in the shed, and will the whole system on the consumer side of the ESB meter benefit from it?


    What type / kind of cable do you have from that shed all the way up to the main fuse board .
    How many panels you intend in installing,what wattage,normal and peak output ?
    Pointless to tell you that subject to laws of physics you should be fine if the cable linkin gthe two of them can take the load safely and secure...what the electrician said to you when approached !?

    The inverter, in addition to being wired to the solar panels themselves, does need to have clamps wired to the main fuse board also to measure your import/export levels, so mains cabling is ot the only thing you need to consider


    Some.inverters and batteries are also outdoor rated, but its expensive equipment to be leaving outside, I would concern myself with potential theft since this stuff becomes more widespread and well known, it could become an actual target.

    No,actually the inverter needs wireless connection for dashboard reports and a solid certified cables for conenctions to PV and to fuse board / grid.
    Clamping needs for load diversion,batteries and other stuff but for basic functions,no CT clamps meters.
    However,OP may have troubles in the future with the clamps and third party integration due to distance but even then,it may be able to mitigate using a good wifi connection.

    NEVER ever heard PVs or inverters being stolen from the roof or wall of domestic houses... sorry,that is sci-fi now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    rolion wrote: »
    No,actually the inverter needs wireless connection for dashboard reports and a solid certified cables for conenctions to PV and to fuse board / grid.

    The wireless/ethernet access is for reporting/logging, and yes it is needed, but again, I would suggest wired (ethernet), if you can at all, and if your logger allows it.

    rolion wrote: »
    Clamping needs for load diversion,batteries and other stuff but for basic functions,no CT clamps meters.


    So, clamps are needed, dont know why you have such a hard time just accepting some basic factual advice given to posters. You need a clamp to monitor your export usage, and your import, and to provide proper usage data of your system. Without proper data, your system is next to useless as far as I am concerned, and I dont know why anyone would design a system without that critical piece of infrastructure, especially considering the amount of money that is being spent on it.

    Suffice it to say, that ANY installer, putting your system in under SEAI grant will look to put in clamp meters to provide data and functionality.

    rolion wrote: »
    However,OP may have troubles in the future with the clamps and third party integration due to distance but even then,it may be able to mitigate using a good wifi connection.

    So, would you say that good advice, would be to plan his/her system to ensure that clamp meters are catered for ? And by that, I mean wired, not wireless, or some hodge bodge solution that converts to wifi and back again ? Why on earth would you design something so complex into a system ?


    rolion wrote: »
    NEVER ever heard PVs or inverters being stolen from the roof or wall of domestic houses... sorry,that is sci-fi now.

    Sorry Rollion, but just because you have not heard of something it doesnt make it "sc-fi", and I dont understand what you find unusual about advice/concerns around the placement of equipment worth thousands of euro in a residential setting where it may be subject to theft.

    I find you quite a difficult poster to converse with, not sure if you are intentionally being aggressive/dismissive, or not.


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


    @wexfordman

    I bow to your knowledge,man.
    I take your advices as being by the book.
    Lots of practical / DIY experience.

    No time to disagree with you,sorry that i entered in disagreement.
    Yes,you are corect,for a normal inverter you need clamps,otherwise will not work,it will not start and import / export will be offline.
    i may have to start looking for those fcukign clamps,i may have missed them when i installed the inverter...where the fcuk are they... i have 4 monitoring systems but i cannot see the connections to the inverter...im an ID10T ...
    May i ask you to put a picture of your system,where the clamps are connected to the inverter,please help me !?

    And sorry for being so difficult,i wil try to say YES to all the posts that you posts, from now on,promise... ;)


    In relation to theft, prove it,do you have any real life evidence that inverters are targeted, PVs being stolen from the side of the house and put on the back of the trcuks, like the ATM cash machines !? Until then, yes is " sci-fi " based on European wide exposure,not only here in the back of the woods .
    I will be more worried with installing this valuable equipment in the houses, attics, closed places than rather outside the house... but,again,you are right,is valuable equipment.

    Take care and keep learning and share it.
    T G I F


    PS

    My inverter installed in a far away land,with no clamps but with required wires and wireless card:

    479315.jpg


    My fuse meter (work in progress) with all of the local clamps, independent of the inverter location:

    479316.jpg


    And that's where magic happens here:

    479319.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    rolion wrote: »
    In relation to theft, prove it,do you have any real life evidence that inverters are targeted, PVs being stolen from the side of the house and put on the back of the trcuks, like the ATM cash machines !? Until then, yes is " sci-fi " based on European wide exposure,not only here in the back of the woods .
    I will be more worried with installing this valuable equipment in the houses, attics, closed places than rather outside the house... but,again,you are right,is valuable equipment.

    Take care and keep learning and share it.
    T G I F

    Even just a cursory glance will throw up cases of it.

    https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/thieves_rip_100_solar_panels_inverters_from_lincolnshire_install

    For gods sake, people steal a few hundred euros worth of oil from tanks, and you think the possible theft of thousands of euro worth of battery and inverter equipment is "sci-fi" ?

    As to the rest of your rant, I have no interest in replying, good luck with your clampless system, you are of course correct, no clamps are needed to require your system to "just" work, it will work without clamps, as it will work without even a data logger (which funnly enough, you have one, even though it is not essential to make the system function).

    Im done replying to you rolion, unfortunately, this forum doenst have an ignore function, so lets agree to pass each other by next time we meet on this forum.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo


    Sorry for hijacking the thread but I have a related question. I have a concrete tile roof 30year old so not great condition and have had a few leaks in the last couple of years fixed. I have had two quotes - one installer wants to put the inverter and battery in the converted attic and run an armoured cable under the attic floor and then drill through the wall to get down to the fuse box from the exterior of the house.
    The other wants to run DC cables from the roof down to the inverter and battery in my attached garage (which is my preference). He proposes lifting the tiler - putting waterproof flashing and then drilling through the soffit to get to the exterior wall.
    The latter is a bit more expensive but I feel better about not having any cables running in the attic. Is that irrational given that I have AC cables running to downlighters? I would really prefer to have the inverter and battery in the garage where they can be mounted on concrete rather than the converted attic.


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


    Even just a cursory glance will throw up cases of it.

    https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/thieves_rip_100_solar_panels_inverters_from_lincolnshire_install

    For gods sake, people steal a few hundred euros worth of oil from tanks, and you think the possible theft of thousands of euro worth of battery and inverter equipment is "sci-fi" ?

    As to the rest of your rant, I have no interest in replying, good luck with your clampless system, you are of course correct, no clamps are needed to require your system to "just" work, it will work without clamps, as it will work without even a data logger (which funnly enough, you have one, even though it is not essential to make the system function).

    Im done replying to you rolion, unfortunately, this forum doenst have an ignore function, so lets agree to pass each other by next time we meet on this forum.


    Your choice and i respect it.
    Ignore but constructive.That's what i'm trying to do,can't please every one,DIYer or not.

    I post figures showing the clamps.I expected to discuss that.
    Same with the scifi,looks like you are really easily offended by that word...
    Yes,there are situations when some of us will target PVs but those at bigger scale,on PV farms where is industrial equipment,expensive and geographical isolated and "competition" doesn't like that particular farm... and i see it hard for those deciding to go with the risk of stealing a inverter and a panel from the houses / residentials,as we are contradicting here, pointless and wasting valuable time.

    When i'll see in Wexford,i may meet you for a cofee...or... we already did !?

    Keep up the good work and don't get off on some public forum contradictions,we are adults for PVs sake, not teenagers.
    Take good care,enjoy the weekend .
    Looks promissing sunny and your system will make a big difference for the house bill.


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


    garo wrote: »
    Sorry for hijacking the thread but I have a related question. I have a concrete tile roof 30year old so not great condition and have had a few leaks in the last couple of years fixed. I have had two quotes - one installer wants to put the inverter and battery in the converted attic and run an armoured cable under the attic floor and then drill through the wall to get down to the fuse box from the exterior of the house.
    The other wants to run DC cables from the roof down to the inverter and battery in my attached garage (which is my preference). He proposes lifting the tiler - putting waterproof flashing and then drilling through the soffit to get to the exterior wall.
    The latter is a bit more expensive but I feel better about not having any cables running in the attic. Is that irrational given that I have AC cables running to downlighters? I would really prefer to have the inverter and battery in the garage where they can be mounted on concrete rather than the converted attic.


    @garo

    There is no right answer here.
    Check the instructions / installations manuals for the inverter and for battery.
    The cables for PV inverter and the battery have a different type of loading,much much higher than the lights or alarms in the attic.Using armoured cable makes sense for the protection of the cables but how are you going to deal with the inverter and batteries ?

    What the manual / supplier /manufacturer says !? Can you ignore the installer for a moment / step ?
    I know im going to annoy a lots of them by posting the picture below... most of boards users have the system installed in the attics... by installers.

    As you can see on this post,the risk of theft is high so it will need to do something in this direction, hide it well inside the house as is valuable (sarcasm on,dont know how valuable they are in relation to "my" family).

    There are no "official" reports of these systems catching fire or overheating... yet, but my inverter last year in that nice hot summer reported heat of over 80 degrees and that was in the open air. And the inverter does not have capacitors that may behave badly.

    Personal,i am worried over as the cold water storage in the attic as that may break or something,imaging having an inverter and a battery up there...i will not sleep at all.
    My ABB inverter specifies ONLY open air and away from Sun type of installation.
    But definitevely i will be against any installer or myself as DIY to get them both installed inside the house,in the attic.

    Not sure if that helps you...good luck and stay safe, go with the feelings ?


    479327.jpg

    479326.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭ Charlie-Bravo


    Thanks for all the comments.

    The plan would be to put 6 or 8 panels on the shed roof. The cable from the mains board to the shed mini board is a 6sq. swa, I don't think it's a 10sq. It has a 32 amp breaker for it on the main board. The plan would be to have the inverter gear within the shed, so just a risk or panels in the lower roof being nicked.

    The basic question being asked is if I can connect the inverter to the mini board?! I haven't approached any electricians yet.

    -. . ...- . .-. / --. --- -. -. .- / --. .. ...- . / -.-- --- ..- / ..- .--.



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


    astrofluff wrote: »
    Thanks for all the comments.

    The plan would be to put 6 or 8 panels on the shed roof. The cable from the mains board to the shed mini board is a 6sq. swa, I don't think it's a 10sq. It has a 32 amp breaker for it on the main board. The plan would be to have the inverter gear within the shed, so just a risk or panels in the lower roof being nicked.

    The basic question being asked is if I can connect the inverter to the mini board?! I haven't approached any electricians yet.

    Sorry for dragging your topic ... offtopic.

    As we said above, between the lines,yes it can be done but you will need to approach an electrician to get the cabling and safety right,in the correct parameters. You "may lose" some monitoring /reports due to distance but the inverter will work fine standalone,with the PVs adn the grid connected. If you want to use the extra features of the system,then you have to get a stronger wireless connection (if the distance between the home wifi router and the location of the router is too long) for the inverter built-in wifi logger.As some one mentioned above, cabled is better than wireless,personal i had never had problems with the wifi logger built-in the inverter,but may be i'm lucky with my ABB.

    Most installs recommend using a longer DC powered cable rather than a AC cable (probable to deal with voltage drop,safety).From panels to inverter only DC cable.

    I have panels fitted in the back garden,30 meters away from inverter but i used DC cables panels to inverter and the inverter has only a short AC cable length to fuse board.

    Lets say 8 panels by 300W each, gives you 2.4KWp.
    A 2,5Kw inverter sometime peaks shortly to 3Kw.
    3,000W divided by 240V gives a 16A to be on the safe side.

    Not sure what's on that mini board and / or if the cable are for the appropiate load / distance and so on. If the cable from mini board to main fuse is enclosed and good quality,it should have minimum 2.5mm2 for 16Amps.
    Still,i advise to get a spark to validate the numbers.All those numbers are for today,if you want to add extra panels, you'll need a new inverter or a new cable.


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


    Today, 13th of May,outside air temperatures at around 20ish... my inverter working temperatures over 60ish !
    I wonder whats "your" inverter working temps, up there cold and alone in the dark attics !?

    480158.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 783 ✭✭✭ niallers1


    rolion wrote: »
    Today, 13th of May,outside air temperatures at around 20ish... my inverter working temperatures over 60ish !
    I wonder whats "your" inverter working temps, up there cold and alone in the dark attics !?

    480158.jpg

    Mine is in the attic and the temperature of the inverter is 37 degrees.

    Maybe it's just your inverter .

    My inverter is also silent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    niallers1 wrote: »
    rolion wrote: »
    Today, 13th of May,outside air temperatures at around 20ish... my inverter working temperatures over 60ish !
    I wonder whats "your" inverter working temps, up there cold and alone in the dark attics !?

    480158.jpg

    Mine is in the attic and the temperature of the inverter is 37 degrees.

    Maybe it's just your inverter .

    My inverter is also silent.
    Yep, mine in attic silent and about 40 deg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    niallers1 wrote: »
    rolion wrote: »
    Today, 13th of May,outside air temperatures at around 20ish... my inverter working temperatures over 60ish !
    I wonder whats "your" inverter working temps, up there cold and alone in the dark attics !?

    480158.jpg

    Mine is in the attic and the temperature of the inverter is 37 degrees.

    Maybe it's just your inverter .

    My inverter is also silent.
    Yep, mine in attic silent and about 40 deg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    480182.jpg


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