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DIY PV install

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  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    We have no meter cabinet by the way, the meter is directly above the cu




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    Consumer units are always undersized, would drive you nuts.

    ☀️



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,001 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    The guy that done the new ones in our sheds has had enough of small consumer units, plenty of space in the new ones to do things right!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    40 is max on that list, 32 Amp would be what I'd go with. 25 is right on the edge.

    ☀️



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    Cables feeding the meter and consumer unit are undersized too and need replacing. It can be done when you get the neutralising sorted. Unfortunately you will also need the Esb.

    First point of contact is a spark.

    ☀️



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  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Will get that sorted 👍😁



  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Picked a lot of the stuff I need today, x56 meters of 16mm2 t&e, conduit, clips, cat6 and few other bits and pieces, almost had to have a sit down when I got the bill, over €800🙄


    Anyhow I feed the 6m length of the 16mm2 cable into the outhouse and put the 30a type b rcbo’s in the sub box (not wired in yet).

    Was thinking of putting the type2 double pole surge protector in the sub box to save a bit of space on the cu in the Annex, wire the inverters to the rcbos, then link one Rcbo to the other, then that one to the double pole surge protector and the 16 cable and back to Annex Cu (after the double pole isolator).

    Wish I had a wiring diagram for all this!😂

    Not going to bother with a socket or a light in the outhouse now, for the amount of times it would be used it is not worth it

    Also waiting to hear back from a sparks to check the cu at cottage, hopefully by Friday or early next week, going to do the bits I can do in the mean time.

    Getting there bit by bit👍




  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Wired up the sub box this morning




  • Registered Users Posts: 802 ✭✭✭SchrodingersCat


    Fair play welshchris77, great thread. We did a self-install here too, but that wasn't as large as yours. I would suggest, if you havent already, is to have an registered electrician lined up to that will sign the NC6 documentation for the ESB to notify them that a solar installation will be taking place. Maybe your friend who is the installer?

    I see that you have one of the old Analog electricity meters installed. The ESB will probably want to upgrade that to a smart meter. I know a few folks who got away with not getting the upgrade: the old analog meters run backwards when you produce excess electricity, basically giving them a very generous FIT rate.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,508 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger


    Not all of them. Some of them have a rachet on the disk to stop it spinning in reverse - but they have a little symbol on the front panel to signify that's the case. It looks like yours is "one of the good ones" :-)



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,443 ✭✭✭DC999


    If it's a 1967 model it will spin backwards. Not mine of course, just someone I know :)



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius


    I see a lot of people buying in their own cells from China. Has anyone tried ordering in panels? They are so expensive now to the point that it's almost not worth a DIY. Unless one buys direct from China

    A Finnish guy made an interesting blog on another forum where he bought all his equipment from Alibaba (fully expecting many technical problems) and his whole setup worked perfectly.

    I don't think I could stomach getting an inverter from China, but the panels themselves, I don't see why not!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,431 ✭✭✭Gerry


    Most of the inverters installed in Ireland are made in China..



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,173 ✭✭✭con747


    I know a few here have https://www.boards.ie/discussion/2058213471/solar-panels-diy-links/p1 and I think there is a couple more somewhere on here but with the search function the way it is I can't find them.

    https://www.boards.ie/discussion/2058266626/diy-pv-install#latest

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius


    I would suspect this is the case but would hope and expect the certified installers and their suppliers conduct some form of quality control on these units though and are likely fully CE marked. Not sure if the same can be said of the ones from Alibaba or other Chinese outlets. I will be doing a ground mounted install in a field so don't care so much what catches fire out there.

    Nice one! Good to see some others have tried it. I think it's definitely worth the risk. Just thought I'd put the feelers out to see if any horror stories. Thanks!



  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Long overdue update here, we paid a electrician from a local PV installation company to do our final connection and submit our NC6 to the ESB, this was done before the May cutoff for 6kw inverters (thankfully).

    we had a couple of great months for production after that and a very dry spell also, then we started getting nuisance tripping on the RCD’s, it mostly happened after heavy rain, when they inverters came online in the morning as the sun came up they would trip out, after a little research I found that Solis recommends 100a RCD’s, I also discovered that type ‘S’ (slow blow) are more suitable for PV, none of the local supplies had this type but noticed that screwfix have them, the only trouble is the stores in Ireland don't do them, only the UK branches, I got my uncle to post two over from Wales, fitted them and no nuisance tripping since.




  • Registered Users Posts: 238 ✭✭AmpMan


     "I found that Solis recommends 100a RCD’s,"

    Have you confused 100amp & 100mA ?

    Post edited by AmpMan on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    Hi Chris, what you were experiencing is called parasitic leakage capacitance. My concern with the image you posted is that your overcurrent protection is now 63amps. What size cable feeds your inverters? Granted it's a short run but still not kosher.

    ☀️



  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Thanks, they are feed with 6mm2 flex cable



  • Registered Users Posts: 41 welshchris77


    Also the cable feeding the sub box from the CU was upgraded to 16mm2 SWA (5m long)



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    It's not great really having a 6 sq cable protected by a 63 amp mcb.

    Another problem is that a type s rcd is time delayed and doesn't protect life, add to that 100ma and you're seriously breaching regulations.

    Some light reading.


    ☀️



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,001 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk


    Possibly only one RCD is needed then have the 2 inverters on 32 amp mcbs



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    You could do that but a fault in one then kills power to both. It would cover the overcurrent issue though.

    The problem with the type S rcd is that it just won’t trip in time.

    ☀️



  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,001 Mod ✭✭✭✭graememk




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,777 ✭✭✭Buffman


    @welshchris77 The Solis has a built in residual current monitoring unit so you should double check if you actually need external RCD protection. If one is required they recommend it's type A. I've seen them installed with only a Type B MCB at the CU. (40A recommend by Solis for a 6K)

    From my reading of the code of practice there's not a requirement for another RCD if the inverter has the required protection built in.

    "4.6. AC Electrical System

    AC Electrical System shall meet the following requirements:

    • Type B RCD The AC system must be tested and certified by a Registered Electrical Contractor and a Safe Electric certificate must be provided.

    • The AC system must comply with I.S. 10101

    Where an RCD is used for protection of the PV a.c. supply circuit, The RCD shall be of type B according to I.S. EN62423 or I.S. EN60947-2, unless:

    - the inverter provides at least simple separation between the ac side and the dc side or

    - the installation provides at least simple separation between the inverter and the RCD by means of separate windings of a transformer; or

    - the inverter does not require a type B RCD as stated by the manufacturer of the inverter.

    • An AC isolator (2 pole, switching live and neutral) must be installed between the inverter and the consumer unit, and accessible from the inverter location

    Where an RCD device is installed on the AC circuit feeding an inverter, the RCD type must be selected according to IEC TS 62548:2013.

    • AC isolator must be labelled – “PV System MAIN AC Isolator” or an equivalent statement.

    • The main incoming point of the dwelling (typically the meter box) must contain a warning label indicating the presence of a separate source of electrical supply to the building"

    (Disclaimer, the regs have chopped and changed so much lately none of the above may still be the case so feel free to correct me if so. 👍️)

    FYI, if you move to a 'smart' meter electricity plan, you CAN'T move back to a non-smart plan.

    You don't have to take a 'smart' meter if you don't want one, opt-out is available.

    Buy drinks in 3L or bigger plastic bottles or glass bottles to avoid the DRS fee.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    I think you're misunderstanding the regulations above. They're referring to a type B rcd (not to be confused with B curve).

    I've read that twice and nowhere does it say what you have inferred. Can you highlight the section that lead you to your conclusion?

    ☀️



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,777 ✭✭✭Buffman


    I already did highlight it in bold. They say 'Where an RCD is used/installed' which would indicate it isn't mandatory.

    FYI, if you move to a 'smart' meter electricity plan, you CAN'T move back to a non-smart plan.

    You don't have to take a 'smart' meter if you don't want one, opt-out is available.

    Buy drinks in 3L or bigger plastic bottles or glass bottles to avoid the DRS fee.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    That's not my interpretation of that. It states a type B rcd must be installed. Then it goes on to list certain conditions where a type B isn't necessary. So type A is then suitable.

    It states AC system must comply with IS10101 which requires external rcd protection for inverters.

    Every inverter I've ever come across has some form of earth leakage protection built in. This shuts down the inverter only, it doesn't protect life in case of direct contact on the inverter itself which is why external rcd protection is required.

    ☀️



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,777 ✭✭✭Buffman


    Like I've said, I've seen them installed with only the correctly sized MCB. Regs may have changed since like I said but this is where you'd need to talk to a sparks/engineer who's familiar with exact inverter models and current regs.


    "MCB

    • Usually an MCB in the consumer unit

    • Feeds local grid via consumer unit and surplus exported

    • Generally no RCD required RCD may produce false tripping however where required consider 100ma"

    FYI, if you move to a 'smart' meter electricity plan, you CAN'T move back to a non-smart plan.

    You don't have to take a 'smart' meter if you don't want one, opt-out is available.

    Buy drinks in 3L or bigger plastic bottles or glass bottles to avoid the DRS fee.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,999 ✭✭✭allinthehead


    That piece of text from solarcity just isn't relevant here. The only text that matters is Is10101.

    Anyway I think we can both agree that consulting a professional is what should happen here and that taking advice from random strangers on the Internet isn't advisable.

    ☀️



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