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Solar Power to C/U

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Jake O, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Jake O

    Jake O Monkey

    Hi everyone,
    Very new to this....i have a place in the middle of nowhere in spain....we are going to be running solar panels to battery bank via charge controller then an inverter to bring from 12v to 230....basically i want to run the inverter to a consumer unit...this house has nothing no wiring at all so how would i earth this consumer unit? would a stake earth work? or would it just earth back to the inverter?

  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If the residence has NO Wiring at all, then you will need to start from scratch... Inverter feeds a Master Distribution Breaker Box, that allows you to isolate, each of the different Load Circuits, individually. At the Master Box, you would tie the Neutral wire to the Ground Wire, and the Ground Wire for the System Ground would go Directly to a Ground Rod, installed as close to the Master Box as Possible, using a #4 or Larger Wire. This is the ONLY place in the System, where the Neutral and Ground should be tied together. The you can use the Ground Wires to bring the Ground from the Main Box out to any Load that would need to be Grounded, OR you could add another Ground Rod, at the Load, if you want. AGAIN, The Neutral and Ground Systems, are ONLY tied together at ONE POINT, in the System, and that is at the Distribution Breaker Box, and only at that one point, Period.....
  3. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    Inverters have different designs so some of this depends on what inverter you are using.

    In general, there is a ground lug on the inverter you can connect to any good earth ground. Also, only grid-tie inverters can be directly connected to solar panels. All others are connected to batteries, which in turn are charged by the solar.

    Since you are off grid, it's clear this will not be a grid-tie system. Many charge controllers want the negative side of the battery grounded too.

    Lastly, many (most) inverters are not designed to connect to a breaker box/load center. If you are going to plug directly into the AC outlet on the inverter, then this should not concern you. However, if you plan on hardwiring your own AC outlets to the inverter, make sure your inverter can accommodate this, and of course include the proper breakers and/or fuses.

    As always, follow the instructions that came with your equipment.
  4. Jake,

    Please tell us more details on the system. I assume that you're using a 230 V at 50 Hertz inverter, but we'll need to know what loads you're going to have on the it before we talk about grounding. If you're using any big motors (like a well pump), or fluorescent lights, that changes things.

    William Warren
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