Author Topic: Stand Alone Solar System in 20' shipping container - Arc Fault/ Rapid Shutdown??  (Read 1217 times)

ligwyd

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Hello there,

Anyone know why Schneider does not make their Charge Controllers Arc Fault Compliant? I believe Midnite Solar's charge controllers have Arc Fault Protection built in. Also, have you guys done any conversions to existing systems to incorporate Rapid Shutdown after a project has already been completed.............. (ya I know.... why am I working in reverse :)

Just had the first walk through with my Electrician who may be pulling the permit for my project and then eventual inspection once everything is good to go.

My system does have a MNPV6-Disco mounted on the shipping container. I would think this would suffice for PV "rapid shut down". Not sure yet if I need rapid shut down for the battery bank and generator? I would think so since the batteries and Generator can still send power to the home.

Not sure yet but think my best bet and most cost effective may be to remove my two Schneider MPPT 60-150's and install two Midnite MPPTS of the same to have the system Arc Fault compliant. Then may have to remove my Midnite Discos and install a combiner/ disco than can accommodate rapid shut down and then install further install rapid shutdown/ wiring components in all other appropriate places.

We'll see what the electrician comes up with after hes went over the solar section of the code book....

Wish there was an easier way to accomplish this but don't think there is. Living and learning (and paying for it) :)

Any words of wisdom appreciated.

bee88man

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Thought rapid-shutdown was for firemen to get safely onto a residintial roof with solar panels...your panels are on a container...no???

ligwyd

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Yes, the panels are mounted on an aluminum array on top of the shipping container. I am hoping the inspector will pass it without rapid shut down since the panels are not on a roof and the shipping container is stand alone about 100 feet or so from the home.
May be the same with the Arc Fault requirement. I'll know more soon and will post the outcome.
I still would like to know more about Arc Fault products that can be installed on completed systems. I am sure there is high quality solutions out there just that I am not aware of them yet. Any info from anyone is appreciated. I heard from another Forum of a device called "Fire Raptor" but have been unable to find it yet.
Although both rapid shut-down and arc fault equip has it place and is critical, in many applications, I am hoping that it is not necessary on my systems. We'll see......
Appreciate the feed back. :)

tecnodave

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Ligwyd,

I do not beleive that you need a rapid shutdown unless your array is on the roof of a dwelling. A container is not a dwelling unless you have done the engineering to certify that container as a dwelling, not even possible in most jurisdictions.  I have skirted the code by having my solar gear not on my dwelling but on an 40 foot shipping container. My building inspector is not happy with that but when I had my local Cal Fire inspectors review my systems, they were happy with it and squelched the building authorities.

My house "plugs in" to the solar system!    Very clearly in the National Electrical Code. " beyond the outlet is not part of the power system"......that has never been contested successfully.

Our (Santa Cruz County) building department is so far out of whack that they charged a local couple more than $70,000 in permit fees to upgrade a 70 year old existing building to a tiny studio apartment for the inlaws!  That was before the first turn of the shovel!

David
#1 Classic 150 12 x Sharp NE-170, 2S6P, 24volt L-16 Rolls-Surette S-530, MS4024 & Cotek ,  C-40 dirv.cont. for hot water
#2 Classic 150 12 x Sharp NE-170, 2S6P, 24 volt L-16 Interstate,Brutus Inv.
#3 Kid/WBjr 4/6 Sanyo 200 watt multilayer 4/6 P
#4 Kid/WBjr 4/6 Sanyo 200 watt multilayer 2S 2/3 P