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How to Connect Solar Inverter to Distribution Board?
How To Connect Solar Inverter To Distribution Board? Whether you are installing solar panels at home or in an office, understanding how to connect your inverter to the distribution board is critical. This includes taking proper safety precautions, preparing the wires, performing load separation, and connecting to the inverter.
Your inverter will convert your direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) energy that can power your appliances and electronics. It will also allow you to feed electricity into the city’s power grid.
Preparing the Wires:
The process of connecting a solar inverter to a distribution board can be dangerous, and you should be familiar with your equipment and take the necessary safety precautions. Before starting, ensure that the circuit breakers and disconnect switches are off to prevent accidental shocks. You should also work in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating during the installation.
Start by determining the type of connection you need to make between the solar panel and the battery bank. Depending on your situation, you may want to use a series or parallel connection. A series connection is preferred as it maximizes the amount of power the inverter can deliver. Parallel connections are also possible, but they can be inefficient since a shaded or covered panel will affect the entire string.
Once you have decided on the type of connection, you should prepare the wires by stripping and crimping the appropriate connectors onto them. Use a good quality solar cable that is rated for voltage and length. The higher the rating, the more current the wire can carry. If the cables will run a long distance, consider using a thicker cable like Temco to increase safety and reduce heat.
Once the wires are prepared, you can connect them to the battery bank. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the charge controller and battery. After the connections are completed, double-check them to make sure that there is no polarity mismatch. You should also test the system by checking the breakers’ tripping behavior.
A solar inverter converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC). The inverter can be connected to a distribution board or fuse box.
Before connecting the inverter to the DB board, make sure it is rated for the voltage and amperage that will be used. This will prevent damage to the inverter and the DB board.
It is recommended to wire the inverter on the supply or line side of the DB board. This will ensure that the inverter’s maximum output is not exceeded, which can lead to inverter clipping and reduce energy production.
In addition, the inverter should be connected to the battery storage. Depending on the type of inverter, this could be done either in series or parallel. A series connection is preferred because it increases the amount of power the inverter can produce.
A parallel connection, on the other hand, increases the total current of the solar panel strings but not the overall voltage. This is an excellent option if you are planning to connect several panels together, but your home’s power consumption is not as high. It will help you save money on your electric bill. Moreover, it will also allow you to stay connected to the grid and take advantage of net metering, which moves your meter backward and credits you for any excess solar power you contribute to the grid.
Connecting the Inverter:
While solar power can minimize, but not eliminate, the need for connection with the grid, you may want to maintain a connection in case of power outages. This can be achieved by connecting the inverter to a distribution board.
Before beginning the process of connecting the inverter to a DB, make sure that it is switched off and disconnected from any other DC source. It is also important to check the capacity of the DB, as it should be able to handle the maximum expected amperage. If it is not, consider installing an additional breaker or upgrading the existing one.
Once the DB is ready, you can connect the three wires in the inverter—neutral, phase, and earth—to the respective MCBs of the main double-pole switch lighting circuit. Ensure that the wiring size is adequate according to the recommended specifications of the inverter.
Remember to always wear insulating gloves when handling electrical wires. It is also a good idea to work with a fire extinguisher in case of an electrical fire outbreak. Also, avoid exposing open wires to water or other liquids. This will reduce the risk of fire and short circuits, which can be fatal to human beings and pets. Moreover, it is advisable to consult with a professional if you are not familiar with the procedure of connecting an inverter to a DB.
Grounding the Inverter:
Whether you have an off-grid inverter or a standard solar panel with micro-inverters. It is very important to properly ground the inverter. This will prevent damage from lightning strikes and keep the overall system safe. Without a proper ground, the inverter can be severely damaged or even destroyed.
It is best to follow the inverter’s wiring diagram for proper connections. It is also recommended to use a grounding wire that connects to the enclosure metal grounding terminal. This wire should then run back to the battery negative terminal. Some inverters suggest running the 12-volt negative directly to the chassis. But this is not a good idea for many reasons (see Roadpilot and RoyB’s feedback on this). NEC requires derived power sources to have an equipment grounding conductor run to structural steel.
Another option for the grounding. Is to use a metal rod driven into the dirt or a ring of copper wire buried in the earth. This allows excess electricity to dissipate and not cause damage to appliances or the inverter itself. This negative pole feature can also help you get paid when selling back power to the grid.
Finally, a PV service disconnect switch should be connected to the output AC neutral on the inverter. This will allow you to quickly and easily disconnect your solar system from the city power grid. Some inverters come with this switch. However, it is an inexpensive item that can be purchased at most electrical supply stores.