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Cr4zySmurf

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Hi,

I am currently having a solar system installed and would appreciate any feedback as some things don't sit right with me.

Some things I've noted:

1. I think there should be isolator switches between the inverter and solar panels?
2. I wanted the fuse box with the export meter to be installed in attic next to inverter with the rest of the equipment but was told it wasn't possible due to 3m distance requirement and that's why it's outside next to grid connection to house. The Inverter is on the same wall/side of the house and directly above the outdoor meter boxes. Is this right or could it have all been installed in attic?
3. I wouldn't think running the solar input cables behind the inverter is acceptable?

I'd like to know if these installers have done a professional job?

Thanks.
 

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binky

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they would have had to fit a switch fuse by the meter box if you had the mini board in the attic, so not a lot of point in installing the board in the attic. Is that the generation meter in the board?

That unit may have a built in DC switch on the bottom, I'm not familiar with that unit, so don't know if it has or not.

Other than that it looks tidy enough.
 

Cr4zySmurf

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er box if you had the min
they would have had to fit a switch fuse by the meter box if you had the mini board in the attic, so not a lot of point in installing the board in the attic. Is that the generation meter in the board?

That unit may have a built in DC switch on the bottom, I'm not familiar with that unit, so don't know if it has or not.

Other than that it looks tidy enough.
I think the generation meter is in the small white box to right of outdoor meter box, little LCD display to the left of brown and blue switches.

The inverter does have a built in DC switch, the manufacturer stated that the additional ones are not absolutely required and would be more to improve safety.

Manufacturer also stated that the cables shouldn't run behind the inverter in contact with the heat sink as it could wear down the cable insulation over time.
 

binky

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if it has a built in DC swutch there is no need for another isolator for the DC side, although I like to fit one as it is easier for fault diagnosis should you ever have a problem.

For a system whereby you can claim SEG I'm not convinced the din rail mounted meter is ofgem compliant for claiming any payments, but then, to get those the energy suppliers like Octopuss tend to insist on fitting a smart meter which will monitor grid export.

Cables behind the heat sink doesn't sound like a good idea to me if they are loose and able to touch the heat sink. The cable is rated for higher temperatures than regular cables as it gets pretty damn hot under solar panels in summer. So I suspect it's not much of an issue, but why chance it at all. My own inverter can get upto 70C internally on a hot day, the heat sink will be a lower temperature as it is designed to utilise convection current cooling and will create it's own 'draft' . However, attics can get very hot unless the panels completely shade the roof, which will raise the temperature of the inverter and convected air which I suspect will reduce lifespan longer term.
 
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My 2p worth.
I've never liked the idea of built in DC isolators as you end up with a situation like this. Where it is not a 'requirement' for external DC isolators. The most likely failure point on any running PV system (assuming the connections in the system are done right) is the inverter. You WILL have to change it at some point to keep the system running a reasonable life span. If the only DC Isolator is built in to the inverter, you cannot simply isolate the DC to swap the inverter. I have always fitted DC isolators regardless.

Running the cables behind the inverter, to me, just seems lazy and again. wouldn't do it.
I agree with the cu not being > 3m away from supply, that's a rule from the DNO with the allowable length of tails.

Obviously, if the meter is in the loft, you have to get up there to read it as it doesn't look a type that can be read remotely.

One last point is the fact that they have installed different manufacturer MCB's on a new install.

Oh, and wonder if the joints on that conduit has been glued? if not, with it being top entry, it could well let water in.
 

binky

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Oh, and wonder if the joints on that conduit has been glued? if not, with it being top entry, it could well let water in.
I once repaired a system mounted on a shed in the middle of Dartmoor where the inverter and isolators were on the external wall. They had used indoor flexible conduit straight into the top of the DC isolator. Needless to say, the half inch of water inside the isolator wasn't doing it any good 🤣.

They had also drilled holes through reclaimed slated to fit hangar bolts, and had done so much damage we ended up completely reroofing the entire shed.

Worst lash-up of a job I've ever seen.
 

BorisJ

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Cr4zySmurf

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It was installed this last week, the installation is incomplete and they need to come back, hence my questions, so I can then ask them to put anything right that needs to be.
 

Cr4zySmurf

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did they install that small fuseboard as part of the installation ?

have they provided certificates and if you’re in England or Wales part p stuff ?
Yes they did install that fuseboard as part of installation.

I haven't seen any certificates as of yet. I'm in Wales.

The installation isn't completed yet, 3 more panels to be installed (they ran out of roof mount rails for the panels).

I guess they will give me all the documentation upon completion and after commissioning.

Do you know what documentation I should expect?

Also do you know if they will be able to test the panels to ensure they are not damaged during installation? Voltage test or something?
 

Cr4zySmurf

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I wanted them to install all the breakers and export meter using the spare 4 redundant places in my main consumer unit in the house but they said they couldn't do it. Would have been neat.
 

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My regs books are nearly 700 miles away so I can’t give you a regs number but I recommend you politely ask them to confirm they will be changing the MCB on their next visit ….

And also ask them about certification too

You haven’t paid the balance have you?
 

Cr4zySmurf

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My regs books are nearly 700 miles away so I can’t give you a regs number but I recommend you politely ask them to confirm they will be changing the MCB on their next visit ….

And also ask them about certification too

You haven’t paid the balance have you?

The MCB is the one in the picture below right? What is the reason for them needing to change it?

No I haven't paid the balance yet. Still going to be a few weeks, waiting for a battery.
 

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Sorry I don't understand fully, do you mean that it's a different make to the Main Consumer Unit and they should be the same make to comply with a regulation?

your new small fuseboard / consumer unit is made by BG. The 1st MCB is made by Live - so a different make. This only applies to your new board
 

Cr4zySmurf

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your new small fuseboard / consumer unit is made by BG. The 1st MCB is made by Live - so a different make. This only applies to your new board
Right! I got you, thanks for clarifying that for me. I'll let them know to sort that out, I would have thought they would know this.
 

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