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Old 10-30-17, 10:10 PM   #1
oil pan 4
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Default My local coop solar policy

In a nut shell it's best case scenario.
They install you a cogeneration meter for no additional charge. I have complained about my current provider charging 20 to 30 more dollars per month for the netmeter.
The coop pays consumption rate of 7 cents per kwh, not generation of 1 or 2 cents per kwh.
When I asked about inverter types permitted, permits and inspections they looked at me like I was crazy. For example the regional city power provider here has a laundry list of approved inverters you can use, all of which are ABB (very expensive) and your stuff has to be all permitted and inspected and signed off on by an engineer. Almost like they don't want you to have solar panels.
They said they only have 2 other residential solar panel cogen meter users in all of the coop, but they want more.

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Old 10-31-17, 07:37 AM   #2
Fordguy64
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They want it to be engineered and signed off to make sure it’s done correctly. Don’t want to kill a lineman/woman because of your faulty backfeed system..
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Old 10-31-17, 08:10 AM   #3
oil pan 4
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Grid tie inverters dont back feed the power grid when the power is off. It's not like you need an engineer to custom build a back feed lock out system for you.
The only people back feeding the grid when the power goes out are the ones tieing in a generator or stand alone inverter, (not a grid tie only inverter) with out properly disconnecting from the power grid.
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Old 10-31-17, 12:18 PM   #4
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They use engineers so want you to use one too if we were in India or some place the hook ups would be less stringent but not dependable.

Its basically the cost of doing business a safety stamp if you will.
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Old 10-31-17, 07:29 PM   #5
where2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordguy64 View Post
They want it to be engineered and signed off to make sure it’s done correctly. Don’t want to kill a lineman/woman because of your faulty backfeed system..
Have to agree with OilPan there, there are plenty of UL1741 compliant intertie inverters available that are Not manufactured by ABB. (whoever is writing rules for the regional city power provider must be heavily invested in ABB stock) I designed my own PV systems. They're NEC compliant, and I didn't need to be a PE to make them legit, (except for the structural engineering).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecomodded View Post
They use engineers so want you to use one too. If we were in India or some place the hook ups would be less stringent but not dependable. Its basically the cost of doing business, a safety stamp if you will.
I had to draw electrical 3-line diagrams to get my state certification number for my PV system in FL. It doesn't take an electrical engineer with a PE license to draw 3-line diagrams. As long as you knew what you were doing designing the PV system (i.e. understand the NEC), the state's PE looked the drawings over and either approved them, or suggested any minor modifications necessary to gain system compliance. The state PE who reviewed my system for NEC compliance, asked me if I'd ever drawn one of these systems before? I told him: No, I'm professionally licensed in two states in an unrelated highly technical field. I draw stuff in AutoCAD all day long, so drawing a 3-line diagram wasn't particularly difficult. My basic design philosophy was: show everything in the design, leave nothing to guess about, and make the electrical diagrams so simplified my nephew (in high school) could follow them to wire the system up.

If you're wondering what sorts of "minor modifications" the reviewing PE might suggest, I'll use an example: Although my 12AWG portrait trunk cable should have been fine with 20A breakers (back feeding a 200A main panel), it was suggested I de-rate them to 15A breakers for my system since I was running 10 inverters per circuit, and the two 15A backfeeds breakers kept me under the 20% backfeed limit NEC places on your main panel (in my case, a 150A panel with one 15A circuit driven from it). The panel, rack and inverter grounding, the part that folks who deal with the NEC every day typically mess up, I did fine with on my 3-line diagrams. Mike Holt's write ups on panel and system grounding were helpful.

Would my PV system have been catastrophically flawed if I had used the two 20A breakers instead of two 15A breakers? The ten 220W panels attached to ten 215W micro-inverters will only put out so much power, unless the sun moves closer... The PV generation end was already a design limitation on the system backfeed capability into my main panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
In a nut shell it's best case scenario...
They said they only have 2 other residential solar panel cogen meter users in all of the coop, but they want more.
Maybe when your neighbors see your system, adoption will increase. I have friends and neighbors who would like to adopt PV, but right now, they're just paying the electric company the money that would be paying for their system...
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Old 11-04-17, 08:25 AM   #6
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Yes I have 200 amp service and main panel.

I have to do some rewiring. One of the out buildings I would put solar on has a 100 amp sub panel fed fed from a 60 amp tandem breaker with 6-2 wire from the main. The nuteral and ground are ran on the bare ground....
So I'm going to have to dig up all that wire and lay at least 6-3 uf-b. Or dig it up put it in conduit and run a seperate neutral wire.
It's easier just to do stuff right the first time.

This out building will likely be my first project. I don't think I can fit more than six 300ish watt panels on the south sloping roof.

Last edited by oil pan 4; 11-04-17 at 08:57 AM..
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Old 11-04-17, 11:07 AM   #7
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Maybe you can make a new grounding point closer to where you need it ?


Food for thought anyways
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Old 11-04-17, 10:56 PM   #8
oil pan 4
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There is still the problem of all current carrying wires have to have insulated even if they are the neutral.
Then electrical code wants all the grounds to go to one point.
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Old 01-06-18, 09:40 AM   #9
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In a nutshell, regulations are the problem with residential solar in the US: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gre...olar-in-the-us

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Old 01-06-18, 06:39 PM   #10
oil pan 4
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I got my first full months power bill.
$150
Need solar panels.

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