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  • Panel tie options

    IMG_5416.JPGIMG_2393 2.JPG
    Looking to do a system in the 4.8-5.2 kWh range in Solano county CA. My main panel is an old 100A and from looking around it appears my options are to do a line side tap or a meter collar. Worst comes to worst I could go smaller and back feed the sub-panel. Is one better than the other ? Should I not even mess with the Zinsco main because of their bad reputation ? There is a pretty good price difference.
    http://connectder.com/wp-content/upl...R-cutsheet.pdf
    https://www.civicsolar.com/support/i...upply-side-tap


  • #2
    Please make sure your AHJ and POCO are in agreement to a line side tap as well as to which one to use.

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    • #3
      You should be able to put a 3800 W inverter on the sub-panel (20 A breaker), and depending on your roof orientation, go up to 5000 W of panels without incurring much clipping. Whatever clipping you do see will almost certainly be costing you less than the more expensive options you have to install a larger inverter via line side tap or meter collar.
      CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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      • #4
        The system I was looking at has enphase inverters. My roof is south facing with no obstructions and a low pitch so it gets lots of sun.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jmargo View Post
          The system I was looking at has enphase inverters. My roof is south facing with no obstructions and a low pitch so it gets lots of sun.
          Side bar question: With no obstructions and one orientation, why the micros ?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jmargo View Post
            The system I was looking at has enphase inverters. My roof is south facing with no obstructions and a low pitch so it gets lots of sun.
            That doesn't change my suggestion. A single 20 A circuit of enphase micros is 16 M250's or 14 S280's. With the M250's, you could target something around a 300-310 W panel to get to about 5000 W, while the 280's could go higher power with fewer panels, if you can match voltage specs. If you are mid-latitude USA, the low pitch probably helps cut down on clipping... best angle of incidence will be in summer when heat suppresses peak production. A steeper angle would have better angle of incidence in spring, when cooler temps are already pushing higher peak values.
            CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

              Side bar question: With no obstructions and one orientation, why the micros ?
              Looking at ease of install and adding additional panels if I decide to replace the main panel. Looks like PG&E is not fond of meter collars yet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sensij View Post

                That doesn't change my suggestion. A single 20 A circuit of enphase micros is 16 M250's or 14 S280's. With the M250's, you could target something around a 300-310 W panel to get to about 5000 W, while the 280's could go higher power with fewer panels, if you can match voltage specs. If you are mid-latitude USA, the low pitch probably helps cut down on clipping... best angle of incidence will be in summer when heat suppresses peak production. A steeper angle would have better angle of incidence in spring, when cooler temps are already pushing higher peak values.
                Thanks for the explanation. I'm looking at these also.

                APsystems YC500i microinvertors.

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                • #9
                  Decided against trying to deal with that old main panel and will backfeed my sub. Going with 18 Axitec 270 panel with preinstalled solar-edge optimizers and a solar-edge 3800 W inverter. Now I need to figure out if its OK to put the inverter in the garage next to the sub and if a disconnect is still needed.

                  Thanks again for the replies. I'm sure I will have more questions once equipment starts to arrive.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jmargo View Post
                    Decided against trying to deal with that old main panel and will backfeed my sub. Going with 18 Axitec 270 panel with preinstalled solar-edge optimizers and a solar-edge 3800 W inverter. Now I need to figure out if its OK to put the inverter in the garage next to the sub and if a disconnect is still needed.

                    Thanks again for the replies. I'm sure I will have more questions once equipment starts to arrive.
                    Probably a better choice than micros anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jmargo View Post
                      Decided against trying to deal with that old main panel and will backfeed my sub. Going with 18 Axitec 270 panel with preinstalled solar-edge optimizers and a solar-edge 3800 W inverter. Now I need to figure out if its OK to put the inverter in the garage next to the sub and if a disconnect is still needed.

                      Thanks again for the replies. I'm sure I will have more questions once equipment starts to arrive.
                      18x270 = 4,860 W Isn't this a little too much for 3800W inverter (+27% over)?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by max2k View Post

                        18x270 = 4,860 W Isn't this a little too much for 3800W inverter (+27% over)?
                        Nah that should be fine. SMA and fronius have info on it try googleing SMA and or fronius oversizing inverters.

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                        • #13
                          I'm getting the new SolarEdge HD wave inverter which allows up to 155% DC/AC oversizing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jmargo View Post
                            I'm getting the new SolarEdge HD wave inverter which allows up to 155% DC/AC oversizing.
                            In terms of warranty. In terms of converting DC->AC it will be limited to the same 3,800W which may be just what you want, just checking. Panels never produce 100% STC power and if orientation/weather pattern is less than ideal they will never come to even 90% of that so in that case meeting warranty limit is just what is needed.

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