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Beginner Working on a Self Install

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  • #16
    Originally posted by peakbagger View Post
    A hint when using uni strut to attach the panels to the PV panel frames. Order some black HDPE .060 thick sheeting from McMaster Carr. Use a utility knife to cut out squares slightly larger then the interface between the unistrut flanges and PV frame. Drill a hole in the center of the square slightly larger than the bolt then cut a slot out to the edge. Make up a pile of them based on the number of connections. Now bolt the panels to the frame but leave the bolts loose until you get everything lined up and square. Now slide the square plastic washers between the frame and unistrut. The bolt hole centers the square in place. Now snug up the bolts. Lot easier and longer lasting then paint. I tried making them without the slot but it adds another degree of freedom in making the initial bolt connection, its a heck of lot easier to add after the fact.The black HDPE is much more UV resistant than the white.
    I just grabbed a spare roll of linoleum, drilled holes and sheared it into 2" squares. Its doing fine after 4 years
    here, between treated wood and 6061 aluminum. The hardware is all 18-8 stainless; steel will only be
    removable by breaking after a short time. Bruce Roe

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    • #17
      Nice looking setup. Just wondering how much do you have in the mounting frame so far?

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      • #18
        "Can I install a secondary router/device to act as a "wireless bridge" in my garage, and run cat5/6 out from that device? I'm sure the WiFi signal in my garage is strong enough."

        Absolutely you can put a low cost wireless device in the garage and put it into bridge mode and run the CAT from that to your system. Heck over 90' you don't even need to run CAT, just put one of those in your garage and another at the system (in a PVC box big enough to give it some airflow) and it will work fine. Or just run the cat and have one of those cheepo sub $20 gigabit 5 port switches at the ground mount (in some sort of protective box). Lots of ways to do this to keep the cost down. Main thing is to do a code compliant box at the ground mount to give you the 120V that is safe from shocking anyone and that won't short out in a heavy rain and kill the comms on the multigates $$$.

        If you want to go overboard it could look something like this (about $140 just for the NEMA 4x box plus the stuff in it)

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/149650...3/36245425043/

        Nice looking framework!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by wienerdog View Post
          Nice looking setup. Just wondering how much do you have in the mounting frame so far?
          Thanks! All in, I figure I have right around $900 in the pergola. Include another $300 for the unistrut and hardware. My total bill of materials is just about $5,400, including all panels, micros, cabling, conduit, wire, etc. I'm hoping to come in right around $1/watt (5.76 kW), before the tax credit.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

            Cat level and shielding have little to do with it. It is a timing issue for gigabit Ethernet. Twisted pair gigE is not able to handle greater distance due to timing factors in the low level protocol. Ne level of shielding is going to help that, but 10 Mbs will handle longer distances easily. I have done it with crappy telephone dry pairs.
            Also hub would be a bad choice, you need a switch.
            Been working in IT for nearly 20 years. I once did an experiment with a 1000ft cat6 spool. We were staging some IT equipment for a presentation. I did a crossover between a switch and a notebook and it worked perfectly fine at 1G. I didnt do any benchmarking but it most certainly was able to relay data without much trouble. I was able to transfer large video files at about 30MB/s so I was getting something like 240 Kb/s which might have been the limit for the hard disk at the time. Not bad for near 1000ft. Distance guidelines are just that. I am not sure it would work in a heavily wired server room (I never tried), but at a home... it probably wont be an issue, not that he needs 1G for inverter communication.

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            • #21
              I got my unistrut and micros all installed. I'm going to pull my wire this evening....I hope everything with the pull goes fine. I'll be pulling 4 - #8 XHHW's through 1-1/4" sch. 40. It's about a 100' pull with an elbow on each end. IMG_20170911_184327022.jpg

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              • #22
                Originally posted by brant2000 View Post
                I got my unistrut and micros all installed. I'm going to pull my wire this evening....I hope everything with the pull goes fine. I'll be pulling 4 - #8 XHHW's through 1-1/4" sch. 40. It's about a 100' pull with an elbow on each end.
                if it presents any problem try to use wire pull wax- worked wonders for me pulling 4x #10 THWN-2 through 3/4" EMT over about half of your distance.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by max2k View Post
                  if it presents any problem try to use wire pull wax
                  I'd say just buy a quart of wire lube ($8) and just use it.

                  And of course make sure you have a good connection to your pull string. It would suck to have to pull your wires back because your pull string disconnected from your wires as you were coming up the last elbow.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by foo1bar View Post

                    I'd say just buy a quart of wire lube ($8) and just use it.

                    And of course make sure you have a good connection to your pull string.
                    Yep, that's exactly what I did and didn't have any issues with the pull. The only challenge was keeping the wires from becoming a rat's nest, as I wasn't pulling them all directly from a spool. I'm not sure if this is what others have done, but rather than purchasing multiple spools, I just purchased one large spool and had already measured out and marked individual lengths. It was a little bit of a pain, but certainly saved me lots on wire, especially considering it will probably be a long time until I find another need for #8 wire.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by brant2000 View Post
                      I got my unistrut and micros all installed. I'm going to pull my wire this
                      evening....I hope everything with the pull goes fine. I'll be pulling 4 - #8 XHHW's through 1-1/4" sch.
                      40. It's about a 100' pull with an elbow on each end.
                      The pull here was 230 feet. The 2 elbows were not put on until the wires were pulled in place, which
                      made the pull much easier. Bruce Roe

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bcroe View Post

                        The pull here was 230 feet. The 2 elbows were not put on until the wires were pulled in place, which
                        made the pull much easier. Bruce Roe
                        everything is on industrial scale at your place The wires were probably 2/0 as well

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                          The 2 elbows were not put on until the wires were pulled in place, which made the pull much easier.
                          That is not compliant with 300.18(A)

                          "raceways, other than busways, or exposed raceways having hinged covers, shall be installed as a complete run between outlet, junction, or splicing points prior to the installation of conductors."

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by foo1bar View Post

                            That is not compliant with 300.18(A)

                            "raceways, other than busways, or exposed raceways having hinged covers, shall be installed as a complete run between outlet, junction, or splicing points prior to the installation of conductors."
                            well, if its threaded raceway I'd understand the point to avoid twisting wires in already pulled section otherwise PVC elbow can be pulled over wire and glued in place without jeopardizing quality. You won't be able to tell how it was done after the fact.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by max2k View Post
                              well, if its threaded raceway I'd understand the point to avoid twisting wires in already pulled section otherwise PVC elbow can be pulled over wire and glued in place without jeopardizing quality. You won't be able to tell how it was done after the fact.
                              You won't be compliant with NEC 300.18A

                              Whether you can get away with it is a completely different question.

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                              • #30
                                I pulled 980' of #6 x3 aluminum when I did my runs. About 6 quarts of elephant snot (cable lube) and 4 pull stations, each manned, and did it in one pass. Used the tractor to hold a bank of pulleys up high, to feed the spools down into the conduit. I used the nylon webbing pull tape
                                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                                || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                                || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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