Solar PV Code Compliance Reference

Solar PV Code Compliance Reference

5 Pages · 2014 · 106 KB ·

between 2005, 2008 and 2011 NEC. c. References in brackets [ ] are to the 2005 and 2008 NEC and other relevant documents. Standards website:

Solar PV Code Compliance Reference free download

1 PV ARRAYS • PV modules listed to UL Standard 1703 [1103] {6904(D)} a Mechanical Attachment • Modules attached to the mounting structure according to the manufacturer’s instructions [11 0 3 ( B ) ] • Roof penetrations secure and weather tight b Grounding • Each module grounded using the appropriate hardware, the grounding point identified on the module and the manufacturer’s instructions – Note: Bolting the module to a “grounded” structure usually will not meet NEC requirements [1103(B)] Array PV mounting racks are usually not identified as equipmentgrounding conductors (Note 69043(C) and (D) in 2011 have additional provisions and allowances for grounding with mounting structure) • Properly sized equipmentgrounding conductors routed with the circuit conductors [69045] Note differences between 2005, 2008 and 2011 NEC c Conductors • Conductor type If exposed: USE2, UF (usually inadequate at 60°C), or SE, 90°C, wetrated and sunlight resistant [69030(B)] {2008 NEC restricts exposed single conductor wiring to USE2 and listed PV/ Photovoltaic wire/cable} – If in conduit: RHW2, THWN2, or XHHW2 90°C, wet rated conductors are required [31015] • Conductor insulation rated at 90°C [UL – 1703] to allow for operation at 70°C+ near modules and in conduit exposed to sunlight (add 1720°C to ambient temperature – 2005 NEC) {see Table 31015(B)(2) in the 2008 NEC} 2011/2008/2005 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE SOLAR PV CODE COMPLIANCE REFERENCE This Reference provides a ver y comprehensive list of aspects of a solar PV installation that could be reviewed, clarifying what the codes do and do not require In practice, inspectors or reviewers can use their discretion to focus on key areas for which issues are more likely to occur or which issues have the highest consequences Users should note the following: 1 This Reference is an outline of the general requirements found in the 2005, 2008, 2011 National Electrical Codes (NEC) — Ar ticle 690 for Photovoltaic (PV ) Power Systems installations This Reference is only a guide and applies to components used or installed in a PV system (aside from those inside a listed, factor yassembled component) As of February 2014, Connecticut abides by the 2011 NEC; other years are provided as reference 2 The local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) or inspector or reviewer has the final say on what is or is not acceptable, within the context of the Connecticut state building codes This list should be used in conjunction with Ar ticle 690 and other applicable ar ticles of the NEC and includes inspection requirements for both stand alone PV systems (with and without batteries) and utilityinteractive PV systems Where Ar ticle 690 differs from other ar ticles of the NEC, Ar ticle 690 takes precedence 3 References in brackets [ ] are to the 2005 and 2008 NEC and other relevant documents Changes related to 2008 NEC requirements are noted in {brackets} 2011 differences are in (parenthesis) 4 Access to the 2011 NEC is provided online, for free, by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): http://wwwnfpaorg/codesandstandards/documentinformationpages?mode=code&code=70 This reference was created by John Wiles, modified only slightly To access the original reference along with other information about solar PV codes and standards, see the Southwest Technology Development Institute, New Mexico State University, Codes & Standards website: http://wwwnmsuedu/~tdi/Photovoltaics/CodesStds/CSResourceshtml PAGE 1 OF 5 V e r s i o n 5 1 2 0 14 PAGE 2 OF 5 SOLAR PV CODE COMPLIANCE REFERENCE Continued • Temperaturederated ampacity calculations based on 156% of shor tcircuit current (lsc), and the derated ampacity greater than 156% lsc rating of overcurrent device [6908,9] – Note: Suggest temperature derating fac tors of 65°C in installations where the backs of the module receive cooling air (6” or more from sur face) and 75°C where no cool ing air can get to the backs of the modules Ambient temperatures in excess of 40°C may require different derating factors (2011 NEC 6908 substantially updates am pacity calculations to parallel calculations in other sections of the NEC) • Por table power cords allowed only for tracker connections [69031 (C), 4003,7,8] • Strain reliefs/cable clamps or conduit used on all cables and cords [3004,40010] • Listed for the application and the environment? Fine stranded, flexible conductor cables properly terminated with terminals listed for such conductors (69 031(E )) • Cables and flexible conduits installed and properly marked (69031(E)) • Exposed conductors in readily accessible areas in a raceway if over 30 volts {69031(A)} – Note: Raceways cannot be installed on modules Make conductors not readily accessible 2 OVERCURRENT PROTECTION • Overcurrent devices in the dc circuits listed for dc operation – if device not marked dc, verify dc listing with manufacturer Auto, marine and telecom devices are not acceptable • Rated at 125 x 125 = 156 times shor tcircuit current from modules [UL – 17093, 6908, module instructions] – Note: Both 125% factors are now in the NEC, but a duplicate 125% remains in the module instructions and should be removed i n 2 0 11 Supplementar y listed devices are allowed in PV source circuits only, but branchcircuit rated devices preferred [6909(C)] • Each module or series string of modules have an overcurrent device protecting the module [UL1703/NEC 1103(B)] – Note: Frequently, installers ignore this requirement marked on the back of the modules Listed combiner PV combiner boxes meeting this requirement are available One or two strings of modules do not require overcurrent devices, but three strings or more in parallel will usually require an overcurrent device The module maximum series fuse must be at least 156 lsc • Located in a position in the circuit to protect the module conductors from backfed currents from parallel module circuits or from the charge controller or batter y [6909(A) FPN] • Smallest conductor used to wire modules protected – sources of overcurrent are parallelconnected modules, batteries, and ac backfeed through inver ters [6909(A)] • Useraccessible fuses in “touchsafe” holders or capable of being changed without touching live contacts [69016] Strengthened for 2011 to include distance between overcurrent device and disconnect • Fuses must be able to be deenergized for ser vice per NEC 69016(B) V e r s i o n 5 1 2 0 14 PAGE 3 OF 5 SOLAR PV CODE COMPLIANCE REFERENCE Continued 3 ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS • Pressure terminals tightened to the recommended torque specification • Crimpon terminals listed and installed with listed crimping tools by the same manufacturer [1103(B)] • Twiston wire connectors listed for the environment (eg dr y, damp, wet or direct burial) and installed per the manufacturer’s instructions • Pressure lugs or other terminals listed for the environment (eg inside, outside, wet, direct burial) • Power distribution blocks listed and not just UL recognized • Terminals containing more than one conductor listed for multiple conductors • Connectors or terminals using flexible, finestranded conductors listed for use with such conductors? {69031(F), 69074} • Locking (toolrequired) on readily accessible PV conductors operating over 30 volts {69033 (C)} 4 CHARGE CONTROLLERS • Charge controller listed to UL Standard 1741 [1103] {6904(D)} • Exposed energized terminals not readily accessible • Diversion controller has an independent backup control method [69072(B)(1)] 5 DISCONNECTS • Disconnects listed for dc operation in dc circuits Automotive, marine and telecom devices are not acceptable • PV disconnect readily accessible and located at first point of penetration of PV conductors • PV conductors outside structure until reaching first readily accessible disconnect unless in a metallic raceway [69014, 69031(F)] • Disconnects for all currentcarr ying conductors of PV source [69013] • Disconnects for equipment [69017] • Grounded conductors not fused or switched – Bolted disconnects OK – Note: Listed PV Centers by Xamtrex, Outback, and others for 12, 24 and 48volt systems contain charge controllers, disconnects and overcurrent penetration for entire dc system with possible exception of source circuit or module protective fuses 6 INVERTERS (Standalone systems) • Inver ter listed to UL Standard 1741 [1103] {6904(D)} – Note: Inver ters listed to telecommunica tions or other standards do not meet NEC requirements • DC input currents calculated for cable and fuse requirements Input current = rated ac output in watts divided by lowest batter y voltage divided by inver ter efficiency at that power level [6908(B)(4)] • Cables to batteries sized 125% of calculated inver ter input currents [6908(A)] • Overcurrent/Disconnects mounted near batteries and external to PV load centers if cables are longer than 45 feet to batteries or inverter • High interrupt, listed, dcrated fuses or circuit breakers used in batter circuits AIR/AIC at least 20,000 amps [69071(C), 1109] • No multiwire branch circuits where single 120volt inver ters connected to 120/240volt load centers [100Branch Circuit, Multiwire], [ 6 9 0 1 0 ( C ) ] V e r s i o n 5 1 2 0 14 PAGE 4 OF 5 SOLAR PV CODE COMPLIANCE REFERENCE Continued 7 BATTERIES • None are listed • Buildingwire type cables used [Chapter 3] – Note: Welding, cables, marine, locomotive (DLO) and auto batter y cables don’t meet NEC Flexible, listed RHW or THW cables are available Ar ticle 400 flexible cables larger than 2/0 AWG are OK for batter cell connections, but not in conduit or through walls [69074, 4008] Flexible, fine stranded cables require ver y limited specially listed terminals See standalone inver ters for ampacity calculations • Access limited [69071 (B)] • Installed in wellvented areas (garages, basements, outbuildings, and not living areas) – Note: Manifolds, power venting and single exterior vents to the outside are not required and should be avoided • Cables to inver ters, dc load centers and/or charge controllers in conduit • Conduit enters the batter y enclosure below the tops of the batteries [3004] – Note: There are no listed batter y boxes Lockable heavyduty plastic polyethylene tool boxes are usually acceptable 8 INVERTERS (Utilityinteractive Systems) • Inver ter listed to UL Standard 1741 and identified for use in interactive photovoltaic power systems [6904(D), 69060] – Note: Inver ters listed to telecommunications and other standards do not meet NEC requirements • Back up charge controller to regulate the batteries when the grid fails [69072(B)(1)] • Connected to dedicated branch circuit with backfed overcurrent protection [69064] • Listed dc and ac disconnects and overcurrent protection [69015, 17] • Total rating of overcurrent devices supplying power to ac load center (main breaker plus backfed PV breaker) less than loadcenter rating (120% of rating in residences) [69064(B) (2)] The 2008 NEC allows the 120% breaker total on commercial installations if the PV breaker is at the opposite end of the busbar from the main utility breaker 9 GROUNDING • Only one bonding conductor (grounded conductor to ground) for dc circuits and one bonding conductor for ac circuits (neutral to ground) for system grounding [250] – Note: The dc bonds will generally be located inside inver ters as par t of the groundfault protection devices ON standalone systems, the dc bonding jumper may be in separate ground fault detection and interruption device or may be built into the charge controller • AC and dc grounding electrode conductors connected properly They may be connected to the same grounding electrode system (ground rod) Separate electrodes, if used, must be bonded together [69041,47] – Note: The 2008 NEC in 69047 allows a combined dc grounding electrode conductor and an ac equipmentgrounding conductor, but the conditions and requirements are numerous {69047} (2011 NEC clarified and combines 2005 and 2008 69047(C) requirements) • Equipment grounding conductors properly sized (even on ungrounded, lowvoltage systems) [69043] • Disconnects and overcurrent in both of the ungrounded conductors in each circuit on 12 volt, ungrounded systems or on ungrounded systems at any voltage [24020(A)], [69041] • Bonding/grounding fittings used with metal conduits when dc system

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