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Thread: SPDs on the inverter output

  1. #1
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    SPDs on the inverter output

    How prevalent is the addition of type 2 SPDs to PV systems on the AC side? Most inverters come with some minimal SPD built in but it's not good for much, I've had them pop on occasion. But I don't see people adding additional SPDs, at least in California. I have seen damaged commercial systems where an SPD would probably have saved it from a utility surge.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pv_n00b View Post
    How prevalent is the addition of type 2 SPDs to PV systems on the AC side? Most inverters come with some minimal SPD built in but it's not good for much, I've had them pop on occasion. But I don't see people adding additional SPDs, at least in California. I have seen damaged commercial systems where an SPD would probably have saved it from a utility surge.
    Only one AHJ I deal with requires them - Austin Energy.

  3. #3
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    To SPD or not to SPD

    If you look at any map of lightning you will see that the western USA is a very low region, unlike the south. NFPA 780 discusses lightning protection. Bottom line is that you are playing the odds. Where lightning is prevalent, not installing SPD is foolish. Where lightning is uncommon, not installing SPD is a gamble. I have seen SPD installed where they may never be needed; which makes it seem like the designer is just padding the project. It never hurts to add SPD but when do you stop? No SPD will protect equipment from a direct strike. Again, it is all a gamble.
    e^(i pi) = -1

  4. #4
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    Planet macmikeman
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    Surge Protective Device.
    85deg. an Sunny today.

  5. #5
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    One solar developer we work puts one in each combiner panelboard. These are typically several MW systems. Another doesn't use them.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    One solar developer we work puts one in each combiner panelboard. These are typically several MW systems. Another doesn't use them.
    We use them where we have to by directive from the AHJ.

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