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Thread: solar and generators

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Cottonwood, CA
    Posts
    73

    solar and generators

    I will be upgrading a electrical service from 100 amps to 200 amps. I typically install a mechanical interlock from the main breaker to a 2 pole backup generator breaker in the main service panel and install a outlet for a portable back up generator. This is the first time there are solar panels installed. Is there a way to do this with only one panel or will I have to put in a sub panel for the generator? I am not a solar guy...the solar is tapped off the load side of the main 100 amp breaker then going to a 30 amp fused disconnect switch so my thought was just put the feed for the solar to a 30 amp breaker and install labels. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    4,192
    You need some way to ensure that the solar and the generator are not operating at the same time while connected to each other.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Cherry Valley NY, Seattle, WA
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    4,306
    Quote Originally Posted by uwireme View Post
    I will be upgrading a electrical service from 100 amps to 200 amps. I typically install a mechanical interlock from the main breaker to a 2 pole backup generator breaker in the main service panel and install a outlet for a portable back up generator. This is the first time there are solar panels installed. Is there a way to do this with only one panel or will I have to put in a sub panel for the generator? I am not a solar guy...the solar is tapped off the load side of the main 100 amp breaker then going to a 30 amp fused disconnect switch so my thought was just put the feed for the solar to a 30 amp breaker and install labels. What do you think?
    If you are redoing the electrical service anyway, it would be easy to change to a line side connection. Just install a wireway or box after the meter and tap of to a fused disconnect for the PV. Another way to do it is use a 320 socket then you get your 2nd set of lugs for the PV. Obviously check utility requirements and get their approval. I have to say that I have a hard time believing that a cheap consumer generator wont be nearly instantly rejected by the inverter, but obviously as pro's we cant assume that.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX, USA
    Posts
    9,421
    Quote Originally Posted by uwireme View Post
    I will be upgrading a electrical service from 100 amps to 200 amps. I typically install a mechanical interlock from the main breaker to a 2 pole backup generator breaker in the main service panel and install a outlet for a portable back up generator. This is the first time there are solar panels installed. Is there a way to do this with only one panel or will I have to put in a sub panel for the generator? I am not a solar guy...the solar is tapped off the load side of the main 100 amp breaker then going to a 30 amp fused disconnect switch so my thought was just put the feed for the solar to a 30 amp breaker and install labels. What do you think?
    Move the solar to a supply side interconnection on the grid side of the ATS and do what you normally do with the generator.

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