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Thread: 690.12(C) initiation device

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    690.12(C) initiation device

    Got a question about the location of the initiation device, specifically for one and two family dwellings. Code requires it to be located outside in readily accessible location.
    Most of the PV systems i see are utility interactive and shut down when the utility power is disconnected.
    So if the service panel and inverter are both located inside the garage, does there need to be an external rapid shut down initiation device? Let's assume no 3rd power source (generator, batteries, energy storage, etc)

    I'm trying to think as a first responder. If they pull the meter or turn main breaker off (which is already located inside the dwelling) then rapid shutdown is initiated. So why the external switch?

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    edit)

    I can see the external switch for stand alone systems or systems with another power source that keeps the PV system energized after disconnecting the utility service.

    Hopefully someone can explain this to me. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asian195 View Post
    Got a question about the location of the initiation device, specifically for one and two family dwellings. Code requires it to be located outside in readily accessible location.
    Most of the PV systems i see are utility interactive and shut down when the utility power is disconnected.
    So if the service panel and inverter are both located inside the garage, does there need to be an external rapid shut down initiation device? Let's assume no 3rd power source (generator, batteries, energy storage, etc)

    I'm trying to think as a first responder. If they pull the meter or turn main breaker off (which is already located inside the dwelling) then rapid shutdown is initiated. So why the external switch?

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
    It depends on the inverter(s). Microinverters and string inverters with optimizers are inherently rapid shutdown compliant, so you don't need a separate switch. Some string inverters provide a DC signal line that tells a rapid shutdown device when the grid is down or when the PV AC disco is opened so that it can shut down the array. You don't need a separate switch for those systems, either. With the rest, a separate rapid shutdown switch is necessary and it must be at or near the service entrance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    It depends on the inverter(s). Microinverters and string inverters with optimizers are inherently rapid shutdown compliant, so you don't need a separate switch. Some string inverters provide a DC signal line that tells a rapid shutdown device when the grid is down or when the PV AC disco is opened so that it can shut down the array. You don't need a separate switch for those systems, either. With the rest, a separate rapid shutdown switch is necessary and it must be at or near the service entrance.
    I think his real question was...

    Quote Originally Posted by asian195 View Post
    ...if the service panel and inverter are both located inside the garage, does there need to be an external rapid shut down initiation device? ...
    ...and under the 2017 NEC, the answer would be yes. (I'm not looking forward to this change from the 2014 NEC.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    I think his real question was...



    ...and under the 2017 NEC, the answer would be yes. (I'm not looking forward to this change from the 2014 NEC.)
    That's how read the 2017 NEC code also. It reads pretty specific. But it just doesn't seem logical to me. (In the situation i mentioned above). I get that sometimes the NEC has to write a blanket statement that will cover all possible installs, so I'm wondering if that's the situation with this code article.

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    The initiator does need to be out the outside, and lots of people making the code assumed that making loss of service an initiator also made it accessible on the outside at the service entrance. Assumptions.

    Here's my take, many of the people writing section 690 of the NEC are working in California where residential service disconnects are, almost always, on the outside of the house. Tell someone in California that service equipment is often inside of a house in other parts of the country and it blows their mind.
    Last edited by pv_n00b; 07-02-18 at 07:22 PM.

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    Yes, 95% of residential service disconnects are inside the dwelling here in the Northeast.

    2014 NEC did not specify where the RSD had to be located and some ended up in terrible locations...

    2017 added outside and readily accessible...

    2020 proposes to add located on the "exterior" and remove "outside" and exterior to the building that the PV system is attached...

    2020 should of added that initiating device(s) shall be "grouped"

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    But if its micro inverters or optimizes doesn't the PV disco for utility operation count as the initiation device? I mean you kill grid voltage and bam system is under 60 vdc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by solar.stevepvip View Post
    But if its micro inverters or optimizes doesn't the PV disco for utility operation count as the initiation device? I mean you kill grid voltage and bam system is under 60 vdc...
    Yes, if there's a utility disco. Not all utilities require one.

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    Wow I didnt even consider not requiring a diso. Everywhere I've installed in kansas and missouri always requires one and some require it to be within 10 feet of the meter.

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