Roof Top Inverter Racking

TheElectrician

Senior Member
Hey Guys,

I am installing Solectria 14TL inverter on the roof and from the installation manual it seems that I can mount the inverter only vertically at 90 degrees or at 75 degree tilt (see attached). The problem is there is no wall on the roof to mount this vertically and I cannot find a inverter racking manufacturer that does this type of racking (except I found one who needs significantly long lead time to custom make it). Do you guys have any suggestions on how to proceed with this challenge? leads to any inverter racking will also be much appreciated. In house fabrication is the last back-up option. Thanks
 

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ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
Hey Guys,

I am installing Solectria 14TL inverter on the roof and from the installation manual it seems that I can mount the inverter only vertically at 90 degrees or at 75 degree tilt (see attached). The problem is there is no wall on the roof to mount this vertically and I cannot find a inverter racking manufacturer that does this type of racking (except I found one who needs significantly long lead time to custom make it). Do you guys have any suggestions on how to proceed with this challenge? leads to any inverter racking will also be much appreciated. In house fabrication is the last back-up option. Thanks
Build a rack out of unistrut and affix it to the roof.
 

TheElectrician

Senior Member
Hmm I have mounted dozens of solectria TL inverters at about 30 degrees off horizontal - they were bigger than 14's, maybe the spec is different for the larger ones? Seems odd.
Yes, we mostly use Solectria 50TLs and 60TLs, and they do have a different installation specs - they can be installed at an angle like to mentioned and even flat. But the 14Tls and 20Tls are not allowed to do that, which is crazy
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Is there some issue with the inverters and water getting inside if it's tilted back too far, mounted upside down or lying flat?
That is a possibility. It also has to do with the cooling methods. The inverter is built to depend upon natural convection to assist the fans in moving heat away from the unit, and if you lay it flat or close to flat, one cannot take credit for this. In any case, it wasn't designed/tested outside of the orientation the manual specifies.

This family of inverters was designed when most string inverters were intended to be wall-mounted, or mounted on a vertical framework. Few (if any) were built with laying the unit flat or near flat in mind. Prior to NEC2014, it was uncommon to do that, since the inverters didn't need to be close to the array to satisfy NEC2014 rapid shutdown.
 
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