Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Road to Solar, Chapter 3

Well, the wind is howling outside today, and the windchill is close to -30C.  It's a good time to think about camping, right?

Anyway, yesterday I received my first package of items for our solar project.  Exciting stuff!

It doesn't look like much, does it?  But it's all important as this is all safety equipment.  So let's tour around the photo...

In the upper left is a 300 amp T-type fuse and it's block.  This massive fuse is a fast-blow type that will be on the positive line between the batteries and inverter.  It's physically big to take the massive current from the four batteries and to hook up the (likely) 2/0 welding cable I'll be using on that line.  The posts are 3/8" on the block.

Upper right is a 175 amp ANL fuse.  It's a little smaller and will be located on the positive line between the panels and the charge controller.  There is less current and smaller lines here, and not as much need for fast-blow capability.  The posts on this block are 5/16".

On the lower left is a 50 amp resettable circuit breaker.  This will go on the positive line between the charge controller and the batteries.  The posts on here are 1/4".

Lastly, on the lower right is a battery switch.  In this case it will actually be used between the solar panels and the charge controller to shut off power if I need to service something in the system.

All of these items are Blue Sea Systems products and I purchased them from Marine Outfitters of Kingston, ON.  They have an awesome electrical section on their website with almost any product one needs for something like this.

I don't need much more for hardware.   I have a power distribution block on the way from Mouser Electronics to combine the wires from the panels.  I may yet need to get a power distribution post for all the positive connections to meet in the circuit.  Of course, I'll also need a bunch of cable and wire.  I'll sort that out when I get all the big items and can lay them out to plan lengths.

So, it's starting to come together!

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