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Crit my idea ... pull it to pieces, I can take it.

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@plonkster I found this in the manual:

AC-in
The AC input cable can be connected to the terminal block ‘AC–in’.
From left to right: ‘L’ (phase) ‘N’ (neutral) and ‘PE’ (earth).
This product can cause a d.c. current in the external protective earthing conductor. Where a residual current-operated protective (RCD) or monitoring (RCM) device is used for protection in a case of direct or indirect contact, only an RCD or RCM of Type B is allowed on the supply side of this product. The AC input must be protected by a fuse or magnetic circuit breaker rated at 50A or less, and cable cross-section must be sized accordingly. If the input AC supply is rated at a lower value, the fuse or magnetic circuit breaker should be down sized
accordingly.

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1 hour ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

 I found this in the manual:

Indeed. I had forgotten the details about the type, but I knew there was a thing about the RCD on the input. The solution is simple: Just use a 300mA RCD on the input side. And mount the equipment high enough that small kids cannot touch it.

I've spent most of the afternoon debugging this issue. Also bought an earth leakage tester.

So:

1. I stops tripping if I unplug all the plugs on the affected circuits. Lights are on the RCD but present no problem.

2. The Hager CD264J trips between 15mA and 20mA.

3. Then I worked my way through the house and plugged things back in. It seems happy with some loads and unhappy with others.

4. Then I found this. That gave me an idea, so I rigged up a little tester that I could put in line, using my DMM to measure the AC current.

5. Many appliances have a leakage of around 0.1mA. The largest ones were a television that leaked 0.5mA and the transformer for the alarm system that leaked a niev 0.7mA.

6. I had an old multi-plug in the main bedroom that had a surge-arrestor plug. 1mA leakage on this one alone.

7. Around 0.5mA on an airconditioner in the one room as well.

41766684_10156473178615619_8324712956948381696_o.thumb.jpg.4b17efdce783f045ff2c3bc49d8b07bb.jpg

41922911_10156473202760619_6831740783935094784_o.thumb.jpg.eb92aba4603bad4683ee0b2414b13a38.jpg

All in it adds up to maybe 3.5mA. But this is while the neutral is bonded. I think it is higher for that short period while it switches when the neutral is not bonded.

So it mostly confirms my theory.

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9 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Just use a 300mA RCD on the input side.

@plonkster just be careful , i just want to look at the legal side of this, If i am not mistaken a 30mA is max allowed for a residential application. 100-300mA is used for industrial applications. 

I havnt seen a COC document in some time, But am convinced they only allow up to 30mA as an acceptable test value. 

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1 hour ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

30mA is max allowed for a residential application

I know :-) Hence the 300mA on the input side and then ANOTHER 30mA on the output side before it goes anywhere. I'm told 300mA is allowed on the input side because it's only to protect the equipment itself. The sockets and stuff on the "residential" side still has a 30mA in line. Which is where my issue lies.

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35 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I'm told 300mA is allowed on the input side because it's only to protect the equipment itself.

Thanks, good to know. I guess it makes sense. So you will have three. One 30mA for the non essential circuits, One 300mA for the inverter and one 30mA again for the inverter output circuits? 

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13 minutes ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

So you will have three. One 30mA for the non essential circuits, One 300mA for the inverter and one 30mA again for the inverter output circuits? 

Correct. And this last 30mA one needs to be a bit less touchy. It looks as if I'm on the limit, so simply going up a level (type-A) ought to do it.

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I can sent you this one to test, If you have space for it in your DB . :D

2 weeks ago I went to have a look at a new clients house and when I opened the db I found this..

  1.  Test button
  2. Reset button
  3. Earth Leakage unit.. 

1919469102_El_LI(2).thumb.jpg.f41806fb568f077f9d7e5b3c011689e5.jpg

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5 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

can you get these parts, and the next level one Plonkster is looking at, closer to cost prices via connections and all that

Ill be glad to help where I can. No harm in comparing.. seems like the issue might be sorted soon..  

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16 minutes ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

So what is in there now? Type?

There's a type-AC in there now.

Type-AC is the low end cheapest run of the mill one. One up from that (dating to the 1990s) there is type A, which has some resistance against DC components created by some kinds of electronic loads. Then there is type B which has even more resistance and can also reliably trip on a DC current, and then there is type F which is a better type B, can handle frequency drives... but costs significantly more... I'm talking 7k+!

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11 hours ago, plonkster said:

There's a type-AC in there now.

Type-AC is the low end cheapest run of the mill one. One up from that (dating to the 1990s) there is type A, which has some resistance against DC components created by some kinds of electronic loads. Then there is type B which has even more resistance and can also reliably trip on a DC current, and then there is type F which is a better type B, can handle frequency drives... but costs significantly more... I'm talking 7k+!

My only concern for you is the following. And this is what I've been taught about RCD's..

 Type AC = Ensures Effective Detection and  tripping for AC related faults only. 

Type A = Ensures Effective Detection and tripping for AC plus some Pulsating DC  faults

Type F = Ensures Effective Detection and tripping for AC plus some Pulsating DC plus High Frequency residual currents. 

Type B = Ensures Effective Detection and tripping for AC plus some Pulsating DC plus High Frequency plus Smooth DC residual current. 

The baseline protection of all these types remains AC related faults. If Type AC trips in your current setup, it means it is picking up enough AC related fault current to Trip. Type AC is the Oldest and cheapest because it offers the least protection and normally causes RCD blinding and are known NOT to protect against the other faults. 

rrr.PNG.251e89be19bb061b56c58573a95f3d9d.PNG

As a matter of fact, If the Type AC that should be immune to any other problem does trip, the Type  A, F and B should also trip because the baseline protection remains the same. 

All other more expensive Types offer more sensitivity and protection against more complex types of leakages and ensures effective trips at these conditions. (The more protection, the higher the Cost)

I am worried that you might buy another more expensive RCD, that is in fact more sensitive to the component you think is tripping the Type AC.. 

Did you test with new Type AC? Sometimes a RCD just looses it tripping Value, and just simply needs replacement. 

 

EDIT: Looking at what an Inverter does and how it is installed and what electrical dangers it poses, and looking at SANS, I cant even understand why they (Whoever they might be)  requires an RCD on the input. There is no plug on the input circuit. 

 

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7 hours ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

Did you test with new Type AC? Sometimes a RCD just looses it tripping Value, and just simply needs replacement. 

Indeed! In my adventures so far I bought a Samite breaker along the way (by accident) and managed to exchange it for a new DIN-rail RCD of the same type. That is I own two Hager CD264J RCDs, one is two years old and the other is brand new. And they act identically.

7 hours ago, Jaco de Jongh said:

I am worried that you might buy another more expensive RCD, that is in fact more sensitive to the component you think is tripping the Type AC.. 

I'm worried about that too. Which is why I am doing my homework properly. The idea isn't just to go for a type-A (even though that might work, because it tends to allow some DC overlap), but a type-A where something was done to reduce nuisance tripping (which is my real problem).

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11 minutes ago, plonkster said:

a type-A where something was done to reduce nuisance tripping

In more detail, an average RCD trips on a leakage current between 0.5IΔN abd 1.0IΔN (or 15mA to 30mA for a 30mA breaker). Tests with the Hager CD264J agrees: it trips somewhere between 15mA and 20mA.

A high immunity model might only start to trip at 0.8IΔN. So within the letter of the 30mA law.

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YES!!! All connected ... but no CoC yet as I first want to "feel" how it is going to work. The fan, IF it runs ... I need to see where this is going to take me. Thank goodness I refrained the offers to neaten the system!

This 1330w array, is making a huge difference already.

Batteries being used ... jinneeee!!!

image.png.0b30e08fa0d07ecf2041a723c9cd4ebb.png

 

Batteries not used ... 

image.png.0d4a66eb859a11b935bb9c431c4fd9a5.png

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Right, all that I could sell, actually more like "pass on", is now sold. From the Phoenix 1600 to the 375va one and the Interlock with a BMV600 inside.

Next step, once me and ESS have had a meeting of minds, is to get another +-1000w of panels, then totaling +-2330w on the MG, via 3 controllers, as the panels are just not matching.

Then I'm done. Hybrid with ESS looking after the batteries.

This is the DB board now, with the Carlo installed, after the main breaker, feeding two homes.

  • Wires on the right side goes into the roof / DSTV cables / lights.
  • Black wire is the 10mm2 to the MG.
  • White cable in the 20mm2 tube is the AC-out1 from the MG.
  • Switch over is for the lights, Eskom one side, MG other side.
  • Carlo is sending data via a UTP cable, vicinity of the black cable.
     

image.png.035d11f939b7638c418675a7b785dc7f.png

 

On the shelf below is the approved "extension" lead plug going to select circuits in the house, feed for lights. Rest is plugged directly on the MG.
Note: The stuff hanging there ... my wife trying to tell me to keep the cupboard tidy, so she put that pole there to hang the nuts and screws from. I like her nogal. ;-)

image.png.5d9c602359876ce5a565d6a97c8a21cb.png

 

Seem there is some serious testing required on DB board with a solar inverter in the picture. Hope all those test pass. 
After that is done, I can only get the CoC IF the MG and external dedicated load DB board is mounted as per "r e g u l a t i o n s" ... gmpf, bleh, whateva! Works perfectly standing on me desk with DB board lying over there somewhere with MPPT's still on the burglar bars. :P  Ja ok!!! I'll mount it all ... then post photo's @Chris Hobson 

Still the matter with Brad Harrison connectors. They are used in cars, around petrol, and to pull them apart quick under load, is safe. Sparkies will learn this.

Then it is CoC for the panels ... and I KNOW there is going to be an matter of wires and this thing called replacement. As the new regs demand new regulation cables.
So thinking is, get more panels, do it all in one go. Patience TTT ... patience, first check data ... ag twak man!!! You want more panels!!! Do it!

Then once all is done, last thing is the engineering papers, with both CoC's in hand before he arrives.

Edited by Guest

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46 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

This is the DB board now, with the Carlo installed, after the main breaker, feeding two homes.

Hate to 'dis on you mean, but all that Surfix flapping in the breeze makes me uneasy. It's not unsafe per se but it is a little sloppy.

And get rid of those red-light-district surge arrestors. They have a neon lamp between live and earth and easily create 1mA of standing loss for no reason than to light a nice red indicator light.

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2 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Hate to 'dis on you mean, but all that Surfix flapping in the breeze makes me uneasy. It's not unsafe per se but it is a little sloppy.

If on the top DB: There is just no easy way to make it all neater, unless we re-do it all from scratch. Drama starts in the roof, the hole was too small AND there is a roof beam there. So I wiggled them in. Did not want another hole in the ceiling.

On the lower shelf: Ja ja ... getting there. Still not 100% sure if I'm keeping some of them circuits or not. So either it gets tidied, or pulled out.

For now I just close the door. It is all perfectly safe.

 

2 minutes ago, plonkster said:

And get rid of those red-light-district surge arrestors.

HEY!!! I like my porn lights! With Chris'es blue ones, we can make some money!!!

No seriously, one time too may of: AG my F#(*$K ... :D
So they have one purpose and one purpose only... to warn ME that the plugs are live seeing as those plugs are fed from the MG when the power is off.

One on each socket see. Maybe I must put both on the outlets ... as they are staying.

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12 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

top DB

Just put some trunking around the sides. If you can't drill for whatever reason, use No More Nails (good grief that stuff is tough). It's high enough up that trunking should be fine.

12 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

warn ME

There's nothing wrong with it. I just had one exactly like it and discovered it has quite a large leakage to earth. Those lamps inside are neon lamps, so they don't need much current to light up, but I still consider a 1mA standing leakage to earth to be unacceptable. So I ripped mine out. Afterwards I found one of the lamps were burned in any case, only two of the three was still working.

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1 hour ago, plonkster said:

... , use No More Nails (good grief that stuff is tough). It's high enough up that trunking should be fine.

... 1mA standing leakage to earth to be unacceptable. 

I forgot about no more nails. Done.

1mA = I had my first AC-out1 DB board trip this morning as I had to switch MG off to install new fuse on battery bank. I think this is going a very good justification to replace the plugs?

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1 hour ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

1mA = I had my first AC-out1 DB board trip this morning as I had to switch MG off to install new fuse on battery bank. I think this is going a very good justification to replace the plugs?

So you have the same problem as I do then. My type-A RCD will be delivered today or tomorrow, but I am only back in the country next week to see if that solves it.

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I made myself a little test unit with a plug and socket, where I can put my DMM into the earth line, then plug it in between the wall and various appliances. The largest culprits in my house are the gate opener (0.7mA), the garage door opener (0.5mA), and the transformer of the alarm system (another 0.7mA). My old telefunken LED TV has an 0.5mA leak too, the new Samsung has none of that. And then there was that surge arrestor plug with a full milliamp. But the issue with my test is 1) the DMM is not true RMS, so that's an average value and it assumes the waveform is sinusoidal, and 2) it tests normal standing loss and not what it might be with an unbonded earth, as is the case for a short while while the Multi is switching.

What I would love to do, if I had the equipment, is put a CT around the combined live/neutral wires (so I only see the difference), then stick a storage scope on it and let it trip the power, then look at the energy "under the graph" as they say. And then form a hypothesis. But I don't have a storage scope. A cheap storage scope is however less expensive than some type-B RCDs :-)

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