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Lightning strike


Chris Louw
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After a really tough heatwave we had good rain last night . Unfortunately there was also a bad lightning strike . Lost 3 inverters but the panels and rest of equipment is OK . Surge arresters dit not help much . The main system is up and running again . I have a 12/24 volt LandStar Controller witch was in a 24 volt system and a 12 volt inverter with a 200 watt panel . Can I connect the  200 watt panel and 12/24 v controller to a 12 volt battery bank to run alarm system until I get replacement inverter . Not sure of the panel specs 29.8 v  6.7 amp .

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19 hours ago, Chris Louw said:

Can I connect the  200 watt panel and 12/24 v controller to a 12 volt battery bank to run alarm system until I get replacement inverter . Not sure of the panel specs 29.8 v  6.7 amp .

I am doing this at home on a permanent basis and it works just fine. I have used a Diode on the positive wire of the alarm system to block the Alarm panel from also trying to charge the Batterys. In my case the alarm is connected directly to the 12 volt bank. 

 

19 hours ago, Chris Louw said:

I have a 12/24 volt LandStar Controller witch was in a 24 volt system and a 12 volt inverter with a 200 watt panel

Reading this, I guess you are planing to use the 12volt inverter. In that case , forget the part about the diode. 

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21 hours ago, Chris Louw said:

After a really tough heatwave we had good rain last night . Unfortunately there was also a bad lightning strike . Lost 3 inverters but the panels and rest of equipment is OK . Surge arresters dit not help much . The main system is up and running again . I have a 12/24 volt LandStar Controller witch was in a 24 volt system and a 12 volt inverter with a 200 watt panel . Can I connect the  200 watt panel and 12/24 v controller to a 12 volt battery bank to run alarm system until I get replacement inverter . Not sure of the panel specs 29.8 v  6.7 amp .

I think you can do it. Max PV voltage of that kind of controller use to be 50 V.

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My neighbour had a brand new solar system installed last week, 2 days later we had a bad lightning storm and blew his inverter.

I have started to switch off my pv circuite breakers during electrical storms......will this be enough if my panels are struck?

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Maybe, maybe not.

Lightning manages to jump 1000's of meters from the sky, the little gaps of air in your MCB may not stop it, but it wont matters worse.

The best way to try to avoid lightening is to give it a better target and get it directly into the ground in an alternative low impedance path.

Then hopefully surge protection will save the equipment from the nearby strike.

If lightning actually hits the panels, I think there will be extensive damage to many things.

 

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I find that most amateur PV array installers, and a frightening number of professionals, are completely unaware of the importance, for lightning protection, of:

Minimising the loop area of PV wiring.

See e.g. https://sunspec.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/PV-instBPV02.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281401561_Lightning_performance_study_for_photovoltaic_systems

Leap-frog wiring is often just considered as a way to save money on cable, but it is also excellent for reducing lightning damage to inverters.

https://solarprofessional.com/articles/design-installation/cost-saving-pv-source-circuit-wiring-method#.W_3mAuJoSXI

 

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On 2018/11/20 at 3:02 PM, Chris Louw said:

After a really tough heatwave we had good rain last night . Unfortunately there was also a bad lightning strike . Lost 3 inverters but the panels and rest of equipment is OK . Surge arresters dit not help much . The main system is up and running again . I have a 12/24 volt LandStar Controller witch was in a 24 volt system and a 12 volt inverter with a 200 watt panel . Can I connect the  200 watt panel and 12/24 v controller to a 12 volt battery bank to run alarm system until I get replacement inverter . Not sure of the panel specs 29.8 v  6.7 amp .

Chris which type of inverters are they ?

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