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Hi I am getting ready to install a victron multiplus ll however need to sort out my DB first . I am installing a 3 row surface mount over my existing DB.

row 1 would be high current .oven , geyser , garage and inverter supply ( Eskom )

row 2 circuits I would like to run through inverter (Solar) 

row 3 critical loads (Battery)

To those who have solar what circuit changes would you do if starting with a blank slate ?

And to @plonkster the master of victron , if feeding back to grid is this done via AC In ? 

Cheers 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mstott said:

feeding back to grid is this done via AC In

Yes.

My board is also split into three. The bottom-most row has my heavy non-essential consumers that are directly on the grid. The middle row has almost nothing in it, it holds an extra neutral bar and an isolator/overcurrent for the inverter input. My top row has the essential circuits on the inverter output.

There is no need for the middle "solar" distinction. You install an energy meter (the CT that comes with the MP-II) right after the main switch so that the inverter is aware of the high consumers and all loads that are not essential. It will then feed back via AC-1 to cancel out these loads.

See the ESS webinar if you have't done so yet. It is on youtube.

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7 hours ago, plonkster said:

See the ESS webinar if you have't done so yet. It is on youtube.

Thanks this was very helpful. 

7 hours ago, plonkster said:

board is also split into three. The bottom-most row has my heavy non-essential consumers that are directly on the grid. The middle row has almost nothing in it, it holds an extra neutral bar and an isolator/overcurrent for the inverter input. My top row has the essential circuits on the inverter output.

Did you use 2 earth leakage units ? One for row 3 and another on row 1 ?

7 hours ago, plonkster said:

There is no need for the middle "solar" distinction. You install an energy meter (the CT that comes with the MP-II) right after the main switch so that the inverter is aware of the high consumers and all loads that are not essential.

My Inverter will be roughly 7m from my DB , would I be able to run the CT this far ?.

 

 

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If I could start from scratch, I would have a separate BD for the solar DC equipment, another one for the solar AC equipment and possibly another for the mains / non-solar equipment. I would also run extra conduit from the roof for the PV cables as well as some conduit to where the battery bank would be located, thus concealing all wiring behind the brickwork. 

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If I could do it all from scratch, I like the three-row DB idea.

row 1 - high current, non-critical loads on Eskom permanently: stove/oven , geyser , inverter supply, home aircon - yes

row 2  - critical loads with automatic changeover to battery backup, (island inverter or hybrid) - for security, fridges, microwave, tankwater pump, communications, entertainment, lighting, fish tank, etc.

row 3 - convenience loads on Eskom with a manual change-over to the back-up circuit (pool pump, laundry, dishwasher, etc.), and timers to run off solar in the daytime, but that don't have to cycle a battery more than needed.

 

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8 hours ago, Mstott said:

Did you use 2 earth leakage units ? One for row 3 and another on row 1 ?

You need at least two. You must have an RCD (aka earth leakage) on the output of the inverter, and of course you already have one for your non-essential loads.

I actually have three, but that was because I had a problem with nuisance tripping (since resolved) and I split the loads up a bit so a problem in one area does not trip everything.

Now that RCDs have become rather cheap, there really is no reason not to split things up a bit.

1 hour ago, Youda said:

My advice is - always use a much bigger distribution board than you need now. Once you will start playing with the solar, the equipment is going to pile up :D

I agree with that too. Even if you never use the space, working in a cramped space just sucks.

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4 hours ago, plonkster said:

I agree with that too. Even if you never use the space, working in a cramped space just sucks.

20190307_172510.thumb.jpg.cc090c934b0b714dfeb28839b9b8b581.jpg

I will have 16 x 3 to use 

4 hours ago, plonkster said:

Now that RCDs have become rather cheap, there really is no reason not to split things up a bit.

I plan on a manual change over switch , isolator and RCD per row . (Not sure if changeover switch in the center "off" position is acceptable as isolator ?)

I will also have geyser and pool on contactors controlled by a 4 channel sonoff switch allowing me to control when they run . I hope to get solar "output" signal from the multiplus or venus is there any way to do this ?

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13 minutes ago, Mstott said:

 

I will have 16 x 3 to use 

I plan on a manual change over switch , isolator and RCD per row . (Not sure if changeover switch in the center "off" position is acceptable as isolator ?)

 

Hi,

I don’t have room for 16x3, which would have been great, but I did this, for my "essentials" only.

 

68E76A66-FB56-4CB7-B9C4-4E2D7747E5AE.thumb.jpeg.8ed4cd2102924f2b0bfaa9d8192575db.jpeg

 

You can see grid input with indicator, inverter output with indicator, changeover and red.

Bottom left is the dedicated Cct and lights, right side is the plugs, all behind a 16a breaker to try to stop a plug overload from tripping the dedicated cct.

 

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10 minutes ago, Elbow said:

Bottom left is the dedicated Cct and lights, right side is the plugs, all behind a 16a breaker to try to stop a plug overload from tripping the dedicated cct.

Looks great !  I have ordered the same Schneider mcb's , thanks for reminding me about indicators 

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13 hours ago, Mstott said:

isolator and RCD per row

Me and TTT had some fun with nuisance tripping. TTT traced his to a bad TN bond on his house. Mine was more difficult, the surge arrestors/emi filters in my appliances causes transients during changeover and trips my RCD. So I had to spend rather a lot of money on a good RCD for the inverter output (but I'm sure it was less than having a sparky run around for a whole day trying to fix it!). So what I'm saying really is try not to buy the cheapest one you can find (usually around R250-R300), get some decent quality. Schneider seems good, I don't know it that well, but it seems on par with Gewiss or Hager. If I had the money though I'd redo everything with only ABB. Man they make good stuff (but you pay for it...).

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33 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Me and TTT had some fun with nuisance tripping. TTT traced his to a bad TN bond on his house. Mine was more difficult, the surge

Yes I read the post and found it to be very interesting ! Thanks for the advice I will look at ABB as well 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...

It looks good. Just one thing, I don't think you're allowed to go "upwards" through the RCD. You're supposed to go around to the top. I've always seen it done that way. I did note that some ABB breakers an be combined in such a manner that if you put them side by side you can attach the right busbars to them and avoid this loop-around.

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34 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Just one thing, I don't think you're allowed to go "upwards"

Quite correct I just confirmed on the RCD . Change over switches are hard to find these days ! I have been looking to no avail. 

What is the use case for Ac 2 out ?

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2 hours ago, Mstott said:

What is the use case for Ac 2 out ?

The main reason for its existence is somewhat historical. This is where you put loads that don't need backup, but while the grid is up they can still benefit from some of the Multi's smart features. There is a current sensor on the input of the Multi, so whatever you connect to AC-out-2 is also measured by the Multi, and thus ESS can compensate for those loads without requiring an external current sensor. In certain installations, Boats, Yachts, Caravans, RVs, The Multi can use PowerAssist* for loads on both AC-out 1 and 2, but when the grid goes down, AC-out-2 goes down with it. In the earlier Multis there was also a built-in switch, so you could programatically switch off AC-Out-2 using a relay assistant, but in the Multiplus-II AC-out-2 is essentially connected to the AC-input... but on the other side of the current sensor.

* PowerAssist is a feature where you set the AC input limit, and then the Multi will take whatever shortage you may have from the batteries. So if your fancy Yacht is moored somewhere with a weak shore connection, then you can still run your air conditioners 🙂

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3 hours ago, Mstott said:

I am a little worried that when back feeding the feed is on the wrong side of the RCD ?

Well... that was why I said " I don't think" you're allowed to do it that way (bottom up) because logically it should not matter: It is AC. Polarity is not important,  it will work and be safe if you wire it the wrong way round. It seems to be more of a convention and a least-surprises thing. So you don't have to worry about this.

1 hour ago, Mstott said:

Can I use this in place of the CT ? As I need to run cable about 15M from DB to multi .

Yes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 minutes ago, plonkster said:

BTW @Mstott, you tried contacting me on facebook (yes, I am that guy 🙂 ) and I was kinda busy and forgot to get back to you. Sorry bout that 🙂

This is good to know 😂 I will be getting my Solar MD battery soon . And belive you have helped integrate with Victron ?

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