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My new installation: Inverter + Hubble + (Solar in future)


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(Also posted on MyBroadband, but discussion is a bit slow)

I'm about to start down the rabbit hole...

My initial setup will be to beat loadshedding, but with the aim to include solar generation in the future.

I already have an inverter which I bought last year on an impulse. It's a Soltra GTB3000 3KW Plus, which appears to be an Infinity Solar 3K+ rebrand/clone. Not much information available for this unit, but it seemed decent for the R6k I paid for it, so will see.
With some searching I managed to find the user manual and software. It's still boxed, but I did test it briefly plugged into a wall outlet and was able to connect using the SolarPower software and the supplied USB cable.

I also ordered a Hubble AM-2 battery.

The plan is to install a new DB for essential load and move all lights and plug circuits over to it, except for: Aircon, Geyser, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryer, Dish Washer, Microwave, Ovens and Swimming Pool DB.
All the lights in my house are already LED.

I want to do most of the install myself and then have it checked and CoC'd by an electrician.
I had two electricians over to quote, but they didn't inspire much confidence and were rather expensive, I thought.

I do have a few questions and will also appreciate some comments, hence this thread.

This is what I plan to build (may not be perfectly to scale):

image.thumb.png.6f17567f1f0eccfe0d7fd3659ddd0c97.png
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It will work but why not take the inverter bypass from before the earth leakage and then on your essential dB, you add the earth leakage after the changeover. Then each DB has its own earth leakage. I have also added a main switch in the essential DB. So after changeover, it goes to a main switch and then to earth leakage. Changeovers normally have a center off but most non knowledgeable people think that a breaker being down means off. This is just fir added convenience. 

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18 hours ago, Mier said:

Spent a bit more time on the installation today. I installed all the conduit links to the DBs.

image.png.6475ca91245e804f450701e96f00b700.png

image.thumb.png.826b5e84509c7f8d39dd23e63606a874.png

Nice 

 

I don’t see any surge protectors in those DBs though. Not sure if it’s mandatory but it’s definitely nice to have 

also remember that AC and DC lines should be kept totally isolated. Meaning separate trunking / conduits. 

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2 hours ago, Vassen said:

Nice 

 

I don’t see any surge protectors in those DBs though. Not sure if it’s mandatory but it’s definitely nice to have 

also remember that AC and DC lines should be kept totally isolated. Meaning separate trunking / conduits. 

Thanks.

There's a surge protector in the existing Non-Essential DB on the far right. I supposed I could easily add one to the Essential DB between the Main and Earth leakage, or should I rather add it in the Switch-over DB between the Inverter Breaker and the Change-over switch ?

Yes, trunking will be separate. I just couldn't install it yet because I only received delivery of the battery today and therefore couldn't measure the trunking length.

The DC Trunking will be below the AC trunking (the battery connectors are on the bottom right of the inverter.

On this point, is it allowed to cross the AC trunking? I was think of a closed trunking link:

image.thumb.png.b748e62c9f8ff1f1021562b23af9a4a6.png

Or maybe doing the same with sprague links for the DC running through the AC Trunking.

Surely this would be acceptable as it remains separate trunking with just a slight 'narrowing' of the AC trunking at that point.

 

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Not sure about crossing over like that. 
 

What I have noticed is the regulations are continuously evolving so what fine today, may not be in a year or 2. I have this weekend moved my battery because of the same reason, didn’t want to cross lines after installing my second inverter. I have opted to just use sprag and loop from the bottom trunking to the inverter. 

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Does the Soltra Inverter have the capability (programmable contact), when working in battery mode i.e. during off grid (e.g. load shedding), to trigger an output for an external relay to bond the neutral to earth?

If not, then the RCD (essential loads - earth fault) during off grid mode will be non- functional, which becomes an safety issue.

I browsed the manual quickly but could not find this function.

note: 1. include the external bonding relay to your circuit (Ess. DB) which interfaces to your inverter, if the function exists.

         2. I am assuming that you have included fuses within the battery disconnector circuit.

         3. I would also recommend surge arrestors within non essential DB to protect your equipment from utility switching surges or lightning strikes

       

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Alex Feldmann said:

Does the Soltra Inverter have the capability (programmable contact), when working in battery mode i.e. during off grid (e.g. load shedding), to trigger an output for an external relay to bond the neutral to earth?

If not, then the RCD (essential loads - earth fault) during off grid mode will be non- functional, which becomes an safety issue.

I browsed the manual quickly but could not find this function.

note: 1. include the external bonding relay to your circuit (Ess. DB) which interfaces to your inverter, if the function exists.

         2. I am assuming that you have included fuses within the battery disconnector circuit.

         3. I would also recommend surge arrestors within non essential DB to protect your equipment from utility switching surges or lightning strikes

       

 

 

 

On your points:

1) No it does not have such contacts. If this is required, I was thinking of using a Relay switch (activated by Grid, with the Normally Closed contacts connected to Inverter Earth and Neutral) - This way when Grid is present the Relay is open and Inverter Earth+Neutral is not bonded, when Grid is off, Inverter Earth+Neutral is bonded. This should accomplish the same, I think. I did want to test this first, because I thought it's also possible that the inverter does the bonding internally when required.

2) Yes, I bought a fused battery disconnector this morning. To be installed.

3) There already a surge protector in the Non-Essential DB. Still trying to determine if there is another one also needed for the Essential DB.

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21 minutes ago, Alex Feldmann said:

Does the Soltra Inverter have the capability (programmable contact), when working in battery mode i.e. during off grid (e.g. load shedding), to trigger an output for an external relay to bond the neutral to earth?

If not, then the RCD (essential loads - earth fault) during off grid mode will be non- functional, which becomes an safety issue.

I browsed the manual quickly but could not find this function.

note: 1. include the external bonding relay to your circuit (Ess. DB) which interfaces to your inverter, if the function exists.

         2. I am assuming that you have included fuses within the battery disconnector circuit.

         3. I would also recommend surge arrestors within non essential DB to protect your equipment from utility switching surges or lightning strikes

       

 

 

 

 

6 minutes ago, Mier said:

On your points:

1) No it does not have such contacts. If this is required, I was thinking of using a Relay switch (activated by Grid, with the Normally Closed contacts connected to Inverter Earth and Neutral) - This way when Grid is present the Relay is open and Inverter Earth+Neutral is not bonded, when Grid is off, Inverter Earth+Neutral is bonded. This should accomplish the same, I think. I did want to test this first, because I thought it's also possible that the inverter does the bonding internally when required.

2) Yes, I bought a fused battery disconnector this morning. To be installed.

3) There already a surge protector in the Non-Essential DB. Still trying to determine if there is another one also needed for the Essential DB.

I would only install within the non essential DB for this application.

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21 hours ago, Mier said:

Thanks.

There's a surge protector in the existing Non-Essential DB on the far right. I supposed I could easily add one to the Essential DB between the Main and Earth leakage, or should I rather add it in the Switch-over DB between the Inverter Breaker and the Change-over switch ?

Yes, trunking will be separate. I just couldn't install it yet because I only received delivery of the battery today and therefore couldn't measure the trunking length.

The DC Trunking will be below the AC trunking (the battery connectors are on the bottom right of the inverter.

On this point, is it allowed to cross the AC trunking? I was think of a closed trunking link:

image.thumb.png.b748e62c9f8ff1f1021562b23af9a4a6.png

Or maybe doing the same with sprague links for the DC running through the AC Trunking.

Surely this would be acceptable as it remains separate trunking with just a slight 'narrowing' of the AC trunking at that point.

 

 

I'm experimenting with an alternative bridge that will cross the DC trunking over the AC trunking:

image.thumb.png.5c9547c2ac32f3c12eb8451090fa9284.png

 

image.png.50a336230bba5eaaf345d53267eb83b5.png

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2 minutes ago, Brani said:

Be mindful that your DC cables are much thicker and you might struggle to bend them twice at 90 degrees in such short space.

That's why I call it an experiment for now 😄

The trunking is 80mm x 40mm, so hoping that will give me enough space. The longer end, stops against the wall, and the idea is to put glands  on the top surface which faces the inverter.

There's also the possibility of only attaching / fitting the bridge after the cable is in. (It will also be removable. The portion of the AC trunking lid below the bridge will be cut either side of the bridge and fixed to the bridge. That way it will be easy to remove and manipulate cable through)

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On 2021/04/06 at 3:22 PM, Tariq said:

Jaco De Jongh had once told me that it is ok to cross ac and dc wiring ( @Jaco De Jongh, please  correct me if I am wrong)

Correction, talked to Jaco, looks like I simplified it too much, you CANNOT cross AC and DC wires unless unless they are in separate trunking or sprague is what I meant to say

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More progress. Battery is connected and most of the switch-over DB and Essential DB wiring is done.

No wiring from Non-Essential DB (Grid feed to Inverter), nor any circuits moved from Non-Essential to Essential DB yet.

I did switch on the Inverter from the Battery and it seems to work fine. Also connected a laptop via USB to it and established SolarPower comms.

image.thumb.png.7bf057ceea7990abd745abab8b75dcc9.png

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