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Re: [TowerTalk] Urgent: Should solar panel array be grounded to station

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Urgent: Should solar panel array be grounded to station ground and/or house ground?
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2012 09:32:18 -0700
List-post: <">>
On 10/9/12 8:34 AM, John W wrote:

Hi Chas,

The current plan is this:

They are going to run a #8 ground stranded wire down from the rail
system, following the same route as the electric wires, attaching it
to the ground bar inside the load center subpanel up in the attic,
then continuing from there down through the conduit to the ground bar
inside the outside safety disconnect box, which will be installed a
few feet above ground, and then continuing from there and attaching
to the ground bar of the main house panel where the electrical
connections are also being made.  Then relying on the ground from the
main house panel out to a ground rod or two.  (Not sure what the
builder has installed, it was 1998 and I wasn't here, but I'm going
to email him and see if he remembers.)

House built in 1998... You probably have a concrete encased grounding electrode (aka Ufer ground). It depends on where you are, and I can't remember when the code changed, but these days, you can't use a rod as your sole grounding means. And, a Ufer ground is so easy and works so well, there's no good reason not to do it. They just lay 20 feet of wire in the slab when pouring it, or stub up a piece of the rebar above the slab surface.

In addition to the above, for lightning protection, I am also having
them run a #6 stranded ground wire from the roof rail system straight
down the side of the house to a 5/8" 8' ground rod which I am about
to go and drive into the ground. That rod will eventually get tied to
my perimeter ground as well, once I install it and the towers.

That rod needs to be tied to the "house ground" with a uninterrupted AWG6 or larger conductor to meet code.


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