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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: K8RI <>
Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2012 17:31:09 -0400
List-post: <">>
On 10/9/2012 12:04 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
On 10/9/2012 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,

This sounds like they are treating it as just another circuit and appliance ground. If it ties into the panel then it has to be treated that way according to code. I don't think this is the best of safest way to treat this much metal stuck up in the air, but as an opinion, I don't think codes have kept up with solar panels and external power sources.

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.)
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.

My question now is:  How many feet away from the house foundation
should this rod be installed?

First, don't stop with one rod. More is better.  As to spacing -- we
would like the rod to see moist earth, which reduces the impedance to
earth, so we want it exposed to rainfall, but we don't want to make the
downlead any longer than necessary, so it's a compromise.

I agree with Jim, that you also need a ground for lightning protection.


Roger (K8RI)

73, Jim K9YC

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