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Old 09-29-2011, 11:35 PM   #16
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


The problem is, everything has worked fine for years. I redid a lot of wiring last year and put in GFCI's and I've never had an electrical problem. The other day, I was using a circular saw with a cord that my bro had cut in half and didn't notice it had come loose and power went down. It was on a GFCI and didn't trip but my fuse on my batteries to the inverter blew and the 50 amp breaker. I replaced them and all was again fine, although I don't really know what happened. I had just gotten a new really cool digital meter with all the bells and whistles and a GFCI plug in tester. When I plugged the plug-in in, it showed hot/neutral reversal all over the place....which I said was nuts, so I started testing all of the plugs in my house and found that there was no more than normal voltage between neutral and ground meaning no reversal. That is when I tested the main panel and it had voltage neutral to ground, as does the sub panel. When I turned off the sub-panel, I still had the voltage neutral to ground in the main panel, but the inverter has none.....it is 1.5V exactly from neutral to ground...I'm lost!

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Old 09-30-2011, 01:55 AM   #17
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Your description of this system is still not making sense. I read the inverter manual, and I'm quite familiar with both off-grid and grid-tie solar power systems. Why do you have two panels if this is an off-grid system? The only mention of main/sub panels in the inverter manual is for grid-tie or generator synchronized installations. Exactly how are the two panels wired? Specifically, how does the inverter feed the first panel, and how does that panel feed the sub? I'm assuming that's how you have it set up, since it wouldn't make sense for the main panel to feed the utility input to the inverter like the manual describes, if there is no utility power. What loads are in each panel? Is there any neutral-ground bond anywhere?

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the inverter probably had an internal neutral-ground bond, and it burned when your saw shorted. Now the inverter output is floating. It's a total mystery why you're reading 120V from neutral to ground in some places and not others - that sounds like the result of multiple wiring errors, but there's no way to tell without a much better, more detailed description of your wiring. Or pictures. Pictures would be great.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:34 AM   #18
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


4024 Inverter

Your inverter has only two output connections AC Hot and AC Neutral and the output is protected by 60 amp fuse.
This output should be connect to your sub panel with at least #6 Copper wire. There is no need for any other breakers.
I would mount the inverter so it is isolated from any earth contact.
At your sub panel connect all your neutrals and grounds on the same bar.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:02 PM   #19
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


I'm thinking that 'out on a limb' may be an answer...In answer to your other questions....AC hot out and AC neutral out go into a load center box with a 50 amp 2 pole breaker from the inverter(rather than a fuse, probably should be 60, but didn't have one handy after the saw thing).
They are wired into the top of the breaker taking power into that breaker. Coming out of the bottom of the breaker, one side goes to my house and one side (2 pole breaker) goes to my sons house. His is plugged into a GFCI powered by the inverter through the 50 amp breaker. The other line runs to my house to a sub panel with 4 20 amp circuits.
The generator has its own breaker, plug from generator going into breaker and out to AC1 hot and neutral on the inverter. This system was set up for many years...as in 30 and last year finally got an entire solar set up. All wiring is done properly and it has functioned perfectly for 30 years and for the last year when I added 9 panels and a solar rack. There is #6 wire going from the inverter AC hot and neutral and ground to the breaker. The breaker is because where the power goes out from the inverter with #6 needed to be a short distance, then using #12 to the house and sub-panel.

I think that the inverter does have a bonded neutral and ground and the other day, I thought I'd try setting up the breaker by bonding the neutral and ground and the inverter definitely didn't like it, it went to error immediately. I redid it with the grounds on a grounding bar and all was fine again.

There is a fuse coming from the battery bank to the inverter as a disconnect (which blew the other day), there is also a disconnect on my charge controller.

I have come to think that it has something to do with the inverter to the breaker, as when I turned off the sub panel, the breaker reads the voltage between neutral and ground, but the neutral to ground in the inverter reads 1.5V as it should.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:08 PM   #20
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Oh, the inverter is mounted on a wall. I have a solar shed. I thought sub-panels weren't supposed to have bonded neutral and ground? The inverter, batteries etc. are all grounded to a copper grounding rod. The inverter has 2 grounds, one going to the rod and one going out to the breaker.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:20 PM   #21
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


neutral from the inverter should not go to a breaker, it should go to the neutral bar in the sub panel
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:28 PM   #22
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Can I connect the neutral from the inverter to the line going to the house subpanel or do I have to run the #6 the whole distance?
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:32 PM   #23
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


By the way, a7ecorsair, great picture!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #24
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by mreed View Post
Oh, the inverter is mounted on a wall. I have a solar shed. I thought sub-panels weren't supposed to have bonded neutral and ground? The inverter, batteries etc. are all grounded to a copper grounding rod. The inverter has 2 grounds, one going to the rod and one going out to the breaker.
Sub panels, when installed according to NEC guidelines also require a 4 wire feed, two hots, a neutral, and a ground.
If you want to follow this, you have one hot and one neutral going to your sub panel.
Since you have a main breaker box that is grounded, bring a hot, a neutral and a insulated ground to your sub panel.
At your main breaker box you will have to connect (bond) the neutral and ground together on the same bar or lug.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:06 PM   #25
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


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Originally Posted by mreed View Post
Can I connect the neutral from the inverter to the line going to the house subpanel or do I have to run the #6 the whole distance?
Yes, you will need a #6 for the hot, a #6 for the neutral, and probably a #10 for the ground.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:39 AM   #26
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Need pics at this point. I keep trying to get an EXACT description of how your system is wired, but your descriptions are anything but exact. You make it sound like you fed the hot and neutral from the inverter through separate poles of a 2-pole breaker in a panel with nothing in it except that one breaker, and then sent the hot by itself to feed your house, and the neutral by itself to feed your son's house. Nothing about that is right and I'm positive that's not actually how it's wired, because it never would have worked. I'd have to see pics of all the wiring to figure this out.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:17 AM   #27
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


Sorry but I don't know how to do the pic thing. My manual is very old and I just saw the '2nd' version today. Your right, that wouldn't have worked and no it isn't wired that way. The problem gets weirder however.

1. From ac hot output on the inverter, both poles are to the hot of both houses black wire in one pole for my house, black wire in other pole for other house, poles jumped.
2. From neutral out, both white wires to the houses are connected with the ac neutral out.
3. Both grounds are connected on a grounding bar. I disconnected one of the ones on the inverter and left the earth ground on.

I was still getting voltage (120V) from neutral to ground, in inverter as well as panel. I thought I'd try bonding the neutral and ground because I read that the trace 4024 doesn't have a neutral-ground internal bonding (which I thought it did) and the inverter went to 'overcurrent' error immediately...put the grounds back on the grounding bar.

Tomorrow, I am going to change it to a 60 amp fuse and run #6 straight from the inverter to the sub-panel. The sub-panel has a bus bar for neutral and grounding bar for ground and I don't know if that will be a problem, but at this point I'm brain dead. It seems to have something to do with the neutral and grounding and info on grounding and neutral in this inverter seems hard to come by. I've had this inverter for alot of years and it's always been great. The short with the saw is the first time I've had a problem and it blew out the fuse from the battery and the breaker and it was plugged into a gfci, so I can't figure that out at all.

And with all of this, the power and inverter seem to be working perfectly, but I can't help thinking that it could do something weird again because I've messed something up somewhere.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:02 AM   #28
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electrical-using a 2 pole breaker for 120v circuit


I've attached another picture showing the manufactures diagram with grounds highlighted. Notice all the grounds go to the main panel. In this main panel the building wiring would have all the neutral and ground wires connected to the same bus bar. Then the sub panel that supported by either the the main or the inverter, has a ground wire back to the main. This main panel would be earth grounded.
You are not connected to the grid and you do not have a sub panel it is just a panel.
Do not ground your inverter other than through your panel.
The output of your inverter should be protected by one 50 amp breaker.
Do not use both sides of the two pole breaker for hot feeds, take your two taps from the bottom of one side of the breaker.
Your panel will need a ground rod.
You will connect your tap from the bottom of the 50 amp breaker to your panel breaker bus.
You will connect the AC neutral from the inverter which can pass through along side your breaker to your panel or you can use the other side of the 50 amp breaker to pass the neutral. Turning the breaker off would disconnect both the hot and neutral.
You will need a #10 ground wire from the inverter AC ground to your panel.
Now, in your panel, all ground and neutral wires will be connected to the same bus bar.

Does your son's house have a panel?
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #29
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Thank you for taking all this time and the picture is great. I want to be sure I'm understanding what your saying.

1st, I always had the 50 amp breaker set up with one pole hot and one pole neutral and a ground from the inverter into the breaker box. Then the #12 ran straight to the house. Through all the discussion about the 2 pole breaker, I changed it, putting one hot in each side and the neutrals separate, as well as the grounds. My sons house was tied in with mine to the bottom of the breaker and goes to a gfci and we just plug in his house, no panel. The inverter has been earth grounded since I put in the new solar system, they wanted everything grounded, batteries, solar rack, charge controller....

Just so I'm sure that you understand that I don't actually have a main panel as in the picture, but where they show the 60 amp fuse for hot output is where I have my breaker.

So, if I put my breaker back the way I have always had it(hots in one pole, neutral in the other, grounds on bus bar) and undo the one earth ground on the inverter and ground the inverter to the breaker, I would earth ground that box before going into my house panel? Then in my house panel, I would bond the neutral and ground on one bar?

I'm a little nervous about bonding the neutral-ground because of the immediate error of 'overcurrent' light that came on the inverter when I tried that with the box with the breaker.

I have the feeling that you are right and that the earth ground on the inverter is causing all the problems, I have been racking my brain for the last 3 days and think I'm becoming paranoid!
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #30
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One other thing, where they show the ac ground in the picture is where I have it grounded to earth. On the other side where the outputs, inputs etc. are is another bolt on the side of the inverter where we have always run the ground to the breaker.

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