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Wire Chewer
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Discussion Starter #1
Debating on how I want to do power for my shed, my long term goal is solar as I want to experiment with that anyway, so it will be a small scale test before I do the house. But meanwhile I want to just run power from the house. When I do run solar, what I'll probably want to do is have a feed from the solar system going back to the house, in case I want to power something during a power outage or something. Can I have both a hydro feed going to the shed, and then a separate solar feed coming out, in the same conduit?

Also, I plan to run fibre optic to the shed, I want to setup a small backup NAS and possibly some security cameras to overlook the yard/house. Can I run said fibre in same conduit as well? I don't think you can run low voltage wire such as Ethernet but wondering if fibre is ok.

If not, then I will probably need 3 separate conduits which is kinda overkill for a shed, so I might omit the hydro feed once I do solar, if I'm confident it works well enough to be self sustainable.

Also on subject of solar, what I would probably do is plant a couple ground rods, and tie the inverter neutral to ground. Then tie to the house ground too. Is this the right way of doing solar on an outbuilding? What about DC (the solar panel, and the battery side), any special grounding requirements? Or do I let it float?

Kinda early to ask this as I'm far from this point but something I can ponder on meanwhile. Any trenching is going to be a summer job at this point given the ground is frozen. :p
 

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Naildriver
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10,600 Posts
Fiber optic is considered low voltage, so it will need a separate conduit.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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4,163 Posts
3 conduits.
No additional ground electrodes unless the solar equipment comes with
recommendations for local electrodes for lightning protection.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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4,163 Posts
Also, nothing wrong with conduit but there's also direct burial cables
including TECK and its AL equivalent ACWU.
 

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Usually Confused
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6,534 Posts
It will be interesting to see if you can get sufficient whole-house power from solar at your latitude, especially in the winter.
 

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Wire Chewer
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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm kinda figured. I was thinking maybe because fibre is not actually conductive that it would be an exception.

What I'll probably end up doing is two conduits: hydro feed then fibre and that's it. If I feel the solar is actually performing to the point that the hydro feed is not needed to top up the batteries then I'll just rewire it to be a supply line from the solar setup. The solar will be independent of the rest of the electrical system at that point, otherwise I'll just forget supplying the house as it's not like I'd be using that for much other than maybe emergency power to charge phone or what not.

And yeah solar output won't be all that great here for most of the year, but curious to try it anyway to see if it would be viable to do a larger system on the house to supplement some loads like my server racks. would be neat for emergency power too. With a half decent pure sine inverter I could probably even run the furnace for at least some short spurts to prevent pipes from freezing.
 

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Naildriver
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10,600 Posts
Different climate, but we find it more profitable to sell the solar generated power back to the POCO at a higher rate than we buy it for. Inverting DC to AC for a whole house would take a huge battery bank and inverter system.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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Different climate, but we find it more profitable to sell the solar generated power back to the POCO at a higher rate than we buy it for. Inverting DC to AC for a whole house would take a huge battery bank and inverter system.
Actually I think that's probably even more true in Ontario. Ontario
has a program called microFIT which pays A LOT more for residential
rooftop electricity than consumers pay for it. When the program was
introduced they were paying over 60cents/KWH! That dropped quickly
but last I heard it was still in the 40cent area.
Would expect Red Squirrel is already aware of this and very possibly
knows more about it than I. One thing to consider though; anyone
considering joining the microFIT program might be best off to do so
soon as its existence will be in question after next years Ont election.
I DON"T WANT to turn this into a political thread, but the existing
government is unlikely to remain in power.
 

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Deleted Member
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587 Posts
Hmm kinda figured. I was thinking maybe because fibre is not actually conductive that it would be an exception.

What I'll probably end up doing is two conduits: hydro feed then fibre and that's it. If I feel the solar is actually performing to the point that the hydro feed is not needed to top up the batteries then I'll just rewire it to be a supply line from the solar setup. The solar will be independent of the rest of the electrical system at that point, otherwise I'll just forget supplying the house as it's not like I'd be using that for much other than maybe emergency power to charge phone or what not.

And yeah solar output won't be all that great here for most of the year, but curious to try it anyway to see if it would be viable to do a larger system on the house to supplement some loads like my server racks. would be neat for emergency power too. With a half decent pure sine inverter I could probably even run the furnace for at least some short spurts to prevent pipes from freezing.
Your thinking wasn't far off. Fiber(non conductive) is allowed in with power conductors if it is part of the control for the power conductors.
They also allow it in Industrial and Utility ductwork, the assumption being that only qualified tradespeople have access to it.

As already mentioned, for your application, you would have to have them separate. Once you have the hole dug up, why wouldn't you put in 3 anyways ? Duct is cheap, it's the digging that's the PITA.
 

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Wire Chewer
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3,579 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Actually I think that's probably even more true in Ontario. Ontario
has a program called microFIT which pays A LOT more for residential
rooftop electricity than consumers pay for it. When the program was
introduced they were paying over 60cents/KWH! That dropped quickly
but last I heard it was still in the 40cent area.
Would expect Red Squirrel is already aware of this and very possibly
knows more about it than I. One thing to consider though; anyone
considering joining the microFIT program might be best off to do so
soon as its existence will be in question after next years Ont election.
I DON"T WANT to turn this into a political thread, but the existing
government is unlikely to remain in power.

The issue is it's not available everywhere. I checked and they arn't accepting any new ones in my area. I was thinking of starting a solar farm as there is cheap land not far from where I live but the city it's in is not even listed in their availability table. It seems they are very picky about where they will accept new connections to the program. Of course it also has to be near a 3 phase feeder.

But the idea is to also be a bit less dependent of the grid. It kind of doubles as backup power.
 
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