Search the forums

Loading

Pre wire for solar panel installation

DianeA's picture

124021.1

I'm working on the final details for a remodel of a 2 story 1912 bungalow. At some point in the future I would like install some solar panels on the roof. During the remodel the exterior walls around where the electrical panel is located will be open and I will have access to run any needed wiring or conduits from the roof location where the panels will be installed to the electrical panel. I'm not planning to have the panels installed during the remodel since I have some other energy efficiency items I need address first (attic ventilation, insulation etc.). The panels will be installed at some future date.

What would you suggest be done while I'm in construction in order to be ready for when I finally get around to the panel installs? My thoughts were to just run an empty electrical conduit (1"?). Any other thoughts? The necessary electrical components will be in the basement under the area being remodeled.

Diane

(post #157777, reply #1 of 11)

Run a feeder wire or conduit like you were thinking, not sure what size though,
also, leave a blank breaker in the electrical panel as well.

(post #157777, reply #2 of 11)

When running conduit, bigger is better. Run the biggest conduit you can fit... it will give you the most flexibility, capacity, and ease of installation.

2" is pretty easy to get a hold of from most sources.

If you have the wall open, run the conduit down the center to an open space in the studs. Put a removable panel there - plywood is fine. Make sure you have easy access to a couple of inches of conduit, makes it easier to mount everything later.


Tu stultus es
Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA
Also a CRX fanatic!


Look, just send me to my drawer.  This whole talking-to-you thing is like double punishment.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

(post #157777, reply #3 of 11)

Diane,


Get some info on the requirements from your local building department.  Check with your panel/system supplier for info on mounting and connecting the panels.


I am assuming you are contemplating a grid synchronized non-storage system.  If so, the city of Sacramento requires conduit for high voltage DC from the panels to the location of the DC disconnect.  1/2" or 3/4" EMT is commonly used for that.  The configuration of the panels is important in routing the top end of the conduit (and mounting the panels on the roof).  Do you know what kind of panels your system will use?  You may want to just get the top end of the conduit stubbed out into the attic for completion when the panels are installed later.


Jim x 3


 


 


 


Edited 9/3/2009 3:11 am ET by jimjimjim

(post #157777, reply #4 of 11)

Thanks. I'll check with the building department. My plans are for plan check now but the pre-wire for the solar is not on the plans. I'll probably run a 3/4 EMT conduit and terminate in the attic and basement until I'm ready.

Diane

(post #157777, reply #5 of 11)

Vote me in the "big conduit" category. You may be dealing with fat wire coming down from the array depending on how many panels you install. Pipe is cheap, compared to buying and installing it twice.

Greg

(post #157777, reply #6 of 11)

I would think that 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" would be safer.


Jeff

(post #157777, reply #7 of 11)

Just had the solar guys in. They ran car flex from the inverter in the basement to their meter base on the garage (all power made is sent to the grid). 1 1/4" conduit, and it took three of them and a bucket of jelly to pull it...I'm sure they were wishing they'd brought 1 1/2"<G>

We'll have a kid
Or maybe we'll rent one
He's got to be straight
We don't want a bent one
He'll drink his baby brew
From a big brass cup
Someday he may be president
If things loosen up

www.tvwsolar.com

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC

 

We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up

(post #157777, reply #8 of 11)

1-1/2" it is then. It's going to be a straight shot from the attic to the basement but better to have too much and too little...

Thanks for your help.

Diane

(post #157777, reply #9 of 11)

Diane,


1-1/2" it is then. It's going to be a straight shot from the attic to the basement but better to have too much and too little...


Don't do this until you talk to your solar guys and the city.  Its probably way more than you need.  And it will be more costly to chop a path down thru your exterior walls for 1 1/2" than for 1/2".


Regards,


Jim x 3

(post #157777, reply #10 of 11)

Ay-Yup!!


 


Jeff  ;o)

(post #157777, reply #11 of 11)

DC wires for solar can be large. Make sure you have adequately sized conduit.