surge protection off-grid

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MELOC, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i was just wondering what steps are used tp prevent surge damage in off-grid and on-grid micro-power systems. i have had more lightning strikes than i can remember. i would hate to have lightning damage expensive inverters or such.
     
  2. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You should have have surge processors on your wires comming in from the panels. Keep in mind your will NEVER!!! stop a direct lighting strike, You can only hope to minimize the damage.
     

  3. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    The usual surge arrestors on PV and wind tied to ground.
    All equipment grounds bonded together and tied to the ground rod. More than one ground rod may be used but they should be bonded together.............now hope and pray.

    Another tryed and true method is to shut down and disconnect when that storm is moving at you. I pull the plug to my phone line when there is a nasty electrical storm here abouts. (If your home to do it)

    It is said that a lightning strike a 1/4 mile away can zap equipment. Also a spike can travel great distances on utility and phone lines.

    Get those ground rods in and above all, hope that Ma Nature doesn't have you in her sights for the big HIT.......
     
  4. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i live on a small hill next to a stream. there are many large trees nearby. lightning seems to love it here.

    the powerline (on-grid), feeds two neighbors and i. i have had two computers zapped in the last 2 years and 2 more in the previous 5. once, a limb fell and caused a surge and most of the minor appliances in all three homes were lost.

    in this house, i may have the need for better grounding. i am unsure of the current ground rod status. there is one but i do not know if it is sufficient as it was placed before my time. i did locate a grounding system that was disconnected. it was tied in to the iron plumbing system. i plan to upgrade to a 200 amp on-grid system soon and will make sure i have good ground then.
     
  5. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First, do what Jim-MI said--proper grounds and bonding of all equipment. I have also grounded my wind generator tower with grounding rods driven into the ground at the bottom of the 5 foot deep holes for the legs, plus more at ground level, but the generator windings aren't tied to the grounds of the tower. My PV systems have the frames tied to the racks or mountings, and then those are grounded as closely as possible to the racks. Again, I don't tie the PVs electrically to the grounds at the racks. I also have lightning arrestors at the windgenerator where the wires go underground to head for the house, and at the similar point at each PV array, plus arrestors on the DC lines coming into the house. We had a close strike by lightning a few years ago and it wrecked a circuit board on the inverter on the AC side of the inverter, so after having the inverter repaired, I added a lightning arrestor on the AC side of the inverter, too. I think I have at least 7 lightning arrestors on my system, but I may be forgetting one somewhere.