Bonding / Grounding, Will's 13kW System, and my Youtube Community Ban

fat_old_sun

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At the bottom of the thread are images of my comments on this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5czI7-9CVrU. The TLDR is that I posted a comment that an ungrounded (no EGC) high voltage (200-250v) PV array could kill someone and that an improperly grounded 240VAC Panel could injure someone. Will disagreed with me and immediately blocked my comment from being viewable.

So I'm interested in three things.
1. The panels Will sets up for this system have no equipment ground. See this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=01qYerhorwU Does the community agree this is dangerous? The argument for an equipment ground on solar panels is pretty clear, just check any solar panel installation manual and see the death warning. If anyone has installed an array and not installed an EGC, what is the argument against it?
2. Combining the grounds and neutrals in the 240V panel means that his equipment grounding conductor is in parallel with the neutral line back to the source - the inverter - and his ground is now a current-carrying ground. Also on the AC side, his system is missing an earth ground which would dissipate high and irregular voltage sources such as static. Does the community agree this is dangerous? If not, what are the arguments against?
3. Will saw my comment and blocked me within an hour of it being posted. Is this a regular occurrence in the community? Are the members of these forums and his youtube followers in an echo chamber where anyone that has disagreed with Will has been blocked an removed? I am really interested to see if this post is here in an hour.

My background - chemical engineer that is well practiced on electric systems both through my profession in manufacturing and through DIY work at home. I've installed two 4.5kW residential grid tie systems, one which I helped with and one which I designed and installed on my own home. I've also installed a 770W system with 4.4kwh battery on my camper trailer.

You're not alone! My comments to Will's Youtube videos have been blocked even when relevant to the videos' topics but counter to his messages. And, like you, I have an advanced degree in hard science and decades of experience in this field.

Coming back to the topic of needing an earth ground - even if the NEC does not require one for standalone off-grid system, it is highly recommended to provide one. Citing the laptop example is lame - the voltages involved won't kill. In an off-grid system, with rooftop mounted panels, the negative neutral line's electrical potential can be well above ground potential; and the capacitance of the conductors can be quite high (panel frames, etc). Heck, gasoline tankers drag chains hanging from the tank to prevent electric charge from accumulating on the tanks. And vehicle tires have a lot of carbon to make the rubber conductive and provide a path to ground.

Awaiting my ban! 3...2...1...poof!

Edit: added strike-through for clarification
 
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ereams65

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You guys and the "im gonna get banned" stuff, lol. Seems like you really, really want to get banned, but now\t sure why you would join in the first place. Also, I get that tons of people go to YouTube to "learn how to do stuff". But at the end of the day, channels like Will's are not definitive, all-knowing, everything under one roof shopping. They're the thoughts and ideas of one guy who's had success using Solar (in this case) who wanted to share his own experience. It's not people signing up for their B.S.E.E. degree (Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering for the guys using EZ Go golf carts, lol). And to put the same set of standards and principles on said collection of videos is just a way of saying, "Hey, look at me...I'm smarter than this guy". So why not just start your own YouTube channel/forum with alternate points of view? Or am I missing the benefits of just being argumentative?
 

DerpsyDoodler

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At the bottom of the thread are images of my comments on this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5czI7-9CVrU. The TLDR is that I posted a comment that an ungrounded (no EGC) high voltage (200-250v) PV array could kill someone and that an improperly grounded 240VAC Panel could injure someone. Will disagreed with me and immediately blocked my comment from being viewable.

So I'm interested in three things.
1. The panels Will sets up for this system have no equipment ground. See this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=01qYerhorwU Does the community agree this is dangerous? The argument for an equipment ground on solar panels is pretty clear, just check any solar panel installation manual and see the death warning. If anyone has installed an array and not installed an EGC, what is the argument against it?
2. Combining the grounds and neutrals in the 240V panel means that his equipment grounding conductor is in parallel with the neutral line back to the source - the inverter - and his ground is now a current-carrying ground. Also on the AC side, his system is missing an earth ground which would dissipate high and irregular voltage sources such as static. Does the community agree this is dangerous? If not, what are the arguments against?
3. Will saw my comment and blocked me within an hour of it being posted. Is this a regular occurrence in the community? Are the members of these forums and his youtube followers in an echo chamber where anyone that has disagreed with Will has been blocked an removed? I am really interested to see if this post is here in an hour.

My background - chemical engineer that is well practiced on electric systems both through my profession in manufacturing and through DIY work at home. I've installed two 4.5kW residential grid tie systems, one which I helped with and one which I designed and installed on my own home. I've also installed a 770W system with 4.4kwh battery on my camper trailer.

While if it was a permanent system, it would absolutely need to be grounded, in its current state, as a temporary installation (regardless how long he keeps it operational) it doesn't have to be as it pertains to code.

That said, if I were going to leave it in place for any length of time, I'd be looking at a way to ground them. Even if its just an extension chord with the hot and neutral prongs removed.
 

Will Prowse

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You're not alone! My comments to Will's Youtube videos have been blocked even when relevant to the videos' topics but counter to his messages. And, like you, I have an advanced degree in hard science and decades of experience in this field.

Coming back to the topic of needing an earth ground - even if the NEC does not require one for standalone off-grid system, it is highly recommended to provide one. Citing the laptop example is lame - the voltages involved won't kill. In an off-grid system, with rooftop mounted panels, the negative neutral line's electrical potential can be well above ground potential; and the capacitance of the conductors can be quite high (panel frames, etc). Heck, gasoline tankers drag chains hanging from the tank to prevent electric charge from accumulating on the tanks. And vehicle tires have a lot of carbon to make the rubber conductive and provide a path to ground.

Awaiting my ban! 3...2...1...poof!

Edit: added strike-through for clarification
What did you comment? If you comment links, my channel blocks it. A lot of people think I banned them from the channel, but it was due to posting links and having youtube hide them.

It has an earth ground. Did you not read the posts I just made? Are you stating that the manual and victron energy is incorrect with their installation directions and diagrams? I followed specifically what the instructions told me, and it does not seem good enough to some. Why? Why do you think that all of these electrical engineers from multiple companies are wrong? When there is a shore power connection, it needs true earth ground. And it is provided. Just like a marine system or a RV. Are you saying that all of these people are wrong?

Dragging chains? Isn't that not allowed because it can start a wildfire? I have not seen someone dragging chains while driving. Can you post a video or a protocol for setting up a dragging chain ground system? I would like to know more. Also, can you show me proof that rubber tires are conductive for this reason? Would love to see proof of this and more information, and the codes that require it.
 

Will Prowse

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You guys and the "im gonna get banned" stuff, lol. Seems like you really, really want to get banned, but now\t sure why you would join in the first place. Also, I get that tons of people go to YouTube to "learn how to do stuff". But at the end of the day, channels like Will's are not definitive, all-knowing, everything under one roof shopping. They're the thoughts and ideas of one guy who's had success using Solar (in this case) who wanted to share his own experience. It's not people signing up for their B.S.E.E. degree (Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering for the guys using EZ Go golf carts, lol). And to put the same set of standards and principles on said collection of videos is just a way of saying, "Hey, look at me...I'm smarter than this guy". So why not just start your own YouTube channel/forum with alternate points of view? Or am I missing the benefits of just being argumentative?
Agreed. I hope all of these people commenting will provide their own videos showing a better way to do it. That would be fantastic!
 

Short_Shot

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...

Dragging chains? Isn't that not allowed because it can start a wildfire? I have not seen someone dragging chains while driving. Can you post a video or a protocol for setting up a dragging chain ground system? I would like to know more. Also, can you show me proof that rubber tires are conductive for this reason? Would love to see proof of this and more information, and the codes that require it.

It definitely used to be a thing.

Pretty sure it's not required at all anymore but maybe some areas hold out. There are better alternatives now.


"Although, now a days , the tyres of a cars and trucks are made by adding a carbon compound to the rubber. This helps the charge built up on the body of the vehicle to leak to the ground."
 

Will Prowse

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Yes (?) I can't speak for Will, but from the perspective of a viewer, the videos were framed as this is how to install this system and nothing else is needed. I did not see a mention of any future racking or grounding in the 'how to' video, the followup video on grounding, or the followup video where he talks about payback periods of 2-10 years. If this was not the final install, I would think that he would have added costs for panel racking in the video discussing the payback period.
Yeah I am not sure. Putting the panels on the ground was for testing purposes only with my test systems. But they work so well, that I just kept adding to it and over time, it grew bigger. I could throw them on the roof, but I have to test more equipment when it comes out. If a new all in one system comes out and I need to rewire my array for a new voltage, it takes about 10 minutes to do so. If it was on a structure, absolutely not. It would be a few hours of work and a major pain in the butt. I also love how I can change the VOC of any string I wish within minutes. Makes it easy for me to do my job of testing these units.
 

Will Prowse

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It definitely used to be a thing.

Pretty sure it's not required at all anymore but maybe some areas hold out. There are mere alternatives now.


"Although, now a days , the tyres of a cars and trucks are made by adding a carbon compound to the rubber. This helps the charge built up on the body of the vehicle to leak to the ground."
Very cool
 

Short_Shot

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In related news, we often have a ton of static charge buildup on injection molded parts when we use an air curtain to de-mold the parts.

The small parts would cling to everything and everyone.

We switched to anti-static air curtains to solve it.
 

Will Prowse

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Right now I am using my driveway array power to run GPU and ASIC crypto miners, and I will probably add more solar, so I can make more money faster. I am trying to push as much money out of this system as possible. It is very addicting to see how much money I can make in a day with pure solar power. If I were to attach it to a structure, I would have to follow a bunch of laws that I know about, and I really do not feel like it. I like doing it this way, and it is safe to do so. With the ground connection at the air conditioner supplied by 6 gauge conductor, and the frames touching earth, I don't see any issue here. And the ac input has true earth ground too. What more could I possibly need? The wire runs are small too, so not an issue there either. Sure it is not a setup for everyone, but I love it and it makes a lot of money.
 

fat_old_sun

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What did you comment? If you comment links, my channel blocks it. A lot of people think I banned them from the channel, but it was due to posting links and having youtube hide them.

It has an earth ground. Did you not read the posts I just made? Are you stating that the manual and victron energy is incorrect with their installation directions and diagrams? I followed specifically what the instructions told me, and it does not seem good enough to some. Why? Why do you think that all of these electrical engineers from multiple companies are wrong? When there is a shore power connection, it needs true earth ground. And it is provided. Just like a marine system or a RV. Are you saying that all of these people are wrong?

Dragging chains? Isn't that not allowed because it can start a wildfire? I have not seen someone dragging chains while driving. Can you post a video or a protocol for setting up a dragging chain ground system? I would like to know more. Also, can you show me proof that rubber tires are conductive for this reason? Would love to see proof of this and more information, and the codes that require it.
Conductive cars tires from the horse's mouth - https://www.goodyear.com/en-US/learn/tire-basics/why-are-tires-black

Electrical grounding of railcars & trucks - https://www.saferack.com/truck-grounding-railcar-grounding-necessary/
Anytime you have a lot of metal that is not electrically connected to the earth, electrical charge can accumulate on them. Here's an explanation by Richard Feynman - https://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/II_09.html. A Google search will give a lot more references.

My comments on your Youtube videos were on topic but counter to the main message. There were no links in them.
 

enough

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What more could I possibly need?
I believe you fixed the 240V panel neutral / ground bond issue.

You've made it clear that between the AirCon ground and 110 plug ground, you are not going to install a separate grounding electrode - I can agree that that is safe even if it is not what is recommended.

Installing an equipment grounding conductor for the PV frames is the only remaining issue. We (you, me, mike holt, others) agree that touching the earth is not a substitute for an equipment grounding conductor. I can see the argument that if this were a temporary install - the risk is small if it isn't grounded for a short period of time. But your not saying here, nor in your videos, that it's a temporary setup or that the PV frames will be grounded in the future.

For those that want information on the equipment grounding conductor (EGC) from the panels, every illustration with solar panels in these grounding resource shows three conductors leaving the solar panels: +/-/EGC.

 
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Tecnodave

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Metal chains are no longer used, There are grounding straps that hang from the chassis but they cannot emit sparks and do very well ground the tankers. This is standard in the industry. I had the expereince of being front and center at tanker and crop duster helicopter refueling incident that threw a huge spark while refueling with Jet-A, investigators found that there was no bonding strap between the tanker and the helicopter. all that was left was a smoking heap and charred ground.

Have you ever seen passenger turbofan aircraft (some people call them jets, they are not) being refueled.....the bonding cable comes first....before anything else

Yes pumping fuels does generate enough electricity to throw a big fat spark several inches.

I do like excitement but one of those was quite enough, thank you...
 

time2roll

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With the ground connection at the air conditioner supplied by 6 gauge conductor, and the frames touching earth, I don't see any issue here. And the ac input has true earth ground too. What more could I possibly need?
That is what I suggested at the start of the thread. If the panels are ever mounted they can be grounded too.
 

Tecnodave

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In several of my larger grid tie systems I am using frameless all glass panels with transformerless SMA Sunny Boy inverters. I am not required to ground this type of solar panel array, but for anything else the inspectors require a ground at the array which is bonded to the main ground rod at the POCO feed. I do not do the physical mounting of the panels but am the person who the inspectors deal with, I design the system, and supervise every facet of the installations. I do all the wiring hookups and will not allow others to be involved in that .
 

HammaMan

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Right now I am using my driveway array power to run GPU and ASIC crypto miners.
I didn't see a dedicated post regarding your GPU miners. Your 2 GPUs should be pulling 350w at most plus another 20w for the mobo (plus PSU inefficiencies -- run it on 240v for ~5% better efficiency). The reason there's a lot of videos on mining rigs is because most people aren't that electronics or computer literate. Some people just get it; most don't. Also, there's countless settings for the GPUs to maximize hashrate while optimizing power settings. Every GPU model is unique. Not all 3070s are the same, though there are similarities between part numbers, but yet different performance from 2 identical cards.

Img 1 is my primary machine w/ 3080 and 3070. Both cards are driving displays, the 3070 has a lot on screen which eats into hash rate. Miners display a pretty accurate wattage number, but doesn't take into account PSU efficiency which it can't know. It says it's pulling 353w from the PSU which is accurate. Other items like ram / cpu / mobo / disk drives are also not accounted for.

gaming_cpu.png


Img 2 is one of my rigs that has 3 3070s in it, the 2 HP units are identical, yet 1 is over 10% more efficient. These are tuned for long life and low power. The kH/W number is efficiency, kilohash / wattage, higher is better. I can tune for another 5% efficiency, but it'd require running on the edge of stability which is unacceptable IMO.

rig_3.png


Those of us with only a handful of rigs will tune for efficiency whereas those with loads of rigs just shoot for goodnuff. If your 3080 won't perform, it's likely due to the memory getting too hot -- you can only see memory temps if mining in windows.

As for mining coins, that's considered income as you mine it and is subject to self employment tax like any other. So long as you're a US citizen no matter where you reside globally, you have tax liability for income / assets. Best to not talk about it ;)
 
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DerpsyDoodler

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As for mining coins, that's considered income as you mine it and is subject to self employment tax like any other. So long as you're a US citizen no matter where you reside globally, you have tax liability for income / assets. Best to not talk about it ;)
Quite accurate. There's also the cost, per kwh consumed and investment in the equipment, shop space, etc, that help with minimizing tax liability.
 

HammaMan

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Quite accurate. There's also the cost, per kwh consumed and investment in the equipment, shop space, etc, that help with minimizing tax liability.
There's also several fires that we've seen as a result --- I've seen at least 10 fires because people fail to follow proper loading for circuits and connectors.
 
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