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.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.
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
Awaiting my ban! 3...2...1...poof!
Edit: added strike-through for clarification