COMBINER BOX WIRING ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE

OFFGRIDR

New Member
Hi All, This is my first solar system. There's about 2.4Kw of panels on top a shipping container (photo #1) . I want a Combiner Box externally mounted for quick shutdown of panels prior to the DC outputs entering into the container (photo #2). The problem is the combiner box I purchased (WATTS247), ALL THE
PV STRINGS AND DC OUTPUT are designed to exit the box along bottom side subjecting them to exposure. The majority of the boxes I see online have
this configuration but this seems illogical. All videos demonstrating these type of boxes are shown on a nice sterile indoor workbench. But videos showing
actual mounting of outdoor combiner boxes always have their wiring shuttled thru conduit, only wires mounted on rooftops or attics far away from normal passerby would use this type of box and maybe some types of ground installations. The problem I see with that, is that the Purpose of this box is by definition to have a quick shutdown (fire dept. ect.) which REQUIRE it to be both visible AND easily within hands reach without having to climb onto a roof or into an attic.

I plan to punch a hole thru the back of the box and run the DC output wires into the container but the construction of the box makes this awkward although doable.
I have placed a vertical piece of conduit to shield the majority of the vertical PV strings from touch, but there will be a bottom U shaped loop where the wires
are exposed prior to entering the waterproof grommets. I suppose this is ok? If it is, why don't I see a single photo anywhere on the internet showing a professionally
installation using this type of box mounted to a side wall anywhere? Making the entire path from box to roof thru conduit is very awkward and would require a differnt box. I bought this box as it also had surge suppression, breakers and the terminal blocks. Thanks in advance.
 

Attachments

  • combiner box mtg option1.pdf
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  • WATTS247 8-2 COMBINER.jpg
    WATTS247 8-2 COMBINER.jpg
    220.3 KB · Views: 11

OFFGRIDR

New Member
Hi All, This is my first solar system. There's about 2.4Kw of panels on top a shipping container (photo #1) . I want a Combiner Box externally mounted for quick shutdown of panels prior to the DC outputs entering into the container (photo #2). The problem is the combiner box I purchased (WATTS247), ALL THE
PV STRINGS AND DC OUTPUT are designed to exit the box along bottom side subjecting them to exposure. The majority of the boxes I see online have
this configuration but this seems illogical. All videos demonstrating these type of boxes are shown on a nice sterile indoor workbench. But videos showing
actual mounting of outdoor combiner boxes always have their wiring shuttled thru conduit, only wires mounted on rooftops or attics far away from normal passerby would use this type of box and maybe some types of ground installations. The problem I see with that, is that the Purpose of this box is by definition to have a quick shutdown (fire dept. ect.) which REQUIRE it to be both visible AND easily within hands reach without having to climb onto a roof or into an attic.

I plan to punch a hole thru the back of the box and run the DC output wires into the container but the construction of the box makes this awkward although doable.
I have placed a vertical piece of conduit to shield the majority of the vertical PV strings from touch, but there will be a bottom U shaped loop where the wires
are exposed prior to entering the waterproof grommets. I suppose this is ok? If it is, why don't I see a single photo anywhere on the internet showing a professionally
installation using this type of box mounted to a side wall anywhere? Making the entire path from box to roof thru conduit is very awkward and would require a differnt box. I bought this box as it also had surge suppression, breakers and the terminal blocks. Thanks in advance.
Has anyone here used a Combiner Box on an external wall near the ground that had the PV strings dangling below it and running up to the roof ?
thanks.
 

acdoctor

Solar Enthusiast
You could use 1 or more Myers hubs and enter from the top if the internal gear will allow. Or a gutter underneath that extends past one side. Then top enter it.
 

Sillyputty

Solar Addict
Has anyone here used a Combiner Box on an external wall near the ground that had the PV strings dangling below it and running up to the roof ?
thanks.
Yes - mine is much on an old, slightly beat-up 13' camp trailer and is much smaller scale but the concept is the same. PV wires from panels (red/black) come from roof and enter the bottom of the box, are combined, then exit to a wall gland into the battery compartment. So far it's been weatherproof and quite handy when needing to disconnect the panels from the solar charge controller/batteries. 1629249987085.png
 

OFFGRIDR

New Member
Yes - mine is much on an old, slightly beat-up 13' camp trailer and is much smaller scale but the concept is the same. PV wires from panels (red/black) come from roof and enter the bottom of the box, are combined, then exit to a wall gland into the battery compartment. So far it's been weatherproof and quite handy when needing to disconnect the panels from the solar charge controller/batteries. View attachment 60588
Thank you for the pic! This is very similar to what I was planning the only difference being the vertical run will be in conduit.
 

RandyP

Solar Addict
Thank you for the pic! This is very similar to what I was planning the only difference being the vertical run will be in conduit.
Non metallic conduit or metallic conduit? One conducts electricity, one does not. If it conducts electricity, it needs an equipment grounding conductor to the combiner box ground bus/point.
 
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