Do i need a fancy charge controller with arc fault protection?

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
9,159
NEC tells me that I do not need arc fault detector if my system voltage is less than 80v.

Are you sure the 80V threshold in NEC is for arc fault? (Could be, I'm slow to find such things)
I recall 80V being a number for rapid shutdown, getting into shock hazard territory.

80V, 50A should be plenty to draw a nice arc and start a fire, so I would expect a wattage limit.
 

Wellbuilt

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
787
Outback flexmax is a very high end controller, the one big drawback for me on this one is programmer is a must to set many of the settings necessary. I picked the Midnight as no remote programmer is needed, its all on board. Every setting or thing to be monitored can be done from the front panel. Both of these controllers were designed by the same teams, both companies are started by Robin and boB Gudgel, they are also the founders of Trace Engineering.

I see the evolution of design over the years, the Midnight is the latest and best from the Gudgels, Arc Fault and Ground fault built in, no expensive ground fault breaker required as in the Outback. No need to use your phone to program, RJ-45 port for remote monitoring or programming built in , accessible from online,

Do get the built in display, its not elegant, just very practible, no whistles, bells, fancy display.....down to the brass tacks, you can get any data you need or set any variable from here, very valuable when things go to hell

The Midnight lineup is expanding, there are inverters in the chute right now that hopefully be available this year
Yes, they are expensive, but the reliability is not matched anywhere

In all honesty I do need to admit that I am a Midnight beta tester, but that does not bias my opinion of equiptment,
I have always liked the best of electronics, I have a stack of that legendary Bob Carver stereo gear, some over 20 years old and cant be beat no matter the cost, did a whole career in electronics/electrics from DC to 12 Ghz
I like mid nite stuff and would of went with them if they could provide a whole system .
My out back fm 80 can be programmed from the front panel ? That’s how I work it now .
I can set it thru the mate if I want to .
The inverter needs the mate to change setting s
I think there is a ground flat breaker in my panel and the arc fault ie in the fm 100 I believe .
I would rather just stay all out back if possible .
I sure do appreciate your time .
 

Roswell Bob

Solar Addict
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
567
Location
Warner, NH
Are you sure the 80V threshold in NEC is for arc fault? (Could be, I'm slow to find such things)
I recall 80V being a number for rapid shutdown, getting into shock hazard territory.

80V, 50A should be plenty to draw a nice arc and start a fire, so I would expect a wattage limit.
I'm not sure of anything when it comes to NEC. I think they introduce a certain amount of vagueness when writing these standards. Vagueness may be the lubrication that keeps their machine running. In any case I don't want to burn my place down so I try to follow their guidelines.
 

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
829
Location
TN
I'm not sure of anything when it comes to NEC. I think they introduce a certain amount of vagueness when writing these standards. Vagueness may be the lubrication that keeps their machine running. In any case I don't want to burn my place down so I try to follow their guidelines.
I think it's left intentionally vague to leave it up to local inspectors for interpretation. I see the NEC as more of a framework than a rule book.
 

Wellbuilt

Solar Addict
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
787
The biggest problem I see is the frame work is changing rapidly in my area and the rules are changing all the time .
When I started the inspectors did not know how to proceed now they are talking all kinds of silly nonsense
 
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