Connect solar and generator to mobile home

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Old 11-07-16, 05:43 PM
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Connect solar and generator to mobile home

I would like to set up my electrical system for solar and a back up generator. I have a ITE load center/circuit breaker panel in the home that is 100a. Its not the recalled panel. That is how I found this site. It has no open circuit breakers. They are all being used.

Outside I have a meter and housing and a 100a cutler hammer disconnect on a wooden board. All these items are separate. I have opened the disconnect and there is a pretty decent amount of excess wire.

I would like to reconfigure my system so I could plug in a portable generator when needed and have lugs to feed my power system with a solar inverter. What is the best way to accomplish these two goals?
 
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Old 11-07-16, 06:22 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

What kind of solar system?
Solar/battery/inverter for local use only.
Solar/inverter to utility company for rebate or reduced rates.

You could replace that disconnect panel next to the meter with a service rated manual transfer switch.
 
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Old 11-07-16, 06:45 PM
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I am either going to do micro inverters or string inverters. I would like to have 10-15 panels connected to a grid tie inverter feeding my home.

I was a little confused how you would wire up both and what hardware needed to be changed. I understand wiring sizes and ratings for devices.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 09:54 AM
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Although a grid tie solar system is tied to the main electric it's not running the home directly. It puts power into the "grid" as it's generated. As you generate the solar power it may end up powering the house but you can't rely on it run the house completely.... especially when lacking sun.

Here. in NJ, only a licensed contractor can install a grid tie system. You need to check the requirements at your location.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 11:52 AM
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Generally the grid-tie inverter would be backfed into a breaker in the main panel per the instructions on the specific inverter. The generator can be connected in a number of ways -- interlock, automatic transfer switch, manual transfer switch, separate transfer panel. It depends on exactly what your standby power needs are, what is legal in your area and what size and fuel type is the generator.

It sounds like a reasonable choice in your situation would be to connect the solar inverter at the culter hammer disconnect panel and also connect an interlocked generator here. However you need someone well versed in your local code. These things vary a lot from region to region.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 07:19 PM
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What I'd really like is a meter main like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Siemens-MM020...lar+meter+main

I read some guide and it says its approved for OG&E in Oklahoma, but I believe you would need the power shut off to tear it all apart. I'm guessing if I got this new meter main I could just swap the disconnect and/or put the transfer switch in the circuit.

My minimum goal with the generator input is to power the fridge and furnace. My ultimate goal would be to have a natural gas powered generac generator to power my whole house. I don't think I can justify the $4000 at the moment. Maybe I could if I had solar lol?
 
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Old 11-08-16, 07:23 PM
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Yes.... you'd need the power company to disconnect your service. Most, not all, power companies require an inspection and cut-in card before they'll reconnect your service.

That panel would be good for solar but of no help with the generator.
 
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Old 11-08-16, 07:28 PM
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I don't know if my thinking is correct, but I was thinking it would be easier than splicing wire and having additional connections if that would even be necessary?
 
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Old 11-09-16, 05:51 AM
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You can install a solar system that connects to the house system using a transfer switch but that is only useful during times when there is enough solar power for the things you will turn on at that time. It might be "plugged in" using a male receptacle that can double as the plug in connection for the generator, you use one at a time (or use only the utility power).

More common is solar equipment that mixes in utility power to meet the load. The system may or may not sell power back to the utility for an effective rebate. After the solar equipment is installed and up and running, you install a transfer switch or interlock that cuts off both the solar panels and the utility power to use the generator. They make generator transfer switches that can be retrofitted to a system with or without solar.
 
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