Monday, September 22, 2014
We're almost ready for inspection. We started tonight with 2 strings of panels. After connecting each string together, for each string we have the positive wire from the first optimizer and the negative wire from the last optimizer that are hanging free. Using cable extenders, we ran these up the supports to the back of the array and then down into the junction box in the picture. NOTE: We taped the connectors of the extender cable to the connectors on the optimizer wires temporarily. If we had connected them permanently, we would have had electricity running through them while we were making the final connections in the box.
It's extremely important that you keep track of which wire is which at this point. If you click to biggify the picture, you'll see some tiny little labels that read "1" and "2". We also used tape every few feet as we ran the wires to make sure we didn't get anything mixed up. All wires went down and then back up into the box - this is called forming a "drip loop" and it's designed to funnel water away from the box and down the wires where it will drip off onto the ground. By the way, this is an outdoor rated NEMA box that is designed to be outside all the time and has a waterproof cover.
Once all the wires were in the box, the connections are easy. Ground from the array goes to ground from the house. Red wire from String 1 goes to red wire from Inverter 1, black wire from String 1 goes to black wire from Inverter 1. Repeat for String 2 and Inverter 2.
With the junction box all done, we needed to make that final connection permanent on those extender cables by removing the temporary tape and connecting them with a snap.
With that, the wiring is all done. Just some final labeling to do and we'll be ready for inspection. But J. is leaving tomorrow morning and will be gone all week, so it will have to wait until after he's back.
I'm getting so excited to have this project finally done!