If you are using a power inverter for a Renewable Energy system at your home with either solar panels or a wind turbine, it is possible to wire an inverter to a circuit breaker panel. An easier alternative could be obtaining an inverter with standard outlets and using an extension cord and power strip. However, if you want the ability to plug in appliances and electronics to wall outlets on an independent circuit powered by the RE system, then connecting your power inverter to the circuit breaker is the best way to go about it.
Things You'll Need
- Lineman's pliers
- Wire stripper
Turn off the main power switch on the circuit breaker. The main power switch is typically located at the very top and center of the circuit breaker panel. Also make sure that the power switch on the inverter is turned off as well.
Unscrew the mounting screws for the front plate of the circuit breaker. Select the new circuit that you want to connect the RE system to via the power inverter. Knock out the tab on the back side of the panel cover with your screwdriver and hammer.
Connect wiring to the output from the power inverter. Make sure that the inverter is capable, according to the manufacturer, of being connected to a circuit breaker panel. The size of the wiring will depend on the maximum anticipated amperage of the system along with its voltage. Use a wire sizing chart to make sure that you are using the correct size of wire.
Test the bus bar with a voltmeter by touching the probes to the bus bar. If it does not read any voltage, then you may continue with the installation process. If there is voltage, make sure that the main electrical breaker is turned off. If it is, contact an electrician.
Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the ends of the wires leading from the inverter to the breaker. Use a screwdriver to connect the white wire to the neutral ground bar on the circuit breaker. Connect the hot wires, red or black, to the selected breaker on the back side of the circuit breaker panel.
Screw in the front of the breaker panel. Turn on the switch for the main power breaker. Turn on the switch to the power inverter. Test the outlets connected to the circuit for the RE system.
- Photo Credit electrical outlet image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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