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Discuss Electrician Need For Test&sign My Diy Pv Sys, Don't Need Mcs Reg, Ashford, Kent in the Looking for Domestic Electricians? area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. Csaba Lőcsös
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    Csaba Lőcsös EF Member

    Hi everybody,

    I'm new here and possible my last chance to find somebody to test and sign off before I starting to convert my system to island system. My original plan was a grid connection but I'm loosing my hope to find an electrician in Ashford, Kent or surrounding area to test and sign off my DIY ground mounted PV array system. Actually PV panels and inverter are MCS specified, inverter is also G83/2, but the ground mount is DIY and installer was me. :) I'm desperate looking for somebody who can test and sign off my system for reasonable price.
     
  2. Worcester
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    Worcester Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Worcestershire
    What do you need signing off if not going for MCS?

    Any suitably qualified electrician may do the electrics side for you for a fee. You will have to get appropriate calcs to building control for the ground mount which you can do yourself, and then get them to inspect, and you'll need proof of planning permission. If not grid connected you don't need to notify the DNO, however you do need a special off-grid inverter, a normal G83/2 grid connected inverter won't work.

    Reasonable? £600 - £1000 sound about right, depending upon just what has to be tested.

    By the time you've done all that, you'll see why DIY systems often cost more than MCS certified ones.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  3. Csaba Lőcsös
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    Csaba Lőcsös EF Member

    Hi Worcester,

    Thanks for your quick answer. Actually I installed the PV panels on mobile stand in our garden so I think i don't need permissinon. I don't know how to do calcs might you can help me in this issue? I built the stand from recycled trampoline stand. You can find it on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DIY-solarw...ems-solutions-discuss-helps-1580243818925176/
    I have the whole setup for grid connection but not installed yet because if I can't find "Any suitably qualified electrician" then I have to sell the whole setup and buy an off-grid setup.
    Actually I just need a simple test like all new electic installs need but nearby every electrician possible affraid form PV solar system. I have tried to explain that I don't need any solar system specific test because it's not mcs registered but they wouldn't do.
    I'm doing 17th edition course now but I'm affraid it's not enough for sign off my system.
    :(
     
  4. Worcester
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    Worcester Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Worcestershire
    You do need either planning permission or a certificate of lawful development, and it is also be subject to building regs.

    So you have 2 choices, do it 'illegally' and no sign off and potentially dangerous, or start from scratch.

    We wouldn't sign it off without as a minimum start point, permission or the certificate plus a structural engineers calcs for the mounting system.

    You could easily have 40OV+ of DC there which needs proper installation .

    An off-grid system will is subject to the same regulations.

    Due to their lack every experience you'll find building control will insist on an MCS approved installer for all the sign offs .

    Rock and and a hard place / expensive mistake - lesson
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  5. sgt_woulds
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    sgt_woulds EF Member

    Location:
    Hemel Hempstead


    I agree with Worcester, all the points he raises are valid.

    I am hugely concerned with the frame you have constructed - it's not apparent from the photos exactly how you are keeping it on the ground, let alone if the structure will take the uplift? Dead weight bending your frame is not the issue here - wind pulling your panels off and damaging a neighbour or their property is!

    This close to the property boundaries you will deffo need PDR certificate as a minimum.

    If you could provide proof of purchase for the inverter (& G83/2 certificate), generation meter etc we would be able to run a supply for you to the inverter position and certify it as a separate circuit. The responsibility for the panels and their compliance would fall on you and we would take no responsibility for that - ditto the compatibility of the panels with the inverter.

    Commissioning of the PV system would be down to you from that point. The DNO / electricity supplier is only interested in the system being electrically safe - the panels could be made of blutack and blue cheese as far as they are concerned. It is up to you to inform BC of your installation and that's all I'll say on that front.

    That is as far as any reputable PV installer would go with this I'm afraid - other than impartial advise. Any quote for electrical work would come with a lot of caveats passing anything (other than electrical safety of the circuit up to the inverter) onto you.

    And to reiterate Worcesters DC warning - you will be playing with at least 460v DC. Believe me that can hurt. A lot. Ask me how I know... And that part would be entirely up to you.

    I'm desperately trying to think of a trampoline joke at this point but you might want me to take a running jump instead... :)
     
  6. Csaba Lőcsös
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    Csaba Lőcsös EF Member

    Thanks for answers guys. I don't understand one thing! If i'm doing it "illegally" why it should be potentially dangerous? I know how much power it will produce. I know Mr. Amper well I already shaked his hand when I was 7! :D The frame with all panels is standing since March and there was a few storms since and it is still standing because it is behind the fence so no uplift force can reach it. (also the wind is very rare perpendicularly to panels. Unfortunatelly I don't know anything about planning permissions here in UK as I'm not English. I thought it will be easier here in UK than in Hungary but now I see it is easy just for rich people. Our roof is face to north so I can't install there and also I have no 2-3 000 quid for MCS stand. I'm totally disappointed and I think I'll take it down and I'll install it (on 'illegal" way of course) in Hungary when I'll be moved back. :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  7. Csaba Lőcsös
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    Csaba Lőcsös EF Member

    I didn't get your trampoline joke you can say I understand the poen. :) I know it is funny but trust me I'm 90kg+ bloke and I was walking and jumping on it when it was ready and there was no any problem with it. So really no bending issue. Fence behind the panels is protecting the panles from uplift force. If the storm is so huge and ripping of the fence than possible the damage what my panels will cause that will be the smallest thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  8. sgt_woulds
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    sgt_woulds EF Member

    Location:
    Hemel Hempstead
    Jo napot! En beszelek kicsit a magya - rosszul! En tanulni lassan - magya nehez angol a rendelet.

    I'll stop now as it is far too early in the morning for my pigeon Hungarian :)

    I understand what you are saying about the wind forces – it’s just that I have seen heavier structures than yours blow away and as a minimum I would like to see the frame ballasted or cemented in place. That size of array will be exerting much more than 90kg of pressure in storm conditions. Like I said I'm not concerned with your frame bending under the weight. If it folds up and collapses to the ground the only thing harmed is your wallet (and a little bit of pride). But what you have built is essentially a giant wing - you don't want it taking off! Uplift is caused by airflow and pressure differences - in such cases you are concerned with far more than the direct action of wind pushing against the panels.

    Experience has shown that most panels are sucked off, not blown off!

    Secretly I am quite impressed with the frame you have built - but building control may have other ideas.

    My experience in Hungary is that you can do pretty much what you want unless you catch the eye of any one with a hint of power - then it's just a matter of how much you have to pay them to find someone else to annoy. That's why I don't even look at a rendorseg when I'm out and about.

    The experience here is rather different - but probably just as expensive.

    I certainly wouldn't throw away what you've built - just make damn sure it stays in place!
    How you approach building control is up to you - and how tetchy your neighbours are.
    Lets just say I have seen far worse installations carried out by accredited PV installers and building control have not been involved unless panels have ended up in somewhere other than their original location…
    As I’ve said, as long as the AC side of the installation is certified you will not have any problems with your DNO or electricity supplier. All they need to know is that you have a G83/2 inverter, you won’t be exporting at more than 16 Amps, that your import meter doesn’t go backwards and the system is correctly labelled.

    We could help you with that part, but not the connection and commissioning of the DC / Solar panels. That part is not rocket science and I did not mean to imply any lack of knowledge on your behalf – just make sure you fit the correct connectors (all the same make – do not believe anything that says MC4 compatible) etc and you’ll be fine.


    If we can be of help to you for the AC side please message me - our electrical team is based in Chelsfield, Kent.

    [FONT=&quot]
    A friend of the planet is always a friend to me :) It's not easy saving the world...[/FONT]
     
  9. Murdoch
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    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    When in Rome springs to mind!
     
  10. sgt_woulds
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    sgt_woulds EF Member

    Location:
    Hemel Hempstead
    Or when in Gyomro at least!
     
  11. Csaba Lőcsös
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    Csaba Lőcsös EF Member

    Wow!! It's nice! :) Big big respect! Hungarian language is very difficult to learn. Somebody said you have to learn to thinking in Hungarian first! I could understand what you mean so you are on the right way! :) Let me guess! You have a Hungarian girlfriend or wife? :)
    Thank you for your kind offer about AC side. I'm really appreciate that. Unfortunately I'm a bit down now. Might I'll downsize my system then it won't be visible from outside then I'll install off-grid system (I just bought a small electric car so I can use as a buffer). After a quick research I found the price of planing permission is about £400 plus your cost for AC side. It's just not worth it. I would like to move back to Hungary after few years so that money won't be returned.
    OFF
    I have to agree your with your experience and view of Hungary. Unfortunately rules and laws are changing day by day depending on which fat cat is in charge. For example there is a list of inverters from electricity providers in Hungary what you allowed to use for grid connection. I bought Samil power inverter because it's G83/2 and it was on the Hungarian list. After 2 month they removed it from the list. :/ That's why I said I'll install it illegaly in Hungary. :) I have no patience for bureaucracy.
    ON
    Alright I have to say I'm also a bit worry about the flying panels that's why I tightened it to a base of green houses on both sides. I like your ballast idea I think I'll put some weight on it. I don't want to put it in concrete as we are just renting this property. Our landlord is really good guy and allows us to do everything but I don't want to put concrete cubes into his garden. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
  12. sgt_woulds
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    sgt_woulds EF Member

    Location:
    Hemel Hempstead
    Szia!

    Egen, nekem van egy magyar Feleseg... And yes the Hungarian way of thinking can be a little difficult for a kulfoldi. I still haven't got the hang of telling the time and miss a lot of trains. And then there are the light switches that work the 'wrong' way and people who say hello when they mean goodbye... ;)

    How have you got on with your installation? Do you have the Solar edge Indi-OP optimisers fitted? If so I would be interested in your experience with them.

    It may be when you get back to Hungary that your inverter will be 'legal' again. However you will be living in a new town by then, since the high-ups seem to be renaming everything to their own glory.

    And for a kulfoldi who uses MAV that is doubly confusing since they haven't changed the station names and none of the locals will use the new names when you talk to them!
     
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