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sunMAX - Install: Equipment & System Grounding

Grounding & sunMAX Residential

WARNING: Wiring work should be performed according to the provisions of the National Electrical Code.

Grounding work and wiring connections throughout the installation should be performed by a qualified electrician.

The purpose of grounding is to provide a path for electrical current to return to earth, reducing the risk of damage to equipment or shock to humans under conditions known as a fault.

To offset the high voltage potential difference during a fault, a conductive path leading back to a grounding rod placed 6 or more feet underground can help maintain potential balance between earth (0V) and the grounded path.

Equipment Grounding is a type of Grounding that calls for the electrical bonding of all non-current carrying components in the PV system, such as panel frames and connectors.

Comparatively, System Grounding is the means by which a Current-carrying Conductor is grounded to earth by means of bonding to the Equipment Grounding system.

The sunMAX mounting system provides a built-in integrated grounding system to bond the array together.

When panel connectors are installed they provide up to a 4 way bond with adjacent modules and/or trim skirts.

By bonding modules into one continuous system only a single wire equipment grounding conductor (EGC) is required for up to 15 contiguous modules.

The grounding wire is connected to any of the panel connectors in the system with the addition of the grounding kit.

The Grounding Kit (SM-GK) provides the ability to connect a grounding wire to the pre-threaded surface of any Panel Connector in the array to satisfy equipment grounding requirements per NEC.

Steps to Ground the sunMAX Mounts

To begin, use a minimum #8 AWG bare-copper ground wire. Run a continuous bond wire to each module and rail in the array. Follow NEC 690 grounding provisions.

Note: If the Grounding Wire is exposed, you must use a #6 AWG ground wire.

If the corner edges of the Modules do not rest on a connector mount, use a panel connector to join the Modules together.

Panel connectors connect Modules together structurally (along the frame edges and corners) and bond them together electrically.

Install the Grounding Stud into the pre-threaded hole located underneath any Panel Connector in the array.

Note: A Grounding Stud can ground up to 15 Modules if they are connected together using Panel Connectors.

While following NEC 690 grounding provisions, connect one side of the #8 AWG bare-copper ground wire to the stud, then terminate the other side of the wire near the conduit where the End-Run wires (including the #12 AWG green) run back to the Main Panel.