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Grounding requirements for a ground based PV Array
#1
Folks,  I used an IronRidge design tool and I'm building a ground based PV array out of 2" galvanized steel schedule 40 pipe as the base and universal strut as the panel mounting channels.   Its understood that you have to 'ground' the solar panels...   but I read somewhere that the metal framework holding up the panels also has to be grounded.

Does this mean that there has to be an electrical bond thru the whole structure (i.e. panels AND metal framework)?   If so, are U bolts around 2" pipe to hold on the universal strut - i.e. u bolt touching 2" pipe and nuts touching the universal strut  - considered 'bonded' for grounding purposes?

Advice on this welcome. 

Here's a picture of the 2" galvanized steel framework to give you an idea but I haven't added the universal strut yet.  
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#2
All bonding that I've seen requires a bolt or screw that goes "through" the support. So the U-Bolt wouldn't be enough alone, there'd need to be an anchor point drilled into the pipe.
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#3
Once I have things in place, I'll use self-tapping screws thru universal strut into the the 2" pipe so there is an electrical path thru all the universal struts to the frame. For the horizontal 2" pipe to the vertical 2" pipe, maybe I can use those IronRidge grounding straps.

Sigh... its always a bit more complicated (with DIY solar) than you think at first... that the entire frame + panels need electrical path for grounding. I'm not sure what risk there is but I do trust NEC electric codes as having a basis in reality/safety. Just hard to avoid 'denial' sometimes Smile
Korishan likes this post
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#4
(11-02-2019, 03:01 PM)OffGridInTheCity Wrote: Just hard to avoid 'denial' sometimes Smile

Just leave Egypt Tongue

It can be more complicated as DIY. But also to, it's usually a 1 (wo)man show as we usually do it completely ourselves. I suppose for the great price of a few cases of beer, you might wrangle in a neighbor or 2 to help out.
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
Knowledge is Power; Absolute Knowledge is Absolutely Shocking!
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#5
They just built a bunch of shade-type solar arrays at many of the parking lots at work. The small ones are 70kw arrays. Interestingly they are inverting to 3-phase and then transforming down to split-phase because many of the buildings don't have 3-phase service.

Anyway, if you have one of those around you at a mall or something I'd go check it out. They have grounding straps all over the place. I probably won't be at work for a few more weeks so I can't snap some pics.
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