Thursday, August 27, 2009

Solar Knowledge: What is an AC Breaker Panel and Inverter AC Disconnect?

AC Breaker Panel & Inverter AC DisconnectAC Breaker Panel
AKA: mains panel, breaker box, fuse box

The AC breaker panel is the point at which all of a home’s electrical wiring meets with the provider of the electricity, whether that’s the grid or a solar-electric system. This wall-mounted panel or box is usually installed in a utility room, basement, garage, or on the exterior of the building. It contains a number of labeled circuit breakers that route electricity to the various rooms throughout a house. These breakers allow electricity to be disconnected for servicing, and also protect the building’s wiring against electrical fires.

Just like the electrical circuits in your home or office, an inverter’s electrical output needs to be routed through an AC circuit breaker. This breaker is usually mounted inside the building’s mains panel, which enables the inverter to be disconnected from either the grid or from electrical loads if servicing is necessary, and also safeguards the circuit’s electrical wiring.

Additionally, utilities usually require an AC disconnect between the inverter and the grid that is for their use. These are usually located near the utility KWH meter.

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