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Thread: Dc Installation

  1. #1
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    Dc Installation

    Hi guys, had my first run in today with a home fitted with a 1000 inverter and 100AH battery that was purchased at a shop. It supplies two monitors and 5 LED strip lights. The wattage and make was unclear to me. Its supplied with speaker wire in the roof giving power to the 5 light that's mounted to the sealing. Can someone please advise on the correct way such an installation should be done. Obviously speaker wire isn't right and I'm sure the 1mm thickness isn't right also as the 5lights are all connected together at a block connector.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2017
    Port Elizabeth
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    I am assuming that the installation being referred to is a real homemade , plugged in inverter and battery supplying the lights with 12v DC, or thereabouts.More than likely a quick fix to load shedding.

    With reference to SANS 10142-1 ed 2

    The introduction ,pg1, -Code now moves towards IEC extra low voltage (below 50v) and dc applications ( up to 1,5kv) have been introduced etc.

    Obviously the installation you are looking at would definitely fall under the code and all protection 6.7 pg 154 would need to apply, along with installation of conductors and cables 6.3 pg 133 , identification of DC circuit pg134 , and Alternative supplies section 7.12 pg 244 ( - ) and Section 7.15 DC installations pg256

    You will need to ensure that any C/Breakers, fuse holders and wiring is DC rated and can withstand the potential fault levels that occur on DC systems.Fundamental requirements section 5 pg 62 refers you back to - manufacturer's instructions may contain more stringent requirements - which would also need to be taken into account.
    You would need to be sure that the inverter can withstand long periods of operation and handle the size battery that it is charging - With the wattage and make unclear you should scrap the inverter as how can you possibly verify that section of the installation.Section 4 Compliance pg 52 would come into play -
    You do not mention how many batteries are on the system - You need to take into account section 7.11 pg 243 with special note of 7.11.4 - If the source of supply uses batteries that emit explosive fumes or gases , it shall be installed in a room that is a) designed to accommodate the source and supply b) has adequate ventilation to the outside and c) when require (see SANS 10108 ) contains explosion proof electrical equipment
    We came across a UPS with 60 batteries installed in the same room as the server and main DB for the shop.The room was air conditioned to keep the server cool but had no ventilation - You could smell the hydrogen when you opened the door.We did the calculations of the amount of gas generated as per SANS 10108 and discovered a potential bomb in the middle of the shopping complex. Never trust the so called UPS experts , they are not signing the coc.

    I am sure we will receive a comment that if the installation is plugged in then it does not form part of the installation - The inverter and associated wiring along with light fittings would be regarded as a fixed appliance and therefore 6.16 pg 181 would come into play with special reference to pg 183 - The wiring between different parts of a fixed appliance that are installed separately is part of the fixed installation ,even where it is supplied from a socket outlet , unless such wiring is less than 3m in length.
    Such wiring shall be protected by separate overload protection unless its current carrying capacity is such that the circuit protection of the socket outlet circuit will provide protection or that part of the appliance has built in thermal overload protection

    There is no quick fix and unfortunately it is becoming common practice for Electricians to ignore any item that is plugged in , hoping that it never comes back to bite.
    If there is a fire and the insurance company employs an AIA to investigate , which appears to becoming the norm, it could be an expensive problem for somebody.

  3. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (18-Feb-18), Dave A (17-Feb-18), IMGREG (19-Feb-18)

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