Commercial Grid connect signage

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Training
by
Veli Markovic

Commercial solar signage, getting it right

We look at a 200 kW solar system from the perspective of what applicable signage is needed with a system connected to a main switchboard with no parallel strings.  

 

Australian Standards 

 

As CEC installers and designers we need to operate under the appropriate Australian New Zealand standards and this applies to commercial solar systems. 

Signage is very important and with the standards constantly changing it is vital that the installer designer keeps up. 

Signage  

Signage is very important as it indicates to emergency service workers and others where the appropriate or the applicable equipment is located and what needs to be done in the case of an emergency or a shutdown situation or similar.  

We will look at . . . .  

This presentation will look at the various signs required specifically for a commercial solar system, the referenced Australian standards and the particular clauses relevant to the signage, the locations and the equipment involved. Australian standards are living documents and therefore subject to change. This presentation is dealing with the current Australian standards and amendments and we are not responsible for any changes in the future in regards to these signage requirements. 

The system  

Will be looking at a commercial solar system 200kW utilising:

  • 6 x 27 kW inverters
  • Connected to a secondary protection board*
  • *SPB connected to MSB
  • Each inverter has 5 x strings of 19 x 350 watt panels
  • For a total of 199,500 watts
  • Combined array Isc of 300A
  • Voc MAX is 950
  • No parallel strings, no combiner boxes
  • Fire panel and MSB and SPB in switchboard room

Switchboard signage

The following signs shall be installed on the switchboard to which the IES is directly connected:

(a) A sign containing the text ‘WARNING’, ‘MULTIPLE SUPPLIES’ and ‘ISOLATE

ALL SUPPLIES BEFORE WORKING ON THIS SWITCHBOARD’. This sign shall

be installed in a prominent position on the switchboard

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.2(a)

Location: The inverters are connected to a secondary protection board so this is where this signage goes. How many? One


A sign containing the text ‘MAIN SWITCH (INVERTER SUPPLY)’. This sign shall be installed adjacent to the main switch for the IES

Clause

AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.2(b)

Location: As inverters connected to SPB this is where this sign goes. How many? One




Adjacent to the main switch of grid supply. As we are connecting to a SPB there is no requirement for the signage on the SPB but there is at the main switchboard

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.2(c)

Location: Adjacent to main switch of grid supply in MSB. How many? One


Adjacent to the isolator for the normal supply to the distribution board. If IES are NOT connected to the MSB BUT to a DB then this sign is needed but if connected to a SPB that connects to the MSB sign is not needed

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.2(d) Location: Not applicable as IES connected to SPB

How many? Zero.


Are the inverters locations difficult to find or are the inverters located in a big building. In this case there was no issue locating the inverters. The clause is a should not a shall

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.4 Location: Main switch board and fire panel if applicable

How many? Zero

This sign is attached to MSB and all intermediate switchboards between DB IES are connected and MSB. The DB itself does not need this sign. In this the IES is connected to a SPB directly to MSB so signage is attached to MSB.

Signage would change from distribution board to secondary protection board, location, next to MSB


Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.3 Location: Main switch board . How many? One


The current specified shall be the short circuit current at STC and the voltage specified shall be the PV array maximum voltage. Where multiple arrays are installed, voltage specified shall be the highest voltage present and the current shall be the sum of the array currents. On large systems more information should be provided

Roof, Clause AS/NZS 5033:2014, Cl 5.4.1 Location: Main switch board, visible when door is open

How many? One

Applies to PV installation using AC modules/ micro inverters. In this case none

Clause AS/NZS 5033:2014, Cl 5.4.1 Location: Main switch board, visible when door is open.

How many? Zero


MAIN SWITCHBOARD AND METER BOX EASILY VISIBLE TO EMERGENCY WORKERS . Applies to the installation of PV systems. Must be readily visible to approaching emergency workers

Clause AS/NZS5033:2014,  Cl5.4.2 Location: Main switch board and meter and, if applicable, transformer, pad mounted. How many? Two



MAIN SWITCHBOARD AND METER BOX EASILY VISIBLE TO EMERGENCY WORKERS . Must be readily visible to approaching emergency workers. Applies to the installation of an Energy Storage System. Must be readily visible to approaching emergency workers. No batteries on this job.

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.5(c) Location: Main switch board and meter How many? Zero

MAIN SWITCHBOARD AND ANY INTERMEDIATE SWITCHBOARD. Applies to multi -mode inverters. In this case we have none, so no requirement here

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.11 Location: Main switch board and meter How many? Zero


MAIN SWITCHBOARD AND ANY INTERMEDIATE SWITCHBOARD. Applies to multi -mode inverters. In this case we have none.Alternative words may be used in place of “stand -alone supply” to indicate the most appropriate type. Eg. Alternative supply or UPS supply

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.11 Location:  Main switch board and meter How many? Zero

THE RELEVANT DISTRIBUTION BOARDS THE IES(S) ARE CONNECTED TO. In this case the SPB as the 6 x inverters are directly connected to this and then the SPB is connected to the MSB

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.2 Location:  Secondary protection board How many? One



Where a building has a fire panel, a sign shall be installed at the fire panel stating ‘MULTIPLE SUPPLIES’ with instructions as to the location of the IES shutdown procedures. In this case there is a fire panel and this is where the signage would be affixed. In addition there is signage indicating the shutdown procedure

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.7 Location: Fire panel  How many? One



A permanent sign detailing the shutdown procedure for the IES in the event of an emergency situation shall be installed adjacent to and visible from the equipment or the switch to be operated in the event of a shutdown.  A warning shall be included in the shutdown procedure indicating that isolation of the energy source by shutting down the inverter and isolating the IES may not de-energize the energy source and further actions may be required.

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.7 Location: Inverters or Inverter station

How many? Six *Could use one per inverter station possibly


Where no Standard exists for the energy source being installed, the following labelling shall

be included as a minimum:

(b) Any specific operational considerations for isolation shall be clearly marked,

(e.g. ‘Isolate at main switchboard before operating this isolator’).

Standard exist so this signage is not required

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.5(b) Location: MSB How many? Zero



6.6 DEMAND RESPONSE MODE (DRM) LABELLING

The installer should ensure that appropriate (DRM) labelling is either already provided on the inverter by the manufacturer, or is applied to the inverter as required. This label shall indicate the demand response modes of which the unit is capable. It shall indicate on the label which functions have been connected and enabled.

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.6 Location:  On or at each inverter. How many? Six


6.10 SIGNS FOR MULTIPLE ENERGY SOURCES

Where multiple energy sources are connected to an IES, a warning sign shall be installed

adjacent to the inverter(s) indicating that all energy sources shall be turned off to achieve

complete isolation. Not applicable as only one energy source is connected to the IES, being solar

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.10 Location: On or at each inverter. How many? Zero


5.5.2 PV array disconnecting device. The PV array dc disconnector shall be provided with a sign affixed in a prominent location with the following text: PV ARRAY D.C. ISOLATOR. Where multiple isolation/disconnection are used that are not ganged ( refer to clause 4.4.1.4 the following signage shall be placed adjacent to the PCE

WARNING: MULTIPLE D.C. SOURCES

TURN OFF ALL D.C ISOLATORS TO ISOLATE EQUIPMENT

In our case the inverters have a built in DC load breaking switch so no need for this sign

Clause AS/NZS 5033:2014 Cl 5.5.2 Location: On or at each inverter. How many? Zero


The PV array d.c disconnector shall be provided with a sign affixed in a prominent location with the following text:

PV ARRAY D.C. ISOLATOR

As we are using 6 x inverters with built in DC isolator switches will need one per inverter and also there are 30 x strings on roof each with DC isolator

Clause AS/NZS 5033:2014 Cl 5.5.2 and AS/NZS 4777.1:2016. Cl6.8 Location: At the inverter near the built in DC  Switch and for each DC isolator on the roof. How many? Thirty six


Where multiple IES are installed within one electrical installation, signage and labelling

shall be clear and combined with consistent terminology and without clutter.

Where multiple IES are installed at one electrical installation, signage shall accurately

reflect which devices control which items of equipment. In this case we are using one AC isolator per inverter and signage should indicate which AC isolator goes with which inverter

Clause AS/NZS4777.1:2016, Cl 6.9 Location: At each inverter  How many? Six

Signs for PV arrays and PV string junction boxes

A sign containing the following text shall be attached to PV array and PV string junction boxes:

WARNING:HAZARDOUS D.C. VOLTAGE. In this case we are using individual strings from roof to inverter so no PV array or PV string junction boxes. This clause does not apply to Dc isolators

Clause AS/NZS5033 Cl 5.3.2 Location: PV array and PV string junction boxes

How many? Zero but should be attached to cable tray carrying DC cable on roof and at inverters.

Signs for systems over 600 V

For systems over 600 V a warning sign indicating the following shall be installed on the access door or gate:

WARNING: HAZARDOUS VOLTAGE

AUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY

As VocMAX is 950 need this signage

Clause AS/NZS5033 Cl 5.5.4 Location: Access door or gate How many? One


ESV ( Victoria only signage)This sign shall be placed at the main switchboard and any fire indicator panel.

It must also indicate the LOCATION OF ISOLATION SWITCHES FOR EACH

GENERATION SYSTEM.

Clause ESV  6.9.2.3 Location: MSB and fire panel. How many? Two


If you’d like to see more of what Greenwood Solutions get up to in the real world of renewable energy, solar, battery storage and grid protection check out the following pages:

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/industry 

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/commercial

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/commercial/customer-stories

https://www.greenwoodsolutions.com.au/news


About the author

Veli Markovic

CEC Designer
Veli has nearly two decades of experience in the renewable industry. He is passionate about providing people with valuable education and is highly regarded throughout the industry as an educator and operator.
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