PV Equipment Installation & Panelboard

Picture of Installation

I'm new to the forum and I'm trying to locate within the NEC article sections that would permit this type of installation. The installation was around 2015, so the relevant codes would be either NEC 2011 or 2014.

This is a PV installation that I randomly came across and was very curious about it. I haven't seen a installation like this before. The panelboard on the right is mounted about 8 feet AFF from the bottom of the panelboard which is connected to PV inverters via wire trough. This is on the top floor of a 5-story college parking deck.

The panelboard isn't readily accessible and the highest position of the breakers cannot be greater than 6'-7". This only thing that comes to mind and I'm still looking into it, is that the panelboard and distribution breakers are considered to be local disconnecting means same as if you would place a disconnection switch on a piece of equipment mounted at great heights.

I'm still reading the code book to obtain the series of articles that would allow this install and so far I'm a little stuck and thought this would be a good topic for discussion.
 
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tortuga

Senior Member
Location
(44.057116, -123.103394)
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field supervisor
Hi we cant see the picture it wants a password, try attaching it directly?
Are you asking if anything in the code would exempt overcurrent devices from 240.24(A) and allow them to be in excess of 8 feet off the finished floor?
The disconnecting means for a PV system has to be 'readily accessible' 690.13(A).
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
Assuming you're asking about what would allow the breakers to be above 6'-7" it may be that someone thought Exception 4 applied to 240.24. There's a similar exception to 404.8. Can't tell how sensible that would be without knowing if the inverters are 'adjacent' to it.
 
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Seems that I don't have an option to insert an image directly to the thread. The insert image and insert media icon only allows me to enter an URL to the image. I'm not sure if this has something to do with me being new here because I've seen other threads that people have directly attached images.
 

Carultch

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Seems that I don't have an option to insert an image directly to the thread. The insert image and insert media icon only allows me to enter an URL to the image. I'm not sure if this has something to do with me being new here because I've seen other threads that people have directly attached images.
Follow this screenshot to upload images that you have saved on your computer, provided they are in a GIF or JPG format. I'm not sure what other formats it accepts, such as PNG, but those two are the most common. You can also paste images, that you currently have on your computer's clipboard, as I have done to insert this picture.
1610506133522.png
 
I was able to upload the image now. Originally, I did not have this ability, but I do now. I only had the linked URL option.

Now that I can share the photo. I'm still on the fence on how the NEC would allow this. I feel that Article 404.8 for working platform would allow it and then this would take care of Article 690.13(A). I want to bounce this off others to see if this is the right way of thinking or if there maybe be other ones I haven't thought of.

The other reason I can possible think of is there was a variance allowed because the parking deck was an existing structure and its not possible to give dedicated electrical space on the floor.
20201213_154102.jpg
 

tortuga

Senior Member
Location
(44.057116, -123.103394)
Occupation
field supervisor
Interesting install, thanks for the photo.
Assuming you're asking about what would allow the breakers to be above 6'-7" it may be that someone thought Exception 4 applied to 240.24. There's a similar exception to 404.8. Can't tell how sensible that would be without knowing if the inverters are 'adjacent' to it.
Yeah that's interesting so if the equipment in this case the inverters are allowed to be up there then the panel is per the item (4) in 240.24.
The disconnecting means for a PV system still has to be 'readily accessible' 690.13(A), however perhaps possibly they achieved that with some sort of remote shutdown?
 
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