Connecting Wind Turbines to Your Home

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Connecting power sources in series and parallel to achieve the required outputA hydro or wind turbine connects like a PV array. There will be a connection point or wiring interconnection method suggested in each model's installation manual. Bergey Windpower suggests tying the weatherproof junction box up at the tower's top and drilling holes for the feed/connection wires' entry from the turbine. Using liquid-tight fittings to relieve wire strain, while keeping the weather out, is recommended.

Run a feed cable down the tower to another servicing junction box then into the house. This cable can be installed using a PVC plastic or metal conduit tied securely to one of the tower's legs with non-corroding metal clamps. Alternatively, use a combination of flexible cable and conduit called teck cable, which is more costly but installs quickly. It is as strong as a traditional conduit. For a tight tie-off for the teck lead wire at the leg of the tower, consider using ultraviolet cables that are light-resistant.

Renewable Source to Battery Feed Cable

Electricity from either the wind turbine or PV array needs to be routed to the battery bank. Cables can run down the side of the house, underground or even over the roof if the generator is far away. Underground cable connections are most common due to their cheaper installation cost and simplicity.

NEC/CEC provides for direct burial cable and conduit protected cable: an 18-inch (0.5 m) trench is dug between the inverter, battery room or house and source. Between the cable's exit point from the house or up the turbine/array support leg, an appropriate length of conduit must be used to protect the wire from damage. Then the cable is laid in the trench and covered with 6 inches (15 cm) of soil. That point is then marked with an "underground wire" tape to warn against digging where the buried cable is and the trench is filled completely.

Over-Current Protection and Disconnect Devices

Connecting a battery bank to an inverter, with an automatic disconnectThe NEC/CEC's requirement for excessive current protection and a disconnection device comes from the fact that the energy source is linked to an on-grid inverter or grid-interactive batteries. You can either install separate fused disconnect switches at every source or add an auxiliary circuit breaker to the primary battery/inverter disconnect box .

Some manufacturers of inverter-based systems offer integrated panels. The final cost of an integrated wiring panel is rarely more than the "à la carte" purchase and wiring option, even if the initial cost is higher. As a bonus, there are no incompatibility issues when a single manufacturer provides the complete system.