Photovoltaic installation is an increasingly popular solution that uses solar energy to produce electricity. To ensure safe and stable operation of the entire system, it is necessary to ground the photovoltaic installation. In this article, we will discuss why grounding is so important, what components should be grounded and what standards and regulations apply.
Why is grounding a photovoltaic installation important?
Grounding a photovoltaic installation is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it has to do with the safety of users and the prevention of possible failures or fires.
A photovoltaic installation is an electrical system that generates voltage and current. If it is not thoroughly and properly grounded, it can lead to dangerous situations such as electrocution or fire outbreaks. Grounding protects against dangerous touch voltages and also protects against damage from surges and short circuits.
In addition, the grounding of a photovoltaic installation affects the correct operation of the entire system. Earthing ensures stability and protection from electromagnetic interference, which can affect the quality of the generated current. Grounding is also important to ensure the correct operation of electric shock protection devices, such as ground fault circuit breakers – especially important in protecting human life.
It is worth noting that the grounding of a photovoltaic installation is required by building codes and regulations. Failure to ground can lead to legal consequences, as well as negative financial consequences related to failures and the need for repair.
What elements should be grounded in a photovoltaic installation?
In a photovoltaic installation, many elements should be grounded, such as:
- photovoltaic panels,
- panel mounting structures,
- wires and cables,
- electric shock shielding.
Each of these components requires individual grounding. Grounding of photovoltaic panels and mounting structures is necessary to dissipate any charge from lightning and photovoltaic panels to earth. Protection against electric shock of the wires is equally important to ensure the safety of users. Inverters are the most important component in the entire installation, as they are the ones that convert direct current into alternating current and transmit it to the grid. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly and solidly ground the inverters. Grounding metal parts also provides additional protection against the possibility of voltage on them.
[Caption id=”attachment_13358″ align=”alignnone” width=”800″] Fig. 2. grounding of photovoltaic installation – microinverters[/caption]
Standards and regulations for grounding a photovoltaic installation in Poland
In Poland, the grounding of a photovoltaic installation is regulated by several standards and regulations, which define the technical requirements and procedures related to the installation and operation of photovoltaic systems.
First of all, attention should be paid to the provisions of the Construction Law, which require grounding of a photovoltaic installation. According to current regulations, any photovoltaic installation must be connected to a protective ground in accordance with the requirements of PN-EN 50522:2011 “Photovoltaic systems – Safety requirements”, which is a reference to PN-EN 60364 “Electrical installations in buildings”.
Another important document regulating the grounding of photovoltaic installations is Industry Standard N-ITSR-4 “Photovoltaic System Installations”, issued by the Polish Society of Theoretical and Applied Electrical Engineering. This standard details the requirements for the design, construction and operation of photovoltaic installations, including grounding requirements.
In addition, an important role in regulating the grounding of photovoltaic installations is played by European standards such as PN-EN 62446 “Photovoltaic systems – Requirements for inspection, measurement and documentation,” which specifies requirements for insulation, grounding and protective conductor measurements.
The grounding of a photovoltaic system is crucial to ensure the safety of users and the stable operation of the entire system. Grounding should include many components, such as photovoltaic panels, mounting structures, wires and cables, inverters and electric shock shields. Grounding each of these components is necessary to avoid danger to people and electrical equipment, and to ensure the stability and correct operation of the entire system.
Standards and regulations governing the grounding of a photovoltaic installation specify requirements for the construction and implementation of the installation, as well as requirements for testing and checking the grounding. In Poland, these regulations are contained in the Construction Law and the PN-EN 50522 standard, among others.
It is worth remembering that a photovoltaic installation is an electrical installation that can generate high voltages and currents. Therefore, it is important that grounding is performed by qualified personnel and in accordance with applicable standards and regulations.
- Construction Law – the law of July 7, 1994. – Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2155
- Standard PN-EN 50522:2011 “Photovoltaic systems – Safety requirements”
- Standard PN-EN 60364 “Electrical installations in buildings”
- Industry standard N-ITSR-4 “Installations of photovoltaic systems”
- PN-EN 62446 standard “Photovoltaic systems – Requirements for inspection, measurement and documentation”