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I am starting to build a 600-watt solar panel system. I have a small workshop, that used to be an office. I am planning to install it there. I plan to install backups, a charge controller in an enclosure. I will also be installing a disconnect, a breaker panel for 8 breakers and a few outlets, a meter socket, (only for KWH use tracking for personal use), and a few outlets.

I have heard that NEC code requires overcurrent devices ( a part of what I'm installing ) to not be located near flammable or combustible material.

Is carpeting an exception? If not, what can I do other than installing new flooring?

  • Could you provide a better description, all splices need to be in boxes your electronics will also require an enclosure, these enclosures could be over carpet but you cannot have exposed live equipment any place in a house. You should take the tour to understand the site and how it works. – Ed Beal Apr 2 at 21:42
  • Ok, I just did so. Could you look at it again? – ElectricalHobbiest Apr 2 at 22:43
  • Note that wrangling DC terminations into enclosures can be tricky at times -- you have to pay close attention to the availability of accessories for your inverters and/or charge controllers! – ThreePhaseEel Apr 3 at 0:57
  • Can you develop static electricity working on carpet? – Lee Sam Apr 3 at 4:03
  • @LeeSam The grounding electrode system should effortlessly deal with that. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 3 at 6:55
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The NEC is only part of the picture the NEC defines the minimum standards like the breakers being in a panel or box. The 2 places in your house a breaker panel can not be located is in a clothes closet (closet with flammable storage) and a bathroom. Other than that the panel can be just about anyplace Except on a stairway. Your panel can be mounted in the living room or any other room with carpet. If all the equipment is UL listed and you use NEC approved methods your build would be ok But you need a permit for most states to be legal, so you need an electrical permit and have it inspected (yes even for solar).

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It's fine to have carpeted floors under electrical panels. It is not fine to have panels, overcurrent equipment etc. on a floor.

For a DC system the easy/cheap way to manage overcurrent is use AC service equipment that is cross-rated for DC. Then you can just buy the gear at Home Depot. The first one that comes to mind is Square D "QO" which is DC-rated up to 48VDC. Typical panels handle up to 225 amps.

As always, go BIG on electrical panels. Go BIG. Today's 8-space needs becomes tomorrow's 18-space needs. It's very cheap to buy a plenty-big panel today. It's very expensive to have to tear out a panel and replace it because of shortsightedness earlier. Given your current need for 8 spaces, I wouldn't consider anything less than 16 and would aim for 24.

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