Running 2/0 aluminum

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Running 2/0 aluminum

Postby robaroni on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:36 am

Hi everyone,

I'm finalizing my system. I'm running two 3648 (series) with Outbacks AC and DC boxes. I noticed that OB specifically states to run copper only into their boxes but I would like to run my 48 volt battery in with double 2/0 aluminum wire with certified al/cu lugs (made from aluminum) to save the high cost of copper wire. I'll probalby run aluminum as battery intra-connects too. (8 Rolls S530 batteries)

Thanks for your help,
Rob
System:
2-GVFX3648's
1- MX60
1-Flex80
Hub- 4
Mate
Tri-metric 2020
4200 watts PV
8 Rolls 530S batteries in series
48 volt system
robaroni
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Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:56 am
My RE system: Two GVFX3648, MX 60 (on 1400w string), Flex 80 (on 2880w string),4280w PV totals, 8 Rolls S530 batts, HUB 4, Mate, Temp sensor. System in since 2006, converted to GVFX 2013

Re: Running 2/0 aluminum

Postby tallgirl on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:33 am

You need to check with your local inspector. You also need to make sure you use the proper installation methods since aluminum has oxidation issues ...
Julie in Texas

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Re: Running 2/0 aluminum

Postby The Electron on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:09 pm

No way ever, except in a survival situation, would I even THINK of using aluminum around batteries. I crimp AND solder and then heatshrink all my battery cable ends, and if/when a bit of acid gets in there it will still go for a long time. You get acid in aluminum cable and it will go quick. Any local code that allows AL around batteries is crazy!!!

Remember, the DC side of things is where you have high current and loss can add up. I have never seen battery acid-resistant insulation on AL wire. I use AL for long runs out to the solar/hydro sources(oversized at that) but never around batteries.
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Re: Running 2/0 aluminum

Postby robaroni on Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:10 am

Thank you both for your replies. This is my first run of batteries into a system, I'll go with copper.

Rob
System:
2-GVFX3648's
1- MX60
1-Flex80
Hub- 4
Mate
Tri-metric 2020
4200 watts PV
8 Rolls 530S batteries in series
48 volt system
robaroni
OutBack Whiz
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:56 am
My RE system: Two GVFX3648, MX 60 (on 1400w string), Flex 80 (on 2880w string),4280w PV totals, 8 Rolls S530 batts, HUB 4, Mate, Temp sensor. System in since 2006, converted to GVFX 2013

Re: Running 2/0 aluminum

Postby SteveHiggins on Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:51 am

All of our connections have been sized for Copper... There are some terminal blocks such as the older MX60 that just wouldn't accept aluminum connections. The new FM's will and the inverter will but the breakers/fuse holders they are just not big enough and most haven't been tested or approved for aluminum. unless other wise noted on the breaker.

I echo the comment... I would never even think of using aluminum conductors. I have seen way to many of them fail only a couple of years into the system.

Remember the old adage "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR"
Steve Higgins
Technical Services Director- Surrette Battery Company

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