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I have no reason to have any faith at all in AFCI technology, as I have not yet seen any empirical evidence to show that they work in the manner that they are supposed to.

However, that doesn't take these guys off the hook. I would like to know what is causing them to trip. Any theories ?

EMF from the inverter or slightly abnormal sign wave out put. My guess. There is no way a $35 breaker is sophisticated enough or well thought out enough to differentiate between a normal arc, abnormal arc, EMI interference and distorted sign wave. My understanding is these breakers detect arcs by simply looking for current ripples, and there is a lot out of the abnormal arc fault that can cause that.

If AFCI breakers really could detect abnormal faults well and not trip on anything outside of that they would literally have the computing power of an Iphone at the very least or a laptop.

I am being literal about that. MV Recloser and MV/HV substation breakers equipped with arc fault logic relays have that type of computing power. Most have on board oscilloscopes/sine wave analyzers. And considering that these are applications where if an arc signature is detected near 100% of the time its a downed wire or tree branch contact. No customer will have a brush motor or flat screen TV that will load a 13.8kv 1,200amp circuit half way or a 60MW sub transmission line. Yet despite that that the added logic to prevent nuisance tripping and make fault finding easy.


AFCIs are a full blown gimmick at the 120 volt level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
read the '11 change in 690.11 Mac


~CS~
Well, Steve of the future, we are on 2008 still. But them arc's were not meant to be removed as per 08 .

I have seen pv guys try to bolt on lugs to meter neutral busbars with self tapping sheet metal screws on a dozen or more jobs I came across now. I bet this is one of those wonders, but no trip back to site yet. I want money , no I want lots and lots of money before I go there to restore the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
How did you come to the conclusion that the AFCI's were the issue when they were working fine until the solar panels? I understand that you feel for the guy but still, the solar installation caused this issue, not bad AFCI breakers.

Out of curiosity, what brand panel are we talking about here?
Well Mag, put an afci in a panel without supplying power to that panel from any source and I bet the afci's will still trip. That is stupid and funny but it is about how well they have worked in the world so far. (yea soon somebody is going to say they put in thousands and never had one problem yet, but those guys who say that crap are just lier's, they don't realize this isn't Mike Holt, we know b.s. here when we see it....) I don't know what the real problem is, I am sure it is something the pv jockey's did. Two years ago they were all changing tires for a living, now they are Photovoltaic Energy Experts. However AFCI's are no angels either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
why didn't you do the solar?
I don't do the no money down and no cost out of pocket to the customer for PV installs gig. That is the type of system she got, she will purchase sunlight power from her solar panel company now that she has their free panels up on her rooftop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I am thinking about installing PV's in HI. Seems like an easy gig.
It truly is, but you missed the boat. Sales for the last three months statewide are down something like 80% cause suddenly the poco's are no longer playing ball. You put in an application to the power company to feed the grid and you might get an ok to proceed if you have 6 months to wait or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hey Mac are the solar panels feeding through the main panel bus bar or are is it tied in load side of the meter..?
I don't know, I have not been there for a year at least. They put it in this week.
 
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