Still Looking…and Finding

When you do an upgrade to your system. There may be more to it than bolting a new box to the wall. You may need to upgrade cables and other components.

This system had one of those lovely GS8048 inverters made by Outback. It was installed with wire I would consider to be a wee bit on the thin side. The inverter worked well, but the lady of the house was not willing to concern herself with rationing power. There were times when she wanted to run the clothes dryer, keep cool with the a/c and use the oven to bake cookies…all at the same time! Those loads and a few other odds and ends add up to a strain on an 8kw inverter.

Try running 300 amps through #4 wire with loose terminals and see how warm they get! Those cable ends should be coppery, but are discolored by heat.

Therefore, a second GS8048 was added. That’s a neat feature of the Outback. Two of them will stack and share the load instead of having to toss one and put in a unit that is twice as big. There was power to excess, at 16kw capability. However, it seems that the cables were not upgraded. I see 4 AWG and 1/0 in there, where I think I would be considering at least a 4/0 harness.

Wires that are too small will get warm. If you neglect a preventative maintenance schedule that includes tightening lugs, then things can get really hot. How hot was it?

That cable is a little thicker, but looks a little melty to me.

The moral to the story is that there is more to an upgrade than just the new hardware. Take a look at the whole system. One good thing about this upgrade is that the battery pile was more than doubled to make plenty of current available to the inverters.–Neal