ICS Plus and NEC 2017

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ICS Plus and NEC 2017

Post by Diver »

The ICS Plus manual indicates it's compliant with 690.15 NEC 2014. From what I can tell, NEC 2017 wants both legs of the PV to be interrupted, while NEC 2014 is happy with just the positive leg interrupted.

I can add an additional relay to interrupt the negative leg so it will meet NEC 2017, but my AHLJ won't give me a permit unless the manual itself says it complies with NEC 2017.

Any updated manual available?
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Re: ICS Plus and NEC 2017

Post by Solarphil »

Hi Diver, as you know there were major changes between 2014 and 17 on 690.15 disconnects, and this area can get really, really confusing but you shouldn't have to make modifications to the ICS+ to meet either code cycle.

In 2014, there was a generic list of items that needed disconnecting means ("Means shall be provided to disconnect equipment such as..." followed by a laundry list) and 690.15(C) specifically required DC combiner disconnects. In 2017, that section was entirely restructured so the requirement is isolating devices (a brand new term only applicable to PV circuits) for specific equipment - modules, fuses, converters, inverters and controllers. In addition, the requirement for DC combiner disconnects was eliminated. Isolating devices can be used in circuits up to 30 amps, they don't need to be load break rated, and they don't have to act simultaneously across all conductors. An MC4 on a module is one example of an isolating device, a touch safe fuseholder could be another, however for either to be used the circuit needs to be opened, those devices can't be opened under load. Under 2017 NEC, the red rotary switch on the side of the ICS+ is NOT a disconnect, it's simply a means to open the circuit so the isolating devices can be used to service the module or fuse.

The ICS+ manual simply mentioned 2014 NEC because that was the version that was published back when that product was developed and released -- I guess that's our mistake for being too specific, sorry that is causing your inspector to have some heartburn but manuals shouldn't have to be rewritten to mention every new code cycle, I hope he can understand.

Let us know if we can help walk him through this,

Phil Undercuffler
Philip Undercuffler
Director of Government and Industry Relations
OutBack Power Technologies
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