In Balance Energy

Solar & Electrical | Services & Systems

Home Services Systems About Contact

 

Mains Power Supplies & Earthing Systems

The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 requires the electricity distributor to install the cut out and meter in a safe location, where they are mechanically protected and can be safely maintained.

Back to Articles

Incoming Mains Supply

Mains Power Supply Location & Accessability

In accordance with this requirement the risk of flooding should also be taken into account. (see 'Preparing for Floods (ODPM, 2003)'. Distributors equipment and the installation consumer unit/fuse board should be above the flood level. Upstairs power and lighting circuits and downstairs lighting circuits should be installed above the flood level. Upstairs and downstairs circuits should have seperate overcurrent devices (fuses or circuit breakers).

Consumer units should not be installed where young children might interfere with them.

In accordance with these regulations and the contract for a mains supply, proposals for new installations or significant alterations to existing ones such as the installation of a solar PV system must be agreed with the electricity distributor.

Electricity Meter

Mains Power Supply System Requirements

The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 requires the electricity distributor (Regulation 27) to advise of:

  • The number of Phases
  • The Frequency; and
  • The Voltage

On request the electricity distributor (Regulation 28) should provide the following information:

  • The maximum prospective short circuit current at the supply terminals.
  • For low voltage connections, the maximum earth loop impedence of the earth fault path outside the installation.
  • The type and rating of the distributor's protective device or devices nearest to the supply terminals.
  • The type of earthing system applicable to the connection
TN-C-S Mains Supply System

Protective Multiple Earthing (PME) (TN-C-S system)

Almost all new supplies to dwellings will be from PME distribution systems. With a TN-C-S system earthing for the installation is provided from the distributor's fused cut out where it is common with the PEN or Neutral conductor.

Except in city centres the conditions assumed for a TN-C-S system are:

  • The maximum external earth fault loop impedence Ze is 0.35 ohms.
  • The maximum prospective fault current is 16 kA

See: Earthing: Your Questions Answered (IEE, 2005) for further details and diagrams.

TN-S Mains Supply System

Cable Sheath Earth (TN-S system)

The earth connection is the responsibility of the distributor and is made by connecting the earth connection to the sheath of the incoming supply cable. The connection should be secured with soldering or brazing.

A maximum fault level of 16 kA may be assumed and a maximum external earth loop impedence of 0.8 ohms.

See: Earthing: Your Questions Answered (IEE, 2005) for further details and diagrams.

TT Mains Supply System

No Earth Provided (TT system)

TT installations may be found in rural locations with overhead supplies or where a distributor may be unwilling to provide an earthing terminal such as that for a swimming pool, farm or building site.

It is necessary to install an earth electrode with an impedence to true earth of the electrode not exceeding 200 ohms. This can be checked by carrying out an earth impedence test when the supply has been connected.

Metal gas, metal water or other metal service pipes are not to be used as the earth electrode. A seperate earth electrode must be installed with any present gas, water and other metal service pipes being bonded to the new Main Earthing Terminal.

See: Earthing: Your Questions Answered (IEE, 2005) for further details and diagrams.

Main Equipotential Bonding

Main Protective Bonding of Metal Services

In every installation, main protective bonding conductors are required to connect to the main earthing terminal for every extraneous-conductive part; including:

  • Water service pipes
  • Gas installation pipes
  • Other service pipes and ducting
  • Central heating and air conditioning systems
  • Exposed metallic structural parts of the building
  • Lightning protection systems.

When an installation serves more than one building, the above requirement must be applied to each building. In certain special locations and in installations of increased shock risk supplementary bonding is required.

Top of page

 

Electrical Installation and Testing Services

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced company to carry out any kind of electrical installation, testing or maintenenace work, we can help.

Electrical Installations & Testing

We have specialist knowledge at your disposal and ongoing experience with designing, installing and testing single and three phase elecrical systems including those utilising and incorporating stand-by generators, storage batteries, UPS Systems, DC systems and pumps.

We deliver practical energy generating, energy saving and modern electrical solutions for private, commercial, trade and agricultural clients. With engineering offices in Swindon and Torquay and electricians on the road, we service clients all over Southern and South West England and into the West Midlands.

Electrical Installation & Testing Services

 

Articles

Further reading and calculators related to designing, installing, repairing and maintaining solar photovoltaic and electrical systems:

Electrical Warning Signs & Labelling

A quick overview of some common electrical warning signs and labels that you might find attached to electrical equipment.

Types of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

Introduction to the different types of Photovoltaic (PV) System available including Grid Tied, Off-Grid, Hybrid and Batteryless solar PV systems.

Solar PV System Components

Overview of the basic components needed to install a complete solar PV system. Introduction to solar PV panels. power inverters, AC & DC isolators and mounting systems.

Free Solar PV Calculators

A list of free solar PV calculators, solar design tools and software, Use to calculate solar yields and the Return on Investment (ROI) for solar PV systems.

Solar PV: Smart Export Guarantee

Interesting times ... The Smart Export Guarantee came into affect in January 2020. The Smart Export Guarantee is an obligation set by the government for licensed electricity suppliers to offer a tariff and to pay small-scale low carbon Generators and Micro-generators for any electricity that they export to the National Grid.

Evaluating Solar PV Panels - Which panels to buy?

What to look for when evaluating and selecting solar PV panels for UK installations. Electrical characteristics of solar PV arrays and the safety factors used for selecting BoS equipment, also mounting options.

Solar Panels - PV Array Calculator

Solar Panels: Solar PV System sizing and power yield calculator. Use to work out roof layouts, PV array sizes, No. of panels and power yields. Based on SAP 2009.

Flat Roof Solar PV Array Spacing / Shade Calculator

The minimum required space between parallel rows to avoid shading is decided by the height of the array immediately in front, the slope of the roof and the lattitude of the installation site. This table illustrates the different row spacings required for optimum positioning in different locations.

Solar Electricity - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to size a system?, What is kWp?, What is the difference between a kilowatt (kW) and a kilowatt hour ( kWh)?, How does a solar PV system work? Can I add more solar panels to my system? How do I know if my solar panels are working?

Preparing for a Solar Panel Installation

As with any construction project the success and efficiency of a solar PV panel installation comes down to good planning. Some advice for potential system owners preparing for a new solar panel installation.

Planning Permission for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

A solar PV installation can be classed as 'permitted development' subject to conditions and when not located within a conservation area, AONB or world heritage site.

Engineering Recommendation G98

Grid Connections for Micro-Generators including Solar PV Systems and Elecricity Storage Systems in the UK. Under 16Amps Per Phase, grid synchronised.

Solar PV, Safety & The Building Regulations

Residential PV systems notifiable under Part P. Special consideration needed for Part A. A combination of serious risks for solar PV installers.

Safely Retrofitting Solar PV Roof Mounts

The things to consider before installing a retrofited solar PV system on a roof and an introduction to the type of equipment used to secure an on-roof solar PV system.

Smart Switching / Solar PV Power Switching

Available as an addition to existing solar PV systems or installed as a package alongside a new system, Smart switching puts full control of a solar PV system's power output firmly in the hands of the system owner.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) & Electrical Glossary of Terms

An alphabetical list of many of the industry and technical terms you are likely to come across when installing a solar PV system. The glossary also defines terms that are used in roofing and electrical work as well as in solar PV installation and solar manufacturing.

ABB / Power One Aurora Inverter Faults and Repairs

Power One, at one point were the second ranked inverter manufacturer in the world and there are many Power One Aurora Inverters installed in the UK. The most popular models being the Uno PVI-3.0-TL-OUTD and the Uno PVI-3.6-TL-OUTD.

Fronius IG / IG Plus Inverter Faults and Repairs

Fronius IG and IG Plus series inverters have LCD displays on the front of the chassis that providing it's working, will highlight any errors with the inverter or the solar PV system that it runs.

Mastervolt Inverter Faults and Repairs

Mastervolt Sunmaster and the smaller Soladin ranges of inverters were widely installed in the UK between 2011 and 2014. Popular Sunmaster models being the Sunmaster XS2000, Sunmaster XS3200 and the Sunmaster XS4300.

SMA Sunnyboy Inverter Faults and Repairs

SMA Sunnyboy Inverters have been widely installed in the UK, some of the most popular being the SB1200, SB2000 and SB3000. High frequency models include the SB2000HF, SB2500HF, and SB3000HF. Transformerless models include the SB3000TL and the SB3600TL.

SolarEdge Inverter and Optimser Faults and Repairs

The SolarEdge system is unique and in our opinion unrivalled in terms of it's ability to monitor system performance down to panel level. This is achieved through the installation of a small unit called an optimiser.

Sonnen Macht Inverter Faults and Repairs

The problem we often find with these inverters are damaged relays, the tell tale sign of a relay failure is an Error 19: Relay or Error 19: Relay Fault warning displayed on the inverter's display.

Top of page

Areas Served:

Swindon: Abingdon, Aldbourne, Andover, Banbury, Basingstoke, Bath, Berkshire, Bicester, Blunsdon, Box, Bracknell, Bradford on Avon, Bristol, Burford, Calne, Camberley, Carterton, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Chipping Norton, Chipping Sodbury, Cirencester, Corsham, Cricklade, Devizes, Didcot, Evesham, Faringdon, Fleet, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Henley-on-Thames, Highclere, Highworth, Hook, Hungerford, Keynsham, Kingsclere, Lambourn, Lechlade, Lyneham, Maidenhead, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Marshfield, Melksham, Minety, Newbury, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Pewsey, Purton, Ramsbury, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Shalbourne, Slough, Stow, Swindon, Tewkesbury, Thatcham, Trowbridge, Wanborough, Wantage, Warminster, Wiltshire, Winchester, Windsor, Witney, Wokingham, Worcester, Wroughton and Yate.

Torquay: Babbacombe, Bantham, Barnstaple, Bideford, Bodmin, Bridgewater, Brixham, Bude, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Cleveden, Cornwall, Crewkerne, Devon, Dorset, Exeter, Exmouth, Frome, Glastonbury, Holsworthy, Honiton, Ivybridge, Kingskerswell, Launceston, Lyme Regis, Lynton, Marldon, Minehead, Newquay, Newton Abbot, Okehampton, Painton, Plymouth, Salcombe, Seaton, Sidmouth, Somerset, Street, Stroud, Taunton, Tiverton, Torquay, Totnes, Wellington, Wells, Weston-super-Mer, Weymouth and Yeovil.

Derby: Ashbourne, Ashyby-de-la-Zouch, Bakewell, Beeston, Birmingham, Burton upon Trent, Buxton, Cannock, Cheadle, Chesterfield, Coalville, Congleton, Corby, Coventry, Crewe, Derby, Grantham, Kettering, Leek, Leicester, Lincoln, Long Eaton, Loughborough, Macclesfield, Matlock, Melton Mowbray, Newark-on-Trent, Nuneaton, Oakham, Peterborough, Sheffield, Sleaford, Stafford, Stamford, Stoke-on-Trent, Sutton Coldfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Swadlincote, Tamworth, Telford, Uppingham, Uttoxeter, Wigston, Wolverhampton and Worksop.

York: Barnard Castle, Barnsley, Beverley, Boroughbridge, Bradford, Bridlington, Burnley, Castleford, Darlington, Doncaster, Driffield, Easingwold, Goole, Halifax, Harrogate, Hartlepool, Helmsley, Hessle, Hornsea, Huddersfield, Hull, Keighley, Leeds, Malton, Manchester, Market Weighton, Middlesborough, North Yorkshire, Pocklington, Pontefract, Ripon, Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Selby, Sheffield, Skipton, South Yorkshire, Stockport, Thirsk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Wetherby, Whitby, Withernsea, York and the Yorkshire Dales.

East London Basildon, Barking, Bexley, Blackheath, Braintree, Brentwood, Brixton, Bromley, Burnt Oak, Canvey Island, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheshunt, Chigwell, City of London, Croydon, Dagenham, Dartford, Dulwich, Edgware, Enfield, Essex, Gravesend, Grays, Greater London, Grenwich, Harlow, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Hornchurch, Ilford, Kent, London Docklands, Maidstone, Mill Hill, Orpington, Peckham, Rainham, Rayleigh, Rochester, Romford, Sevenoaks, Sidcup, Southend-on-Sea, Stoke Newington, Stratford, Tilbury, Waltham, Walthamstow, Westminster, Wickford, Woodford and Woolwich.

Residential - Commercial - Agricultural - Industrial

©2007 - 2020 In Balance Energy Ltd