How to connect solar panels to a circuit breaker

Written by david mcguffin
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How to connect solar panels to a circuit breaker
RE solar systems can be installed so that the electricity that it generates flows through standard wall outlets. (Solar Panel image by kuhar from

Installing a solar powered system to a circuit breaker box, allows the electricity produced by your solar panels to flow through standard wall outlets. As a result, your renewable energy (RE) solar panel system is more accessible to be used with standard appliances and can save you more money by reducing your electricity costs. It is important to know that connecting solar panels to a circuit breaker is not required to use electricity from a solar panel system.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Installed Photovoltaic system
  • Power inverter
  • Electrical wiring
  • Wall sockets and outlets
  • Electric Metallic Tubing
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Multimeter

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  1. 1

    Connect output wires from your AC inverter to your circuit breaker box. The type of wires and specific connections used may vary depending on the type and manufacturer of your power inverter. Consult the maker or the owner's manual to find your specific wiring requirements for your inverter. Slide a protective sheath, such as an Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) cover over the exposed wire.

  2. 2

    Turn off the main circuit breaker switch so that no power is flowing to your house. The main switch is on the top of your circuit breaker panel or on a separate panel box for some locations. If you do not know how to turn off the power to your house, consult with your utility provider. Unscrew the front panel on the circuit breaker so that the wiring on the back side is exposed.

  3. 3

    Install outlets and wiring into your home. If your community or state requires a standardised code for home electrical wiring, be sure to follow all regulations and laws. Also, check to see if you need a permit or an inspection for your wiring. Place the outlets in the rooms that you want to utilise the solar power generated electricity and run the wiring to one or more empty slots on your circuit breaker. Screw in the ends of the wires on for your circuit so that it connects with the back of the circuit breaker panel.

  4. 4

    Connect the new circuit on the circuit breaker to your solar powered system, screwing in the output wires from the power inverter so that the circuit breaker is controlling the flow of electricity from the deep cycle batteries and the inverter to the rest of the home. Make sure that the inverter is turned off when you are installing the system.

  5. 5

    Turn on the power inverter and flip the breaker so that the circuit is open. Test the circuit by plugging in appliances to the outlets where the solar power are flowing. If the appliances do not work, check your work with a multimeter, looking for a connection or solder where the resistance reads infinite and redo the work.

Tips and warnings

  • It is dangerous to work with electricity if you are not experienced and familiar with home electrical systems.
  • If you want to install your solar panel system without connecting it to your circuit breaker box, other options include plugging appliances into the power inverter itself or using a grid-connect system where electricity can be sold back to the utility provider.

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