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Circuit Protection

Renewable energy systems have at least two power sources: the renewable energy source itself (solar panels, wind or hydro generator, or a combination), and the batteries. Any time we have a power source and wiring, we need to ensure that the number of amps (current flow) is kept within the capacity of the wire. Too much current through too small a wire leads to melted insulation or even fires.

Fuses and circuit breakers are an essential part of code compliance, not to mention common sense. The National Electrical Code requires “overcurrent protection and a disconnect means” between any power source and any appliance. DC-rated fuses and circuit breakers cover both these requirements.

"Fuses that are rated for DC use a special snuffing powder inside to prevent an arc after the fuse blows. AC-rated fuses rarely use this extra level of protection. Always double-check the ratings and classifications on your overcurrent protection devices."

Solar Living Sourcebook 14th Edition
Chapter 4: From Panel to Plug

Fuses, Circuit Breakers & Surge Arrestors from Real Goods