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abrahamsolar avatar image

Off grid 30 kW AC coupled inside a metal box: 3 meters x 2.5m x 2.5m__shielded networking cables advised?

Hello, Community Folks from the USA~

Abraham Solar is contracted to build an off grid energy system inside a metal shipping container--which has us all smiles (so far). The inverting & controls will be built for British style 3 phase, 50 hz: 230 volts from each phase to the neutral & 415 volts phase to phase. The solar arrays will be AC coupled with Fronius Euro style PV inverters & three Quattro 10k's from Victron.

Instead of using these: https://www.victronenergy.com/cables/rj45-utp-cable for the VE.bus connections & for ethernet connections to the LAN local area network, my networking guru suggests that we use shielded twisted pair assemblies, category 6a. The LAN will have ten or more cabled connections from various components.

Can I get input from Victron staff members or experienced installers on this matter? I see on other threads where non-Victron brand cables have caused big headaches for Victron support staff so I don't want to stir up trouble but the interior of this metal box should be electrically noisy with 30kW of Fronius plus 30kW of Victron so...I also don't want to stir up data trouble with too much EMF interference.

We do have a quality cable fabricator lined up to make our shielded cables. We'll also have occasional wi-fi inside the box in case a technician needs to access the network on a computer which doesn't have an ethernet port.

"Tryna do it right on our first try." Thanks & Jolliness~

MultiPlus Quattro Inverter ChargerCCGX Color ControloffgridFroniuscable
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batt4u avatar image
batt4u answered ·

@abrahamsolar
I've been installing Cat5/6 for years in noisy EMF environments... I always use shielded cable. It has to be terminate properly and your hardware has to be grounded properly to discharge anything collected by the ESD wire to ground. It's a great insurance policy and the cost of shielded cable is marginal for the number of feet you'll need for the project. I bill out shielded cable at $.50/ft...if that math helps you.
If you have problems down the road, you really don't want to be second guessing your UTP cable as the unknown. Also, Absolutely make sure your installer uses none destructive fasteners where they attach the cabling to your structure. I've seen too many installs where Cat5/6 was smooshed/compressed where things were fastened to walls or structures. Over time, you can have the wire insulation compress to nothing and cause shorting in your cable runs.

Have someone with the proprietary Victron UTP cable take a picture of the cable end to see the wiring order.... if they chose the standard T568B for their cables, their offering is merely a convenience for users and installers that don't have the means or the time to install and create their own custom cabling. If they chose a non-standard network cable pin configuration, then shame on them...that's an intentional way of requiring a special cable using a standard connector (rj45) so that they can make money. Apple would be proud, they do that $h1t all the time, but piss their customers off.

I hope my rambling was some sort of guidance for you.

Cheers,
Jason B

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