I am wondering how many of you, and I am sure it is only a few, are affected by the all powerful AFCI rules and their abysmal failure when applied to off grid hybrid installations.
Simply put, when you install an AFCI in situtations where generators take the load often, but are not continuously on, the AFCI's often trip on startup and shutdown as the power source switches between the generator and other sources such as inverters on batteries. At most of my sites like this, this occurs once a day and some sites twice per day. I am recieving allot of flack from the residents as they must reset AFCI combination rated or older AFCI breakers constantly and creates hazards of finding and resetting breakers in the dark or via flashlight. I suspect the breakers are changed out after I leave.
I have multiple sites of up to 5 new residences (with many older and do not fall under this code requirement thankfully) that are effected. I have to tell residents to just live with it.
Yes, I am looking to write a proposal for the 2017 code as I missed the 2014, for either an exception to the AFCI requirement in residences when on a generator hybrid (I suppose that generators that are on 24/7 and dip to 30% voltage when starting some loads may have the same issue if they vary frequency). Either that or I will have to propose that AFCI devices be TDR rated.
TDR: Trip duty rated, a device that is rated for multiple trips per day without affecting the internal electronics or edestroying the devices.
AFCI operation note: Manufacturers cannot modify AFCI's to work because to detect short circuits at least one if not all manufacturers look at the frequency of the source. When it changes, such as during a generator startup or shutdown, or switching between non-synchronized sources, they trip about 50% of the time.
If I am the only one with these types of issues, I will just write a local exception and have an upper level line officer sign off on it. If others have the same issues, written code exception try.