An Enphase Ensemble Installation

GXMnow

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Where did you find log entries in the installer toolkit?
I can't seem to find them
I can do the Envoy.local/datatab/event...... and get it, but idont see it on the toolkit app
Thanks
On the older toolkit app, that seems to still work, it is under events on the home page. I can't get the newer version of the toolkit app to log in. Local on my network, I am able to log in as an installing into the envoy. Another member on here was able to generate the password for me. It looks just like my old installer toolkit on my phone, and it also shows the "events" on the home page.
 

svetz

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Where did you find log entries in the installer toolkit?
I don't use the toolkit unless I have to.

Usually use: http://envoy.local/datatab/event_dt.rb?locale=en&start=0&length=250, but it requires the installer login (and with the new local login security it's a bit of a pain). What you get back isn't particularly friendly (unformatted JSON). I use the NotePad++ JSON formatter to make it more legible.

But, these might also work for you:
 

wtfg

Solar Enthusiast
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Aug 14, 2020
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My problem I have 6.4 KW of enphase micro inverters grid tied
I have a Outback Skybox grid tied with a loads panel
The Outback has tripped and shutdown 27 times in the last 6 months with Gate faults
Usually when it trips the grid power is spiking like at 11:29 today, shown in attached file
My enphase system shows grid instability at the same time.

My next store neighbor has a enphase system with micro inverters installed by a local installer
I wanted to look at his events to see if it showed grid instability today at 11:29 AM too
But when he types in the envoy.local/data/event_dt.rb...... it shows one line
and in it no grid profile, and no events

Question is the grid instability a local power company issue
And if it is I would like to tell them that both of our houses our having problems
And to prove its a grid issue
Thanks
 

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svetz

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Usually when it trips the grid power is spiking like at 11:29 today, shown in attached file My enphase system shows grid instability at the same time.
Given your voltage is high, have you checked for voltage rise? A lot of installers just don't get the concept.

Voltages are usually "allowed" to be within 5%, so for the U.S., between 114 to 126V, or 228
to 252V. But, such a voltage swing is probably accompanied by a frequency change, and
that's a different story. See the Voltage & Frequency Ride-Through requirements for DERs
in IEEE 1547 (pages 18 & 19 in this ref might interest you). Enphase microinverters (and all
inverters that follow UL1741) also allow the grid to throttle them by intentionally frequency
shifting.
1608551028314-png.30893

Here are a number of threads of people with similar issues, possibly you might something useful in there. In some cases, they just switched profiles. That your's is going haywire around solar noon reminds me of a case where an inverter was going bad and at max output produced enough harmonics to cause its neighbors to trip, the toolkit supposedly has a frequency analyzer to report that (but I've never used it).
 

GXMnow

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svets,

One of my co-workers is building a house from scratch, and going solar from day one. The south facing roof is going to have 14,000 watts of solar panels (I think it was 35 x 400 watt panels) on Enphase inverters (probably iQ8+). He wanted to go with a pair of Tesla Powerwall2s, but 2 different dealers both refused to put him on the wait list, since the house does not exist yet. Most of the dealers want a year of power history, Bla Bla Bla...

So now it looks like he will be going full Enphase Ensemble. Trying to figure out how much battery he will need etc. He likes what my system is doing, but he does not want to have to design and configure it himself. He does have a few issues with where the equipment will need to go. He was thinking of having the batteries near where the power drop is, but then the solar drop from the roof is on the opposite side of the house. Then I remembered about your communication issues with the batteries to the combiner. What kind of range does the system seem to have? Is the USB extension idea working?

Probably an Enphase question... How far can the powerline comm to the solar inverters be from the combiner? I know Enphase wants a certain number of panels max on 20 amp circuits, but would it be ok to combine 3 x 20 amp branches at the roof, and then run a single 60 amp circuit 100 feet back to the Enphase combiner? Obviously, that would need to be like #3 or even #2 AWG wire. But would the Envoy be able to get the data over it?

Doing some quick math in my head, I think he is going to need something like 3 or 4 Encharge 10's. He is putting in 3 heat pump systems for A/C and heating. And his wife has a plug in hybrid, and he is thinking of an EV as well. He should have enough solar, but just like me, he will have the dreaded "non bypassable charges" and the stupid 49 cent time of use rates. So he would like to do the time of use shifting to minimize the sell back and re-buy. 14,000 watts of solar panel in Sun Valley, CA can top 7 sun hours = over 90 kilowatt hours of production on good days from spring to fall. Almost triple what I produce. That would be some major exporting unless his new house is a total power hog.
 

svetz

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So now it looks like he will be going full Enphase Ensemble. ...going to need something like 3 or 4 Encharge 10's.
If they have access to natural gas, it might make more sense to use a generator for outages and wait for the battery prices to come down. They only need enough battery power during peak rates for "critical" circuits (e.g., set the EV to charge after peak rates).

Sidenote: Been driving the EV a lot, finally had to fill up the other car, first time since last October... got sticker shock at the pump!

... communication issues with the batteries to the combiner. What kind of range does the system seem to have? Is the USB extension idea working?
It makes no sense, the zigbee dongle range should easily cover the distance. Yet, My fix only added +1 bar of signal strength. and the units are less than 15 feet apart.

Mine are generation 1, gen 2 has been out for a while and might do better. To be safe, I suggest running a USB extender cable in the conduit, see this for maximum lengths and how to beat them.

Probably an Enphase question... How far can the powerline comm to the solar inverters be from the combiner?
It's a long long ways, one of the problems with Enphase is accidentally adding in the neighbor's microinverters.

I know Enphase wants a certain number of panels max on 20 amp circuits, but would it be ok to combine 3 x 20 amp branches at the roof,
The limits are because their "standard" microinverter cables aren't meant for over 20 amps, so the maximum number is based on the wattage output of the microinverters. But, it's common to run those to a roof-top combiner that has thicker gauge out and down off the roof. The IQ Combiner box still has a maximum back-plane capacity, so don't exceed that per box.

They might be interested in voltage rise, a lot of installers seem to mess it up.

... would need to be like #3 or even #2 AWG wire. But would the Envoy be able to get the data over it? But would the Envoy be able to get the data over it?
Powerline doesn't care about the amps, it's only a "tap", very little current goes through it. Just as all the power joins together, so does the powerline signal. The envoy is plugged into the powerline via the backplane of an IQ Combiner via it's own breaker, so one connection point is good regardless of the number of IQ Combiner boxes used.
 

GXMnow

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Your answers pretty much agree with my thinking as well. I didn't ask how far along the house is, I but I think the exterior framing is all up. He still has several months before he will be moving in. I don't know if the property has natural gas available, but that is a good point. I know the Enphase batteries are very expensive for their capacity. One thing he brought up is that California (or maybe it's federal) has a deal where "backup batteries" can be subsidized if they are powering required medical equipment that is needed during a blackout. He and his wife both use C-Pap machines which are on the list. Will that program cover enough battery power to run those for 2 months straight of grid failure? My question is, does the program have any limits on the watt hours per watt of load, or something like that? But it is sure worth looking into. Even if it only pays 20% of the battery cost, go for it.

Thanks again for the input.

I am sure he and I will be talking more about this. He has not signed onto anything yet for the solar install, he is in the research/planning stage. Ideally, he would like to be able to do what I am doing, run mostly off grid, with the grid there as a backup if production falls short. But I think he has not quite figured out how much battery that will take. I am pulling it off while not running A/C by cycling 14 KWH's through the batteries every day. Once I am using the A/C in 100F heat, I know I will be buying grid power, but I hope I can run on just battery past 9 pm every day. Then I am still only buying the low ToU cost power. I can certainly cycle my batteries a bit lower, but I am trying to weigh the utility cost savings against the life (cost) of the batteries. I want at least 7 years out of these cells. That is where I figure I at least break even for the cost. The Enphase batteries should last longer (LFP vs NMC) but since they cost so much more, the cost of cycled power seems to be higher. But I really have no idea how long my batteries are going to last, it is still an estimate with no real world data to compare. Chevy warranties the Bolt batteries for 10 years or 100,000 miles. I am "driving" about 90 miles a day. I'll hit that 100,000 miles in just 3 years. I think I will do better, based on my very low charge/discharge currents compared to the use in the car, and also the fact I am only going from 40% to 90% state of charge. Only time will tell.

With the Enphase LFP cells, the number of cycles and the depth of cycles will certainly be a lot more before they degrade. But at over $8,000 USD for 10 KWH, those are expensive batteries. I spent a little less than that for my 36 KWH's and the Schneider inverter setup. But yes, it was a science experiment to get it all working. If I include paying for my time, Ouch!!!!

Battery tech is still changing, and my hope is that there will be some breakthrough that will help bring the cost down. When my cells do quit, what will be available to replace them? For the Enphase batteries, I wonder if you can just change out the cells? How "Smart" is there control software in the battery iQ8's? In 10 years, the cells give up... If you ran cables out to a server rack battery, would it be able to keep working past the life time of the original cells? Or is it like my old laptop battery where the BMS shut it down?
 

svetz

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Thought I'd check on the current revs, looks like the Envoy and IQ Batteries got updated, interestingly the IQ Battery went from 1.x to a 2.x; didn't see any release notes on them.

IQ Gateway (Envoy): D7.3.75 (47f7da)
IQ System Controller (Enpower): 1.5.3748_rel/21.23
IQ Battery (Encharge): 2.0.4622_rel/21.23
Microinverters:
  • 540-00142-r01-v04.28.03 -
  • 520-00095-r01-v04.28.07 - Tue Sep 14, 2021 09:45 AM EDT
    Profile Set (IEEE 1547:2015-WHB)
 

cgarwood

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Jan 28, 2022
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Have you had any success reading anything off the Zigbee communication? I noticed my Enpower and Encharges are sending out BLE/bluetooth beacons, and I have other Zigbee things as part of my Home Automation system. Would be great to figure out a way to pull battery SOC and Enpower status straight from the Zigbee communication instead of going through the Envoy and messing with refreshing tokens every 6 months...
 

svetz

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Have you had any success reading anything off the Zigbee communication?
The data is there and easy to get to, but encrypted and they did a good job at it. Usually, a restart will re-transmit the tokens, but Enphase doesn't do that. Nice that they're ultra-secure on data that nobody is going to care about and is very short range. There's probably some zigbee cracking software, but I've been tied up with other stuff. <sigh>

...Would be great to figure out a way to pull battery SOC and Enpower ... instead of going through the Envoy and messing with refreshing tokens every 6 months...
Still not sure why they felt it was important to heavily protect a non-routable IP address. Possibly their kids are more devious and motivated?

I noticed my Enpower and Encharges are sending out BLE/bluetooth beacons...
I've seen those bluetooth beacons too, but haven't done anything with them.
 

svetz

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Weather Station

My replacement anemometer died after about 4 months, I figure it's the salt in the air. Then a couple of months ago I started getting dirty panel emails from my monitoring and looked into it. The last time this happened the remote weather station I had been using had gone off the air so I programmed in three different remote stations and let it switch to the next if the first wasn't responding. All three went off the air. The moral of this story should probably be not to bother with local weather stations. But, I'm not that smart.

So, picked up an Ecoboy (yikes! the price went up), no moving parts. Haptic sensor for rainfall and ultrasonic for wind (although it loses accuracy over 80 mph). I'd seen people brag their tempest worked great even after two years, so we'll see how this does.

It's been running without issue for the last month. It has a solar cell on top that not only powers it, but provides the solar radiation levels. Easy to interface to locally to get data, the hardest part was converting wind degrees to compass points (e.g., NNW), so obviously not very hard. The solar accuracy is only +/- 15%, but the data doesn't look bad, usually peaking around 1000 w/m² each day with one standout that was probably a low air-mass day. I figure as long as it's consistently off I can use it to establish a correlation between time of day, month, temperature and power for the battery system.

1657022649520.png

From Enlighten Manager:
1657024831034.png

1657022891657.png


The Solar cell has been keeping the capacitor well charged too, looks like it run one or two days with no sun before tapping the battery:
1657024050256.png
 
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