Do I really need a dedicated breaker for Enphase IQ Envoy?

Sparohok

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Mar 19, 2021
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I am installing a single string Enphase system with 12 IQ7+'s on a two-pole 20A breaker. I was planning to have an IQ Envoy for monitoring, but not an IQ Combiner.

Enphase says that I need a second two-pole 20A breaker for the IQ Envoy on my main panel. Stated reason is to avoid "line noise" and for "power line communication with panels." That sounds ridiculous to me, and I don't have the panel space for it.

Enphase suggested an alternative: I can add an IQ Combiner connected to a single breaker on my main panel. The IQ Combiner would have two breakers, one for the IQ Envoy and one for the microinverter string. The thing is, I just can't see how this is any better than simply wiring the IQ Envoy on the same circuit as the IQ7+'s. It doesn't improve communcations between the Envoy and the microinverters. Its not safer. I just don't see the benefit other than selling more Enphase stuff.

Anyone have an opinion on this? Have you tried putting IQ Envoy on the same breaker as your microinverters?

Thanks
Martin
 

Herb

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I know the IQ combiner box with the IQ envoy is a pretty penny, but that is the way I got mine setup, L1 and L2 go to the combiner box then from there to a disconnect box then on to the main breaker box 20 A breaker. I had limited breaker slots I could use so that is the main reason. I installed the consumption transformers since they are not included. It's been 3 years and everything has worked perfectly, no issues whatsoever. Now all I need is the battery backup but will wait for prices to drop (hopefully).
 

Herb

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Forgot to mention, the combiner box comes with 3 breakers, 1 for each leg and 1 extra for battery backup if needed.
 

SteinVT

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Sparohok, wondering what you ended up doing and how is it working? I am installing my Envoy now. Couldn't use the IQ combiner box because my array is 200' from my panel and I want to use load monitoring. I too have a packed panel. Was thinking of installing a pig-tail and plugging it in to a plug that happens to be close to where I am mounting the Envoy. - Thanks Mark
 

SteinVT

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Somehow I had it in my head that it was powered by 115v even though I had glanced at the install instructions.

Good to know can just double up on the same breaker. - Thanks Mark
 

Ampster

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Enphase says that I need a second two-pole 20A breaker for the IQ Envoy on my main panel. Stated reason is to avoid "line noise" and for "power line communication with panels." That sounds ridiculous to me, and I don't have the panel space for it.
However ridiculous is seems to you, it is is code. That does not mean that some portions of the building code are not ridiculous, but following code is how I like to pass inspections.
Enphase suggested an alternative: I can add an IQ Combiner connected to a single breaker on my main panel. The IQ Combiner would have two breakers, one for the IQ Envoy and one for the microinverter string. The thing is, I just can't see how this is any better than simply wiring the IQ Envoy on the same circuit as the IQ7+'s. It doesn't improve communcations between the Envoy and the microinverters. Its not safer. I just don't see the benefit other than selling more Enphase stuff.
It makes the installation easier and faster since the combiner only needs one breaker. Alternatives are a sub panel or use half slot breakers. I already had an Envoy so it was more cost effective to use that and not buy a combiner.
Anyone have an opinion on this? Have you tried putting IQ Envoy on the same breaker as your microinverters
As I mentioned it is code and you have several alternatives. Of course it will work but you may not pass inspection. I assume if you are grid tied that you need a building permit?
 
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