diy solar

diy solar

Hello everyone from the Netherlands, Dear Diary...

dr00p

New Member
Joined
May 18, 2024
Messages
9
Location
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
PS I wrote Euro prices here instead of Dollar prices. But just for conviniance I would say that Dollar is equal to Euro.

Hey Everyone,

Just a wee hello. Been browsing this forum recently, also the youtube videos. I'm in the market for a small PV system for my house. Somewhere in the, more or less, 3000w max range (8 x 460w panels for example). Been researching for a month or so. Did some reading before last years, but only now I am ready to buy. Also because it is dirt cheap.

Where I live for example there are AEG 375W Mono panels for sale, for €44,- These would pair nicely with IQ8+ (sale for €75,50). And like Enpahse recommends, these would have a ratio of about 1.20 (more PV capacity than the inverter can handle, though the idea is that 99% of the time the panel doesn't perform at its max capacity).
So for 119,50, excluding wiring (expensive!!), you would have an panel AND an inverter. Times 6 or 8, and it would make a small, but decent system I guess.
The IQ8+ would be able to output 290W max, and clips when above.

Though like I said, the Enpase cabling is expensive! Even much so, that it has holding me off to buy yet.

Other thing that was holding me off, was that I liked the look of the AIKO-460-MAH54Db panels, the Neostar 2s+ to be exact. An iteration of their panel, that just this month came available for sale. And if I am to believe them, it does perform just a little better. This panel comes in a few power versions, the 460W version, I reckon the most expensive would have the best wafers, just like CPU's in computers? Anyway, the 460W version would cost €114,50 at this moment.
Using Enphase these would pair nicely with the IQ8AC (ratio of 1.26) or the more expensive HC version (ratio of 1.20).
Since at the moment the HC sales for €125,- and the AC for €115,-, I opt for the HC. So total with the panel it would be 114,50+115=€239,50.
If I'm not mistaken the HC outputs 365W or 385W max before clipping.

Since I only have that much space. And also want to buy 6 or 8 panels initially, to put on the roof of my shed, I am more drawn to the newer, more capacity, though more expensive panel. Though side by side, in an Excel sheet, it becomes clear that for the same amount of money (8x 239,50 euros a AIKO/IQ8HC set = €1916,-), I could also buy 15 (!) sets AEG/IC8+ (€1792,50).

Though like I already mentioned above, the Enpase cabling makes the whole thing incredibly more expensive! Which is also what has hold me of buying yet. Because in both above cases, just the cabling and the metering - but no mounting stuff included yet!, it would add another roughly €1000,- euro's to make the panels complete.

Ofcourse panels need cabling and such, I don't want to sound silly, so it isn't an suprise that it would cost an extra €1000,- euros or so. But I do have a hard time choosing between above.

And than also, upon browsing the internets, I came across an review that wasn't so Enpase friendly, in that sense that he would say that they don't have an metal encasing, and the HF from the inverter jams the enviroment.
Now I am no radio guy, or even an electronics guy. I do have a lifelong fascination and love tech and tinkering. So jamming the enviroment doesn't bother me I guess.. Also, my neighbour has Enpases, so for that matter the enviroment is already trashed :) But as just an sidenote; I do think that we (I) don't know everything about radiosignals, and jamming the enviroment, and who knows, maybe birds and bee's are affected. I base myself on my old Fiat Panda car manual, that said to be careful when calling mobile in your car, because of your car being an faraday construction, and you would be mircowaving yourself. Maybe that is old news. Though for example WiFi routers also have different options for output, depending on country's restrictions. So my chain of thought is that there's probably smoke, but money is to be made. But i'm afraid that I did make myself sound silly now :)

Anyway, that being that, I do call mobile in my car, and I do have WiFi all through my house. And I still got some birds living on the roof as well, so..

Also, from what I read, Enpase has a lot of fans and an equal lot of nay-sayers. From what I understand, a lot of the nay-sayers also say nay because of the price Enpase has. But right now, where I live, Enpase is far from the most expensive option. SolarEdge is often placed against Enphase and is more expensive (does seem like a nice system though).
And also, I do think Enpase is nice, not an bad choise, quality wise. Especially with these prices? I do believe you would be set more or less for 20 plus years. With the warranty and the low failure rate they boost.
Though an good against would be that a string inverter would be able to get more power from your panels, if I'm not mistaken. Given that they have the same orientation of course.

The thing is more I guess, that an comment like the guy made about the Enpases, made me look around what the competition has. And funny though, but if I'm not wrong, a lot of the competition is also in plastic encasings. And long story short, I found Victron.

I like Victron. I'm Dutch. Can't help it.

Even before PV I known about Victron, since my dad had an RV. Though never had or used one.

In my search for where to spend my money on PV wise, I also came across battery's. Again with Enpase, I came across an sale for the smallest battery (3,5kW or so), for €1600,-. That made me look in that direction.

I would be installing myself by the way. Also an licenced electrician would be checking and/or aproving and commissioning(?)(turn on) the system after I installed the stuff.
Installing myself makes that an battery would not be that bad an option these days in my country, I reckon a bit anyway. Though the opinion so to say, is that it's not vailable yet right now. Since cost would not beat your returns. Though those opinions often use battery prices 2 or 3 times what I wrote (€1600,-), plus installation by an electician.
So anyway, Victron. As you can read by now I am most fixated on Enphase. While there are a ton of other good options I have not researched at all. The SolarEdge for example. But also the Chinese brands, GroWatt and Solis something (..), you know them better than me. Also SunnyBoy SMA or APS systems are established names. I don't mind Chinese stuff btw. By now I think there are a lot more tradesman there than in the West so, don't think of that as an issue.

But Victron comes back as an option that gives room for.. options. :) Not being stuck with an brand battery mostly.
Though I am a little torn in the way things would go from there. What type of Victron left aside (multiplus, easysolar, etc.), there is often 2 outputs for when for exampe an power outage. Where one would be cut, and the other would be fed from battery. This is easy to see in an RV mobile, or ship for example, but I have more trouble envisioning it in an grid-tied home.

Idea for here, an grid-tied home, with seldom power outages, would be to have a battery, to use at night what you PVed by day. So in that case I am kind off researching if Victron would actually be the most handy option.

Though right now, I am a little torn with the mentioned Enpases, still. (it would be possible to couple this as well on a Victron, as you probably know. Though AC fed ofcourse). And or the SmartSolar MPPT RS 450|100 (€950,- - €1200,-) that the guy Will from this forum is a fan of. And or an loose MPPT (about €400,- to €600,- 48V)) and later on an MultiPlus II (€715,-) for example. Though there is also an MultiSolar RS (€1550,-), Inverter RS (also €1550,-) and what not. Though that one jumps a bit in price. And than I haven't mentioned the EasySolar and more SmartSolars I believe....
So I am lost in choice for weeks now.

Anyway, I came across this forum before. And yesterday on Youtube I watched the review of the SmartSolar MPPT RS by chance. And found that Will is also behind this forum. So I guess that is why I came to say hello. Wasn't planning for it to be this elaborate. But maybe someone does have a thought about above.

System I initially plan is 6 to 8 panels, (there will be an extention made from the roof of my shed, which would add room for 2 of the 8 panels). Upon finding that the prices are so low as they are, here, at the moment, makes that I do think of using the roof of the house as well. Though that would be in a later stadium for sure anyway. So I do plan to put some on the shed first. They all can and will be sound orientated, so there would be no need for Enpases for that matter, the panels would not have different orientation (it is an option though, east-west orientation).

Anyway, everyone, have a real nice day. Maybe just maybe, I would copy/paste my thread to an more apropiate place on the forum. Because while I came to say hello, I noticed that I had a lot to say and by that I mean ask. :)

Take care,
Maurits

PS I know I am on an USA forum, and I used Euro prices. Just for conviniance I would say that Euro-Dollar is 1:1. I don't know it at this time, but I believe Euro is worth a bit less or so than the dollar, at this time. But.. I better should have written $ where I wrote € I think now.
 
If your future solar system is going to be a hobby proceed with your project. If you want to install a system and get on with your life, then I will suggest you consider something like a Powerwall or a more modular system like the EP Cube. Panel quantity and mounting are site & need specific but what they connect to makes the big difference. I just bought an EP Cube w/batteries specifically because it includes everything in a clean self-contained and expandable package. One exterior connection to my homes existing wiring, one two-string PV disconnect, and in my specific installation a not so simple PV array. All do it myself, 10year warrantee from 1 manufacturer, legal, permitted, and utility approved.
 
PS I wrote Euro prices here instead of Dollar prices. But just for conviniance I would say that Dollar is equal to Euro.

Hey Everyone,

Just a wee hello. Been browsing this forum recently, also the youtube videos. I'm in the market for a small PV system for my house. Somewhere in the, more or less, 3000w max range (8 x 460w panels for example). Been researching for a month or so. Did some reading before last years, but only now I am ready to buy. Also because it is dirt cheap.

Where I live for example there are AEG 375W Mono panels for sale, for €44,- These would pair nicely with IQ8+ (sale for €75,50). And like Enpahse recommends, these would have a ratio of about 1.20 (more PV capacity than the inverter can handle, though the idea is that 99% of the time the panel doesn't perform at its max capacity).
So for 119,50, excluding wiring (expensive!!), you would have an panel AND an inverter. Times 6 or 8, and it would make a small, but decent system I guess.
The IQ8+ would be able to output 290W max, and clips when above.

Though like I said, the Enpase cabling is expensive! Even much so, that it has holding me off to buy yet.

Other thing that was holding me off, was that I liked the look of the AIKO-460-MAH54Db panels, the Neostar 2s+ to be exact. An iteration of their panel, that just this month came available for sale. And if I am to believe them, it does perform just a little better. This panel comes in a few power versions, the 460W version, I reckon the most expensive would have the best wafers, just like CPU's in computers? Anyway, the 460W version would cost €114,50 at this moment.
Using Enphase these would pair nicely with the IQ8AC (ratio of 1.26) or the more expensive HC version (ratio of 1.20).
Since at the moment the HC sales for €125,- and the AC for €115,-, I opt for the HC. So total with the panel it would be 114,50+115=€239,50.
If I'm not mistaken the HC outputs 365W or 385W max before clipping.

Since I only have that much space. And also want to buy 6 or 8 panels initially, to put on the roof of my shed, I am more drawn to the newer, more capacity, though more expensive panel. Though side by side, in an Excel sheet, it becomes clear that for the same amount of money (8x 239,50 euros a AIKO/IQ8HC set = €1916,-), I could also buy 15 (!) sets AEG/IC8+ (€1792,50).

Though like I already mentioned above, the Enpase cabling makes the whole thing incredibly more expensive! Which is also what has hold me of buying yet. Because in both above cases, just the cabling and the metering - but no mounting stuff included yet!, it would add another roughly €1000,- euro's to make the panels complete.

Ofcourse panels need cabling and such, I don't want to sound silly, so it isn't an suprise that it would cost an extra €1000,- euros or so. But I do have a hard time choosing between above.

And than also, upon browsing the internets, I came across an review that wasn't so Enpase friendly, in that sense that he would say that they don't have an metal encasing, and the HF from the inverter jams the enviroment.
Now I am no radio guy, or even an electronics guy. I do have a lifelong fascination and love tech and tinkering. So jamming the enviroment doesn't bother me I guess.. Also, my neighbour has Enpases, so for that matter the enviroment is already trashed :) But as just an sidenote; I do think that we (I) don't know everything about radiosignals, and jamming the enviroment, and who knows, maybe birds and bee's are affected. I base myself on my old Fiat Panda car manual, that said to be careful when calling mobile in your car, because of your car being an faraday construction, and you would be mircowaving yourself. Maybe that is old news. Though for example WiFi routers also have different options for output, depending on country's restrictions. So my chain of thought is that there's probably smoke, but money is to be made. But i'm afraid that I did make myself sound silly now :)

Anyway, that being that, I do call mobile in my car, and I do have WiFi all through my house. And I still got some birds living on the roof as well, so..

Also, from what I read, Enpase has a lot of fans and an equal lot of nay-sayers. From what I understand, a lot of the nay-sayers also say nay because of the price Enpase has. But right now, where I live, Enpase is far from the most expensive option. SolarEdge is often placed against Enphase and is more expensive (does seem like a nice system though).
And also, I do think Enpase is nice, not an bad choise, quality wise. Especially with these prices? I do believe you would be set more or less for 20 plus years. With the warranty and the low failure rate they boost.
Though an good against would be that a string inverter would be able to get more power from your panels, if I'm not mistaken. Given that they have the same orientation of course.

The thing is more I guess, that an comment like the guy made about the Enpases, made me look around what the competition has. And funny though, but if I'm not wrong, a lot of the competition is also in plastic encasings. And long story short, I found Victron.

I like Victron. I'm Dutch. Can't help it.

Even before PV I known about Victron, since my dad had an RV. Though never had or used one.

In my search for where to spend my money on PV wise, I also came across battery's. Again with Enpase, I came across an sale for the smallest battery (3,5kW or so), for €1600,-. That made me look in that direction.

I would be installing myself by the way. Also an licenced electrician would be checking and/or aproving and commissioning(?)(turn on) the system after I installed the stuff.
Installing myself makes that an battery would not be that bad an option these days in my country, I reckon a bit anyway. Though the opinion so to say, is that it's not vailable yet right now. Since cost would not beat your returns. Though those opinions often use battery prices 2 or 3 times what I wrote (€1600,-), plus installation by an electician.
So anyway, Victron. As you can read by now I am most fixated on Enphase. While there are a ton of other good options I have not researched at all. The SolarEdge for example. But also the Chinese brands, GroWatt and Solis something (..), you know them better than me. Also SunnyBoy SMA or APS systems are established names. I don't mind Chinese stuff btw. By now I think there are a lot more tradesman there than in the West so, don't think of that as an issue.

But Victron comes back as an option that gives room for.. options. :) Not being stuck with an brand battery mostly.
Though I am a little torn in the way things would go from there. What type of Victron left aside (multiplus, easysolar, etc.), there is often 2 outputs for when for exampe an power outage. Where one would be cut, and the other would be fed from battery. This is easy to see in an RV mobile, or ship for example, but I have more trouble envisioning it in an grid-tied home.

Idea for here, an grid-tied home, with seldom power outages, would be to have a battery, to use at night what you PVed by day. So in that case I am kind off researching if Victron would actually be the most handy option.

Though right now, I am a little torn with the mentioned Enpases, still. (it would be possible to couple this as well on a Victron, as you probably know. Though AC fed ofcourse). And or the SmartSolar MPPT RS 450|100 (€950,- - €1200,-) that the guy Will from this forum is a fan of. And or an loose MPPT (about €400,- to €600,- 48V)) and later on an MultiPlus II (€715,-) for example. Though there is also an MultiSolar RS (€1550,-), Inverter RS (also €1550,-) and what not. Though that one jumps a bit in price. And than I haven't mentioned the EasySolar and more SmartSolars I believe....
So I am lost in choice for weeks now.

Anyway, I came across this forum before. And yesterday on Youtube I watched the review of the SmartSolar MPPT RS by chance. And found that Will is also behind this forum. So I guess that is why I came to say hello. Wasn't planning for it to be this elaborate. But maybe someone does have a thought about above.

System I initially plan is 6 to 8 panels, (there will be an extention made from the roof of my shed, which would add room for 2 of the 8 panels). Upon finding that the prices are so low as they are, here, at the moment, makes that I do think of using the roof of the house as well. Though that would be in a later stadium for sure anyway. So I do plan to put some on the shed first. They all can and will be sound orientated, so there would be no need for Enpases for that matter, the panels would not have different orientation (it is an option though, east-west orientation).

Anyway, everyone, have a real nice day. Maybe just maybe, I would copy/paste my thread to an more apropiate place on the forum. Because while I came to say hello, I noticed that I had a lot to say and by that I mean ask. :)

Take care,
Maurits

PS I know I am on an USA forum, and I used Euro prices. Just for conviniance I would say that Euro-Dollar is 1:1. I don't know it at this time, but I believe Euro is worth a bit less or so than the dollar, at this time. But.. I better should have written $ where I wrote € I think now.
Since you have been doing lot of research and thinking, I'd like to hear your opinion. What are the pros and cons of 10 x micro inverter system vs string inverter of same capacity? Now 2024, excluding brands and local pricing etc.

PS. I hope your believe of Eur/Usd rate is not gonna happen any soon:rolleyes:
 
Though right now, I am a little torn with the mentioned Enpases, still. (it would be possible to couple this as well on a Victron, as you probably know. Though AC fed ofcourse). And or the SmartSolar MPPT RS 450|100 (€950,- - €1200,-) that the guy Will from this forum is a fan of. And or an loose MPPT (about €400,- to €600,- 48V)) and later on an MultiPlus II (€715,-) for example. Though there is also an MultiSolar RS (€1550,-), Inverter RS (also €1550,-) and what not. Though that one jumps a bit in price. And than I haven't mentioned the EasySolar and more SmartSolars I believe....
So I am lost in choice for weeks now

Be aware the rs450/100 is strictly an SCC, and doesn't do any inversion. It does have two mppt trackers though and I find mine to be quite productive. But depending on your wiring distances you may be better off with a 250/100 and parallel strings.
 
Since you have been doing lot of research and thinking, I'd like to hear your opinion. What are the pros and cons of 10 x micro inverter system vs string inverter of same capacity? Now 2024, excluding brands and local pricing etc.

PS. I hope your believe of Eur/Usd rate is not gonna happen any soon:rolleyes:
You didn't ask me, but..... If you have shading issues and no battery, now or in the future, use the micros. With shading and no battery, it's a good choice. With a battery you will waste energy in the extra AC to DC conversion.
 
Also we've seen many members here have high failure rates with micro inverters and it's a pain to replace them if up on a roof.

Looks like your panels are around 40V VOC, so you could run a string of five on a 250/100 (50V safety margin for colder temperatures).

And then add a second string of five in parallel when ready.

Screenshot_20240518_181017_Samsung Notes.jpg
 
Hi Kmin, Thanks for responding. I was leaning towards the micro inverters, Enphase specificaly, mostly because they are cheaper than APS systems. Aand also that Enphase has only one inverter per panel, where APS systems needs 2 or 4 panels.
There are some other brands which are real micro inverters. I haven't really looked into them. I have looked a bit at SolarEdge and the Tigo optimisers. The latter being compatible with a ton of inverter brands.

How I experienced my search for solar panels SolarEdge and Enphase are a bit branded as the top dogs. Though I also read that the Growatts, Solis, etc. are more or less equally as good as I understand. If I'm not mistaken there is also for example SMA which is a well established name. And also I noticed AEG makes inverters too, as does for example Huawei.

I do have to say upfront that only last few days I kind of "get it" when talking about more panels in series makes higher voltages. Which - if I'm not mistaken - makes for a wider bandwith where the panels are active.
Sorry, sometimes my English slips a bit, hope you follow.

But with that in mind, my mind has been going to string inverters indeed.

So but to awnser your question, from the above viewpoint, as the beginner that I am:
-Enpase (micro inverters): Pro:
-Price (atm);
-Flexibility in orientation (initially I was kind of thinking to start with 6 panels. And put 2 of them in an East/West orientation, because of -neighbours having that as well. And put the remaining 4 in a south orientation);
-Flexibility to add more panels later on;
-And also to mix panels/inverters (for example 2 of the IQ8+ and 4 IQ8HC);
-Funny, free data from each panel, (though if I'm not mistaken does require an account which has some hassle or so?);
-I reckon a decent power harvest;
-Of course that the panel has no bother from other panels shadewise;
-Easy to put a few panels together
Cons:
-Not the most power you could get out of your panels?;
-That being also because of string inverters/coupled panels produce a wider voltage range and panels starting more early and produce till more late?;
-Also just learned this myself: But I already did dig in an 8AWG (10mm2) cable in the ground, 25 meters (75 foot) because of/to prevent the AC voltage drop from the panels/inverters to the electric grid/fuse box in my house. To high an voltage drop could temperarly shut down the micro's. Though I think that I am wrong there also, in that I think I read you could program the micro's through the Enpase, to start up more slowly and not be bothered by it or so.

I do think that, apart from cables being expensive (roughly 2-300 euros, for bout 6-15 panels, so I shouldn't overreact..), and the Envoy plus materials makes roughly 1000 euros. Excluding mounting material.), but I do think that one wouldn't have an bad deal, especially with the prices of right now, on an Enphase system.

Even with the desire to add a battery later on, the micro's would still be ok I guess, in that sense that, for example with a Victron System, you could add in one way or another. There is a paper on it. So for that matter, a last pro I guess, I would say that the micro's also give the flexibility to move them later on. For example when I would start now with the Enphase. Later on would buy Victron next to it. Move the Enphase to the roof of the house. So that the Victron can stay in the shed, along with the batteries. Since that feels more appropiate? Safe. Batteries in the (brick) shed, instead of the house.

So quite a list of pro's..

But I only have so much money, and I can spend it only once :) So that is why I am reaching out and research.

Because for the pro's and cons of string inverters I would say I do not have such an elaborate list. Upfront I think that at the end of the day that more or less any recommended, cheaper brand, stringinverter, would give satisfying results. And I have no idea if I am wrong or not: But I kinda guess it doesn't run away that much from each other?

A SolarEdge being topdog is something I easely believe though, because of the optimisers. But they also come at a premium.

Though Victron is something I really lean too. Guess it clicks because of the tinkering factor. And the DC-DC from solar to battery. Though honestly the DC to AC and back to DC in the case of Enphase of course would have some losses upon conversion. But I guess their also kind off negligible? Though yeah, Victron. I like the idea of putting something together. Also I like their all-in one stuff. So honestly, I have no idea! :) And the open way Victron works with different stuff, is something I like.

So in that sense I am now kinda leaning towards for example that smartsolar RS. Or just a loose mppt of Victron, and start from there. ..

Pricewise it doesn't avoid each other that much Enpase and Victron. All in all a wee €3000,-.

I do have to say that I think I kind of awnsering my own questions, in that way that I think that I guess that more or less everyone would be happy with a cheaper string inverter setup, because it just works. Though I also think I personally would be happy with a Victron because I'm a nerd.

I had to look up the Euro/Dollar rate but 1 euro = 1,09 dollar. Have to admit I'm not that strong economics wise. I got nothing smart to say about this :) I do know these are interesting times we live in, to say the least.
 
Also Brucey and Gold Country Russ, Thanks! And thanks for your input. It is a little hobby matter as well. I really like this stuff. Even though I'm an amateur. Though you do make a good comment about putting something on there and get on with the rest. But for example I also like playing with Domoticz, upping the house, making everything work, so it fits somewhere in between.

I do see I need to read up more on the Victron MPPT RS only being a charge controller. Thanks for bringing up the 250/100! That is something I had not really delve into yet.
 
Also Brucey and Gold Country Russ, Thanks! And thanks for your input. It is a little hobby matter as well. I really like this stuff. Even though I'm an amateur. Though you do make a good comment about putting something on there and get on with the rest. But for example I also like playing with Domoticz, upping the house, making everything work, so it fits somewhere in between.

I do see I need to read up more on the Victron MPPT RS only being a charge controller. Thanks for bringing up the 250/100! That is something I had not really delve into yet.
Lot of good arguments guys!

Some of the best ones to my opinion are:
-Shading
-Flexibility in orientation

I was not enough precise with my question, obviously I wasn't looking for to compare micros with hybrid battery inverter, just a plain simple string inv.
You mentioned some battery integration with micros, I guess it would work same way with string inverters. AC-coupled you ment?
I have doubts that 10x micro setup is generally cheaper than 3kw basic string inverter setup. Also, small cinese grid inverters are actually surprising good. I'm not talking about Aliexpress stuff, but EU certified invs from Growatt,Goodwe,Huawei,Solis,ZCS... etc.

I also don't understand why micro setup wiring should cost more than string wiring (with similar amps)?

Complexity of maintenance is probably biggest on the cons side. I personally like to keep my roof setup as minimal as possible.
 
Hey, Thanks again everyone for responding.

Yeah, you did mention in your question micro's vs inverters, to leave price aside. Though price right now, at some places in The Netherlands, are really low compared to what they were. The IQ8HC for sale for €125 for example, is also/more to be found for a price around €190,- The IQ8+ more around €125,-. So that was a big factor. Along with the good brand name. Quality wise Enphase themselfs say it has a failurerate of 0,05% if I'm not mistaken, tested in the American desert? I am talking out of memory of what I read.

So while undoubtely there are a lot of posts to be found where they have failed, I think of them kind of like hard drives. The ones in your computer. Sometimes you have 3 bad ones in a row of brand Y, sometimes you never have a failure of brand X. The amount of them placed here, gives enough trust to more or less blindly trust that. A last pro for Enphase for that matter - I did read it somewhere else as well - it is beginner friendly.

Cabling costs around 16 to 22 euros, depending on portrat or landscape (length of the cable of the first is shorter than the landscape), per inverter. Being a chained cable with connecters pre-attached, for as much panels you have. While solar cable is for sale for 27 euro's a 25 meters. You need two (red and black)(not when using Enphase..). A bag of 10 MC4 connectors are 13 euros. For installing Enphase you do need a MC4 wrench/pliers. So that is about 60 euros. Though I did notice that these can be bought for less.
So cabling for a string inverter will cost less than Enphase. Though it does require making your own cable connectors.

I do think you are right that (Enphase) micro's are generally cheaper.
Though I do wonder that the pricedrop could also be because Enphase has been passed in their technological lead (if they had it! It only seems that way I guess, to me as a beginner, mostly because they are advertised and sold on the market as such (top choice aournd here, seems to be SolarEdge or Enphase, when you let your PV system be installed).

I did mean AC coupled battery. Enphase themselfs do this as well. Their batteries are a couple of microinverters, making DC from AC to store it in it's battery.

Personally I do work on roofs professionally, so that is for me personal less an objection. Though I can see that being something that could be a con for Enphase.
 
Yeah, you did mention in your question micro's vs inverters, to leave price aside
I would never do that! What's the whole point if you don't count the price. ROI. I wrote local price, because most of us are not from Netherlands.
Actually, I wrote that I don't think 10x micros are generally cheaper than comparable string inverter.
What's so special about Enphase wiring, you cant make them by yourself?
 
Just to be sure; I did not mean to to be negative in any way. So pardon me if I was too short in my awnser.

I am not exactly sure about making wire my self Emphases myself. But from what I found so far they do use their own cable (2 conducters in one cable). Not sure if it is Enphase only connector. There are adapters from mc4 to Enphase I did see. Though don't know about the price of those.

Kind regards,
 
That's how they make money. They can sell inverter with competitive price and then make profit with wiring. For sure there is nothing special in that cable but if they have proprietary connector, you have to use it to guarantee water tightness. Otherwise out of warranty....
 
TL;DR it all :(

But, from what I did scan, it seems you are jumping in with a lot of specifics from an idea based on a specific short term sale. Apologies if I didn't understand that right, but don't have time to read it all.

IMHO, you should first look what your needs are in terms of max power demand and daily / weekly energy usage. Whether you will be using the power when the sun is shining vs. whether you need to store energy for use in the evenings. How much roof space do you have. Any shading issues. What is the budget now and in the future. Is this a small system forever or whether you will want to expand it.

Then, start looking at the technical solutions, especially micro-inverter vs. string inverter.

Then looks at prices and what may be on offer now or later.

That's just my 2p worth... or 2c worth, be it € or $ cents ;)
 
PS I wrote Euro prices here instead of Dollar prices. But just for conviniance I would say that Dollar is equal to Euro.

Hey Everyone,

Just a wee hello. Been browsing this forum recently, also the youtube videos. I'm in the market for a small PV system for my house. Somewhere in the, more or less, 3000w max range (8 x 460w panels for example). Been researching for a month or so. Did some reading before last years, but only now I am ready to buy. Also because it is dirt cheap.

Where I live for example there are AEG 375W Mono panels for sale, for €44,- These would pair nicely with IQ8+ (sale for €75,50). And like Enpahse recommends, these would have a ratio of about 1.20 (more PV capacity than the inverter can handle, though the idea is that 99% of the time the panel doesn't perform at its max capacity).
So for 119,50, excluding wiring (expensive!!), you would have an panel AND an inverter. Times 6 or 8, and it would make a small, but decent system I guess.
The IQ8+ would be able to output 290W max, and clips when above.

Though like I said, the Enpase cabling is expensive! Even much so, that it has holding me off to buy yet.

Other thing that was holding me off, was that I liked the look of the AIKO-460-MAH54Db panels, the Neostar 2s+ to be exact. An iteration of their panel, that just this month came available for sale. And if I am to believe them, it does perform just a little better. This panel comes in a few power versions, the 460W version, I reckon the most expensive would have the best wafers, just like CPU's in computers? Anyway, the 460W version would cost €114,50 at this moment.
Using Enphase these would pair nicely with the IQ8AC (ratio of 1.26) or the more expensive HC version (ratio of 1.20).
Since at the moment the HC sales for €125,- and the AC for €115,-, I opt for the HC. So total with the panel it would be 114,50+115=€239,50.
If I'm not mistaken the HC outputs 365W or 385W max before clipping.

Since I only have that much space. And also want to buy 6 or 8 panels initially, to put on the roof of my shed, I am more drawn to the newer, more capacity, though more expensive panel. Though side by side, in an Excel sheet, it becomes clear that for the same amount of money (8x 239,50 euros a AIKO/IQ8HC set = €1916,-), I could also buy 15 (!) sets AEG/IC8+ (€1792,50).

Though like I already mentioned above, the Enpase cabling makes the whole thing incredibly more expensive! Which is also what has hold me of buying yet. Because in both above cases, just the cabling and the metering - but no mounting stuff included yet!, it would add another roughly €1000,- euro's to make the panels complete.

Ofcourse panels need cabling and such, I don't want to sound silly, so it isn't an suprise that it would cost an extra €1000,- euros or so. But I do have a hard time choosing between above.

And than also, upon browsing the internets, I came across an review that wasn't so Enpase friendly, in that sense that he would say that they don't have an metal encasing, and the HF from the inverter jams the enviroment.
Now I am no radio guy, or even an electronics guy. I do have a lifelong fascination and love tech and tinkering. So jamming the enviroment doesn't bother me I guess.. Also, my neighbour has Enpases, so for that matter the enviroment is already trashed :) But as just an sidenote; I do think that we (I) don't know everything about radiosignals, and jamming the enviroment, and who knows, maybe birds and bee's are affected. I base myself on my old Fiat Panda car manual, that said to be careful when calling mobile in your car, because of your car being an faraday construction, and you would be mircowaving yourself. Maybe that is old news. Though for example WiFi routers also have different options for output, depending on country's restrictions. So my chain of thought is that there's probably smoke, but money is to be made. But i'm afraid that I did make myself sound silly now :)

Anyway, that being that, I do call mobile in my car, and I do have WiFi all through my house. And I still got some birds living on the roof as well, so..

Also, from what I read, Enpase has a lot of fans and an equal lot of nay-sayers. From what I understand, a lot of the nay-sayers also say nay because of the price Enpase has. But right now, where I live, Enpase is far from the most expensive option. SolarEdge is often placed against Enphase and is more expensive (does seem like a nice system though).
And also, I do think Enpase is nice, not an bad choise, quality wise. Especially with these prices? I do believe you would be set more or less for 20 plus years. With the warranty and the low failure rate they boost.
Though an good against would be that a string inverter would be able to get more power from your panels, if I'm not mistaken. Given that they have the same orientation of course.

The thing is more I guess, that an comment like the guy made about the Enpases, made me look around what the competition has. And funny though, but if I'm not wrong, a lot of the competition is also in plastic encasings. And long story short, I found Victron.

I like Victron. I'm Dutch. Can't help it.

Even before PV I known about Victron, since my dad had an RV. Though never had or used one.

In my search for where to spend my money on PV wise, I also came across battery's. Again with Enpase, I came across an sale for the smallest battery (3,5kW or so), for €1600,-. That made me look in that direction.

I would be installing myself by the way. Also an licenced electrician would be checking and/or aproving and commissioning(?)(turn on) the system after I installed the stuff.
Installing myself makes that an battery would not be that bad an option these days in my country, I reckon a bit anyway. Though the opinion so to say, is that it's not vailable yet right now. Since cost would not beat your returns. Though those opinions often use battery prices 2 or 3 times what I wrote (€1600,-), plus installation by an electician.
So anyway, Victron. As you can read by now I am most fixated on Enphase. While there are a ton of other good options I have not researched at all. The SolarEdge for example. But also the Chinese brands, GroWatt and Solis something (..), you know them better than me. Also SunnyBoy SMA or APS systems are established names. I don't mind Chinese stuff btw. By now I think there are a lot more tradesman there than in the West so, don't think of that as an issue.

But Victron comes back as an option that gives room for.. options. :) Not being stuck with an brand battery mostly.
Though I am a little torn in the way things would go from there. What type of Victron left aside (multiplus, easysolar, etc.), there is often 2 outputs for when for exampe an power outage. Where one would be cut, and the other would be fed from battery. This is easy to see in an RV mobile, or ship for example, but I have more trouble envisioning it in an grid-tied home.

Idea for here, an grid-tied home, with seldom power outages, would be to have a battery, to use at night what you PVed by day. So in that case I am kind off researching if Victron would actually be the most handy option.

Though right now, I am a little torn with the mentioned Enpases, still. (it would be possible to couple this as well on a Victron, as you probably know. Though AC fed ofcourse). And or the SmartSolar MPPT RS 450|100 (€950,- - €1200,-) that the guy Will from this forum is a fan of. And or an loose MPPT (about €400,- to €600,- 48V)) and later on an MultiPlus II (€715,-) for example. Though there is also an MultiSolar RS (€1550,-), Inverter RS (also €1550,-) and what not. Though that one jumps a bit in price. And than I haven't mentioned the EasySolar and more SmartSolars I believe....
So I am lost in choice for weeks now.

Anyway, I came across this forum before. And yesterday on Youtube I watched the review of the SmartSolar MPPT RS by chance. And found that Will is also behind this forum. So I guess that is why I came to say hello. Wasn't planning for it to be this elaborate. But maybe someone does have a thought about above.

System I initially plan is 6 to 8 panels, (there will be an extention made from the roof of my shed, which would add room for 2 of the 8 panels). Upon finding that the prices are so low as they are, here, at the moment, makes that I do think of using the roof of the house as well. Though that would be in a later stadium for sure anyway. So I do plan to put some on the shed first. They all can and will be sound orientated, so there would be no need for Enpases for that matter, the panels would not have different orientation (it is an option though, east-west orientation).

Anyway, everyone, have a real nice day. Maybe just maybe, I would copy/paste my thread to an more apropiate place on the forum. Because while I came to say hello, I noticed that I had a lot to say and by that I mean ask. :)

Take care,
Maurits

PS I know I am on an USA forum, and I used Euro prices. Just for conviniance I would say that Euro-Dollar is 1:1. I don't know it at this time, but I believe Euro is worth a bit less or so than the dollar, at this time. But.. I better should have written $ where I wrote € I think now.
Hoi Maurits welkom hier, heel veel mensen met heel veel ervaring op dit forum
 
Solar Edge, at least some models I read of reliability issues.
They do have Stor Edge, accepts optional battery (high voltage, expensive).

Consider various hybrids, with PV string input. Optional battery, either HV or 48V, lets you add backup later.
Typically 3kW to 12kW.

I've only worked with SMA. They have some hybrids, including a 3-phase all in one (also expensive HV battery).
 
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