New Enphase system questions

kendive

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Merry Christmas all...

We just had an Grid Tied Enphase system installed. It's 26 REC Alpha Series 360 Black Panels and 26 IQ7A Inverters. It using the IQ Combiner 3 Combiner Box.

It's not live yet as we are waiting for the code on the meter for PTO from Gulf Power.

I have a background in IT and Electronics and my question is... I don't like the fact that this system uses open ports looking at Enphase's website mostly 80 and 443. Now I might just out this system behind my VPN and no one will have access to it but me.

This was installed by a local company and of course they have control of it. I know from time to time Enphase will do firmware updates but if I have it behind my VPN there is no way for this to happen.

Is this something to be concerned about or nobody never really thought of this.

Here is an article from 2016 I know old but I am sure Enphase could care less about your home network security. So most likely nothing has changed with there setup since then.


I failed to mention that I do have my own energy monitor that I built. It will monitor production right at the 6 gauge wires coming into our breaker box from the combiner box and will monitor at the same time usage with two more CT's.

It's this open source setup. I have been using this for a long time to monitor our usage and it's very accurate and reliable.








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Ampster

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You would know more than me about the risk of intrusion. I have dealer access to one system so I can change settings but a hacker couldn't blow up my house by changing any settings. On another installation i only have consumer access and all i can change is my name and picture of the site.
 

kendive

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Thanks for the reply. I am the type that likes to have control of things esp when it's connected to my network. I probably will just put it behind a VPN and then see if I get a dirty email form the installer or enphase. It's my system I own it. Well we did the super low interest financing. I tried to get better pricing by paying cash but they were not really going down much more than $3 a watt anyway. I will just pay it off sooner than later anyway. We are not the type to have loans on things. I'm am very techy and will probably take control of the system anyway. I am been doing alot of reading in here and already learned a ton.

Can't play too much as of yet because the system is turned off right now. Can't even ping the IP of the IQ Combiner yet. LOL

I'm sure Enphase is not too secure. If these companies that install it have full access I will too.

They did not impress me too much anyway. When I started asking questions you could tell it was beyond there know how. This is a company that has been in business since 1998 and you would think they would know a thing or two. If I was to do it again. I would do this myself it's not rocket science. This stuff is mostly plug and play now. I just am lazy and work for a living and wanted a turn key system to play with... This was installed on a brand new house. We own another house that we paid off a while ago and now rent it out. I almost put solar on it a while ago.







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kendive

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Yes you can see them with the blue / white wires coming from them. Here a couple of pics of our new main circuit panel and the combiner box. My energy monitor was pulled out at the time and I have a new one that I out together that will be able to run 4 ct's to monitor the solar and the consumption.

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SjhHNTc.jpg








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Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
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I like how the feed from meter is through accessible cables, and they have insulation over screw terminals.

Many main panels contain the meter ("combination entrance"?) and aren't accessible to add the split-core transformers. Maybe if the the utility unseals the meter compartment, could be added there. If overhead drop, the wires are split in the air where crimped.

My protected loads panel looks like that now, with current transformers (were not split core) on the wires from battery inverters. Eventually I'll be able to measure scope images of starting current for any load in the house. Scope on voltage as well makes it possible to see if current is in phase or not (reactive load)
 

kendive

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Yea when I ordered this solar system. I had no idea they were going to replace my meter box and main breaker box. But they did... they sent out a local electric company and Gulf Power had to disconnect our service at the transformer in the front yard and reconnect when they were done. But nice I like the setup and it did not cost me an extra dime. I will be adding my solar and consumption monitor soon so there will be another set of CT's on them main 4/0 wires coming from the meter.

They also added that main 200 amp cb. All we had when we bought the house is the meter box and 6 pack breaker box all in one setup. What you call "combination entrance".

Also at first I was going to get 25 Solaria 370XT panels and then they could not get them anymore so they gave me 26 of the REC Alpha Black 360 panels. I made them draw on the drawing of the panel layout how the four strings are setup. They ran four 12/2 from the panels to the combiner box and of course am 8 gauge ground wire.

The original quote per watt was based off the original 9.25kw system so I got al little more when they gave me a different panels and added one and an extra IQ7A to go with it.



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Ampster

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Yes you can see them with the blue / white wires
Then, short term you could ask your installer to set up your Envoy for non Export so you can turn on your system before the PTO is issued. Perhaps even better they might give you administrative privileges so you can do that yourself. Admin privileges might allow you to set up custom port forwarding settings that would allow you to feel more secure. I only know a few buzzwords and do not have a working knowledge of those processes like I assume you do.
 

kendive

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Then, short term you could ask your installer to set up your Envoy for non Export so you can turn on your system before the PTO is issued. Perhaps even better they might give you administrative privileges so you can do that yourself. Admin privileges might allow you to set up custom port forwarding settings that would allow you to feel more secure. I only know a few buzzwords and do not have a working knowledge of those processes like I assume you do.

Yea sound like an idea. Issue is asking the installer something I think they know nothing about. I 'm sure cracking into this would not be a hard task at all.

Why does setting up the Envoy for non export have to do with them giving me access anyway? I am new to this enphase stuff. Not sure if I'm sold on it yet but it will be a neat toy to play around with.

EDIT: I think you mean just to have the envoy on and not produce so you don't get in trouble with the power company??? I could just shut the four strings down and then turn on the breaker and it should feed 240 to the envoy. The envoy will be powered but the solar and inverters would be off.

I have setup my own off grid setup at our cabin in the woods and I was gonna just do something similar at the house just for backup when the lights go out.

I read somewhere that Enphase with certain inverters / firmware update will be able to give you up to 1500 watts with power out (No Battery) if you have the production to do so. That would be a neat system to have. If this is true.

I will probably just put the enphase system behind a VPN and it will be sound and secure.

Also just a Note there is no PORT FORWARDING that is safe. Kinda like a camera system. Yes you can setup the easy way and let it port fwd what it needs and bam it works but you are setting yourself up for disaster. VPN is the only way to go.

With all this solar hoopla and all these system getting installed it's just a matter of time when you will read that someone has hacked it and got in to peoples home networks. It's gonna happen.

Look at ring cameras. They have issues and still have issues. They are very unsecure.







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Ampster

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I think you mean just to have the envoy on and not produce so you don't get in trouble with the power company??? I could just shut the four strings down and then turn on the breaker and it should feed 240 to the envoy. The envoy will be powered but the solar and inverters would be off.
No, I mean have the system on so you can see the charts of production but maybe it is possible to power the envoy separately like mine is from a different breaker. I am also considering a VPN. I use one when traveling in China so I can access my gmail and bank accounts.
I read somewhere that Enphase with certain inverters / firmware update will be able to give you up to 1500 watts with power out (No Battery) if you have the production to do so. That would be a neat system to have. If this is true.
I have heard the same thing about IQ8 inverters which were developed to pair with the IQ8 battery systems. I think one user on this forum recently installed the battery system. I have my IQ7 inverters AC coupled to my battery backed Outback Skybox which allows them to run when the grid is down.
 

kendive

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No, I mean have the system on so you can see the charts of production but maybe it is possible to power the envoy separately like mine is from a different breaker. I am also considering a VPN. I use one when traveling in China so I can access my gmail and bank accounts.

I have heard the same thing about IQ8 inverters which were developed to pair with the IQ8 battery systems. I think one user on this forum recently installed the battery system. I have my IQ7 inverters AC coupled to my battery backed Outback Skybox which allows them to run when the grid is down.

I won't see any production yet until I can turn the system on completely.

That battery backed Outback Skybox sounds interesting. I guess it's enough power to trick your enphase system to work without power and still charge the battery when power is out.




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RCinFLA

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I failed to mention that I do have my own energy monitor that I built. It will monitor production right at the 6 gauge wires coming into our breaker box from the combiner box and will monitor at the same time usage with two more CT's.

It's this open source setup. I have been using this for a long time to monitor our usage and it's very accurate and reliable.
Not sure how extensive your monitoring is but for Enphase or any micro-inverter system you really need ability to communicate with each unit to keep tabs on proper operation and do trouble shooting. Some do it wirelessly, some via data carrier on AC lines.
 

kendive

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Just basic monitoring CT's for in and CT's for out. I use a simple energy monitor I put together as a kit.

I use this website to monitor... https://emoncms.org/

I will still have full access to the Envoy to see what's going on. It just won't have access to the outside world unless I log into my VPN that is setup on my local network. Pretty much the same way I have my Dahua 32 ch NVR setup. I would never allow a device to setup port forwarding. You might as well just give all your neighbors your wifi passphrase

Another way is to put the enphase system on a separate network and a separate subnet. It would have internet but no local access.

IP over AC Power lines sounds good but I don't think there is to much of that out there. Don't think that ever took off. I had a TED (The Energy Detective) setup on our other house and it used power line IP, but it was a total crap system.

I ended up throwing it in the trash. https://www.theenergydetective.com/

Here is an old phone I us a display to see usage.

RUOMn4b.jpg







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kendive

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Finally got PTO (Permission to turn On) from the power co.

It's been pretty nasty the last few days but the system still seems to do pretty well. I have exported quite a bit of power just in the little time it has been on.

The Enphase system is nice and there app is just OK. I have the installer password so I can have access to more settings in the Combiner Box (Envoy) Not that I am making changes. I just like to have control over something I own.

The energy monitor system I installed myself is hands down 100% better than what came with the enphase solar system.

I have an extra Tablet out and have it on 24/7 showing real time what is going on. It's kinda neat in the morning as the sun comes up to watch the solar Watts build up. This has such precise measurements I can see it start from zero and come up.

I plan on adding the batteries to this system maybe later this year. The Govt has extended the 26% Energy credit for two more years so that will help.


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svetz

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Congratulations on your PTO! If you haven't seen it already, this post might interest you (check the thread post #2 for some other links).
 

kendive

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Congratulations on your PTO! If you haven't seen it already, this post might interest you (check the thread post #2 for some other links).
Thanks. Also thanks for the link lots of good info there. Very impressive the power this system is putting out even on rainy cloudy days.

The energy monitor that I setup for usage and production is here.


I use emoncms.org for remote monitoring.






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newbostonconst

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Thanks. Also thanks for the link lots of good info there. Very impressive the power this system is putting out even on rainy cloudy days.

The energy monitor that I setup for usage and production is here.


I use emoncms.org for remote monitoring.
I don't see were you are getting access to individual Enphase inverter data? Am I miss reading this?
 

Ampster

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Am I miss reading this?
I had the same question. I looked again at post #14 and the first graphic looks like the display of data from an Enphase Envoy.
I have also been curious about the emoncms system. I like the granularity of data for each circuit and the price of the parts but could not find any info about the subscription pricing for the monitoring. It reminded me of the model where you get a free razor blade handle and buy blades for the rest of your life. Nothing wrong with that model if the value is there.
 

kendive

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I had the same question. I looked again at post #14 and the first graphic looks like the display of data from an Enphase Envoy.
I have also been curious about the emoncms system. I like the granularity of data for each circuit and the price of the parts but could not find any info about the subscription pricing for the monitoring. It reminded me of the model where you get a free razor blade handle and buy blades for the rest of your life. Nothing wrong with that model if the value is there.

I generate all the data I need with emoncms to monitor the Solar and Energy used. I have only five feeds setup and that cost les than $5 a year.

That is well worth it to me.




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newbostonconst

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I generate all the data I need with emoncms to monitor the Solar and Energy used. I have only five feeds setup and that cost les than $5 a year.

That is well worth it to me.
Are you getting panel level data from your Enphase micro's?
 
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