New Enphase system questions

kendive

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And those have room to drop. That's a bank of microinverters fitted with batteries.

It is good to have a system of equipment designed/tested to work together. But how does cost of Enphase battery solution compare to other AC coupled batteries & inverters? Is a system sized to match your PV system reasonably priced and able to power your intended loads?
Yep it's like playing the stock market. Guess if prices will go up or down.

As for a battery system for our primary house. I have Enphase so I would stick with them.

We have property just 10 miles from our house with a cabin and I setup an off grid setup for it.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
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$6700, 10 kWh storage LiFePO4, 3.94 kVA continuous, 5.7 kVA surge. 240V


EnPhase smart switch $1200, has 3.6 kVA auto-transformer for 120/240V

With 5.7 kVA surge, I would expect it to start motors rated up to 1200W. (up to 24A locked rotor amps at 240V)
My small central A/C compressor lists LRA 57A, about twice that.

One unit would power moderate loads in a house, probably up to 1 HP or so induction motors. A 2 HP induction motor would probably be too much. Multiple units can be paralleled.
 

kendive

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Ok I have not really got any more quotes for installing other than 5200 for the Encharge 3 setup which is probably way to small to be worth it. I guess I could add a 10 to it later pretty easy if everything else is in place. Still waiting. These companies are slow or just don't care to deal with just a battery install.

I have a few questions I will ask on here and will probably email Enphase.

Lets say I go just with the 10 to start off with and per Enphase charts it can only handle 16 of my IQ7A inverters. So I have two strings of 7 (14) total. Does that get broke out of the Envoy Combiner separate to the smart switch to charge the Encharge 10? Or do you connect your whole array to the smart switch and it will only use what it needs to keep your batteries charged?

I am looking only to power the sub panel in the house and is an 80 Amp breaker from the main power panel. The only two 240 loads in the sub panel is the Water Heater and the Clothes Dryer. Honestly I could care less to power those two appliances if we have an power outage and running off the batteries.

I looked at the install manuals with the one line drawings and the smart switch drawings and it all looks straight forward.
 

svetz

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Lets say I go just with the 10 to start off with and per Enphase charts it can only handle 16 of my IQ7A inverters. So I have two strings of 7 (14) total. Does that get broke out of the Envoy Combiner separate to the smart switch to charge the Encharge 10? Or do you connect your whole array to the smart switch and it will only use what it needs to keep your batteries charged?
There's a few different ways you can configure it, I believe the document you want is: https://www.altestore.com/static/da..._Storage_System_Planning_Guide_Tech_Brief.pdf

On mine, the panels all join up in the combiner box and go into the Enpower. The batteries and the Grid from the meter also feed into the Enpower. The load center is supplied from the Enpower.

1622849958427.png
 

kendive

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Thanks for the detailed write up. I see your system has two (2) Encharge 10 Units. I don't really need two and feel that is overkill. I would like to get one Encharge 10 (A big Maybe add another later) and have it power my sub panel only and really only needs to power the 120VAC circuits. There is two 240VAC loads. The dryer and the water heater in the sub panel. The water heater would be an issue because if we did not turn it off during a power outage and the system switches to battery then it could possibly start powering an 4-5k watt load. If they make a smart 240VAC breaker that will trip during a grid power outage that would be nice. I could easily make that with a contactor and relay or fancy PLC setup. :) But maybe I'm overthinking this and all that would not be needed anyway.

Here are some pics to help with what I'm thinking about doing. I would like to install this myself if Enphase allows... After going through there training program. I have signed up for it.

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Here is what I have outside.

YPNR1TX.jpg



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A pic inside my main breaker box they upgraded when they installed the solar. The top left breaker is the 80amp feeding the subpanel. The bottom right is the solar coming in.

zNKkCZG.jpg


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A pic of my Envoy Combiner Box. There is room for more breakers but there little black cover blocks adding any breakers. I would guess there would be a new cover if you are going to add a breaker to feed to the Smart Switch (Enpower)

QiNhaVp.jpg



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Here are some diagrams and pics I pulled from the internet and Enphase manuals.

hQmOYGu.jpg


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With tax and shipping an Encharge 10 and a Smart Switch direct from Enphase would be $ 8659.44

Now if I can get some good quotes on what they charge to install or do myself. Like I said I started with a quote for just the Encharge 3 and was 5200 installed. I just got another quote for the Encharge 10 setup and it was $19000 +. I laughed at them. No Way does this cost $19K to get up and running. Maybe this week I can get some more. Still working with the company that installed the solar but they are slow to do anything.




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svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
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With your attention to detail and beautiful work, I doubt you have any problem passing their course. If you sign up with them as a reseller you might be able to get additional discounts, and possibly a nice side business.

Don't forget to leave enough space for the Enpower. The Enpower is physically huge, here's a photo of mine from the blog (those curvy conduits the installer did hurt my OCDness. Fortunately, I painted them all the wall color now so they don't look so bad, see Camouflaging Eyesores):

1598017157586-png.20502
 

kendive

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Yea I'm sure there course is not that hard to pass. This solar stuff is not rocket science. :) I worked offshore in the oil field for 14 years as an Chief Electronic Tech / IT. I retired from that and home everyday working on Military Aircraft (Electrical / Avionics stuff)

I could possibly install the Empower (Smart Switch) and Batteries inside the house. There is an extra room right behind all our outdoor electrical panels and meter. I wonder if there any benefit to having the batteries inside than out? Temps be better on the Batts... Wife would not be happy with the idea. LOL

I went over a friends house that has alot going on and also has the Encharge setup with one 10 and one 3. He had a local company do the work and I think it looks like a disaster. Also not sure if I would pile a bunch of stuff around the batteries like they have. But to each there own.

I have way to much OCD to have a setup like this

Here are some pics of there setup.

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svetz

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I could possibly install the Empower (Smart Switch) and Batteries inside the house. There is an extra room right behind all our outdoor electrical panels and meter. I wonder if there any benefit to having the batteries inside than out? Temps be better on the Batts... Wife would not be happy with the idea. LOL
The smart switch location can go either way as far as I know. While Enphase says the batteries can be installed outside, it's not a good idea if you live in a cold climate... they also say don't put them anywhere they are subject to freezing temperatures. Mine are outside as low temperatures aren't likely, and for the day after tomorrow I can just turn them off until it warms back up, which I guess would be the day after the day after tomorrow.
 

kendive

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The smart switch location can go either way as far as I know. While Enphase says the batteries can be installed outside, it's not a good idea if you live in a cold climate... they also say don't put them anywhere they are subject to freezing temperatures. Mine are outside as low temperatures aren't likely, and for the day after tomorrow I can just turn them off until it warms back up, which I guess would be the day after the day after tomorrow.

Good Point. I live in North West Florida so it's mostly warm here also.
 

kendive

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Ok got my first good quote and now looking at getting (1) Encharge 10 and (1) Encharge 3 and of course the Smart Switch. This will be only sub panel loads. I'm not looking into powering the whole house.

The more you match to Enphase charts to what Inverters you have the better the Micro Grid works with the IQ8's in the Encharge.

Enphase requires the Cellular Modem when you add the Encharge system. They pay for the connection.

Turn key ready to go $15K. Not bad considering that if I ordered the equip direct from Enphase I'm looking at around 12k with tax and freight.

There is going to be other things needed of course.

This will be a cash deal.

I decided to have the batteries mounted outside as we discussed in our climate and them being mounted on the North end of the house they should do just fine.


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svetz

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Enphase requires the Cellular Modem when you add the Encharge system. They pay for the connection.
I always thought that was a bit odd, mine is on WiFi but I still have the modem hooked up. Originally I thought the cellular was a backup to the WiFi, but AFAIK it has to be switched. The cellular also reports at a much slower timeframe than the WiFi.
 

kendive

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I always thought that was a bit odd, mine is on WiFi but I still have the modem hooked up. Originally I thought the cellular was a backup to the WiFi, but AFAIK it has to be switched. The cellular also reports at a much slower timeframe than the WiFi.
Yea I wonder if I get the batteries and they add the cellular modem would they notice if I just disconnected the wifi altogether?
 

svetz

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Yea I wonder if I get the batteries and they add the cellular modem would they notice if I just disconnected the wifi altogether?
You don't need the WiFi, it'll work with cellular. But... the monitoring tool will lose fidelity. Lots of complaints about that on the Enphase forums by those that didn't realize their installer hadn't setup the WiFi.
 

kendive

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You don't need the WiFi, it'll work with cellular. But... the monitoring tool will lose fidelity. Lots of complaints about that on the Enphase forums by those that didn't realize their installer hadn't setup the WiFi.
That's funny that the installer did not setup everything properly. I can't remember the last time I logged into the enlighten website. I just use my own energy monitor for real time logging and tracking of the solar, exporting, and energy use.

When I first got the system I always thought the enphase monitoring was slow and lagging and it's on wifi only still. I think it only updates every 5 to 15 min...
 

kendive

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According to Enphase if I only get the Encharge 10 and one Encharge 3.

I can only setup 22 of my 26 panels and IQ7A inverters to the battery system. Seems strange and how are they going to separate this and still keep all 26 panels on the grid tied side? Is this because the IQ8's in the Encharge can make there own Micro Grid and this needs to match up?

Still trying to figure this out and If I just add another Encharge 3 I would not have to worry about splitting up the array.


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svetz

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...Seems strange and how are they going to separate this and still keep all 26 panels on the grid tied side?
What I've heard is that you can have more panels than the docs say you can with encharges, but they need to be on a separate Envoy so they can be turned off during an outage. I want to install a few more panels, so hoping to put IQ8's directly on the back of them rather than do that.
Is this because the IQ8's in the Encharge can make there own Micro Grid and this needs to match up?
AFAIK it's mostly about safety (e.g., "buffering" transients like the air conditioning goes off). More about the problem in https://diysolarforum.com/threads/incrementally-adding-ac-batteries.588/.
 

Ampster

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but they need to be on a separate Envoy so they can be turned off during an outage
My two strings of Enphase micro inverters are on the same Envoy and separate breakers. I can shut off either of the breakers anytime. My Envoy is not the model integrated with a combiner.
I am not sure I understand why turning off a breaker requires another Envoy. It would seem one would lose aggregate reporting if you had two Envoys.
NOTE;
Rereading the post, I realize you are referring to Encharges not micros but the question remains.
 
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