Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Discussion about adding energy storage to grid-dependent inverters using OutBack Power technology
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Mike Curran
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:04 am

Just an FYI - I have 3 Enphase microinverter AC arrays, two of which are set to AC couple to the Skybox output. I have the Enphase Envoy (their module level monitoring device) connected (plugged into) the Skybox AC output bus, same as these arrays, and it detects them just fine (connected them for testing, will leave disconnected until Skybox can handle AC coupling).

The other AC array is connected to the AC input side of the Skybox and so is not AC-coupled, just grid-tied. I've found that the Envoy does not detect this array through the Skybox (from output to input), which is kind of disappointing since I won't be able to monitor these modules as I have been able to before. I don't want to move them to the output side of Skybox, I already have more than enough PV there to keep my relatively small Simpliphi batteries charged and support critical loads during an outage.

Comments welcome. - Mike
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

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Gwendoly Espe
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Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Gwendoly Espe » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Hello Mike,

It looks like the Envoy uses power line communication. I bet with a transformer-less topology that power line communication is disrupted through all the electronic switching in between the input and output.

Have you had any issues with the AFCI and the Envoy? Devices that use power line communication can trip the AFCI, but since it's on the AC side, I bet you're not seeing any trips. Just curious.
Gwendoly Espe
Applications Engineer


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:56 pm

Yes Gwendoly, the Envoy does use power line comm, and Enphase does warn against powering it from any circuit with a surge protector or other similar device. I was just hoping it would "see through" the Skybox to the microinverters. You win some, you lose some :cry:

So far no AFCI trips, fingers crossed, but I've only operated it this way briefly since Skybox isn't AC couple ready yet.. - Mike

Edit : I'm just rewatching OB's AC coupling webinar and in it they say that the connection through the (Radian) inverter is a simple transfer relay contact. Assuming the same connection for Skybox, I wonder why this straight through connection prevents the Envoy from detecting the microinverters on the other side of the inverter...
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

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Gwendoly Espe
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Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Gwendoly Espe » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:12 am

Edit : I'm just rewatching OB's AC coupling webinar and in it they say that the connection through the (Radian) inverter is a simple transfer relay contact. Assuming the same connection for Skybox, I wonder why this straight through connection prevents the Envoy from detecting the microinverters on the other side of the inverter...
I think it's the transformer-less topography. The Radian being transformer-based has less rapid switching when converting the power than a transformer-less inverter.
Gwendoly Espe
Applications Engineer


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:53 pm

Thanks, makes sense. For the sake of complete module-level monitoring, I may just connect all three to the output side (along with the Envoy) depending on what maximum power is allowed to be AC coupled through Skybox. Anybody know what that max is? I think the Radian max is 6000 watts.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
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Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:43 am

One of the limitations on AC coupling may be the size of your battery pack. Lithium can be more forgiving than Lead Acid and can often take a higher current. Since you stated that you had SimpliPhi battery pack you may want to see what they say, I am just rewiring a small Enphase system to AC couple my Skybox. In my case my battery is larger by a factor of five compared to my Enphase string.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:20 pm

I got this from OB Tech support regarding max AC- coupled PV input to a Skybox:

"If you have an SA compliant inverter that can be programmed for HECO or CA Rule 21 (needed for proper operation of freq-watt control when off-grid), you can connect up to 7.6kW. If not, 5kW is the limit. We're working on an application note that should be out soon with all the details."

Btw, I checked with Enphase and they said my M215 microinverters are SA compliant.

 
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
Forum Guru
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:02 am

The M215 may be compliant with SA, but can they be programmed to HECO or CA Rule 21?

The othe relevant question is what PV to battery capacity ratio does Outback recomend for the Grid Tie Inverter to safely AC couple.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:53 am

Ampster wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:02 am
The M215 may be compliant with SA, but can they be programmed to HECO or CA Rule 21?
I think not, but as I understand it, those advanced functions (Rule 21 and HECO) are designed to allow grid-tied inverters to support grid instability in areas with high concentrations of renewable energy grid support, where multiple inverters dropping the grid connection when there's a blip in frequency or voltage would tend to exacerbate the instability. Rule 21 compliance ensures the inverter attempts to adjust to the grid instability rather than drop it entirely. Where I live, there's not much renewable energy tied to the grid, so I believe SA compliance is all that I need for my microinverters to disconnect when the Skybox "dithers" the frequency to avoid overcharging my battery during a grid outage.
Ampster wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:02 am
The other relevant question is what PV to battery capacity ratio does Outback recomend for the Grid Tie Inverter to safely AC couple.
Not sure that matters if you're grid tied, since excess AC coupled PV gets sold to the grid. Off grid the Skybox should still be able to force any AC coupled inverters to disconnect from it when battery voltage starts going too high, but I expect the same sort of ratio for a normal DC coupled array would apply.

FWIW, I'm not an expert and know just enough to be dangerous :shock: Expert rebuttals are welcome!!!
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
Forum Guru
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:31 am

All of this is related to the situation when the grid is down and the Skybox is trying to modulate the Grid Tie Inverter. If the Enphase Inverters can't be programmed for HECO OR Rule 21 then I think Outback recommends a lower max size PV to be AC coupled.

However this FAQ may provide the practical constraint:
http://outbackpower.com/resources/techn ... ledge-base

It basically says that they recommend the ratio of Grid Tied PV to batteries as 2kW to 8.5kWhr. The example was using Lead Acid or similar. I would suspect that Lithiums, because they can tolerate higher charge rates, might be able to be pushed a little harder.

My guess is this has to do with the time it takes a Grid Tie Inverter to respond to the frequency signal when the Skybox is trying to ramp down production after the load has dropped. Until that production of the GTI (in your case the Enphase Inverters) can be ramped down the power has to go somewhere and since the load has dropped the batteries have to be the buffer. Again non of this is a constraint until the grid goes down.

The Skybox can operate without batteries so the same ratio does not apply to the DC coupled PV system. My understanding is the Skybox can modulate the conversion of the solar power of DC coupled PV panels instantaneously versus the slow ramp down that happens with an AC coupled GTI. I hope someone from Outback Power can confirm or clarify.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:43 pm

All of this is related to the situation when the grid is down and the Skybox is trying to modulate the Grid Tie Inverter. If the Enphase Inverters can't be programmed for HECO or Rule 21 then I think Outback recommends a lower max size PV to be AC coupled.
This document
UL-1741-Supplement-A_Webinar.pdf
(1.52 MiB) Downloaded 176 times
says:
Screenshot_20191221-002639.jpg
that the frequency watt function is meant to allow an inverter to adapt to grid conditions in order to support grid stability, rather than simply disconnect when the grid frequency isn't nominal. Enphase M215 inverters, being SA compliant, will disconnect when the Skybox raises the frequency to maintain battery voltage within limits, which is all I'm concerned about. In CA and HI (edited from "HA"), the stricter Rule 21 standards are needed due to the current and future expected high penetration of renewable energy sources, when any "mass disconnection" of grid-tied inverters would cause more harm than good.

Here's the complete quote from OB Tech support:
I'm not terribly familiar with all the GTIs out there, but if you've had your system for more than a year or so, it's probably not compliant. You could also attempt to set HECO or CA Rule 21 grid protection settings on the GTI. If you can, it's probably compliant and performs the freq-watt function.

What we saw in testing with oversized arrays and non-SA compliant inverters was that during the transition to off-grid, the GTI would kick off momentarily, then would try to jump back up to its previous production value after its timer ran out. This caused an NPC OVP2 fault in the SkyBox because we weren't able to shift frequency fast enough to limit production to 5kW before the over-voltage. 

With newer SA compliant GTIs, the new grid support settings require a ramp rate when re-connecting to the grid, or in this case the SkyBox. We're then able to shift frequency quickly enough to curtail GTI production to 5kW or less and avoid the OVP fault. 

No faults were seen when connected to grid with oversized arrays. The only limiting component is the breaker size.
Perhaps this is all wishful thinking on my part, so I will ask OB for further clarification on this.
Last edited by Mike Curran on Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
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Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:39 pm

If that is the case that is good news. That conservative ratio of GTI kW to kWhrs for batteries is probably old information. I may consider AC coupling my main 5.7kW system as well as my small Enphase system. That 5.7 kW system is constrained by the 3.8kW Solaredge Inverter so I don't think I am anywhere near any limit of the Skybox. That would be convenient to be able to charge my EVs agressively during the Public Safety power outages we have been having in the Fall. I will probably have to relocate some of the CTs that I use to monitor those GT Inverters. That will be easy enough to do as I move those circuit. Fortunately my subpanels are all connected by a gutter so swinging circuits from one panel to the next is relatively easy. This will be a good project for the next few months.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:38 am

Hey Ampster - not so good news, at least for my M215 microinverters. Got this from OB Tech support:
The M215 PV’s ability, or lack there-of to meet rule 21 will impact how much of it can be AC coupled to the SkyBox.
Without a Rule-21 compliant inverter the AC Coupling limit for SkyBox is 5kW.  If the M215 PV is rule 21 compliant, SkyBox can keep 7.6kW of it running in an outage. If the Enphase setup is like the SkyBox setup, you can check this by looking at their declaration of conformity and modifying the grid settings.
Pretty sure the M215's aren't Rule 21 compliant, although I plan to ask Enphase if its firmware could be modified on a case by case basis to get its setup to match the Skybox setup for my system, but I'm not holding my breath. :-s

- Mike
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
Forum Guru
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:15 pm

My SolarEdge and my IQ7s are Rule compliant and total less that 5kW so either way it works for me. Any mention of the ratio of the GTIs and battery kWhrs? I wonder if there is any limitation now that the inverters can be modulated more effectively.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:27 pm

According to OB (mentioned in an earlier post in this thread) if your GTI is rule 21 compliant, you can AC couple up to 7.6kw, but I also found out there's a sell back current limit but don't know what it is. Found out when my AC coupled array was selling all it could while my DC array was throttled back to practically 0 watts, despite being in the same bright sun as the other arrays.

Sorry, no mention of the GTI to battery kwh ratio.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Ampster
Forum Guru
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:14 pm
My RE system: 5.7K solar system with Solaredge inverter. Heat pump water heater.
28 kWh pack of LFP batteries powering a Skybox which is used for load shifting and backup.
Location: Sonoma, Northern California

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Ampster » Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:13 pm

I just read on another forum that one of the limitations of M215 microinverters is that they can't be curtailed. I think what that means is they can't be modulated by frequency. In other words they are either on or off, nothing in between. Maybe that is what you are seeing. Have you ever seen them at half power or somewhere in between?
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:44 am

Ampster wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:13 pm
I just read on another forum that one of the limitations of M215 microinverters is that they can't be curtailed. I think what that means is they can't be modulated by frequency. In other words they are either on or off, nothing in between. Maybe that is what you are seeing. Have you ever seen them at half power or somewhere in between?
No, like you say they're either on or off. I don't have a problem with that, and here in NE Ohio we don't have enough renewable generation (yet) for it to matter for grid stability. That'll probably and hopefully change, but here in now red state Ohio, it'll be slow.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:49 am

Back to the original topic:

I've reconfigured my AC arrays so that my two rows of Westinghouse Solar modules (installed in 2012) are back to being simply grid tied, while the newer AC array (2019) is AC coupled to the Skybox output. I've also plugged the Envoy into the same circuit as the Westinghouse modules, and it's seeing both the Westinghouse modules and the new array through the Skybox!

So I've learned that if the Envoy is plugged into the Skybox AC output, it won't detect Enphase microinverters on the other side of the Skybox at its grid input. But if the Envoy is plugged in to the grid input side of Skybox, then it will detect Enphase AC modules on the Skybox output side.

Hurrah :!:

Screenshot from Enphase Enlighten website today:
Screenshot_20200106-114655_Samsung Internet.jpg
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

User avatar
Gwendoly Espe
Applications Engineering
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:04 am

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Gwendoly Espe » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:47 pm

Back to the original topic:

I've reconfigured my AC arrays so that my two rows of Westinghouse Solar modules (installed in 2012) are back to being simply grid tied, while the newer AC array (2019) is AC coupled to the Skybox output. I've also plugged the Envoy into the same circuit as the Westinghouse modules, and it's seeing both the Westinghouse modules and the new array through the Skybox!

So I've learned that if the Envoy is plugged into the Skybox AC output, it won't detect Enphase microinverters on the other side of the Skybox at its grid input. But if the Envoy is plugged in to the grid input side of Skybox, then it will detect Enphase AC modules on the Skybox output side.

Hurrah :!:
I'm glad to hear that you have found a way to make the Envoy work for you!

Since your post we have tested the Envoy and we got it to work on the output side. Is it possible when you had installed it on the output side that the AC Input relay would have been open? What was the configuration when you had issues with it on the output side?
Gwendoly Espe
Applications Engineer


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:16 pm

Is it possible when you had installed it on the output side that the AC Input relay would have been open? What was the configuration when you had issues with it on the output side?
I don't remember but it's not likely, I'm grid-tied and am usually connected.
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by Mike Curran » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:09 pm

Gwendoly Espe wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:47 pm
Since your post we have tested the Envoy and we got it to work on the output side. Is it possible when you had installed it on the output side that the AC Input relay would have been open? What was the configuration when you had issues with it on the output side?
I think I've figured out what changed. When I had issues with it, the AC array on the output side of the Skybox (AC-coupled to it) had its neutral connected through the Skybox neutral bus. I've been troubleshooting unusually high idle (grid) power consumption in the Skybox (viewtopic.php?f=47&t=14520), and I added a direct neutral in parallel with the neutral connections through the Skybox. That's when it changed so that the Envoy detected the AC array. It's funny but this parallel, redundant, direct neutral connection carries around 2.0 amps while the neutral feed from grid to Skybox BOS to my backup loads panel shows only 0.2 amps. I would've thought they'd be relatively equal :-k

Still working on the high grid draw...
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

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IanMcCluskey
OutBack Product Management
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Enphase Envoy microinverter detection thru Skybox

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:55 am

Sorry to interrupt this great conversation, just moving it to the new AC Coupling forum.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager


Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA
http://www.alpha.com

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