A Reader’s Frustrations With The Enphase Enlighten Monitoring System

enphase enlighten monitoring

Enphase panel monitoring is a great feature. But some Enphase installers flat out refuse to enable it.

There are many people in this world who enjoy monitoring the output of their rooftop solar systems.

But other people – not so much.  For example, I don’t think my parents have checked the output of their system since they got it.  My father just looks at the electricity bill every three months and grunts, “Power bill low.  Is good.” And then goes back to making stone tools.

But for those who enjoy the heady pleasures of solar system monitoring, modern technology can provide the fix you’re looking for.

It is becoming more common for solar inverters to offer monitoring via the internet, but conventional string inverters can only monitor the entire system’s output1.  If you want to see the output of each panel you will need either microinverters or DC optimisers.

Enphase’s Enlighten Monitoring System

In this article I am going to tell you about monitoring panels equipped with Enphase microinverters.   Enphase’s monitoring software is called Enlighten and the monitoring hardware is known as an Envoy box.

Actually, I’m not going to be the one who tells you about it, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Enphase is the world’s biggest producer of microinverters and their products have a reputation for reliability.  In Australia they have a 10 year warranty2 and in the United States they have a 25 year warranty.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they will last 25 or more years under Australian conditions, but it is a good sign.

I mentioned the Enphase monitoring system 10 months ago when I wrote about the Enphase AC battery.  But there is not a lot of information about it there, apart from the fact that the warranty on the Envoy monitoring hardware is only 5 years.

I could do some more research into the Enphase monitoring system, but that would take time and effort and I’m a busy person.  I’ve got places to go, people to avoid, and shoes to nail to my horse.  So thank goodness my good friend Ian has provided me with detailed information on his experiences with getting and using the Enphase monitoring system3

 

Here is Ian’s experience, in Ian’s words (Subheadings added):


Ian Wrote:

We began our solar journey looking at lots of things.  As we have moving shade issues due to trees on a neighbouring property we ended up selecting the Enphase microinverter based system. I always planned to use panel monitoring to decide their ideal placement over the course of a year.

So how did we go?

After two false starts we found what we thought was a good company to install the panels and microinverters as we wanted. We discussed the fact that we wanted to monitor at an individual panel level they told me this was possible with extra software which would be installed later.

The installation went well and, after a couple of calls to sort out the internet side of things, the system worked beautifully. We were happy and saving money.

Frustration #1: Original Installer & Enphase Australia Refuse Panel Level Monitoring

But after a month I still had not heard from the installers about the software upgrade to monitor individual panels. They tried to put me off  by offering to generate reports when I wanted them.  They then told me Enphase preferred not to sell the additional software for fear of silly warranty claims such as bird poop on a panel etc.

I persisted for about 6 months and with no result was quite annoyed. I then took the matter up with Enphase in Australia and their technical people were sympathetic but not much help, suggesting I go back to the installer or try another installer. Arrrgh!

I then managed to find a contact at Enphase in the US and asked a lot of questions and got mostly useful technical responses but no software. I then embarked on a campaign to call Enphase agents in WA starting with those closest to me.

Surfside Electrical to the Rescue

Eventually I found Surfside Electrical and they were very helpful. They did also warn me about the issues with things such as bird poop and the fact that false alarm call-outs would be charged.

I told them I am an engineer and that bird poop would not be an issue. They came and inspected the system as installed and provided a quote to install the extra metering equipment.

Frustration #2:  Monitoring hardware needed to be upgraded for consumption monitoring

It transpired that I would need to replace the ‘Envoy’ management box (hardware).  This annoyed me a lot as I had made it clear to the original installer that I wanted panel level monitoring.  Either the original company were incompetent, deceptive or wanted to sell something they had in stock.

[Note from Finn: All Envoys can monitor at the panel level if the installer enables it in the software. It looks like the new installer had to upgrade the Envoy hardware to accomodate Ian’s request for consumption monitoring]

So we paid to replace the Envoy box and add the wiring and additional metering hardware and fired up the system.

No go. Bugger.

Frustration #3: Wi-Fi Woes

It seems that the Enphase systems are very sensitive to the signal quality of the Wi-Fi connection particularly when using the Enlighten management software. An investigation followed and the company that fitted the stuff recommended we:

  • have a new Wi-Fi base station installed
  • move the new Enphase Envoy device to a better location
  • and install various line filters.

As we have a business we got our normal IT contractor to undertake this work as we find a single supplier works best in these situations. We were also advised that it was possible that Wi-Fi may not work at all and that we may have to install comms cable in the house. In the end relocating the Wi-Fi, replacing the Wi-Fi base station and adding line filters worked.

I should add that the normal Enphase system operates by communicating using the 240 volt wiring in the house. This is ok if you do not have a UPS and line filter in front of the power supply to your computer/Wi-Fi system. If you do then the system may not work well or will work slowly forcing you to use either Wi-Fi or cables. Just something to keep in mind..

Finally! Panel Level Monitoring

The changes worked and now I can look at data to my heart’s content. Here’s what the software looks like.

First is the standard Enphase overview without consumption or panel level-monitoring.

Enphase Envoy readout

Bare Bones Enphase Enlighten Software: No consumption, no panel level monitoring.

Now to the same view with the full Enlighten software and metering in place.

You can clearly see the production, grid consumption, and exports in the left hand column and of course you see the total usage. God bless air-conditioning on hot nights!

enlighten software

Bare Bones Enphase Enlighten Software: No consumption, no panel level monitoring.

Now we come to the individual panel performance. Enphase has the data side well sorted. I can move the cursor to see all the panels on the system  you can also see that there are many different reports and some excellent analysis tools.
Enphase Envoy readout
Please note our system was operating for sometime before the metering software and hardware being added hence the total usage figures are quite low compared to total production.

Frustration #4: Enphase batteries can’t do backup

My next issue is storage and I’m a bit obsessed with it. The first option I looked at was the Enphase AC batteries but Enphase seems non-competitive particularly against Tesla’s pricing.

The Enphase batteries also have no backup function which is a significant disincentive for me as we live in an area where power outages do occur.

My guess is that it will take Enphase 12 months or more to drop their battery pricing and I also suspect that consumer demand for backup will drive them into some sort of upgrade or option to accommodate this. Otherwise they risk another smart operator coming up with a simple AC coupled system that will work with Enphase micro inverters4.

Would I buy microinverters again?

So would I do it again? The quality of the Enphase data management and products to date has been excellent. They manage shading issues well and enable (after some aggravation) individual panel level monitoring as well as detailed system analysis. I also like the modular nature of the entire Enphase systems, as one defective microinverter or battery does not knock the system over.

The difficulty with not having backup with the grid down is a major issue for me and I’m not sure whether I would go with microinverters again. I see their advantages as well as the safety advantages with no high voltage DC on the roof.

[Note from Finn: It is possible to go off grid with Microinverters but it is not straightforward]

 

End of Ian’s words.


It Can Be Hard To Get Enphase Enlighten Fully Installed

As Ian’s detailed review makes clear, Enphase Enlighten is an extremely effective monitoring system.  However, the difficulty he had in getting it installed makes me want to grunt and go join my father in making stone tools.  What Ian had to go through is flat-out ridiculous and he is not the only person who has had problems.

I can understand installers not wanting to enable the panel-level monitoring system because of false alarms resulting from bird poop, or leaves on panels, or from the homeowner simply not understanding how the system works.  While the business won’t be out-of-pocket if they charge a call-out fee for false alarms, the installer can still feel bad about having to charge people for doing nothing and the customer can definitely feel bad about having to pay for nothing, so I can understand wanting to avoid all that.

But if a customer wants panel level monitoring for their system and the installer doesn’t want to provide it, they should make that crystal clear from the beginning.  It is not acceptable to convince people to buy Enphase, by promoting panel-level monitoring as a future upgrade, and then refuse to actually add it.

As panel level monitoring is one of the advertised benefits of Enphase microinverter systems, I think people are entitled to it if they ask for it. Enphase should take steps to make it available to everyone who wants it.

[Note from Finn: Robin from Enphase explains how existing Enphase owners can pay to upgrade to panel level monitoring in this comment]

In the meantime, anyone buying Enphase who wants panel level monitoring should make that clear to the installer at the quote stage, and ensure it is a line item on any quote. Some installers have a policy of not enabling it for customers, others are happy to, and it is best to learn of this before the quote.

But, if you are happy to pay the price, once Enphase monitoring is up and working and any connectivity problems fixed, then it is an effective panel monitoring system that can complement Enphase’s very reliable and effective microinverters.

 

If anyone has questions for Ian about his system you can leave them in the comments.  He says he’s happy to answer any questions he can, but he’s no solar power expert. 

Footnotes

  1. or up to two separate strings of panels
  2. Ironically we get a shorter warranty in Australia because Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is so strong. If Enphase were to offer 25 years in Australia ACL would oblige Enphase to offer parts and labour for 25 years which is too much of a liability. In the US they can legally offer only to replace the hardware for the full 25 years
  3. To tell the truth, I didn’t actually know Ian from a bar of soap before he sent me this information, but he’s my good friend now.  That’s all it takes.  I’m easy.
  4. Tesla is promising that their Powerwall 2 will give AC coupled backup at some point in the future.
About Ronald Brakels

Many years ago now, Ronald Brakels was born in Toowoomba. He first rose to international prominence when his township took up a collection to send him to Japan, which was the furthest they could manage with the money they raised. He became passionately interested in environmental matters upon his return to Australia when the local Mayor met him at the airport and explained it was far too dangerous for him to return to Toowoomba on account of climate change and mutant attack goats. Ronald then moved to a property in the Adelaide Hills where he now lives with his horse, Tonto 23.

Comments

  1. Graham Alexander says

    Very unfortunate. I (in my last solar company) designed/sold/installed several Enphase systems and none of them experienced any of the above problems. We initially had some communications issues, but being reasonably smart, overcame those quite easily (by reading the instructions).
    I always avoid panel level monitoring if possible for a good reason (commercial being the exception).

    As far as the backup goes, most manufactureres are trying to avoid this for what I see as a valid reason. You need to have charge in the battery to supply backup. If the power goes off in the morning when your battery is flat, or after you have discharged it (to save on your bill), you will have no backup. That’s when the complaints start flooding in because the customer didn’t listen.
    Me – I will avoid backup like the plague.

    • I have just relocated from North America to MY. I have been taking the Enphase courses via webinar’s. The Enphase system is not intended as a back up. ( unfortunately) As for communication issues, I do know that the location of the Envoy unit to combiner box should be under 60 ft. As for software issues or related questions, I
      would recommend that you contact Enphase in the US. All of my questions have been answered in a timely manner . Go to the training site on their website and sit in on a webinar. The hosts all take time to answer questions from those in attendance. I ask several per session. dave

  2. There is little direct communication about upgrades and known issues between Enphase Australia and New Zealand and persons who have purchased their system. They do not have a telephone support centre even though their website gives the impression that one on one support is available. If you ring the published number you are simply message directed to use their email support client. If you use the email support client you get an automated advise of receipt followed by a long period of silence cumulating on occasions in no response at all. When it comes to the MyEnlighten reporting system as to functionality you would be forgiven for believing that there is a disconnect between the technical department how the system actually works and those that write the MyEnlighten software. I have written to Enphase [Facebook Messenger] set out what I believe needs to be resolved in relation to report generation including that which is being reported as battery charging and discharging watt-hour values. Having said that from a production point of view I have never had an issue with the System and more than happy with its performance.

  3. That’s unfortunate the original installer was so resistant to providing the panel level monitoring that Ian was so miffed not to have – they could have provided that with a couple of mouse clicks. Enphase does make it available to installers who wish to provide it to their customers. Some I wouldn’t offer it to but others like Ian are clearly able to handle the responsibility! The new Envoy wasn’t required for this but I suspect Ian also wanted to get consumption monitoring which probably only became available after the original installation…

    • Anil Jacob says

      Is there a way to enable the panel level monitoring with out the manager view? Looks like the manager view costs at least $250 in US

      • Alan Simpson says

        It cost $349 now in Australia. Not sure why everyone thinks that the installer needs to set this up for them. It looks like a simple licence purchase and then the same software you have installed just has access to the additional features. I’ll probably purchase as soon as my system is set up again. I installed 2 months ago and had a faulty Envoy. It took almost 2 months to get a new one. Shocking service and very arrogant attitude from Enphase.

  4. Dennis Kavanagh says

    I had an Enphase micro-inverter system installed in mid July 2016. Enlighten worked from day 1 and individual panel access was paid for, implemented and working well by the end of that month. Very smooth process. Well done Envirogroup, Martyn Solier (actual installer) and Enphase.

  5. Neil Mullenger says

    ]I’ve got the standard Envoy box which just gives you total output rather than output per panel. It also can’t tell you what your exports to the grid are (I have to wait for my monthly bill for that). I think going for the whole box and dice as you have adds a hefty cost: Is this correct?

    I also understood that panel level monitoring is standard in the States: do you also know if this is true?

    • My understanding is there are two versions of MyEnlighten. One intended for use by domestic users and a version for installers which has more functionality. My understanding is the Installer version can report on individual panels. You can purchase the Installer version.

    • Hi Neil
      When you say “standard Envoy box” do you mean it is NOT connected by wi-fi (it is cabled in). I understood there was a box you could put at the side of the house that was NOT wi-fi enabled. This suits my situation but I have not found any information on a non-wi-fi solution.

    • Here in the US MyEnlighten, which is system-level monitoring, is the standard customer view of their system production. As has been stated, a customer can purchase Enlighten Manager, the panel-level monitoring, for a one-time fee of $249, which they would do through their system installer.

      Early on Enphase charged an annual subscription fee for Enlighten, which was by default the panel-level monitoring. At least here in the US. Then for a few years they moved to panel-level monitoring at no cost. But since the release of MyEnlighten that has been the default customer view, with the panel-level view available for that one-time cost.

  6. Carlos DeVries says

    When I bought Enphase, I was told by the installer I would get panel level monitoring. I didn’t.
    Enphase’s support line is uncontactable. All user enquiries are told to contact via a non-existent support page. I never got a reply or peep from Enphase after many times logging a question.
    I now own a $17,500 system on the roof that may or may not be working. No support from the installer , no help from Enphase.
    My advice – check if your installer can get after sales support from their supplier.

    Money down the drain!

  7. Grant Behrendorff says

    Module level monitoring is a standard option available (at additional cost) with all Enphase systems. If a homeowner has problems accessing this it is the installer who is letting them down, not the manufacturer. Enphase make free product training available to all installers, but of course not all installers make time for this. Anyone considering having an Enphase system installed would be best advised to use an installer that is part of the “Enphase Installer Network” or who is “AC Solar Certified” as these are businesses that have received training and have experience with the Enphase product range – and they certainly should be able to provide better advice with regards to the available monitoring options.

    • Who do you work for and what’s your position?

      • Grant Behrendorff says

        Ant

        I work with a wholesaler that sells Enphase microinverters.

        • Hi Grant : Im looking for M190s to replace existing that my installer is telling me are impossible to replace – i don’t know if that true . Are they still available ? Or can i replace with newer model inverter or different model . My installer 7 years ago is not be ing that helpful , So I’m researching right now as to what i can do . Ehphase are not available for anyone to get in touch with . Can you help . And thanks David

          • Grant Behrendorff says

            Hi David – happy to help if I can. Please let me know your email address and I’ll get in touch with details. Regards, Grant

    • That is correct As an enphase installer in the USA the module level monitoring is extra cost to the customer. We charge $299 for a lifetime of module level monitoring. Nothing has to be added physically if they have the envoy.

    • Rob Lickers says

      Why does Enphase ship Microinverters and Envoy controllers that;

      1) do not have the Default Profile and Grid Settings installed;

      2) mandate an Installer maintained Smart Phone App to configure the system set up and software issues and more importantly;

      3) when is Enohase going to revise their Installation Manuals, Schematics and TROUBLESHOOTING Schemes.

      I’m an experienced PV installer who was called for an after installation service call on a system we did not install or sell.

      I SPENT OVER 12 HOURS OF LOST NON-REVENUE HOURS BECAUSE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ISSUES.

      It also takes Over an Hour or more to have Enphase to call an On site Installer back during a troubleshooting call.

      I’m a U.S. Installer\/Enginner

      I WILL NEVER BUY AN ENPHASE COMPONENT I DONT CARE IF IT HAS A DOUBLE LIFETIME WARRANTY.

      STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY UNLESS YOU HAVE LOTS OF FREE TIME TO WASTE.

  8. Ray Cowling says

    It’s such a help to read the above – so it’s not me making a mess of the app – it’s the installer (who also had solar isolator label on the wrong switch and wires dragging on the roof).

  9. Fascinating article and comments.
    Ron – it would be great to try to find people who have experienced other panel level monitoring systems and get some comparative information. Especially interested to see how useful the software is from companies like SolarEdge, etc.

  10. I was told by my installer that to get the panel level monitoring working I would need to pay an additional $300? Sound kosher or is there a way around this?

    Envoy-S is up and running so I do have Enlighten working but those extra stats would be dandy!….just not $300 dandy

    • Dennis Kavanagh says

      Yes that is about what I paid unfortunately.

    • For me to upgrade to MyEnlighten [the name of the user interface] involved an Envoy hardware upgrade [an new wall mounted interface] between the PV system and the in the cloud server that supports the Enphase user interface and data base]. The Envoy WiFi answering point is your WiFi router connected to your always on Internet service. The user interface is a client server html style webpage with individual logon. Including with the Envoy hardware upgrade were couplings in the meter box that read power from the grid and what was being exported [Feed in]. As far as the MyEnlighten software is concerned your client is a web browser that logs on to a client server [where ever that may be located] that provides you with access to your individual webpage user interface. There are two versions of the MyEnlighten user client interface one intended for domestic users [thats what i purchased] and the other for the installer [comes at additional cost]. Users can purchase the installer version which has more comprehensive reporting.

    • Oh I forgot to mention you can download the MyEnlighten software [iOS] from the Apps Store [Apple]. I run this user interface application on an iPad. The only difference between this application and the desktop version is the iOS version on the iPad supports access to the Envoy system. Anyone who would like some screenshots of what it all looks [desktop and iOS] like can email me a [email protected]

      • Rob Luckets says

        I just spoke to Enohase yesterday as I wanted to load the software on. Laptop and not use a Smartphone

        Enphase states that the Envoy/Enlighten Tool Kit is only available for Android and Iphones( which is asinine)

  11. I’ve installed tens of Enphase systems; the Enphase products just work! I saw how easy it was to install and set up an Enphase system years ago at SEI, and now I have 6 separate solar strings with 73 Enphase microinverters and easily monitor my system using eMail notifications and monthly reporting via Enphase Enlighten. Enphase rocks. Microinverters = Reliability, true reliability with no single point of failure. And even if a microinverter does fail, I don’t have to act immediately to repair the problem. Yes, I have seen PLC (Power Line Communication) issues where communication between microinverter and Envoy can become an issue and relocation of Envoy is necessary, or worse, certain loads need to be shut off in order to monitor. Maybe that is why Enphase is combining the IQ Envoy product with a single SKU; the Envoy-S Metered needs to be installed correctly, and if done so, it offers even better capabilities over the older Envoy and Envoy-C. The Enphase AC combiner box is also a great way to insure excellent communications, too.

    • TJ

      they need to get rid of power line communications. its a pain in the ass. They just need to do wi-fi. so much more reliable and easier to set up too.

      • Grant Behrendorff says

        I’ve been involved with hundreds of microinverter installations that use wifi (zigbee) coms and I can assure you that these systems are not immune to problems either. In my experience, an installer that has problems setting up PLC coms is likely to have problems setting up wifi coms as well. Both systems work well if installers take the time to learn how they operate and understand the limitations.

      • TJ Roberts says

        The new IQ series should solve the “pain in the ass” communications of previous models’ PLC. The new PLC does not have the “noise” problem of previous M- & S-series microinverters because it does not use the neutral wire for communication. The modulation technique has also changed from HSK/PDF to IQ (In-phase Quadriture) which is also better. I am biased towards Enphase, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I think the low-voltage-based microinverter solutions are superior to high-voltage DC-based soltuions given their reliability and safety. Another issue which is a bit nebulous is PID which high-voltage-based solar arrays can be susceptible to. With microinverters, they’re PID-free. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_induced_degradation

    • Mal Smith says

      the Envoy-S Metered needs to be installed correctly

      My Envoy is in the meter box, jammed up behind the meter board, making access to it very dangerous for me. My installer told me this is an acceptable location. The installation guide says it should be on a DIN rail in the meter box or in a separate enclosure if space does not permit.
      The Enlighten works well, but I am concerned that if I need to physically reset the Envoy it may be dangerous with all the live wires around it?

      • Hi, Same position here. My router packed up, put a new one in – can’t access the Envoy interface (danger of electrocution!!), my installer is stalling on coming out to fix it. I phoned Enphase at their general support line and they reckon it’s a faulty installation – not that they will do anything about it!! – don’t want to get involved with the installer!
        Looks like we’re at the mercy of installers who don’t follow the proper installation procedures. One wonders where else shortcuts were made?

        • UPDATE: The installer says that because the wires connecting to the envoy are single insulated they have to be covered and secured. Our solution is that the Envoy is now accessible in its own box – for a few dollars more.

          Cheers

    • out of the 10 inverter system I have had since 2009, I have had 4 failures. The latest, a week ago, was a M175 giving GFI fault. There reliability may have improved since then, but there customer service stinks. I use to be able to use the Array builder , no more. The software use to be free, now they want $300. Rip-off.

      • TJ Roberts says

        Ouch! Well, Dr. D, I hate to say it, but those M175 were 1st-generation products. The M190/M210 had issues here in the States. My first advice to you is to move the M175 in question to a different point in your solar array, and they see if the problem “travels”. The software cost is not that bad — if you want to buy any software these days, there’s a cost to it. Look at a MacBook Pro, or a copy of Microsoft’s product suite. You don’t need the monitoring software for your system to operate, but it’s nice to have to know each micro and panel is working.

        If I were you, I’d hold tight, and when IQ8 is available, I’d retrofit the whole bloody thing cheaply. Replace the micros with IQ8’s, replace the trunk cable with Q-cabling, and if the panels are below ~260W, then replace them, too. In that way, you’ll get a microgrid. And you’ll also have to get an IQ Envoy. That’s what I’ll be doing here in Florida, because I want microgrid, and Enphase will be able to offer it without having to have hulking costly storage batteries and inverter with it. Good luck, man.

      • Christopher says

        half of mine have now died during last 3 months they blink but do not communicate

  12. Hi Ronald

    Thank you for sharing Ian’s experience with Enphase. At Enphase, we invest in training our installers by running workshops and professional development days on a regular basis. In addition, we provide information both online and over the phone to installers through our local technical support helpline.

    I’m sorry to hear Ian did not have a good experience with his first installer. Homeowners can find an accredited, quality installer through the Enphase Installer Network https://enphase.com/en-au/installer-network which allows users to see the experience of individual installers based on the number of Enphase installs performed.

    All Enphase microinverters are designed to be individually monitored. Solar Professionals with access to Enlighten Manager can delve into individual modules, while homeowners are given system-level monitoring through MyEnlighten. Homeowners wishing to use Enlighten Manager can speak with their installer about gaining access. All Australian installers have access to upgrading a customer to Enlighten Manager and information is available in the Enlighten help section.

    We will be introducing a new online option for Enphase homeowners to contact us to share their experience on their Enphase installer. This has been designed to raise the profile of quality installers. It will be available in the contacts section of our website once it goes live.

    Robin Chen, Enphase Energy

    • Hi Robin what is the cost to upgrade to Enlighten Manager?

    • nswfugitive says

      Hi Robin, as Ant asked I would also like to know. I seem to recall that Metro Solar wanted to charge a premium compared to the often quoted price on Whirlpool. So if Metro wants to charge more than the going rate – can we use another installer to upgrade to the Enlighten Manager?

      • Yes, you can use another installer to upgrade to Enlighten Manager.

      • nswfugitive says

        Looking back at the quote – Metro Solar wanted to charge me $395 for “My Enlighten Panel by Panel Monitoring”

        • David Jansen says

          I’ve made esquires to various retailers/installers of your products but have had no response to get signed up to the panel level monitoring. Robin Chen can you hook me up with one of them to sign me up for the panel level monitoring? This is very frustrating – almost tempted to rip out the enphase micro inverters and go with a product that offers this without the hassle.

          • Panel level monitoring comes at an additional one time upgrade cost to MyEnlighten from memory AUS $295.00. I believe that Panel level monitoring in that upgraded version of MyEnlighten was only intended for the Installer/ Administrator /Service Provider/System Monitor [fault finding] or an advanced end user [monitoring purposes]. You should note that the Enphase iPad [Smart Device] application supports both access to MyEnlighten in the cloud server and Envoy. I don’t believe Envoy can be accessed from the Desktop. The question – is Enphase obliged to provide an unqualified end user with access to the Envoy interface so that person could make unintended – unauthorised changes to that systems configuration? I’m just a user and quite franking the reporting that I have access to is sufficient in detail for my daily data recording purpose.

          • nswfugitive says

            Thanks for the info Ant, I know it is supposed to be $295 – I’ll pay that but not what Metro wants to charge ($395). Also, you can change the settings/configuration if you want on the Envoy monitoring box via they web address. I choose not to change it, but would like panel level monitoring.

    • If you have a 320 panel with a 270-280 microinverter, you’re only getting
      80% of the potential. Is that right?

      • Ronald Brakels says

        Hi Jon, Ronald here. Using, for example, an Enphase S270 microinverter with a 320 watt panel is not a problem and you can expect almost the same total output as if the panel had a 320 watt microinverter attached to it. I wrote about why having a panel capacity larger than the inverter capacity is not really a problem and economically a good idea here:

        https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/oversizing-solar-arrays/

        In Australia, if you want the STCs that reduce the cost of rooftop solar, PV capacity can be up to one-third larger than inverter capacity. Because an Enphase S270 is a 260 watt inverter (the 270 refers to its peak power) it could be attached to a panel that has up to 346 watts. In practice, since I haven’t seen any 346 watt panels, you’ll have to go a little lower than that.

        The Enphase S230 is a 220 watt inverter and can be attached to a panel with up to 306 watts.

    • Hi Robin,

      I’m sorry but your Level 2 Technical Support Staff are incompetent. You need to hire former Installers, Electrical Licensed Contractor or at the minimum someone who has a degree in Electrical Systems. Your Level 2 Technical Support Staff just read a troubleshooting script and cannot resolve basic DC/AC/Set Up problems not covered in their Scripts.

  13. I would like to thank people for reading my comments re our Enphase system. I got an interesting follow up from Enphase and they have some new stuff in the wings which sounds good but is about 12 months away.

    I understand Enphase’s objectives in having a permanently grid connected system and I was interested to be able to discuss their AC Battery product in detail with someone who obviously understands it very well.

    Equally I would still like to be able to access what power was in my battery/s storage and any available solar output in the event of a power outage. I realise that this desire will involve the installation of additional storage capacity beyond a few AC Batteries to handle all or part of the evening power demands of our house.

    My preference would be to use more Enphase products as I like the redundancy inherent in their AC Battery design (multiple batteries and multiple inverters all in parallel) plus the bonus of being able to add more capacity at any time in the future without battery matching issues.

    Any ideas out there?

    I also like the sound of Robin’s proposed data base which will show installers experience I wonder if it will allow brief and reasonable comments as well?

    • I would turn my mind to the issue when the battery/s is about $800 installed.

      • Jasper Lee says

        Yeah, current price point is really hard to justify

        • Based on our experience at $2,200 installed and savings of less than $100.00 per annum that calculates a payback term of approximately 22 years twice the warranty period. Once seasonal demand charges become common having a storage capability that defeats those fixed charges might start to make sense but that would still need a 50% reduction in the current installed price.

  14. Just before anyone thinks that the mini / micro inverter issues are only Enphase (segue to three friends who gave up Enphase monitoring to preserve their sanity and they still live with some RF issues). Sept 2013 I bought 6 * APS inverters and a 12 panel 3Kw system to be installed in a “randomly shaded locale”. The APS ECU monitoring system uses the same horrible mixture of wireless and mains power with quite a few issues. On the positive side, the system has paid for itself in three years, so I can cheerfully feed the APS stuff to the nearest shredder or axe and smile (very tempting, I would feel guilty offloading them). Manufacturers please note: install a simple shielded coax, ethernet or USB cable on the panels and use that for monitoring – how hard can it be?
    Background: I have 3 phase power with a lot of RF and power suppressors fitted (try recording audio without them). The APS inverters are only connected to phase one.
    Initially all was well. Every panel came up and gave 24 hours of perfect monitoring from the kitchen bench (not a good long term position). The following day we tried to use the analog radio in the house. Terrible interference on every station (AM and FM). So we immediately tried the TV – even worse. Yep – even digital TV signals can be nuked by mains signalling or wireless – no idea which is the guilty party. So we called the installer (Solargain – who were helpful “over the odds”).

    They sent out a tech (without RF measuring equipment) who ended up spending all day trying to reduce the interference. We ended up intuiting that the inverters were their own broadcasters and the worst of the interference was on the same plane as the inverters. Murphy’s law had both our front and rear TV antennae on the same plane – unlucky. So I bought a new, much higher aerial pole to essentially move the aerials to where we could get better TV reception (easier than moving 12 panels) and repositioned it to avoid the inverters RF. Result: perfect TV reception at all hours (just like before).
    That is the last time I could monitor all the panels from one spot. Now I get different panels “reporting in” depending upon which phase & plug and where I position the ECU – if I can be fagged. Takes three moves to get all the panels. Utter junk. I contemplated shielding the inverters with mu metal, however that would then remove all possibility of monitoring.
    The radio is still a mess – perfect at night, unlistenable via daylight. There is no way I can contemplate adding more panels to the existing system and have an acceptable lifestyle.
    I am about to swap the whole thing for a much larger Solaredge 3 phase inverter and DC optimisers. Much as I would like to monitor each panel, reducing the RF is more important IMO. The new inverter is blackout proof (important to me) and will have a few batteries as a “proof of concept” storage. I can extend the system in any direction later after it proves itself. Needless to say, I will be testing interference before the installer leaves the property.

  15. This is a little off centre to the topic, but I wondered if anyone had experienced this with Enphase microinverters plus batteries. We had two batteries installed today, and by the end of the day they had reached 71% charged. Once evening comes our normal usage is pretty well zero except for a regular pattern of the fridge and freezer cycling on and off. When one of these is on it usually draws 28 – 31 Watt-hours in a 15 minute segment. Since the panels stopped producing for the day, from 117 to 165 watt hours have been drawn from the batteries and they are almost flat again – and will be within fifteen minutes. The only time we have that level of usage is when we are using the washing machine or the oven, or if three spotlights (old style) are on. None of those appliances are on. Any ideas?

    • The maximum charge and discharge rate is approximately 60 watt-hours per 15 minute timed reporting interval. I am not sure what the batteries are actually capable of delivering to support consumption on demand. MyEnllghten produces an all inclusive report for production, feed in, charge and discharge in 15 minute intervals by month. You might find that data helpful.

  16. Hi Ant. Yes, we keep a close eye on our Enlighten page which is why we could see what was happening. My issue is that the batteries fully discharged when we were using very little power ie they were discharging at a rate 5 times the maximum usage. Once they were fully discharged, the consumption went back to its normal pattern. Unless they were discharging to the ground, I have no idea what was happening.

    • Your issue might be related to a time of use tariff [hot water, pool pump].

      In our case we do not subscribe to a time of use tariff we have time switched our solar hot water booster, pool pump and pool heater to operate only when we have solar production. In MyEnlighten ‘Settings’ you have the option to configure your battery/s in ‘Tariff Settings’.

      Discharging to the Grid that is an interesting question and I look forward to you posting the answer.

      We could carry on the discussion on this Facebook page: Enphase Users + Owners Group where screen images can be posted to support the discussion.

      • We have now had a new Envoy installed, and the wiring changed on the batteries. It seems we had two issues, and they are now resolved. We can see our consumption (a little higher than what we could originally see now that all three phases are being monitored) and we can see the battery discharging as it is being used, rather than discharging at a regular rate with nothing drawing from it. All is well.

  17. Jasper Lee says

    Yep, 60w per battery / 15min = 120w/15 min max. At 71% charge you’ll get around 40 min of discharge. Your numbers do seem a bit low though

  18. Is there a chance that the batteries are actually discharging out to the grid?

  19. That’s what I’m wondering. I just hope that whatever is malfunctioning is not unsafe. Our retailer will contact Enphase after the weekend.

  20. I’ve requested membership on the FB page. No, Ant, it isn’t any timed use – no pool, solar hot water that would definitely be above the temperature at which it would cut in overnight. I’ve never seen this level of consumption – clearly it is just the batteries draining to … who knows where. I look forward to learning more on Monday.

  21. Enphase monitoring experience.
    I did expect panel level monitoring but did not find out until after install that there was extra $$$ involved.. I’ll put that down to lack of due diligence on my part.
    There is no real-time monitoring available. The Web data is coalesced into 15 minute periods but even on the (oval style) enlighten the data display isn’t real-time.
    My enlighten failed after 2 years and 5 months. Tried a warranty claim and was rejected. It failed because a cockroach got inside it and got zapped. This is a design flaw in my view (poor form Enphase for taking the position you did). There are molded mounting points on the back and they have these gaps that can allow bigish insects inside. If you own one of these, I recommend covering gaps to prevent what happened to me.
    The replacement cost of the enlighten is huge! it can add years to your pay-off period if it needs replacing. It’s not just the product replacement cost. The electrician needed to be involved – with his costs too. I would push for a longer warranty on the monitoring kit if i went through the process again. Now running with no data collection.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Sorry to hear about your Enlighten, Jason. Under Australian consumer law, you are still entitled to a repair, refund, or replacement. Enphase may say a zapped insect isn’t covered by their written warranty, but you are still protected by Australian consumer guarantees. No reasonable person would have bought an Enlighten monitoring system if they knew it would fail after less than two and a half years, so you are definitely covered. If they are selling a product that can’t handle Australian conditions, including cockroaches, that’s not your fault.

      Here’s a link to a page on consumer guarantees:

      https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

      I suggest contacting Enphase and telling them that under Australian consumer law you are entitled to a repair, replacement, or refund. If they don’t provide a satisfactory remedy, you can take them to a consumer tribunal or small claims court.

      • My understanding is that the ATO determines the useful life of an asset based on the period over which it can be written off. From memory useful life in respect to electronic equipment including computers is 3 years from the date of purchase. Based on my reading of consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees you a probably entitled to a remedy at no cost irrespective as to the reason for the failure provided that you were not put on written notice as to what was expressly excluded for which you had personal responsibility ‘Infestation’. It would be helpful for other readers if you was to post the outcome of your claim.

  22. I think many consumer products could be damaged by insects and no manufacturer can be held responsible as they have to provide ventilation.

    If you have an issue it should be with your electrician who would be the person who installed it or did you tell him where to mount it?

    I think 15 minute intervals is pretty good as the data storage cost would be huge already and to provide real time access would be a nightmare. How much more real than 15 minute intervals do you want? Ian

    • Envoy is locally installed hardware which I believe is a real time data collecting system that delivers that data to an in the cloud Enphase Server processing system. Envoy supports WiFi which allows it to log to the Enphase Server provided that you have an always on internet router answering point. The in the cloud Enphase data processing server receives PV production consumption [including grid], feed in, including battery storage charge and discharge from individual users system when Envoy is logged on. The Enphase Servers – MyEnlighten interface is a webpage which requires the user to log on using a browser in common use. MyEnlighten for iPad includes both the MyEnlighten and Envoy interface within the same application. Envoy is not supported on a Desktop Computer. Ant..

  23. I got screwed By Ad Energy in NJ with the per panel monitoring. It was promised when the paperwork was signed. After install they avoided and used excuses until they finally told me now I’d have to pay for it. After showing where it was included in my paperwork they agreed to activate it at their cost. After a month of trying to have them follow through they stopped communicating with me.

    Don’t ever use this company.

    • It costs them no money. As an installer you are provided credentials that allow use of the installer side of enlighten. The installer enters a code on their side of the software to give you access to what they have. I installed my own system so since I am the installer and the consumer I have both versions. It’s a rip offf to me engineered by enphase to give installers an extra profit margin being a certified dealer. When they first offered enlighten the individual moniitoring was free to everyone. After an update they made it a separate charge that I’m betting unscrupulous installers are not informing their clients until after the install. It may have been installers themselves asking enphase to make it optional to prevent some consumers from seeing the individual production for fear it would cause more call backs to those who don’t understand how the system works. I’m not sure.

      • Well that sucks even worse if it actually doesn’t cost the company anything. But since posting my problem as feedback one their site, I learned I’m not the only one they have done this to and have had quite a few people decide not to go with them. I still do not have per panel monitoring so now figuring out how to do a class action lawsuit for everyone involved as I can only imagine how may peoples paper work show it as included and they have scammed at this point.

  24. Matthew James Kendall says

    If a retailer sells the product with individual warranties for each micro an inverter – how can they choose to restrict access to the monitoring software that can determine if the product is acting in compliance to its warrantied performance? I have approached Solaray many times over the past two and a half years to get this level of data – each time they refuse saying it is not worth the prescribed levied cost to them – they expect support costs to be much higher than they are allowed to charge! I have stated if things are performing within warranty why should I be calling up with issues? Rather annoying there is no solution to this other than manually querying the local envoy’s individual panel production data – which does work but returns a mess of JSON html to interpret! The security access doesn’t support simple authentication else it would be trivial to do this from a web browser script!

  25. Jasper Le says

    Just out of interest how to you query envoy directly?

    • Find out the local IP for the Envoy. No user/pass for basic info. IP//api/v1/production/inverters for user/pass envoy/last six digits of Envoy-S serial number

      • If you log on with the MyEnlighten Smart Device Application [iPad for example] bottom right is a TAB with the Label ‘Envoy’. To access its full features you need to be a system administrator usually reserved for the Installer.

        • When you connect to the IQ Envoy using the Unit’s Static IP and an ethernet connection the User Name is “Envoy” and the password is the last 6 digits of the Envoy’s serial number

  26. Hi guys, for my money, if you want full granular monitoring on your system, simply purchase a solar analytics device like I did, this will give you, power produced, power consumed, power exported to the grid, daily reports, weekly reports, and monthly reports, a very cheap and cost effective, monitoring system.

    • Jasper Le says

      Enlighten gives us all the things you’ve mentioned. We were just sold the individual panel monitoring as the feature forking the extra $$$ for Envoy-S

  27. Yup if it’s sold as included, which my system was. Why should I pay extra? Plus I already have a TED which gives me data. But I was promised per panel and no way to get that but to pay or fight for it in court for me at this point.

  28. I live in the Netherlands.
    Installed the hardware myself, plugged in the Emvoy, downloaded the installer Toolkit , connected the micros to the grid. Then ticked a few buttons. Done.
    Enlighten shows every detail you can think of.

    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  29. Matthew James Kendall says

    I would love it if Enphase made a few very needed updates to the Enlighten reporting.

    On its Production and Consumption pages don’t only show totals – break this down into self consumed or pulled / sent to the grid. Only the overview page show this.

    Secondly allow users on time of use Energy charging rates to see data into any selected period grouped into peak, shoulder and off peak periods. It is extremely useful and overly manual to do this at present.

    Third allow users to specify on a seven day week, twenty four hour clock when peak, off peak and shoulder periods apply and what dollar amount is charged for this grid consumption and what is paid for sending excess solar to the grid. Then with this data allow a user to see how much they are saving in dollars rather than only see total kWh produced or consumed.

    Lastly offer a service for users to invoke if Enphase revenue grade metering data Wiley varies on several days to your Energy providers revenue grade metering. At present when two independant revenue grade metering systems disagree there is no clear protocol to follow to address energy production or consumption metering disputes! At least one system must be wrong – it should be a way to get these resolved if the product and its data is warranted to perform to its specifications!

  30. I have had an exchange with Enphase in the last few days. They have informed me that an upgrade to MyEnlighten is scheduled for the 27 June 2017. They did not say what that was going to entail. You might find the Monthly Net Energy Report that provides Production, Consumption, Export, Import, Stored, Discharged in 15 minute time intervals useful. The difference between kWh recorded by our digital meter and that calculated by adding the Enphase reported value imported for any 90 day period is in our case accurate within a couple of kWh.

  31. Matthew James Kendall says

    I ponder why Enphase themselves can’t provide a home owner with per micro reporting for a nominal charge – it’s about three clicks on a enlighten manager from the documentation. They could say to installers charge for invalid service calls. I am closer to having my html script read the individual inverters. You have to issue either a JSON $.getScript or $.getJSON call to the local inverters web address and pass the envoy/last six digits of your envoy-s serial number. The getScript call trigger the envoy’s request for user and password logic – and once provided the call works and the data is returned but the function loses acces to the Data even though in browser debug mode you can see it is all there. There getJSON call shouldn’t have the losing binding to the data issue – but it doesn’t automatically trip the envoy’s authentication logic, and all the normal ways of passing user name and password to the envoy that I can think of don’t work. So it tantalising close to have something that can show you in real time how each inverter is working and it’s maximum output for a day. Alternatively on GitHub there is Groovy code for a $100 smart home manager app that can do all of this on any smart phone. I wish Enphase were just generous and give us all this at the start to differentiate their product by the information it could provide. They are hamstringing their own business model by not doing this really!

    • I just made a python script that collect the data and print it in a nice way…

    • Bart Klumpers says

      I did it with a C# program – unfortunately though the inverters only provide their data once every 5 minutes to the Envoy-S, so it is not really live data. Whereas the data coming from the CT clamps over the total Solar production and imported electricity update every second.

      • Have you reviewed the functionality of RVOutput.org which has a Enphase API

        • Bart Klumpers says

          I had a quick look at it, but it does not appear to help me. The Enphase API does not produce more information than the Envoy-S (because that is the source of the data for the API), in fact it has less. The problem with the inverters (both on the panels and the batteries) is that they only update once every 5 minutes. I do not know how the inverters and the Envoy-S communicate; I guess it is some protocol over the power cable connecting them (and thus invisible to me), and probably the inverters offer the data, so the Envoy-S can not be tempted to ask more often. The CT clamp over the production cable does tell me the total solar production, so that if fine. But I have unfortunately no better information about the power flowing from/to the batteries. If anyone has a good idea how to improve on this please share as I am trying to write a program that instantly shows the power situation.

          • From what I got told the other day was that if you wanted to throttle what you exported to the grid consumption is always a value established after production so if you are throttling production on the basis of consumption it is possible that instead of throttling what you export [when consumption is more than production] you can end up with an import instead. The point i think I am trying to make is that the various data values don’t necessarily come together at the same time.

          • Bart Klumpers says

            That is correct. Say the panels are producing 1200W (as reported by the CT clamp over the production). The battery might report that it is charging @ 500W, and that value does not change for 5 minutes. The CT clamp over the consumption might report an export of 300W, which means that the house is using 400W. If you now switch a 2000W kettle on, you will most likely be discharging the battery @500 W for a couple of minutes. The CT clamp over the consumption will then show 700W import, so the program calculates that the house consumes 1200 production + 700 import – 500 charging = 1400W, clearly wrong because the battery value has not updated. So now I am looking for a solution with another CT clamp, this time over the battery, to complete the picture.

  32. H. Clark says

    I had a very bad Enphase experience. Around 2011 we moved into a new house that was perfect for solar. We got the best panels and the more expensive Enphase Microinverters. About 2 years down the road our first Microinverter failed… then another. The installation company has been good about swapping out the units, but they loose money every time they come to service our array. Enphase refused to replace all the units despite the company asking every time another RMA is submitted. It’s now 2017 and we just lost our 16th microinverter… only 9 originals left to go.

    • Mike Swift says

      I will bet that the failed inverters were M 190s. Enphase had a lot of failures with this model. I have seen at least a dozen that have failed. The next model Enphase came out with, M-215, very rarely fail.

  33. Ian Speer says

    Have any of the replacement microinverters failed or are only the originals failing?

  34. nswfugitive says

    We had one fail immediately after installation – took the installer a month and half to admit that it did. Since then all good for 2.5 years.

  35. Matthew Kendall says

    Without per micro reporting I wonder how users would know if their micros are are under producing rather than totally failing?

    I have written Enphase to ask what is their support for offering per inverter warranties but no per inverter monitoring if the local installer refuses to provide this for any fee?

    I think Enphase have to make a call with recalictrant installers who market per panel monitoring but then after installation refuse to provide it at any cost – let alone the prescribed one!

  36. Matthew James Kendall says

    Under the sixty plus areas there what do you believe is relevant?

  37. Matthew James Kendall says

    So today thanks to Solaray the original installer I have per panel monitoring. Next step analysis followed by storage. For my needs the Powerwall 2 looks best!

  38. In Far North Queensland [FNQ] you can now install up to 10 kW single phase and up to 30 kW three phase. The value of Feed in 2017-18 has increased by 35% up from 0.07c to 0.10c kWh. The cost of Storage versus Feed in can now be calculated. It’s not a magical number really if your Feed in [Export] is 4 times your Import then the credit for what is Exported creates a billing credit that cancels out the cost of what is Imported. The sum therefore how much solar do you need to achieve that ratio and what is the ROI on that investment compared with achieving the same outcome with Storage. We upgraded our Enphase System from a 5.75 to a 7.99 kW system in June 2017 and should have sufficient production data in the next months to do the ROI analysis. Yesterday [24 hour period] without PV our daily cost would have been $4.81 annualised $1,756.02 with PV 0.20c $73.92 annualised. Consumed 12.82 Produced 28.05 Imported 3.03 Exported 18.02 kWh [Semi Overcast].

  39. I’m using the MyEnlighten software and was expecting to be able to read the consumption on the dedicated circuit for off peak water heating. It seems to me that it’s desirable to be able to read the house’s full consumption, including off peak water heating. Unfortunately MyEnlighten doesn’t show that consumption. There are no consumption peaks overnight. The off peak meter in the meter box reads between 7 and 10 kWh per night. Does anyone know if MyEnlighten is supposed to read the dedicated circuit for off peak water heating? I’m thinking there could be a meter wiring problem.???

    • Frank Tkalcevic says

      Did you resolve this? I have the same issue. Reading the online manuals, it appears you can either run two lines through one CT (current transformer), or have one CT for each line, and connect that to a second phase input on the Envoy.

      Can anyone confirm this?

  40. Jasper Lee says

    There are only 2 clamps sensors – one for solar output and peak tariff import – so off-peak isn’t recorded.

    Have you considered changing your hot water to peak tariff and active during day so you can take advantage of self-consumptoion?

    • Thanks for your reply Jasper. It’s a shame there can’t be a sensor for the dedicated circuit for off peak water heating as that would allow a complete view of consumption. At the moment I’m receiving slightly more per kWh for my production going in to the grid than what I’m paying per kWh for the off peak water heating. There are also days where I’m not generating enough from the solar panels to spare 7 to 10 kWh per day to heat the water. Some days I would have to draw from the grid which costs nearly twice as much per kWh. I plan to get batteries eventually and I guess I’ll have to rethink my strategy then.

      • Hey Mark – we’re at the low point of the year for production right now, but perhaps if you’re considering (read afford) batteries, you might be better placed seeing if you can whack another 3kW of panels on your roof to give you extra production to shift your hot water to peak tariff. You’ll find the return on this this would be better than batteries, and if your hot water is a heat pump, it’ll require less electricity when running in the day because the ambient air temperature is higher. HTH

        • Thanks again Jasper. Certainly something to think about.The panels I have now have used all the north and west facing roof space on the house. Only a small amount of east facing roof space is available. We do have a granny flat out the back with good north facing roof space but I’d have to look at the cost of using that roof space for solar panels for the main house’s power. My water heater is pretty old so when that eventually bights the dust it might be time to think more along the lines you discussed. I’m also hoping that the power companies will eventually pay fairer production rates and reduce consumption rates particularly on the dedicated circuit for off peak water heating which they have recently nearly doubled. I’m not holding my breath though.

  41. The MyEnlighten Monthly Net Energy report gives you 15 minute time slices of Date/Time Energy Produced (Wh)Energy Consumed (Wh)Exported to Grid (Wh) Imported from Grid (Wh) Stored in AC Batteries (Wh) Discharged from AC Batteries (Wh). Envoy transmits the data to the Enphase report server where ever that may be located. The system only reads what the Solar is connected to in our case the General Supply tariff for import and export [Feed in]. Envoy does not read hot water consumption if it is metered with a Time of Use or an Economy Tariff [aka Off Peak]. If you want your hot water to be able to consume what is generated by your Solar system then you have to get it wired to the General Tariff circuit and install a 24 hour timer switch dedicated to the hot water so that you can switch the booster on and off when you have PV Production available. At our option that is how we have our system set up we do not subscribe to a controlled time of use tariff for any purpose including a pool pump. Everything we import from the grid is at General Tariff pricing. Your installers electrician should be able to set that up for you because they would probably know better than a general electrician what it is all about. If you have got any further queries you can write to me at [email protected] where I can send you some photographs of what it all looks like.

  42. Interesting! You say “Envoy does not read hot water consumption if it is metered with a Time of Use or an Economy Tariff [aka Off Peak].” – does that mean that nothing on an off-peak tariff gets monitored? Or is “economy tariff” really different from “off-peak”?

    • I believe that Envoy is set up to monitor the General Tariff only. In all the MyEnlighten reports no other Import kWh value is recorded. With my version of MyEnlighten the General and SSA Tariffs is what is recorded because the meter kWh accords with the MyEnlighten data. Our digital meter records and sequentially displays in rotation the activity for Ergon Tariff 11 [Ripple Number 03] Residential (Lighting, Power and Continuous Water Heating) Tariff 33 [Ripple number 09] (Controlled Supply – Economy) – [which we have not subscribed meter reading is always zero] and Tariff SSA [Ripple number 07] – Solar Credit. The function of the digital meter records and can display the kWh consumption for all the Tariffs subscribed. We read the meter at month end to validate the Enphase Monthly Net Energy Report for import – General Tariff and Export Tariff SSA.

  43. Nswfugitive says

    I think there is some confusion with terminology. The hot water connection for electricity uses a controlled load circuit normally. Off-peak is during the night for a time of use tariff. Think of a controlled load circuit being a second phase.

    • Our hot water is serviced by Ergon Ergon Tariff 11 [Ripple Number 03] Residential (Lighting, Power and Continuous Water Heating) and not Tariff 33 [Ripple number 09] (Controlled Supply – Economy) or any other Tariff on offer.

  44. I have recently installed 24 Solarworld SW295W modules with 24 Enphase W250 Inverters, I also was able to get access to panel level monitoring through MyEnlighten. They have been installed for a few months and the solar producing Kw’s are not matching my power companies exported Kw’s. I have been going back and forth between my solar provider and my power company and they are both saying they are correct. The only conclusion that I can come to is that the solar production in MyEnlighten is reflecting DC power and my Consumption is reflecting AC power? If that is the case then is there a way to change the monitoring of the solar to reflect AC power from the inverters instead of the DC power? When I have it on the screen it is not an apples to apples comparison, it is an apples to orange comparison.

    • Mike the off peak hws wiring does not pass through the consumption measuring CT’s therefore your consumption figure report will not mattch your energy suppliers consumption total. It is easy to install the hws wiring into the Enphase CT

      • Wes, the funny part is that the consumption is dead on. The consumption readings (4 CT’s are installed) on my MyEnlighten match almost perfectly with my power companies report of usage. The problem I have is that the power generation from MyEnlighten is saying, for example, that I generate a net power of 15Kw but my power company is saying that I have a net power generation of only 10Kw. This is after I remove the consumption aspect out of the equation. An example for a 24hr period from MyEnlighten, I consume 30Kw and I generate 45Kw with a surplus of 15Kw. In that same time period my power company sees 30Kw consumed and only 40Kw generated with a surplus of 10Kw. Which one is correct? The power company is saying (and tested) the meter is accurate and the solar company is saying the same thing?

        • How would the power company know how much PV you have generated? All my digital meter reports is how much I have imported and exported?

          • Ant, You are correct. I compare the power companies meter readings of importing and exporting to the Enlighten readings of import and export and they are not accurate. That is my problem, the consumption aspect is correct but the meter readings for import/export between the two are not accurate.

          • Are the out by more than 2%?

          • Yes, They are off by almost 20%.

  45. The Envoy processing system which captures data displayed by the MyEnlighten user interface is not directly connected to the digital power meter which is connected to the grid. According to the information I have received the devices that wrap around the grid and feed wiring that read the flow if supplied by Enphase have an accuracy rating somewhere around a 2% variance compared with the meter give or take. If the performance is outside that range then there might be an issue with the installation or the device/s. These devices are usually located in the meter box behind the switch panel and of course are reading AC Power. Enphase is an AC system so you are not taking DC off the roof. The micro inverters are attached to and converting DC produced by the panel on the roof. You can check the Envoy from either the Enlighten application that can be downloaded to an iPad or from a desktop computer using a browser of your choosing. In our case the IP address for Envoy on our internal Wi-Fi Network is 10.0.0.2 the address might be different in your case but if you log on to your W-Fi Router there is administration software which will help you identify the IP address for the Envoy hardware. You simply enter the number sequence with the full stops [periods] as you would any http://www [address] but without the http preamble and simply press enter. Envoy will display information but it will not allow you to do anything or go certain places if you do not have Administrator privileges [login and password]. I am an Enphase user and have had our system in production for over 2 years if you require any further information you can contact me at [email protected]

  46. zeromiles says

    Great blog, very useful experiences to relate to – thanks! Have just installed 12 x S230 Enphase micros on Tindo Karra 260 panels to complement an existing ~7yo 2.2 kW string system. 6 panels NNE, 6 WNW. Also added a Powerwall 2. Located Southern Highlands NSW. Envoy hooked up via wifi. MyEnlighten not initiated yet, bring it on. Let the games begin!

  47. Zeromiles! Congrats on your new install. I have the identical setup installed by Tindo over 6 months ago.

    Contact Bronwyn from Tindo to get it configured for you: bronwyn.webb at tindosolar.com

  48. Matthew Kendall says

    Does anyone here have an Enphase based system with greater than 5 kW (per phase) export limit? Does anyone know if Enphase have created grid profiles for 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 kW export limit – or is this something our solar installer can do?

    I am on single phase with a 9.2kW Enphase system with a 5kW export limit. Talking to Ausgrid over the past few days they have informed me they are generally happy to approve 10kW per phase export limits (provided the voltage rise calaculations don’t give them problems. Better they say there is normally no application fee to request this (unless the Installer much up the application paperwork several times – then they will charge $253).

    I am wondering if I apply for a say 9kW or 10 kW export limit and Ausgrid say yes – is it trivial for the installer to set this in my Envoy-s unit – or do they have to get Enphase to create a series of new export limits for Australia given Ausgrid can agree any limit from 5 to 10 kW per phase? Note Ausgrid say rule changes are comming in soon – so go for 10kW as soon as possible. Under the new system both battery and PV inverter output will be summed and Export limiting (such as Enphase’s capability) WON’T BE considered in the limit calaculation. This last bit seems a real surprise after Enphase went to all the truble earlier this year to have Ausgrid agree to its export limit calculations!

    • Nswfugitive says

      Short answer – yes. I’m in the Essential area and have no restrictions for a 9.5 system. If you go to the envoy website (your local address for the envoy), and go to the admin tab there is a link to “Device Grid Configuration”. Easy for your installer to change.

  49. You get the IP address for your local network by logging onto the router and looking at the list of connected devices in my case Envoy is 10.0.0.2/home. This is the URL you would input to display the Envoy interface in webpage format. Access from an iPad is slightly different you need to have installed the MyEnlighten software which supports both Envoy and MyEnlighten reporting systems.

  50. Rawdon Waller says

    Warning. Choose an installer carefully. Enphase Australia refuse to engage with the consumers of their product. They should simply change the voicemail message on their phone number to reflect this fact rather than the ‘leave a message and we’ll get back to you bulls*t’. Unfortunately my installer is an ignorant, incompetent fraudster who knows nothing about the product. Sadly it seems that I will need to pay another installer to fix the mess. You have been warned.

    • I am not happy with Enlighten or the installer or the fact that as Rawdon Waller advises – the supplier doesn’t directly support a consumer who in my case has spent close to $4k in 2 years. We recently added another 6 panels to the 12 that were installed 2 years ago. At the time of the original installation, we installed a Wattson – it told me in real time, power produced, power consumed and power in from the grid. Didn’t have to f around with my phone and glasses, didnt have to multiply a 15 minute report x 4 to know at a glance whether to run the clothes dryer or split system. Enphase dealers have wacked me twice in two years for monitoring. The installer told me that my “old” enlighten system is redundant and cant be used with the new inverters (gosh $300 a year for that lil number) and that he’s removed the Wattson clamps and wifi box because the new enlighten “is a much better product”. Well no its not, and its not in circumstances where I can read the same data for nothing on my distributors web site albeit 24 hours after the event.

      • Where do you live State/Country

        • Northern subs, Melbourne Australia.
          Also not happy about being unable to separately monitor the three sets of panels without paying extra.

          • I am an Enphase user with two years experience. I recently upgrade my system from 5.75 kW [23 Panels] to 7.99 [30 Panels Total]. I also have two Enphase 1.2 kW Enphase Storage Batteries Installed. More than happy to provide you what details of what you should and should not be paying for. Also I can provide you with Images of what your system should look like after it is set up. I can be contacted at an Enphase User Group were solutions to issues are freely exchanged. https://www.facebook.com/groups/990074741125670/

  51. Hi, complete numpty. Have had nothing but trouble with connecting my Envoy due to location of my wifi server. Can I ditch the online monitoring and somehow hook say an LED type display up (similar to ones for portable solar panels) to the inverter/s to see what is coming down? I know this sounds stupid, but I would just prefer to have a visual monitor (ie lights) showing me the system is working. Make sense???

    • Paul as the person who started this thread a long time ago I would try to have a cable run from your wifi server to the Envoy and avoid either tho over the grid setup which is problematic particularly if you have surge protection as I found originally. The wifi setups seem to need a line of sight and a good data rate so cable may be the way to go.
      I have the ability to look at my system on any of o ur computers and my phone as well as the ipads around the place and you will instantly see any issues. It can be a bit of a drama to get it operational but once working I have found the Enphase system very stable and reliable. Ian

      • Thanks Ian, have thought of that but my panels are on my shed some 50 metres from my NBN satellite point…
        My son is a guru in all this type of guff and he is trying to work it out for me. Would be easier for me just to have flashing lights!!!

        • Same here Paul.

          We’re trying to set up an IQ 7+/Envoy System installed at a very remote location that has no internet service.

          The Circus Clowns at the Enphase Level 2 Tech Support have no techninal abilities nor do they have a resolution.

          No where in ANY INSTALLATION Manuals/Literature does it MANDATE an fully time Internet Connection to Install and Configure the IQ system.

  52. With my 85 Enphase microinverters, I have had nothing but success with Enphase Enlighten, but I do understand some of its pitfalls. Any M- or S-series microinverters which use the Envoy or Envoy-S for monitoring have a PLC technology which relies on 3 wires — 2 hot and 1 neutral. Because of that, if the circuits leading from the Envoy to the microinverters are shared, which many times they are, then there’s a chance that a “noisy” refrigerator or AC unit can foul up communication. Unplugging the refrigerator for 30 minutes will prove the point. I have a barn which has half of my microinverters on the roof, and in a feed room, I have such a refrigerator. When I want to make sure the 3 strings of solar panels on my barn are working OK, I unplug that refrigerator, and I have no problem with the Enlighten monitoring. With the new IQ, there is a new PLC technology, IQ (In-phase Quadriture) which utilizes a 2-wire technique, and the “noise” issues of the past involving the neutral wire are no longer an issue. Go Enphase!

    • Thanks TJ, think I understand where you are coming from, sort of. Bit too techo for me, but it makes sense as my panels are also on a ‘barn’ away from the main residence and WIFI point.
      If anyone can tell me how to hook up flashing lights to the inverters that would satisfy me!!

  53. romy de la cruz says

    Hi,
    I have a 16panel Microinverter with Envoy-s-Standard.
    The supplier installed and left it in a hurry and told me I was going o get access to MyEnlighten later , which eventually I did.
    My problem is neither the Salesperson nor the Installer informed me that I would only be able to see my “production” but not my “consumption” in MyEnlighten .
    I subsequently discovered that some of their customers whose view in MyEnlighten includes both Production/Consumption were supplied with Envoy-S-Metered.
    My question is how easy is it to upgrades this to a metered system.
    I suppose it would require an Installer to do this plus the cost of a new Envoy-S-Metered hardware?
    My Envoy box is presently located inside the house connected with a Cat-5 cable to my Router. I suppose they will move it to inside the Electrical Box and wire some sensors to my three -phase Mains?
    I would appreciate some advise.

    • TJ Roberts says

      Hello. If I were you, the 1st thing I’d do is visit this self-help Enphase web portal — https://enphase.com/en-us/training They have “saved” webcasts on Envoy and they have “live” webinars that tell exactly how easy it is to install an Envoy-S Metered communications gateway with both installation of CT and PT’s. Good luck. Problem is that you’ll have to sell your “standard” Envoy on Craigslist, eBay etc. The installer got you, probably not purposefully, but more so that they just didn’t know themselves. If you within a 30-day window, then maybe you can get it returned, or whatever the time period was.

    • Hi Romy,

      You need to change your Envoy for a Envoy-S-Metered to get the consumption data.

      Finn

  54. Hi,
    this is all very useful material to someone new to Enlighted.

    Has anyone had trouble accessing the Envoy from their iOS Enlighten application ?
    We have been able to activate the Envoy AP mode (‘access point’), and connected the iphone to the Envoy AP-mode “wireless network”, however the app merely returns a message after about 30 seconds stating that there was an error in connecting.

    Has anyone been able to overcome a similar issue ?

  55. Hello. Make sure your Envoy is on the same circuit as your router. Is your Envoy multiple “hops” or circuits away from your router?

    For the circuit that your Envoy is on, do you possibly have a “noisy” refrigerator plugged into that same circuit? Turn off all of your potentially “noisy” loads, then check your MyEnlighten app. Also check from Enlighten on the web portal login at Enphase.com.

    Good luck. An Enphase solution is a great reliable and safe home energy solution.

  56. Jack Driver says

    I have found this page due to just having Enphase inverters fitted to an existing Tindo system which began with Solarbridge inverters.

    Our story began with getting sucked into a 1kw system in order to benefit from the Federal Govt rebate and the State Govt (WA) feed in tariff, which at the time was 40c per unit. After a couple of years we realised that we were not getting much benefit out of the 40c feed in as our system was only really supporting our hot water system which was a new heat pump. So we decided to forgo the feed in tariff and put more panels up.

    After researching the market we decided that we would really love to buy Aussie (despite the extra cost), and found the Tindo operation. Finally after getting quotes etc we had a 2kw system installed with the Karra modules and the Solarbridge inverters.

    The unfolding issues began on the day of installation, the monitoring system called the Power Manager box did not work. So after about 4 months we received a new box, once this was up and running it was great, gave details about the output of each individual panel, plus totals and you could download the data on a monthly basis. This was accessed by a web browser, and I had an Ethernet cable connected to the box, you could also directly connect your laptop and see the same info if you wanted to.

    Then within another few weeks one inverter failed to report, this was replaced fairly quickly, about 6 weeks or so. No problem. Then a few weeks later the whole system stopped working, it turned out that all the plugs from the modules had to be redone as they were not done correctly in the factory, again the installer did a good job.

    I generally loaded the monitoring site up each day to check things were working, then gradually I did it less and less, as everything seemed fine, so about once a month I would check it out. This went on for about 4 years. In the meantime I also kept a spreadsheet of our consumption according to our electricity bill. This also told me that our output was up to par.

    Then one day I decided to do a check on the system and low and behold 6 out of 8 inverters were not reporting, I got onto Tindo and they pushed it onto Sunpower who in the meantime had taken over Solarbridge, they were very good and saw to the replacement of the inverters, Tindo tried to tell me that the problem was that the inverters were not reporting, not that they were not actually working…but when I checked out the bill, it was obvious that they were not working as we had another $100 on there.

    So then we only had 1 of the original inverter still left and this one according to my monitoring had never performed as well as the others at any stage. I did ask Sunpower to replace this as it was likely that it would fail, no luck. Then within another few weeks it failed!!

    By now Tindo have been taken over, (dearie me there seems to be a huge lack of any rules to govern companies responsibility to customers when this happens). In any case I did not know and I contacted Bronwyn, poor thing, she then contacted Sunpower, but nothing ever happens, so I ended up contacting Sunpower myself and dealt directly with them, they then offered to replace the inverters and emailed Tindo to see if they could organise more inverters, Tindo did have OLD STOCK of Solarbridge rubbish, and despite the fact that by now they were no longer using these offered to supply them.

    In the meantime I was now dealing direct with Sunpower, who then offered to replace all of the inverters with Enphase, this sounded like a better option considering that Solarbridge were no longer in production and any replacements with those would be OLD STOCK. I then spoke to Tindo and told them I did not want their OLD STOCK inverters thanks and that I had contacted Sunpower and they were going to replace the lot with Enphase.

    Sunpower then contacted the original installer who agreed to do the job but had to charge and extra $300 for travel over and above what the warranty covered, we agreed to pay this, and when I asked about monitoring the system I found that Sunpower would not pay for this, the excuse being that the warranty on their monitoring system was only two years so that part of it was now out of warranty.

    Then I found out that the monitoring system was going to cost over $500, whew, despite being a bit peeved with this we decided that we needed to have the system monitored. So agreed for the installer to fit this.

    All done and changed over after about a 4 week wait for the goods to arrive, then I log into the MyEnlighten only to find that all I can view is the TOTAL generated, no individual inverter information whatsoever.

    I enquired via the installer about how to get each panel to show and he tells me that “they” charge an extra $300 for this ability….REALLY!!

    What I want to know is what is the point in paying $500+ dollars for a monitoring system and not being able to monitor each inverter! If you had two strings wired up to two string inverters you would want to know how each was performing. The same thing applies to each individual inverter, which combined with the panel it is attached to is a system within itself.

    So things that I am super annoyed with are.

    1. Disappointed/very annoyed that my installer (who installed the original system and knew what the monitoring was) did not tell me about the fact that I would not be able to see individual results unless I paid this exorbitant amount of money. Whom I had spoken to on occasion telling him how I knew which inverter was not working so that he could also check the monitoring system as well.
    2. The Solarbridge system was able to be monitored without the internet, which the Enphase cannot, the Solarbridge system also had a window where you could scroll through all the parameters and see each module specs and data, where you could do a reset and so on. This in some ways makes Enphase look bad.
    3. How can Enphase justify such a charge for what this box does? The system will work without it, in the same way as the Solarbridge one will but surely there is some obligation on behalf of the manufacturer to make it possible for system monitoring.
    4. Over $800 dollars later we still have to front up with another $300 to see what our system is doing?
    5. Absolutely screws the ROI idea which is one of the reasons we did it in the first place. Thinking that it was going to return around 7% which was more than you could get anywhere else, we are partly self-funded retirees.
    6. Being told that we are only the second person who has asked for independent monitoring….so?
    7. Absolutely NO product INFORMATION has been provided by ANY of the involved suppliers/installers.

    It seems to me that people who do not monitor their systems are asking for trouble, the products are NOT foolproof and more to the point are VERY likely to FAIL.
    Installers should have a duty of care to advise customers about the pitfalls of the monitoring system.
    God I could go on but I have run out of energy, no pun intended.

  57. Ian Speer says

    Jack, I think I started this thread several years ago and I read with it interest the ongoing frustrations with monitoring. My Enphase system is still working fine although you make a very good point about any Enphase user being totally dependent on having an Internet connection. Has any body out there any experience with directly monitoring Enphase systems. We are close to being able to go off grid and while we will still have an Internet connection one does wonder what happens if Enphase changes hands or goes out of business? Ian

  58. Jack Driver says

    Ian, I realise that the thread is a bit old, but it just shows nothing has changed, these companies are still ripping people off in my view. At least the Solarbridge Power Manager worked direct to your computer. One wonders what would actually stop that from receiving the Enphase data only software probably. The wiring is exactly the same on my setup, but I do not have the things that they use to read consumption, due to being on 3 phase and having another system on another phase, according to my installer you would not get the correct readings. I have now to investigate that as well.

    The installers are also not playing a fair game, my bloke who fitted my first system new of the frustrations i had over time, he knew I was monitoring each panel and always expected to be able to do so. Yet when it came time to redo the system he sells me a monitoring system that does not do what I expected, and worse he did not ADVICE me that for the extra 300 I could have what I thought I was getting!!!

    I have a son in law who along with some mates created a way of monitoring entire buildings for every facet of their energy use, I am now going to speak to him and find out if there is any other way to overcome the very poor offering from these suppliers to domestic users. They treat us like dumb-clucks and idiots. I will report back on whatever I can find out. Cheers and thanks for the answer.

  59. Christina says

    Hi! Thank you for your article! We are using this app for our new solar system. We cannot seem to understand the usage vs production graphs. Do you happen to know where we can get information on interpreting this? It seems like we use as much energy (or more) while we are away from home. Any direction you can provide would be tremendously appreciated.
    Warmly,
    Christina

  60. Les Sketcher says

    First some details about my systems.
    Early in 2014 I received a quote from a local electrician to install panels providing
    3.5 Kw of Solar energy. (I opted for two extra panels – total of 14 250W).
    These Best OZ panels are served by 7 Aps YC 500 micro inverters. Individual Panel monitoring was also included. They all have functioned well since installation.

    In 2017 I decided to install Enphase AC batteries to harvest more solar power from my system. I was prompted by the big differential FIT and Grid prices and also despite the long repayment period of the Batt’s or maybe they will need to be replaced prior to the costs being realised!
    After six months of Batt operation I realised they were not functioning as they should. I contacted the installer and found out that the problem ( small charges on bright, cloudless, sunny days) was due to high grid supply volts. This was rectified and the Enphase charging system improved. My grid supplier sent me graphs of the grid volts before and after the supply adjustment.
    In May of this year I was still not satisfied with the batteries (2) charge and discharge cycles and decided to install four additional panels to take it to a 4.8Kw system and improve the battery supply over the evening peak period.
    I looked at the current panel costs per Watt and decided on dearer panels(LG)
    as they were rated at 330W and took up little more space on the roof.
    Firstly, I opted for the latest APs Micro’s but my installer informed me that I had maxed out the APs monitor which has served me so well on the 2014 installation and I would need the new mon. system (Enlighten) which had installed in conjunction with the Batt’s.I asked about panel monitoring and the installer said it was available so I accepted the quote with the understanding it would be provided. Well Enphase were still in 2018 hassleing about providing it to the customer. I put my case that this was like selling a car without a speedometer. Eventually panel and system monitoring was provided that is quite detailed.
    Note: My original Best OZ panels are no longer available. My first installer has moved interstate. The Enphase Batt. installer did not win the quote for the new panels. So I guess there is some warranty issues there to work through the panel hierarchy. At this stage both systems are working to expectation;
    Unfortunately I may not be about to assess the long term results of my efforts.

  61. Matthew James Kendall says

    Must say now after 3.5 years – very happy with Enphase and quite interested in the announced IQ8 grid agnostic generation (i.e. clever grid out islanding which allows solar to still run) and storage 3.3 Wkh 1.28 kW output module – if only the prices when launched (H1 2019) aren’t ridiculous! Once you get per panel access you can really a complete picture of how your system performs versus household demand and optimise you investment versus your lifestyle needs.

    The other thing I really like is discovering Wattever.com.au to compare the hundreds of energy plans on the market. Knowing my annual peak, shoulder, off peak and export figure – it took under 5 minus to find I was on the second best plan in the market and a switch to the best plan saved me another $400 per annum! For me have a 36 panel 9.25 kW system the AGL Solar savers 20 cent F.I.T. for systems under 10 kW is a far better deal than AGL 24% pay on time reduction in usage cost with 11.1 cent F.I.T. given I only self consume 40% of my annual production.

    The only thing I am waiting for now is for AGL to define for me what their 10kW limit refers to – peak inverter output, sustained inverter output, throttled inverter output – so I can expand my system to best take advantage of this deal!

  62. We installed solar this February 2018. Panel level monitoring worked but we could not see consumption, only production. I requested that the solar company, CTec Solar add this option as they promised when we bought the unit. They did, but every day since the installation in June the consumption is the same as production! WHich cannot be because we do have some kwh in the utility bank.
    How can we get the company to fix this issue? I’ve been pestering since June.
    Should I contact enphase rather than CTec Solar?

    • We installed 17 panels in August 2018, the company installing had not done enphase before. was a bit of a joke as they installed the envoy-s behind the electrical panel in the meter box so we could not see it!. After a call to enphase, they got the company back to intall the envoy correctly. I wanted to see individual panel data, but not avalaible from myEnlighten,… the workaround is to sign up for myenlighten as a do it yourself installer, then get your installer to give that account access to all data…My installer did not have a clue how to do this so after another call to Enphase they fixed this for us and now I have access to individual panel data, and all the intstaller data. I found enphase to be really helpful. My only gripe with the whole system is that even though we have a really strong wifi setup, the data reporting drops out at least once a week. If i open the meter box it reports fine. I will probably replace the metal meter box door with an approved not metal door. I would recommend placing the envoy-s outside the meter box.

  63. We installed 17 panels in August 2018, the company installing had not done enphase before. was a bit of a joke as they installed the envoy-s behind the electrical panel in the meter box so we could not see it!. After a call to enphase, they got the company back to intall the envoy correctly. I wanted to see individual panel data, but not avalaible from myEnlighten,… the workaround is to sign up for myenlighten as a do it yourself installer, then get your installer to give that account access to all data…My installer did not have a clue how to do this so after another call to Enphase they fixed this for us and now I have access to individual panel data, and all the intstaller data. I found enphase to be really helpful. My only gripe with the whole system is that even though we have a really strong wifi setup, the data reporting drops out at least once a week. If i open the meter box it reports fine. I will probably replace the metal meter box door with an approved not metal door. I would recommend placing the envoy-s outside the meter box.

  64. Peter VanDerWal says

    You might think Enphase is great, but wait until you’ve had you system for a couple years and the inverters start failing, then you’ll discover that it’s almost impossible to get them replaced. Even though it’s simple to replace the inverters (especially the old M190s), enphase refuses to allow consumers to do it, they won’t even talk to you. They insist it has to be done by an installer, but they only pay the installers a pittance to replace the inverters, so most installers don’t want to do it anymore.
    It took me 9 months to get an inverter replaced last year. I had two more fail 3 moths ago and I’ve been calling all of the installers in my area and none of them will return my calls.

    Enphase products are crap and their customer support is even worse.

    • Ray Meeuwisse says

      Hi Peter, I dont know when people will start to wake up, there is no such thing as a good micro inverter. SMA produced them for a short time then realised that micro inverters are not a good proposition. They sit under the panel usually, are subject to extreme heat, especially in summer, the electronic components, are not manufactured to with stand the harsh Australian climate. The heat they are subject too, is usually well in excess of 60 degrees centigrade, especially in summer, causing them to fail. a few years ago I did a large job with 240 micro inverters, they all started to fail within a 12 month period, I removed them all, and installed string inverters to replace them, never looked back. what ever brand of micro inveters are used, there is no such thing as a good micro inverter. And BTW a lot of companies are extremely happy to peddle their crap, but look out when it comes to warranty time, they all seem to duck and weave, and dont want to do whats right, for the consumer, and installer. BUYER BE WARE.

  65. Les Sketcher says

    My concern is the Envoy monitoring. At the start of daylight saving my Envoy failed to record the day’s proceedings. After an enquiry to Enphase I was advised that the problem would be rectified in 24 hours. To this date I am still unable to monitor what occurred on that date( 7/10/18). Currently ‘Display’ is unavailable with no explanation or reason given.

    Ref. Microinverters. I had Aps Micro’s installed early in 2014 and have had no problem with them.
    This year I had some additional panels installed and I requested the APs micro’s
    but I was advised 14 panels is the limit on one system. So I ended up on the advice from my installer with a small Enphase micro system and 4 LG panels. I believe APs have updated their Micro’s to conform with Australian standards. What were the brand of the 240 batch you installed Ray?

    • Ray Meeuwisse says

      Hi Les, the brands were ” I ENERGY” APS, just to name a few, there is no good micro on the market, if there were SMA would still be manufacturing them. As you know SMA have basically been the biggest player in the market place now for years. So I suspect that SMA thought, it was not a viable proposition, to continue manufacture. Micros under perform most of the time, I have had my systems fully monitored by other means, and watched, when I changed from micros to string inverters, my daily performance increased nearly by 100 kilowatt hours, thats right, you are reading correctly. Micro inverter is the most filthiest word in my vocabulary, and I will never ever use them again, there are far better devices in the market place that actually achieve a far better outcome than micro inverters.

  66. Les Sketcher says

    Well Ray, you certainly have made me apprehensive as I am such a small sample.
    I wonder if Finn might comment.

    This is the first time I have heard that Micro’s are a higher impedance and introduce more loss to an array than string inverters. How many panels are driving your string models and what % failures do you experience?

  67. Ray Meeuwisse says

    Hi Les, the string config was the same on the micros as they are on the string inverter. The manufacture’s will tell you they are the best thing since sliced bread but my own experience tells me to stay right the hell away. I have had this one particular site monitored via the Tigo Energy platform, and I think, I would be able, to pull the data, to show you the vast difference in micros to string inverters. The data is a few years old, but 100 kilowatt hours a day cannot be argued with. Anyway if you want to continue with the micros, I say good luck to you, but they will never be in my materials platform ever again.

    And as far as failure goes, I can honestly say fairly close to 100% failure rate.

  68. Andrew Bennett says

    Current day data is still not available on the My Enlighten platform.

    When will Enphase fix this as they undertook to do over a month ago…?
    The usefulness of the data is substantially diminished when reviewed retrospectively if one plans to make adjustments to optimise consumption/production.

    Enphase is offering a third rate platform at present – avoid…

  69. Les Sketcher says

    It seems their programme cannot deal with daylight saving.
    Otherwise it is a pity at this stage they have not offered a progress report on their actions to overcome the problem. Just communicate!

  70. John S. Harvey says

    Hi all,

    I have a five and a half year old PV system on my home (15 250W and 15 260W SolarWorld panels with M215 Enphase microinverters). I’m worried that the Envoy will break down any time now – although it has been running fine since day one providing full data at the individual panel level.

    Are there any work-a-rounds/DIY options to capturing the production data without using the Envoy system? Have any programers cracked this problem yet?

    Thanks in advance.

    John Harvey

    • Neil Mclean says

      My new bought PV system hasn’t been installed yet. In reading around home automation generally I noticed the Indigo home server has a plugin for pulling data from Envoy S and displaying it (along with lots of other info on status of other home stuff like lights and heating etc)

      No idea if it works well or is useable, and of course it would require investment in the Indigo product – something I am still evaluating for features other than Envoy integration.

  71. Tip: My envoy gateway also crashed a few times and seemed dead, in spite of some reboots and pluggin in and out. However, when I left it without current for more than a day, it would reboot ok again. I only get a flawed graph online due to the period where it was stuck. Done that 3 times now. apparently there is some residual current in memory, even unplugged. For the rest I agree with the negative comments: it should be able to function for more than a year or 2, and is overpriced for what it is.

  72. MasterCATZ says

    https://github.com/MasterCATZ/solar-observatory

    playing around with this at the moment

    I just need to find a way to remove all the dead microinverters from the scrape now

    half of my S230’s are dead , and good luck getting them replaced , so much 10 yr warranty

    • Ronald Brakels says

      If you are having trouble making a warranty claim I suggest contacting consumer affairs in your state as you are protected by Australian consumer law.

  73. Mr. L.E.Sketcher says

    I somewhat agree Alan that Enphase is tardy in their responses to customers on a number of fronts. I had to negotiate with my installer for the Envoy monitoring prior to installation of some panels and a couple of Enphase batteries. It seems Enphase is trying to serve two masters ( Installer and end – user) I was thankful of the monitoring when after 6 months I realised the batteries were regularly undercharged. This fault proved to be an over voltage in grid supply.
    The software controlling the battery charge needs a change in algorithm also. On low energy days it still sends watts off to the grid rather than pushing it into the batteries.
    The pillar graph readings are confusing. I have placed a legend in the Comments
    section below the graphs but still do mental gymnastics sorting out the world of solar power.
    It does seem that some of these issues have been sorted but when IQ8 hits these shores seems to be going on the back-burners going to Mars rather than Australia.
    Incidently, I have the APs monitoring system on a parallel array that is 5 years old and I consider it superior to the Envoy system.

  74. Ed Beheald says

    Is there anyway to setup an IQ7+ and Envoy without and internet connection?

    We’re planning a remote, Stand Alone System where there is no internet service.

    Great blog. Keep up the great work

    • Bob Mesibov says

      Hi, Ed. I have an IQ system with an Envoy S and it’s not connected to the Net. That’s not because my location is remote, it’s because I refuse to have Enphase share my home network, or expose my system to IoT security risks.
      The Envoy S has a built-in wireless access point feature that works for 8 hours once activated. The installers used it to connect their Enphase Installer Toolkit to the Envoy in order to configure the system and ensure it was running. So it seems you don’t actually need Internet during installation.
      You don’t need it afterwards, either, if you have Telstra’s 3G service, because Enphase makes a 3G mobile connect device (with its own SIM card) that reports to Enphase independently. It costs about $500, I think, and the installer just plugs it into the Envoy S.
      I don’t use that, either. I’ve plugged an Ethernet cable into my Envoy S (instructions in the manual) with the other end plugged into an old netbook. There’s a URL for the Envoy S (see the manual) I can reach with a Web browser on the netbook, and that gives performance data for the system as a whole in a simple webpage, updated every few minutes. If you’re tech-y, there are a couple of other useful URLs. One gives me production data for the system, the other for each of my 20 microinverters individually. The data are downloaded from the Envoy S as JSON files.
      Hope that helps. Your installer should be able to tell you all that, as well.

  75. Steve Ingram says

    I have an Envoy-S system with 21 microinverters (S230 I think)…. and the manger’s software so I have been able to see individual production for some time.

    In the past couple of months one inverter has started dropping out with communication, although it is still producing power – at least the total at day’s end looks similar to surrounding units.

    The comms dropouts were every week or so, but they have now escalated to multiple times every day – sometimes for 5 minutes – sometimes for several hours. No other inverter is doing this.

    My installer says there is nothing to worry about and that it could be linked to interference from a pool motor, light etc. They have suggested a 3-phase filter (we are on single phase).

    Is this the start of a likely demise? Anybody else have this?

    • TJ Roberts says

      Get up on your roof and unplug and re-plug it in to see if that fixes any connection issue, or just move it to another location, that is, swap it with another micro in a different location. If the problem travels, then go to your Enlighten Service Manager and generate a warranty repair. It’s easy to do now.

      • Ronald Brakels says

        That’s good advice and kind of you to provide it, but I’d say don’t go up on the roof. That’s what installers are for. They know what they are doing and so have little risk of injuring themselves.

      • Yes thanks for the tip, but I will go with Ronald – not keen to be fiddling with 240v up on a roof and potentially voiding warranty.

        Also identifying which panel it’s hiding under is not straightforward – I don’t think the schematic on the Enlighten software has been matched correctly by the installer. When they first did it, my north bank (I have N, E & W) was entered inverted and when I had some shading from an antenna on the E & W, I am pretty sure the shaded panels’ location did not match the software.

        You mention the Enlighten Service Manager – where is that?

        • TJ Roberts says

          Oh ok. Well, shutting off the breaker and then disassembling is not that difficult, but if you don’t have a good map, then it can be quite tedious. Sorry, I meant Enlighten Manager, but Enphase has a new Service Manager — https://service.enphaseenergy.com/ which allows installers to perform warranty repairs quite easily. However, if you have the per-panel monitoring Enlighten Manager, then you should be able to generate a warranty repair yourself — https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/ Go into the “Settings” tab on the far right menu at top of window. It’s a small gear symbol. Then scroll down about halfway and look for the new “Request Return” button. Enphase has really done a fine job automating warranty repairs now and making the process very simple. Good luck.

  76. Steve Ingram says

    Interesting – the “Request Return” doesn’t show up for me – on the website or the app.

    • TJ Roberts says

      Maybe it’s not available in Australia yet. In my Enlighten Manager, if I go to Settings, then scroll down, there is a new “Self Service” section, and then within that, you can hit the Request Return button and then below that is the Install Replacement button. Maybe ask their new APAC rep what the e.t.a. is for that. It really, really expedites the service process.

  77. Steve Ingram says

    I called Enphase back after not hearing anything and got onto one of their reps who was helpful. He was able to run a remote noise test on my system and came back to say I had a reading of -50dB, which was high apparently.

    They would like the noise at 110mHz (I gather that is the transmit frequency) to be -200dB, but better than -100dB was acceptable. He said he was surprised I only had one microinverter having problems with that level of noise.

    This is useful because it points to interference rather than inverter faults. He suggested an in-line filter after the Envoy on the other circuits – and that this could be installed by most electricians. He said they have moved away from ferrite chokes because the filter gives more certainty.

    What I can do now is monitor the Envoy page and see when the inverter is not talking. (The Enlighten Manager software can have a 15 minute delay, so the direct Envoy page is much better). I will then throw individual circuit breakers on non-Envoy circuits and see if the inverter comes back online. If I can identify the offending circuit, I might be able to identify the offending appliance/item.

    • TJ Roberts says

      This is a common issue with pre-IQ microinverters since the PLC uses L-N and not L-L comm’s. You can hunt for the noisy refrigerator or A/C unit. I found by turning off a refrigerator in my barn, my micros magically appeared! Since I didn’t need to know their status every waking moment of the day, I unplugged the refrigerator once in a while to do a system check-up. Also, if you can move your Envoy closer to the micros, then that would help, too. If it’s a chick-n-egg issue where the Envoy needs to be close to the router, but then again, it needs to be close to the micros, you can buy a cheap $50 PLC wireless bridge. Just plug the receiver into your router, then put the Envoy close to the micros, and that problem is resolved. Sure, an inline filter will work, but you still need to isolate the noisy appliance/device. It’s noise on the neutral line that is causing the PLC issue.

      • Steve Ingram says

        Is the noise always only on the cable?

        That is – can it be radiated because the feed cable from the panels/inverters to the Envoy passes close to a faulty item (fridge, LED etc)? If the cable was moved – in my case lifted up and sideways a couple of metres – could that make a difference?

        I have experience with audio and data cables where moving them a short distance or even changing the angle that they cross paths with interference can make a big difference.

        • TJ Roberts says

          No, the noise occurs over the electrical wiring, the neutral and power line (L-N); PLC is a communications protocol over the power line in an electrical grid. Enphase IQ’s now use L-L, so PLC (Power Line Communication) communication is much better.

    • John Swenson Harvey says

      Good news. I wish you success in finding the underlying problem/interference.

    • Steve Ingram says

      On further reading, it communicates at 110kHz not MHz.

      And this document looks to be the filter instructions:
      https://enphase.com/sites/default/files/Power_Line_Filter_Single-Phase_TechBrief.pdf

      Off to the electrician for me… or I could just hope Enphase offer the US deal on IQ upgrades.

      • Steve Ingram says

        Here’s an update

        I contacted my installer to arrange for a filter to be installed to deal with the noise issue. After a bit of back and forth, I was given the news that they didn’t think I needed a filter, but that the Envoy should be moved out of the meter box and placed in it own enclosure.

        And the good news was: IT WAS FREE OF CHARGE!

        Apparently Enphase has redesigned its installation procedures and while inside the meter box was okay when I purchased three years ago, now they mandate a separate enclosure, away from all the other electrical cabling.

        The electrician came out the next day (wow!) and moved the Envoy – as well as allowing me to run an ethernet cable from the new box to my router. They had a powerlink adapter in the original install. (It had played up several times.)

        Result: All 21 panels communicating and no errors recorded since the Envoy was powered on again…… at least so far.

        The electrician thought there had been an increase in comms problems after a software upgrade a few months ago….. my problems started in June, so maybe….

  78. Christopher Staples says

    possibly software update issue , mine was working flawlessly being monitored by my 3rdparty software https://github.com/MasterCATZ/solar-observatory ,

    now out of the blue it keeps blocking me from reading http://envoyboxhere/api/v1/production/inverters if I log in via enphase toolbox on the Android phone the data opens up again for a bit blocking me 30 min later

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