Discussion:
12VDC LED lighting for Edison E26 socket
(too old to reply)
Dan Fink
2014-09-28 17:44:52 UTC
Permalink
Esteemed Wrenches;
Anyone have any recommendations for 12 volt DC, 3 - 12 watt Edison E26-27
screw base (standard light bulb socket) LED lights? I'm seeing Phocos
available and I trust them, but amazon and Ebay are a cesspool of bad
Chinese stuff that falls apart on opening the box, and fries if DC voltage
gets low, like my 12VDC China CFL experience 10 years ago---50% failure
rate for customers, and bought 2 cases of them.
Is anything reliable, long lasting and sturdy available?
Thanks in advance for any inputs and insights!


Dan Fink
Buckville Energy
IREC Certified Instructor? for:
~ PV Installation Professional
~ Small Wind Installer
NABCEP / IREC / ISPQ Accredited Continuing Education Providers?
970.672.4342
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jay peltz
2014-09-28 20:00:44 UTC
Permalink
HI Dan,

I would suggest looking at Backwoods. I've used some of theirs and they are nice.

jay
peltz power
Post by Dan Fink
Esteemed Wrenches;
Anyone have any recommendations for 12 volt DC, 3 - 12 watt Edison E26-27 screw base (standard light bulb socket) LED lights? I'm seeing Phocos available and I trust them, but amazon and Ebay are a cesspool of bad Chinese stuff that falls apart on opening the box, and fries if DC voltage gets low, like my 12VDC China CFL experience 10 years ago---50% failure rate for customers, and bought 2 cases of them.
Is anything reliable, long lasting and sturdy available?
Thanks in advance for any inputs and insights!
Dan Fink
Buckville Energy
~ PV Installation Professional
~ Small Wind Installer
NABCEP / IREC / ISPQ Accredited Continuing Education Providers?
970.672.4342
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
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frenergy
2014-09-28 21:25:31 UTC
Permalink
CA wrenches,

I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers) figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems. One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and accurate but only display total production.

The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.

Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is "approved" by PG&E interconnection?

TIA

Bill
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Chris Mason
2014-09-29 10:21:57 UTC
Permalink
We are using some cheap DIN rail mounted meters KWh and Power.

Loading Image...%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.fymeter.com%252Fproductshow%252F%253F61-1-Energy-Meter.html%3B858%3B492
Post by frenergy
CA wrenches,
I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers)
figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems.
One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured
utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and
accurate but only display total production.
The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not
interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a
couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in
Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive
must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system
output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive
anymore.
Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu
utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is
"approved" by PG&E interconnection?
TIA
Bill
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org
http://www.mail-archive.com/re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org/maillist.html
www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm
www.members.re-wrenches.org
--
Chris Mason
NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer?
Solar Design Engineer
Generac Generators Industrial technician

www.cometsolar.com <http://www.cometenergysystems.com>
264.235.5670
869.662.5670
Skype: netconcepts
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Christopher Warfel
2014-09-29 14:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Bill, The refurbished utility meter is the lowest cost option that meets
the requirements of accuracy for RECs that I am aware of. Chris
Post by frenergy
CA wrenches,
I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired
customers) figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small
enphase systems. One of my local utilities will allow me to just use
a remanufactured utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are
inexpensive, robust and accurate but only display total production.
The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are
not interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not
after a couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from
PG&E other than in Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems
receiving an EPBB incentive must install a production meter accurate
to +- 5% of actual system output...." which is pretty vague.
plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.
Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu
utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is
"approved" by PG&E interconnection?
TIA
Bill
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org
List-Archive: http://www.mail-archive.com/re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org/maillist.html
www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm
www.members.re-wrenches.org
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978

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toddcory
2014-09-29 18:25:12 UTC
Permalink
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August Goers
2014-09-29 18:12:13 UTC
Permalink
Hi Bill,



One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my opinion, is
the ability to monitor each module individually. It might seem like ~$500
is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it when you think about
the 25 year warranty period and included ongoing monitoring. We?ve had
enough Enphase failures that I would personally really want to be able to
keep my eye on each micro individually.



Just a thought, August



*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *frenergy
*Sent:* Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* [RE-wrenches] Metering



CA wrenches,



I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers)
figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems.
One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured
utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and
accurate but only display total production.



The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not
interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a
couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in
Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive
must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system
output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive
anymore.



Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu utility
meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is "approved" by
PG&E interconnection?



TIA



Bill
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Ray Walters
2014-09-29 18:30:37 UTC
Permalink
The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always
reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh
idea, and has Always been problematic. Once you install something you
are expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say an 8
module system that keeps losing communication to one or two modules.
I've had this exact case, and confirmed multiple times that each micro
was working, but the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA systems,
but can just add tons of call backs and the resulting financial losses
and frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the entire
install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new either: I had
SCADA systems back in the 90s, that had great promise, but ultimately
were extremely hard to implement, and the customer never used after
anyway......
The question is:
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and
whistles".....

R.Ray Walters
CTO, Solarray, Inc
Nabcep Certified PV Installer,
Licensed Master Electrician
Solar Design Engineer
303 505-8760
Post by August Goers
Hi Bill,
One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my
opinion, is the ability to monitor each module individually. It might
seem like ~$500 is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it
when you think about the 25 year warranty period and included ongoing
monitoring. We've had enough Enphase failures that I would personally
really want to be able to keep my eye on each micro individually.
Just a thought, August
*From:*RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org
<mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org>] *On Behalf Of
*frenergy
*Sent:* Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* [RE-wrenches] Metering
CA wrenches,
I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired
customers) figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small
enphase systems. One of my local utilities will allow me to just use
a remanufactured utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are
inexpensive, robust and accurate but only display total production.
The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are
not interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not
after a couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from
PG&E other than in Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems
receiving an EPBB incentive must install a production meter accurate
to +- 5% of actual system output...." which is pretty vague.
plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.
Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu
utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is
"approved" by PG&E interconnection?
TIA
Bill
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org
List-Archive: http://www.mail-archive.com/re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org/maillist.html
www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm
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Glenn Burt
2014-09-30 00:17:54 UTC
Permalink
I would not classify what we are doing in PV as SCADA.



It is purely data acquisition at this point, and more commonly referred to
as DAS or a Data Acquisition System.

SCADA by its definition entails a two way path of both receiving data and
being able to send control signals, usually from a big picture program,
monitoring dozens of data points.

Let's not try to make the simple into a more complex thing than it is.



-Glenn



From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On
Behalf Of Ray Walters
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 2:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always
reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh idea,
and has Always been problematic. Once you install something you are
expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say an 8 module
system that keeps losing communication to one or two modules. I've had this
exact case, and confirmed multiple times that each micro was working, but
the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA systems, but
can just add tons of call backs and the resulting financial losses and
frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the entire
install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new either: I had SCADA
systems back in the 90s, that had great promise, but ultimately were
extremely hard to implement, and the customer never used after anyway......
The question is:
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and
whistles".....



R.Ray Walters
CTO, Solarray, Inc
Nabcep Certified PV Installer,
Licensed Master Electrician
Solar Design Engineer
303 505-8760

On 9/29/2014 12:12 PM, August Goers wrote:

Hi Bill,



One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my opinion, is
the ability to monitor each module individually. It might seem like ~$500 is
a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it when you think about the
25 year warranty period and included ongoing monitoring. We've had enough
Enphase failures that I would personally really want to be able to keep my
eye on each micro individually.



Just a thought, August



From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On
Behalf Of frenergy
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: [RE-wrenches] Metering



CA wrenches,



I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers)
figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems. One
of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured
utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and
accurate but only display total production.



The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not
interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a
couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in
Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive must
install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system output...."
which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.



Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu utility
meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is "approved" by
PG&E interconnection?



TIA



Bill








_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance

List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org

Change listserver email address & settings:
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org

List-Archive:
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frenergy
2014-09-30 02:01:40 UTC
Permalink
All,

Great points and a little education of others' feelings about, essentially how granular we need to be in monitoring.

I'm curious who is monitoring the Enphase systems in the solar world, seriously. I know 95% of my customers are more concerned about catching the bus or what's for dinner than if PV #8 has bird crap on it. Do the folks at Enphase, through Enlighten have some software that spots issues? I know I, as an installer don't have time for it. My experience is the customer notices their power bill was higher last month, they take a look at the inverter and no green light...CALL BILL.

Thanks folks for the resources for meters, din rail too.

Bill


----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn Burt
To: 'RE-wrenches'
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 5:17 PM
Subject: Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering


I would not classify what we are doing in PV as SCADA.



It is purely data acquisition at this point, and more commonly referred to as DAS or a Data Acquisition System.

SCADA by its definition entails a two way path of both receiving data and being able to send control signals, usually from a big picture program, monitoring dozens of data points.

Let's not try to make the simple into a more complex thing than it is.



-Glenn



From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On Behalf Of Ray Walters
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 2:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh idea, and has Always been problematic. Once you install something you are expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say an 8 module system that keeps losing communication to one or two modules. I've had this exact case, and confirmed multiple times that each micro was working, but the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA systems, but can just add tons of call backs and the resulting financial losses and frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the entire install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new either: I had SCADA systems back in the 90s, that had great promise, but ultimately were extremely hard to implement, and the customer never used after anyway......
The question is:
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and whistles".....



R.Ray WaltersCTO, Solarray, IncNabcep Certified PV Installer, Licensed Master ElectricianSolar Design Engineer303 505-8760On 9/29/2014 12:12 PM, August Goers wrote:

Hi Bill,



One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my opinion, is the ability to monitor each module individually. It might seem like ~$500 is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it when you think about the 25 year warranty period and included ongoing monitoring. We've had enough Enphase failures that I would personally really want to be able to keep my eye on each micro individually.



Just a thought, August



From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On Behalf Of frenergy
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: [RE-wrenches] Metering



CA wrenches,



I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers) figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems. One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and accurate but only display total production.



The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.



Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is "approved" by PG&E interconnection?



TIA



Bill








_______________________________________________List sponsored by Redwood Alliance List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org Change listserver email address & settings:http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org List-Archive: http://www.mail-archive.com/re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org/maillist.html List rules & etiquette:www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm Check out or update participant bios:www.members.re-wrenches.org



------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Drake
2014-09-30 14:42:33 UTC
Permalink
The main reason to want to have the Enlighten system is warranty. Try
to get a replacement inverter if Enphase can't monitor the system
over the Internet.
Post by frenergy
All,
Great points and a little education of others' feelings
about, essentially how granular we need to be in monitoring.
I'm curious who is monitoring the Enphase systems in the
solar world, seriously. I know 95% of my customers are more
concerned about catching the bus or what's for dinner than if PV #8
has bird crap on it. Do the folks at Enphase, through Enlighten
have some software that spots issues? I know I, as an installer
don't have time for it. My experience is the customer notices
their power bill was higher last month, they take a look at the
inverter and no green light...CALL BILL.
Thanks folks for the resources for meters, din rail too.
Bill
[]
----- Original Message -----
From: <mailto:glenn.burt at glbcc.com>Glenn Burt
To: <mailto:re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org>'RE-wrenches'
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 5:17 PM
Subject: Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering
I would not classify what we are doing in PV as SCADA.
It is purely data acquisition at this point, and more commonly
referred to as DAS or a Data Acquisition System.
SCADA by its definition entails a two way path of both receiving
data and being able to send control signals, usually from a big
picture program, monitoring dozens of data points.
Let's not try to make the simple into a more complex thing than it is.
-Glenn
From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org]
On Behalf Of Ray Walters
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 2:31 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering
The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always
reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh
idea, and has Always been problematic. Once you install something
you are expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say
an 8 module system that keeps losing communication to one or two
modules. I've had this exact case, and confirmed multiple times
that each micro was working, but the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA
systems, but can just add tons of call backs and the resulting
financial losses and frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the
entire install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new
either: I had SCADA systems back in the 90s, that had great
promise, but ultimately were extremely hard to implement, and the
customer never used after anyway......
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and whistles".....
R.Ray Walters
CTO, Solarray, Inc
Nabcep Certified PV Installer,
Licensed Master Electrician
Solar Design Engineer
303 505-8760
Hi Bill,
One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my
opinion, is the ability to monitor each module individually. It
might seem like ~$500 is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well
worth it when you think about the 25 year warranty period and
included ongoing monitoring. We've had enough Enphase failures that
I would personally really want to be able to keep my eye on each
micro individually.
Just a thought, August
From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On Behalf Of frenergy
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
To: RE-wrenches
Subject: [RE-wrenches] Metering
CA wrenches,
I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired
customers) figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small
enphase systems. One of my local utilities will allow me to just
use a remanufactured utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are
inexpensive, robust and accurate but only display total production.
The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers
are not interested in checking their PV system on the internet,
well not after a couple weeks. I can't seem to find any
requirement from PG&E other than in Section 5.1 of the guidebook: "
All systems receiving an EPBB incentive must install a production
meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system output...." which is
pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive anymore.
Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu
utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is
"approved" by PG&E interconnection?
TIA
Bill
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August Goers
2014-09-30 14:53:07 UTC
Permalink
Hi Bill,



You have a good point about the burden of monitoring and how to keep up
with it. We have hundreds of monitored sites, some Enphase and some others,
and it is impossible to really check them thoroughly. However, most
monitoring sites have some basic warning capabilities which I find useful.
For example, Enphase will send us and the client an email if their system
stops producing power or if there is another type of inverter error. It
won?t catch minor issues but it does catch the major issues. SunPower has a
dashboard we log into each morning to catch any major problems ? especially
?inverter down? errors. I?m hoping SunPower will implement an email warning
system as well.



The main problem I see with installing microinverters without the
proprietary monitoring device (Envoy for Enphase, CDD for ABB, etc) is that
there is no easy way for the client to know if all their micros are working
? there is no green light or red light to check.



Here in the Bay Area we?re finding more and more competitors selling leases
and production guarantees. I imagine that the larger of these companies
have some sort of automated monitoring system to check production but I
don?t know for certain. With our SunPower leases, SunPower sends us a
monthly email with production updates versus the simulated estimate based
on our shade and site conditions. This is a really quick way to see how our
fleet is doing.



To Ray Walters? point about powerline communication with Enphase, we?ve had
very reliable monitoring with our Envoys once we started installing a
dedicated receptacle for the Envoy at the same load center where we
installed our microinverter breakers. I can?t think of a single instance
where communication hasn?t been reliable.



We also don?t sell monitoring to clients who show little interest in it.
They can check their string inverter on a regular basis or keep their eyes
on their bills and it does make everyone?s life a little easier.



Anyway, there is no doubt that monitoring adds a lot of overhead to our
business and we are trying to figure out better ways to setup expectations
with clients. As I?ve posted in the past, we end up dealing with a lot of
IT issues for homeowners.



Best,



August



Luminalt



*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *frenergy
*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 7:02 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



All,



Great points and a little education of others' feelings about,
essentially how granular we need to be in monitoring.



I'm curious who is monitoring the Enphase systems in the solar
world, seriously. I know 95% of my customers are more concerned about
catching the bus or what's for dinner than if PV #8 has bird crap on it.
Do the folks at Enphase, through Enlighten have some software that spots
issues? I know I, as an installer don't have time for it. My experience
is the customer notices their power bill was higher last month, they take a
look at the inverter and no green light...CALL BILL.



Thanks folks for the resources for meters, din rail too.



Bill



----- Original Message -----

*From:* Glenn Burt <glenn.burt at glbcc.com>

*To:* 'RE-wrenches' <re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org>

*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 5:17 PM

*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



I would not classify what we are doing in PV as SCADA.



It is purely data acquisition at this point, and more commonly referred to
as DAS or a Data Acquisition System.

SCADA by its definition entails a two way path of both receiving data and
being able to send control signals, usually from a big picture program,
monitoring dozens of data points.

Let?s not try to make the simple into a more complex thing than it is.



-Glenn



*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org
<re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org>] *On Behalf Of *Ray Walters
*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 2:31 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always
reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh idea,
and has Always been problematic. Once you install something you are
expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say an 8 module
system that keeps losing communication to one or two modules. I've had
this exact case, and confirmed multiple times that each micro was working,
but the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA systems, but
can just add tons of call backs and the resulting financial losses and
frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the entire
install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new either: I had
SCADA systems back in the 90s, that had great promise, but ultimately were
extremely hard to implement, and the customer never used after anyway......
The question is:
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and
whistles".....

R.Ray Walters

CTO, Solarray, Inc

Nabcep Certified PV Installer,

Licensed Master Electrician

Solar Design Engineer

303 505-8760

On 9/29/2014 12:12 PM, August Goers wrote:

Hi Bill,



One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my opinion, is
the ability to monitor each module individually. It might seem like ~$500
is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it when you think about
the 25 year warranty period and included ongoing monitoring. We?ve had
enough Enphase failures that I would personally really want to be able to
keep my eye on each micro individually.



Just a thought, August



*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *frenergy
*Sent:* Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* [RE-wrenches] Metering



CA wrenches,



I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers)
figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems.
One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured
utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and
accurate but only display total production.



The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not
interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a
couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in
Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive
must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system
output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive
anymore.



Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu utility
meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is "approved" by
PG&E interconnection?



TIA



Bill



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William Miller
2014-09-30 15:34:00 UTC
Permalink
Friends:



Supposedly the SMA Portal will email alerts. Can anyone describe their experience with this product?



Thanks,



William





Gradient Cap_mini
Lic 773985
<http://www.millersolar.com/> millersolar.com
805-438-5600

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August Goers
2014-09-30 15:39:58 UTC
Permalink
Hi William,



Yes, the Sunny Portal can be configured to send email alerts. Out of all
the monitoring systems I?ve tried, I like SMA?s setup the best. You just go
to the plant, go to configuration?report configuration, and then setup
email alerts as you wish. You can choose simple daily or monthly production
reports or error reports and choose who the email(s) go to. It is a nice
configurable system.



Best, August



*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *William Miller
*Sent:* Tuesday, September 30, 2014 8:34 AM
*To:* 'RE-wrenches'
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering



Friends:



Supposedly the SMA Portal will email alerts. Can anyone describe their
experience with this product?



Thanks,



William





[image: Gradient Cap_mini]
Lic 773985
millersolar.com <http://www.millersolar.com/>
805-438-5600
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Nick Soleil
2014-09-30 16:20:34 UTC
Permalink
Hello esteemed wrenches,

I want to respond to Bill's questions about monitoring Enphase systems.
The email alerts are the primary method for alerting homeowners to issues
with their site, but we have also developed tools for managing fleets of
systems within Enlighten. As an installer, when you first log into
Enlighten Manager you will be brought to your Installer Dashboard page.
The Installer Dashboard can be configured with various widgets, including a
Maintenance Alerts widget which will provide you with a list of systems
that are experiencing Production Issues or other reporting issues. This
prevent you from having to select each system individually. Also, the
Systems page can be used to view daily, weekly, monthly, or lifetime energy
production of every system you've installed.

The email alerts can be configured to alert you and/or the homeowner to
production issues, but can also be configured to send alerts based upon
monthly production thresholds that you set. If a system produces less than
the estimated production, an email will be sent to the homeowner and/or the
installer. This is nice because the alerts occurs without the homeowner
monitoring their electric bill and checking for blinking lights.

I also want to echo some of the points that August made, particularly with
regard to installing a dedicated receptacle for the monitor. My experience,
like August's, is that locating the Envoy on a dedicated receptacle that
is wired off the same load center/ panel board as the microinverters will
lead to reliable communications.
Post by August Goers
Hi Bill,
You have a good point about the burden of monitoring and how to keep up
with it. We have hundreds of monitored sites, some Enphase and some others,
and it is impossible to really check them thoroughly. However, most
monitoring sites have some basic warning capabilities which I find useful.
For example, Enphase will send us and the client an email if their system
stops producing power or if there is another type of inverter error. It
won?t catch minor issues but it does catch the major issues. SunPower has a
dashboard we log into each morning to catch any major problems ? especially
?inverter down? errors. I?m hoping SunPower will implement an email warning
system as well.
The main problem I see with installing microinverters without the
proprietary monitoring device (Envoy for Enphase, CDD for ABB, etc) is that
there is no easy way for the client to know if all their micros are working
? there is no green light or red light to check.
Here in the Bay Area we?re finding more and more competitors selling
leases and production guarantees. I imagine that the larger of these
companies have some sort of automated monitoring system to check production
but I don?t know for certain. With our SunPower leases, SunPower sends us a
monthly email with production updates versus the simulated estimate based
on our shade and site conditions. This is a really quick way to see how our
fleet is doing.
To Ray Walters? point about powerline communication with Enphase, we?ve
had very reliable monitoring with our Envoys once we started installing a
dedicated receptacle for the Envoy at the same load center where we
installed our microinverter breakers. I can?t think of a single instance
where communication hasn?t been reliable.
We also don?t sell monitoring to clients who show little interest in it.
They can check their string inverter on a regular basis or keep their eyes
on their bills and it does make everyone?s life a little easier.
Anyway, there is no doubt that monitoring adds a lot of overhead to our
business and we are trying to figure out better ways to setup expectations
with clients. As I?ve posted in the past, we end up dealing with a lot of
IT issues for homeowners.
Best,
August
Luminalt
*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *frenergy
*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 7:02 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering
All,
Great points and a little education of others' feelings about,
essentially how granular we need to be in monitoring.
I'm curious who is monitoring the Enphase systems in the solar
world, seriously. I know 95% of my customers are more concerned about
catching the bus or what's for dinner than if PV #8 has bird crap on it.
Do the folks at Enphase, through Enlighten have some software that spots
issues? I know I, as an installer don't have time for it. My experience
is the customer notices their power bill was higher last month, they take a
look at the inverter and no green light...CALL BILL.
Thanks folks for the resources for meters, din rail too.
Bill
----- Original Message -----
*From:* Glenn Burt <glenn.burt at glbcc.com>
*To:* 'RE-wrenches' <re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org>
*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 5:17 PM
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering
I would not classify what we are doing in PV as SCADA.
It is purely data acquisition at this point, and more commonly referred to
as DAS or a Data Acquisition System.
SCADA by its definition entails a two way path of both receiving data and
being able to send control signals, usually from a big picture program,
monitoring dozens of data points.
Let?s not try to make the simple into a more complex thing than it is.
-Glenn
*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org
<re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org>] *On Behalf Of *Ray Walters
*Sent:* Monday, September 29, 2014 2:31 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* Re: [RE-wrenches] Metering
The 2nd problem with the Envoy besides cost is that it isn't always
reliable. Communication through power lines is not a new or fresh idea,
and has Always been problematic. Once you install something you are
expected to make it work, and that can be a nightmare on say an 8 module
system that keeps losing communication to one or two modules. I've had
this exact case, and confirmed multiple times that each micro was working,
but the Envoy had other ideas.
This rush to mega data acquisition makes sense for larger PPA systems, but
can just add tons of call backs and the resulting financial losses and
frustrations for small systems.
I've spent as much time messing with SCADA, as I have with the entire
install itself; now that's ridiculous. This isn't new either: I had
SCADA systems back in the 90s, that had great promise, but ultimately were
extremely hard to implement, and the customer never used after anyway......
What does the customer really need to operate the system vs. "bells and whistles".....
R.Ray Walters
CTO, Solarray, Inc
Nabcep Certified PV Installer,
Licensed Master Electrician
Solar Design Engineer
303 505-8760
Hi Bill,
One of the largest benefits of the microinverter system, in my opinion, is
the ability to monitor each module individually. It might seem like ~$500
is a lot for the Envoy but I think it is well worth it when you think about
the 25 year warranty period and included ongoing monitoring. We?ve had
enough Enphase failures that I would personally really want to be able to
keep my eye on each micro individually.
Just a thought, August
*From:* RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] *On
Behalf Of *frenergy
*Sent:* Sunday, September 28, 2014 2:26 PM
*To:* RE-wrenches
*Subject:* [RE-wrenches] Metering
CA wrenches,
I'm trying to (for the sake of my monetarily impaired customers)
figure out a less expensive way to meter/monitor small enphase systems.
One of my local utilities will allow me to just use a remanufactured
utility-grade meter (ala AEE) These meters are inexpensive, robust and
accurate but only display total production.
The Envoy retails for over $5 bills. Most of my customers are not
interested in checking their PV system on the internet, well not after a
couple weeks. I can't seem to find any requirement from PG&E other than in
Section 5.1 of the guidebook: " All systems receiving an EPBB incentive
must install a production meter accurate to +- 5% of actual system
output...." which is pretty vague. plus the is no CSI incentive
anymore.
Anybody have a suggestion that is different from the remanu
utility meter?....and possibly gives current wattage output, and is
"approved" by PG&E interconnection?
TIA
Bill
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org
List-Archive: http://www.mail-archive.com/re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org/maillist.html
www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm
www.members.re-wrenches.org
------------------------------
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
http://lists.re-wrenches.org/options.cgi/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org
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_______________________________________________
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List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
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www.re-wrenches.org/etiquette.htm
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--
Cordially,

*Nick Soleil*


*Field Applications Engineer*

*Enphase Energy*

Mobile: (707) 321-2937

*The Enphase System** | *Empowering You in 2014
<http://www.enphase.com/?utm_source=emailsignature&utm_medium=release&utm_campaign=Jan14>


1420 North McDowell

Petaluma, CA 94954

www.enphase.com <http://www.enphaseenergy.com/>

P: (707) 763-4784 x7267

F: (707) 763-0784

E: nsoleil at enphaseenergy.com


NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer #03262011-300

California C10 Licensed Electrician #986315

Texas Master Electrician #284451

<nsoleil at enphaseenergy.com>

?Don?t get me wrong: I love nuclear energy! It?s just that I prefer fusion
to fission. And it just so happens that there?s an enormous fusion reactor
safely banked a few million miles from us. It delivers more than we could
ever use in just about 8 minutes. And it?s wireless!?

- William McDonough



This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not an intended recipient, you may not review, use, copy, disclose or distribute this message. If you received this message in error, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

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frenergy
2014-10-02 14:45:01 UTC
Permalink
Hey folks,

On a similar note.....I've been installing SMA since the SWR's and it seems even a little sunlight on the display window over time will cloud it up, making some even unreadable. I've tried polishing with very little luck and replacing it is a b....... I called SMA and they don't have a solution (not the tech I talked with).

I'm actually more concerned about my new installs with the nice display on the TLs. I've built ventilated shade boxes when the inverter sees some direct sunlight, but a nice one takes some time to build and its wood and we know what wood does in time.

Has anybody tried a UV film of some kind, like a cling-on film or something similar. Or found some sort of an eyebrow that can be glued above the display window.

Thanks,

Bill
Feather River Solar Electric
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Chris Mason
2014-10-02 18:52:27 UTC
Permalink
We fabricate steel roofs over any Tripowers that are in the sun. See below.
It's not just the displays, the inverters do not like the sun. SMA Germany
told me to make sure they are out of the sun.
See below.
[image: Inline image 1]
Post by frenergy
Hey folks,
On a similar note.....I've been installing SMA since the SWR's and
it seems even a little sunlight on the display window over time will cloud
it up, making some even unreadable. I've tried polishing with very little
luck and replacing it is a b....... I called SMA and they don't have a
solution (not the tech I talked with).
I'm actually more concerned about my new installs with the nice
display on the TLs. I've built ventilated shade boxes when the inverter
sees some direct sunlight, but a nice one takes some time to build and its
wood and we know what wood does in time.
Has anybody tried a UV film of some kind, like a cling-on film or
something similar. Or found some sort of an eyebrow that can be glued
above the display window.
Thanks,
Bill
Feather River Solar Electric
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
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--
Chris Mason
NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer?
Solar Design Engineer
Generac Generators Industrial technician

www.cometsolar.com <http://www.cometenergysystems.com>
264.235.5670
869.662.5670
Skype: netconcepts
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Christopher Warfel
2014-10-04 15:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules,
and that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of
the modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information
from NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly
crystalline. However, I have not seen any information on how to detect
them (ie, what they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows
this, and is this a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
jay peltz
2014-10-04 16:21:25 UTC
Permalink
Hi Chris,

Do you mean the AHJ?

jay
Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules, and that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of the modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information from NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly crystalline. However, I have not seen any information on how to detect them (ie, what they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows this, and is this a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
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Christopher Warfel
2014-10-04 17:46:54 UTC
Permalink
No, this is a third party quality assurance inspector for a rate payer
funded program. The issue is most likely proper use of ratepayer funds
towards these projects. I would think that the AHJ wouldn't be
concerned unless there was a safety issue My question is more along the
lines of: is this a real issue, and if so, how does one see the defect?
Post by jay peltz
Hi Chris,
Do you mean the AHJ?
jay
Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules, and that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of the modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information from NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly crystalline. However, I have not seen any information on how to detect them (ie, what they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows this, and is this a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
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Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
jay peltz
2014-10-04 18:04:53 UTC
Permalink
Hi Chris,

There are a number of test methods, but the best two are.
Electroluminescence imagining ELI
thermal imaging IR

From what I read at Photon, the ELI is the best for micro cracks before they really happen.
After they are visible, thermal imaging can be helpful.

As to it being a real issue, I believe so. The cause has not been confirmed, but contributing factors are:
cell thickness
manufacturing handling
shipping/packing
field handling.

For example I've seen IR photos that show a hand print damage in the middle of module. Or damage that sure looks like it would have been from a shoulder pressing on a cell area ( carrying it like a sheet of plywood).

If you are looking for someone who can do these field tests, contact me off site,

jay

peltz power
No, this is a third party quality assurance inspector for a rate payer funded program. The issue is most likely proper use of ratepayer funds towards these projects. I would think that the AHJ wouldn't be concerned unless there was a safety issue My question is more along the lines of: is this a real issue, and if so, how does one see the defect?
Post by jay peltz
Hi Chris,
Do you mean the AHJ?
jay
Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules, and that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of the modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information from NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly crystalline. However, I have not seen any information on how to detect them (ie, what they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows this, and is this a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
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--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
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Bill Hoffer
2014-10-04 18:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Christopher

There are some level of micro fractures that are always present in cells
and not visible to the naked eye. Some of these will produce visible
fractures over time from loading and flexing of the module from weather and
temperature changes. The micro fractures can be an issue with performance,
but may not show up until later, they are not necessarily an issue with
safety. If the encapsulation is intact and the there is not a specific
internal fault caused by the separation the only issue would be loss of
conducting surface between the broken piece and the internal string wiring
resulting in a loss of performance. Bottom line as long as there is not a
fault, your AHJ does not have much to say about performance, the NEC says
nothing about performance, only if the installation is safe. All modules
are flash tested and sorted for performance and checked for faults (
insulation resistance tested at a voltage significantly higher than the
operational rating, 2x max voltage + 1000V). This is required before a
module manufacturer can place a UL sticker on it. IMHO as long as the
damage and is not causing leakage current during an insulation resistance
test at the factory the AHJ really cannot say anything about it legally, he
is not an inspector for UL and really only needs to be able to read the UL
sticker and certify it is being used according to the listing.

That being said some module manufacturers do add an additional
Electroluminescence test that does detect micro cracks by placing a small
reverse current through the module that causes the active material to act
as a Light Emitting Diode in the near infrared spectrum that it is possible
to detect with a special camera calibrated for that light spectrum.
Usually done in a lab, although there are expensive field units available
now. These test will show micro-cracks, bad print screening and bad spots
on the cells from the doping process. I have done tests were we purposely
damage cells in a module and we have been able to detect micro cracks that
did not necessarily result in a reduced flash test at the factory. Over
time I assume that will not be the case and reduced output may be the. So
IMHO your AHJ does not have the equipment nor does he have the expertise to
perform these tests, nor does the NEC or UL1703 require it!

Good Luck with the inspector, but I think he is way out of his league on
this one, until it becomes a safety issue, even a visible crack in a cell
is not an issue of his concern.

Bill

On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 8:20 AM, Christopher Warfel <
Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules, and
that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of the
modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information from
NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly crystalline.
However, I have not seen any information on how to detect them (ie, what
they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows this, and is this
a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris
--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978
_______________________________________________
List sponsored by Redwood Alliance
List Address: RE-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
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org/maillist.html
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--
William Hoffer
161 SE Fourth Ave
P.O. Box 1823
White Salmon, WA 98672-1823
sunengser at gmail.com <bhoffer at sunergyengineeringservices.com>
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William Dorsett
2014-10-05 10:36:20 UTC
Permalink
Does this suggest that it is better to buy monocrystalline cell modules
instead of poly; and that those modules that flash test with the highest
output for a given production run have the best printed connections and
therefore the higher probability of long term life and performance?

Bill Dorsett
Manhattan, KS

-----Original Message-----
From: RE-wrenches [mailto:re-wrenches-bounces at lists.re-wrenches.org] On
Behalf Of Christopher Warfel
Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2014 10:21 AM
To: re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org
Subject: [RE-wrenches] Microfractures in PV Modules

Recently a inspector raised the issue of microfractures in pv modules, and
that the existence of such fractures would require replacement of the
modules and a failing of the system inspection. I found information from
NREL confirming the existence of microfractures in poly crystalline.
However, I have not seen any information on how to detect them (ie, what
they look like). Does anyone have a reference that shows this, and is this
a valid concern for the industry? Thank you, Chris






--
Christopher Warfel, President
ENTECH Engineering, Inc.
PO Box 871, Block Island, RI 02807
401-466-8978

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Steven Lawrence
2014-10-02 18:44:08 UTC
Permalink
Hi Bill,

For a Solaron, I've used a plastic stair tread, some velcro and some super
glue to cover the display. Only a few bucks from Home Depot. It's worked
out pretty well provided it's not very windy.

Steven Lawrence
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2014 07:45:01 -0700
From: "frenergy" <frenergy at psln.com>
To: "RE-wrenches" <re-wrenches at lists.re-wrenches.org>
Subject: [RE-wrenches] Monitor Display
Message-ID: <BCDA3A40855942D1975609E408106C79 at D8XG8YH1>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
Hey folks,
On a similar note.....I've been installing SMA since the SWR's and
it seems even a little sunlight on the display window over time will cloud
it up, making some even unreadable. I've tried polishing with very little
luck and replacing it is a b....... I called SMA and they don't have a
solution (not the tech I talked with).
I'm actually more concerned about my new installs with the nice
display on the TLs. I've built ventilated shade boxes when the inverter
sees some direct sunlight, but a nice one takes some time to build and its
wood and we know what wood does in time.
Has anybody tried a UV film of some kind, like a cling-on film or
something similar. Or found some sort of an eyebrow that can be glued
above the display window.
Thanks,
Bill
Feather River Solar Electric
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