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Vern2 11-22-13 08:29 AM


Same thing here yesterday, I made $0.21, looking at TED. Today looks like it's going to be worse.

No install date on my new 2.5k system. It will be installed next year, not this year.

Put beam lift up on You Tube.

stevehull 11-22-13 10:36 AM

Got a question for you guys with the Enphase inverters. I see a couple of different monitoring software systems.

Is this a fee for service or something else?

Lastly, I am wondering how accurate PV watts has been for your setup. I am very strongly thinking of a ~10 kW system, but PV watts is discouraging. Have a large barn with a 3/12 roof, within 20 degrees of solar south and with no shading.

Thanks in advance!


pinballlooking 11-22-13 10:49 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Enphase does not have a fee for monitoring. (This is the public facing view. )
They let you feed your data to PVpvoutput
Flynns Arcade 12.560kW

I installed in April and I am 111% of PVwatts estimate.
DC to AC Derate Factor 0.86 since microinvertors are so efficient.
If you are doing a self-install you will get module level visibility but if you hire an installer make sure you have in writing you will get module level visibility. New systems that are installed by an installer have a dumbed down monitoring but the installer can request you get the good module level monitoring.

Here is a screen shot of Enlighten manager. It is really good software.
The percent est on the right side are to PVwatts est.

Here is the month to date graph I like this one
the bottom have PVWatts est.

Vern2 11-22-13 11:06 AM


Good question.

Sun Power monitor.

The Power company installed 2 meters at my home, on turn-up day, Feb. 9, 2010. I installed Sun Power panels and there free monitoring system. I divided Sun Powers one year kWh total into meter monitoring the solar output. I got the number 99.7, After that I started to believe Sun Power's numbers, have a display on my home office desk. I'm also running TED, which monitors daily electric cost.

I've ask for the new Sun Power 2.5k (2.45k) system to be added to the existing free Sun Power monitoring system. There's advantages for having individual inverters for each panel, but also with 50 inverters, there's more things that can go wrong. :eek:

stevehull 11-22-13 11:21 AM


Great that you are using a performance factor of 86% as I figured in 77% (from PVWatts)in my estimates. How do you verify the 86%?

Thanks for the info on individual panel monitoring. Lastly, the idea of getting one extra inverter is a superb suggestion . . . .

I can easily put in a surplus analog (old style) watt hour meter for about $50 (for PV production only), but the ability to use the free Enphase monitoring software makes this unnecessary.

Already have a smart meter set up for net metering and my local electrical coop is good for system. All I need is a licensed electrician to do the final hook up to panel and to verify that he/she did that.

Local coop will allow me to "bank" extra kWhrs for 30 days. If they are not used by that time, then I donate them to the grid. So I am sizing system so to loose as little as possible to "banked leakage" (if there is such a term).

Is $1.75 still a realistic figure for price per watt self installed (panels, inverters, roof rack, wiring, etc.)?

GREAT job - both of you!


pinballlooking 11-22-13 11:30 AM

Wow we get to carryover for a year and get zeroed out on June 1. I am trying to get that date changed because it is after the two best solar months.

For the performance factor. Enphase recommended something close to it and I looked what others were saying to use that had Enphase for a few years.

I have a TED 5000 the solar version also it is great and worth it. I know at a glance what the power bill will be at all times.

These guys have some pretty good close outs. Get on their mailing list
here is a example the last email
We have the SolarWorld 245W Poly silver frame and we are offering it for $0.77/w when ordering 4 full pallets or more. If you need less than that we will offer it for $0.79/w for a full pallet.

I have ordered from these guys a couple times.


stevehull 11-22-13 12:06 PM

Pinball and Vern,

I take it the newer Enphase 250 is better than the older 215 model. It appears that the 250 model offers free monitoring and no ground electrode conductor (GEC) must save $ as well.

However, without the GEC, is it more susceptible to lightening?


pinballlooking 11-22-13 12:14 PM

The only way I would use the new M250 was if I was very limited on space. It will be cheaper to go with the M215 the M215 will really tops out at 225 watts so they mate very well with 250 watt panels.
The M250 really does top out @250 watts.
They both use the same trunk cable. You still have to ground the racks/panel frames .

I had sales people telling me the M215 topped out at 215 watts when I was buying them this is just not true at all.

Look at the image at the bottom on this page.

stevehull 11-23-13 06:37 AM


You spoke of your 111% actual PV output compared to what PVWatts predicted. Was this using the performance factor of 86% vs. the default of 77%?

Secondly, what diameter (gauge) wire did you bring down from the Enphase output to your electrical panel? The smaller the wire, the greater the resistance loss, but fatter wire is more expensive. Do you have a suggestion on that trade off?

Wire is one of those things that you put in once . . . . so your thoughts on the balance of efficiency vs. cost are highly appreciated.

Vern (and others), feel free to chime in.


Vern2 11-23-13 09:05 AM


I asked for 12 gauge to the combiner box, then 6 gauge to 200 amp panel. There's a 60 amp breaker, that will be changed to 70 or 80 amp breaker, when new system goes in. No wire changing with new system.

What are you guy's talking about on emphase efficiency percentages? If I understand what your talking about SMA is in the high 90s.

This is the inverter coming with new system.

Video for inverter.

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