Saturday, September 04, 2010

Solar Stuff

Micro-inverters from Enphase Energy

A small inverter fitted directly to the back of the solar pV panel - one per panel.

Performs Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) on a panel by panel basis, leading to higher overall system efficiency and compensating for panels that might be partially shaded.

Enphase also do a neat little display which shows you solar panel and room thermostat data. It would certainly be a good idea to be able to monitor all your household energy systems from a common display. These devices communicate via Powerline Carrier (PLC).

Perhaps it would be possible to "roll your own" display using the 2.8" colour touch screen shield from NuElectronics.


sandeen said...

I have the Enphase inverters, and like them a lot. The data collection unit (the "Envoy") is an arm-based Linux box - locked down, sadly. I'm not sure why, after selling those thousands of dollars of equipment, they must sell your data back to you at the rate of $2/panel/year. :(

The per-panel tracking is nifty, but TBH I'm using's setup with CTs to get faster updates than Enphase provides, for the cumulative output...

sandeen said...

Oh, and if you want to see the level of detail they do provide for that subscription, check out the public page for my array

The owner page also has graphs for voltage, current, temp...

The flash is pretty but with access to the Envoy unit I bet we could do more interesting things. I'm working on it... :)

Solar Panels Stuff said...

Can someone explain why solar inverters do not really have a long life? I know there are some guarantees but these are about 5-7 years. What should I be looking out for when I'm buying one?