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  • Mounting Panasonic panels upside down?

    Hi all, I have VBHN330SA17E panels, they have enphase IQ7X microinverters on the back (built in). I looked up and down the documentation and tried googling, and nowhere does it say that a certain orientation is required, or even recommended.

    The reason I want to mount them upside down so that the Enphse trunk cable that I have reaches all panels and my junction box. The cable is surprisingly short to transition between rows of panels.

    So I was going to do top row upside down (inverters are at the bottom), then row under it be (right side up I guess?) with inverters at the top, that way there is plenty of cable.

    Is there any reason I shouldnt do this? The array is fixed on 19 degree sloped roof.

    Panel spec sheet: https://es-media-prod.s3.amazonaws.c...icACmodule.pdf

    EDIT: Update available in a reply down below, here is direct link - https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...766#post411766
    Last edited by Duxa; 02-18-2020, 03:46 PM.

  • #2
    The cable fittings on the inverter may not be weatherproof when inverted, any weep holes would collect water instead of draining it.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess it depends on what you mean by upside down. Initially I read this like Mike, that you meant face down (back side up).

      Then I reread it and realized you perhaps meant two rows of portrait, with one row with inverters at top of the row and adjacent row with inverters at bottom so that the inverters were closer together. If that is the case, you can do that.
      Last edited by Ampster; 02-17-2020, 09:02 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ampster View Post
        I guess it depends on what you mean by upside down. Initially I read this like Mike, that you meant face down (back side up).

        Then I reread it and realized you perhaps meant two rows of portrait, with one row with inverters at top of the row and adjacent row with inverters at bottom so that the inverters were closer together. If that is the case, you can do that.
        yes I don’t mean turn microinverters upside down. But as you said take a panel in portrait mode standing perpendicular to the ground, and turn it 180 degrees so that the microinverter is at the bottom closer to the ground. The side that is facing away does not flip.

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        • #5
          Right. To comfort yourself, you can go to the Enphase website and download their installation guide for IQ7+. It shows that the bracket must be mounted up, but otherwise, rotationally, you have complete freedom.
          https://enphase.com/sites/default/fi...-QIG-EN-US.pdf
          7kW Roof PV, APsystems QS1 micros, Nissan Leaf EV

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          • #6
            I totally understood flipping head to toe on the panel. In the proper orientation, the cables and weep holes would be downhill.

            flipped head to toe, they could be facing uphill, and the cable leads would funnel water into the inverter.
            Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              I totally understood flipping head to toe on the panel. In the proper orientation, the cables and weep holes would be downhill.

              flipped head to toe, they could be facing uphill, and the cable leads would funnel water into the inverter.
              I tried looking all around the inverter enclosure and dont see any weep holes anywhere. What do they look like on these guys so that I can check if there are weep holes on both ends?

              To confuse things further, with panels in "upright" orientation, where stickers on the back of the panel in readable proper orientation, the sticker on the Enphase microinverter is upside down. Flipping head to toe, microinverter sticker is now correct orientation but stickers on the back of the panel are upside down. Dont know if this means anything, but maybe it means that either way is ok to install?
              Last edited by Duxa; 02-18-2020, 02:28 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                There may not be weep holes, but you must attend to the cable feed-thru, and make sure they don't suck water in either.
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                Comment


                • #9
                  mounting 1 row upside down is fairly common practice, and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
                  And if you think about it, on a single axis tracker, it is going to be upside down half of the time regardless of which way you mount it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd call/e-mail Enphase, ask the question and request a written response. If a problem arises, at least you'll have something that may be helpful in a warranty claim.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by emartin00 View Post
                      mounting 1 row upside down is fairly common practice, and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
                      And if you think about it, on a single axis tracker, it is going to be upside down half of the time regardless of which way you mount it.
                      Not necessarily, as when the panels are on a N-S axis mount.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The earlier link made it clear that Enphase suggests that you mount the inverters with the bracket up. They even provided a picture to make it easier if up means something different to different people.
                        Last edited by Ampster; 02-18-2020, 12:33 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                          The earlier link made it clear that Enphase suggests that you mount the inverters with the bracket up. They even provided a picture to make it easier.
                          Yes, I saw that. You once again show your prowess at bringing attention to the obvious.

                          But the last time I checked, a suggestion was not a mandate.

                          Question: If the picture/info from Enphase is so clear, why was the question asked in the first place ? Duxa seemed confused enough to ask the question and there seems, to me at least, to be some divergence of opinion around here about what might happen with different mounting orientations or why things are made as they are.

                          A written confirmation from the mfg. might help to provide more information than what seems mostly conjecture about micro inverter mounting in this thread.

                          A written response from Enphase will also serve as confirmation of some due diligence about conforming to installation instructions and also of having given the mfg. a chance to clarify something.

                          Such confirmation might also be useful in case of a problem and a warranty claim with the confirmation verifying an attempt at due diligence on the part of the user and also perhaps leading to a smaller chance of having a warranty claim being challenged or denied by the mfg.

                          Besides, where's the problem with asking a question about installation from the mfg. ?
                          Who better to ask ?
                          Where is the highest probability of the most authoritative answer to be found ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A picture is worth a thousand words for some people. No problem asking a question for those that don't don't look at the instructions or otherwise prefer to communicate with Enphase support.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ampster View Post
                              No problem asking a question for those that don't don't look at the instructions or otherwise prefer to communicate with Enphase support.
                              And a problem for everyone else ?

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