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  • Mixing SolarEdge and Enphase

    I have 4 year old SolarEdge inverters (SE6000 with 21 SolarWorld 280W panels and SE3800 with 14 SolarPanels)
    While total capacity is 9800, I don't think I ever produced more than 8000 combined (there are two tilts on roof, the larger array is tilted steeper 30 degrees+, smaller is "summer friendly" (about 10 degrees))
    Up until about a year ago, my annual power purchases were fairly low (e,g, selling back/banking in summer and using some in fall) with only a few 200 bills around winter, but since we did an addition it seems like it's been acting as a heat sink and our power consumption increased significantly (estimated 50%+)
    Since SolarEdge can be oversized, I initially thought of adding 6 on shed to 6000 and was thinking on how to take advantage of room for 4 more on 3800

    However, now I am thinking of adding as many as 22 (would like to build a solar carport, plus still put a couple on a shed)

    Since I had single digit gaps in what I thought I wanted vs what SolarEdge would theoretically support (e.g. they may have only theoretical room for 10, but It would have worked better if I added 12 or 16) I thought of considering Enphase or similar for "filling the gap"... I did not yet research what would adding mean to wiring (one way or another, I assumed I could wire them to DC solar shutoff outside)

    Probably the proper dependencies for my project should be something like
    1) insulate addition better (currently it's a cement block box.. not heated other than a small room which has concrete floor connected to rest of "box" walls in room are R15+ insulated)
    2) change my workloads (plans to replace water heater plus adding a mini-split for new space)
    3) review loads again (and I bought an eGuage energy monitor off ebay to experiment with)
    4) decide on how many panels I need moving fwd
    5) design the system to the needs

    So obviously I am far from #5, but wanted to know if there are any pros/cons in mixing the two, other than monitoring challenge, an installing an additional shutoff.

    I do have a combiner box for SolarEdge outputs before it goes into main breaker (and grid), so I was going to consider plugging Enphase output into 3rd (available) breaker.
    Alternatively, I could just add a whole new SolarEdge (another 6000 model), which probably makes sense if I end up with an array of around 20 panels

    I also had plans to add AC Coupling based on another thread (https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...d-system/page3) for flexibility.

    I am considering a DIY, as most of the work would be outside and not on my house, but would likely consult/hire electrician to do some of the finer work. Wanted to consult here first.

    Thanks Forum,
    Last edited by NetComrade; 04-13-2019, 06:41 AM.

  • #2
    What about moving the SE3800 to control the 20 panels and use the SE6000 for your new car port.....then purchase a new small inverter to power the 14 panel cluster. Could cut some cost and minimize wiring.

    Do you have direct inverter monitoring to verify the loads on the inverters?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NewBostonConst View Post
      What about moving the SE3800 to control the 20 panels and use the SE6000 for your new car port.....then purchase a new small inverter to power the 14 panel cluster. Could cut some cost and minimize wiring.

      Do you have direct inverter monitoring to verify the loads on the inverters?
      That is good thinking...

      So, I believe, you're expecting that my steep 21panel array never generates more power that 3800 couldn't handle (with minimal lipping), and only way to verify that would be to monitor system on an inverter level.
      I did not find any way to dig into output on solaredge site (other than per panel, and historical data seems to be limited)
      You're giving me an incentive to play with eGuage earlier rather than later (peak solar months are just around the corner)

      I think (once verified) the potential complication of moving things around would be I'd need to get "legacy" optimizers (not sure if new ones would be compabible with older inverter),, but that could be a good thing (e.g. ebay price) at minor loss of efficiency
      Last edited by NetComrade; 04-12-2019, 12:33 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        You have 35 panels so the 21 panel array is 60% of your total. So if you have only seen 8000 max then 60% of that is 4800. The 14 panel array would be the other 40% and 40% of the 8000 is 3200. So the 14 panel array seems closer to being designed correct.

        This might not work as good as I thought because both arrays never run at peak at the same time. But it is all a cost thing. If you are really stretching to afford the car port this might work.

        You could also keep the small array the way it is and just buy an inverter to run the 21 panel array.

        So many options....good luck...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NetComrade View Post

          That is good thinking...

          So, I believe, you're expecting that my steep 21panel array never generates more power that 3800 couldn't handle (with minimal lipping), and only way to verify that would be to monitor system on an inverter level.
          I did not find any way to dig into output on solaredge site (other than per panel, and historical data seems to be limited)
          You're giving me an incentive to play with eGuage earlier rather than later (peak solar months are just around the corner)

          I think (once verified) the potential complication of moving things around would be I'd need to get "legacy" optimizers (not sure if new ones would be compabible with older inverter),, but that could be a good thing (e.g. ebay price) at minor loss of efficiency
          if you have full owner access then go into charts section. select the inverter, and then AC power. You should get a nice graph of the inverters output. The data goes all the way back to when monitoring was set up.

          New optimizers are compatible with the older inverters but some are NOT compatible with each other.
          https://www.solaredge.com/sites/defa...imizers_na.pdf
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

            if you have full owner access then go into charts section. select the inverter, and then AC power. You should get a nice graph of the inverters output. The data goes all the way back to when monitoring was set up.

            New optimizers are compatible with the older inverters but some are NOT compatible with each other.
            https://www.solaredge.com/sites/defa...imizers_na.pdf
            Thanks for info and compability link.
            I am guessing I don't have "full owner access". I don't see a charts section. The top level menu items are "Dashboard" and 'Layout"
            I'll see if I can request that

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NetComrade View Post

              Thanks for info and compability link.
              I am guessing I don't have "full owner access". I don't see a charts section. The top level menu items are "Dashboard" and 'Layout"
              I'll see if I can request that
              you should at least have charts and reports. tabs.
              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NetComrade View Post
                .....

                I also had plans to add AC Coupling based on another thread (https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...d-system/page3) for flexibility.

                ......,
                What are you hoping to accomplish with AC coupling? Are you thinking of adding batteries? That may determine the type of inverter you add.

                Comment


                • #9
                  21 * 280 = 5.88 kW

                  14 * 280? = 3.92 kW


                  Solar Edge inverters seem not to like being much undersized ,
                  since they deploy optimizers .


                  These optimizers are just for a range of probably 8 minimum to
                  25 maximum in pieces .

                  And then there is the maximum Power for each string : ~5 kW something .


                  With 280 Watt-panels , the maximum Power allowed to each string could be
                  limited to less than 20 panels .
                  Last edited by Yet another Yeti; 04-15-2019, 09:16 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Personally I would just replace the old SE3800 with a new SE7600H. That would allow you to at least double the number of panels on that inverter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                      you should at least have charts and reports. tabs.
                      I got the charts, but doesn't seem to be good for anything older than a few weeks. I suspect they average older data (e.g. google RRDtool) which skews the data significantly over time.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This -- "Personally I would just replace the old SE3800 with a new SE7600H. That would allow you to at least double the number of panels on that inverter."

                        Assuming you have a line side tap (or a high amperage breaker panel), and assuming your carport will be proximal to the house, just ditch the 3800 and and replace it with a new, larger HD series unit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NetComrade View Post

                          I got the charts, but doesn't seem to be good for anything older than a few weeks. I suspect they average older data (e.g. google RRDtool) which skews the data significantly over time.
                          No you can get graphs for older data on other systems. the longer the window you are trying to graph the less details it shows.
                          Charts.jpg


                          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                            No you can get graphs for older data on other systems. the longer the window you are trying to graph the less details it shows.


                            OK, I was able to zoom into 7/7/18, which seemed like a perfect sunny day. Peak is 3K and 4.4K (7.4K total)
                            Interesting, I would have expected the nearly flat roof (smaller) array to produce closer to 3.92K of panels it has on it at peak. Roof is no more than 10-15 degrees off south (a bit to the west)
                            Last edited by NetComrade; 04-17-2019, 03:56 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NetComrade View Post

                              OK, I was able to zoom into 7/7/18, which seemed like a perfect sunny day. Peak is 3K and 4.4K (7.4K total)
                              Interesting, I would have expected the nearly flat roof (smaller) array to produce closer to 3.92K of panels it has on it at peak. Roof is no more than 10-15 degrees off south (a bit to the west)
                              Unless you are near the equator, a nearly flat roof isn't ideal for solar.
                              So it looks like you have plenty of capacity to add panels to the SE6000. And I stand by my recommendation to replace the 3800 with a new 6000 if you want the extra panels.

                              Comment

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