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Any 3rd-party software that will work with SunPower's PVS6?

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  • dh_bressler
    replied
    I was looking @ my iPhone and saw that the PVS6 was available as a Bluetooth connection. I selected it and it connected. Anyone know anything about what can be done via Bluetooth?

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  • bklynjim
    replied
    Thanks. I'll ask my dealer if they can arrange them so I can see them all in a quick glance.

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  • Tofupups
    replied
    Originally posted by bklynjim View Post
    Hi All,
    Just installed 14 360w panels and I'm able to see individual panel production using the Sunpower partner link but I can't figure out how to display the panels in an array. Currently all 14 are in the same position on top of each other. Can I move them somehow? Maybe it's an installer setup option?
    Thanks for the help.
    When I logged in mine were already separated into an array. I didn't see any way to reorganize it either .

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  • bklynjim
    replied
    Hi All,
    Just installed 14 360w panels and I'm able to see individual panel production using the Sunpower partner link but I can't figure out how to display the panels in an array. Currently all 14 are in the same position on top of each other. Can I move them somehow? Maybe it's an installer setup option?
    Thanks for the help.

    Leave a comment:


  • Han Soloman
    replied
    Originally posted by Tofupups View Post

    Yes sure. sorry just now getting back to you. here are a few screenshots. and I assumed I had enphase microinverters just labeled as Sunpower. I am not really sure. My panels are model SPR-E20-327-E-AC . But using this monitoring software it is showing me all the serial numbers for my microinverters and my meter, I have PVS6M, and the microinverters all have a serial number like this E0012185200693
    Thank you!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tofupups
    replied
    Originally posted by Han Soloman View Post

    Tofupups, would you mind posting a few screen shots? Are you sure you have the Enphase Microinverters?
    Yes sure. sorry just now getting back to you. here are a few screenshots. and I assumed I had enphase microinverters just labeled as Sunpower. I am not really sure. My panels are model SPR-E20-327-E-AC . But using this monitoring software it is showing me all the serial numbers for my microinverters and my meter, I have PVS6M, and the microinverters all have a serial number like this E0012185200693
    20190906_175546_resized.jpg20190906_175558_resized.jpg
    Last edited by Tofupups; 09-06-2019, 07:25 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Han Soloman
    replied
    Originally posted by Tofupups View Post
    I recently got Sunpower installed this spring and I think I have that same PVS6 system.
    somewhere I found this link where you can see how much each seperate panel is producing. The website uses Flash so you have to make sure to enable it in your browser. Hope this helps you see what you are trying to.
    https://www.sunpowermonitor.com/partner/
    Tofupups, would you mind posting a few screen shots? Are you sure you have the Enphase Microinverters?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tofupups
    replied
    I recently got Sunpower installed this spring and I think I have that same PVS6 system.
    somewhere I found this link where you can see how much each seperate panel is producing. The website uses Flash so you have to make sure to enable it in your browser. Hope this helps you see what you are trying to.
    https://www.sunpowermonitor.com/partner/

    Leave a comment:


  • Han Soloman
    replied
    Anyone have any success mating an Envoy with the sunpower enphase inverters?

    Leave a comment:


  • Texian
    replied
    I also just recently had an ~8kW system installed with X21-350-BLK-AC panels, Enphase IQ7X micro-inverters, and the SunPower PVS6 monitoring system (inverter part number is IQ7XS-96-ACM-US). The Enphase inverters communicate to the PVS6 using a technique called Power Line Communication (PLC) which implements a higher frequency overlay signal and digital communication protocol over the 240 VAC power lines. I think this is using a narrowband PLC technique at a 144 kHz center frequency, but I can't be sure without knowing what chipset the PLC controller is using (maybe Texas Instruments or Maxim). I think the PVS6 combined with the Enphase inverters is still somewhat new, as my system required a number of PVS6 firmware upgrades and technical support from the SunPower to the installer over a number of weeks to achieve functionality. The Enphase inverters may use the same PLC protocol as the older SunPower inverters, so getting them to work with the PVS6 may not have required much effort on SunPower's part. Does anyone have a high resolution photograph of the power line interface circuit board of the PVS6 system showing the part numbers of the individual chips? If not, I may have to disassemble the enclosure of my unit to figure out what components are used for the PLC function. The IQ7 inverters likely use the same or similar parts.

    As for not being able to monitor individual panels, I think this is a restriction from either SunPower and/or Enphase probably for one of two reasons: 1) The PCL communications and/or PVS6 software may not be entirely reliable, so they may be trying to hide this from the consumer; 2) Not allowing the end user to see the per-panel statistics forces the consumer to seek help from the original installer or another SunPower dealer for any future repairs or diagnostics, which they likely consider a significant form of future revenue. I think the "overly fussy" customer idea is just an excuse for the real reason to deny access to per-panel monitoring. Even more disturbing, the "cloud based" PVS6 monitoring system allows SunPower (or potentially someone else...) to load new firmware to the PVS6 and/or the IQ7 inverters at any time, even without informing the customer. It wouldn't surprise me to hear of solar systems becoming "bricked" at some point in the future due to some sort of inadvertent back-door access or security flaw. It appears that the PVS6 runs a variant of embedded linux, and without having the ability to hardware-disable the "cloud access" functions, we have to rely on the quality of SunPower's software for security. Based on my experience so far with their software and product maturity, this does not inspire confidence. There has already been an effective ban on Huawei inverters in the US exactly for this reason. Image your home power usage being closely monitored, or new firmware being upgraded remotely to limit functionality, except now the "cloud" server is located in communist China and some CCP party bureaucrat is deciding what to do with your system based on you internet social credit score, even though you reside in Texas...

    In any case, I am going to try to continue to investigate the PLC interface to obtain per-panel status and diagnostics data. I will be looking at both the power line interface, and also the additional installer/maintenance ethernet port on the PVS6 to see if there is a way to monitor the data (maybe with a dedicated Raspberry Pi connected). I have read a few blogs of someone getting access through the maintenance port on an older PVS5, so maybe this is still possible on the new PVS6 model. Please let me know if anyone else is attempting to do the same thing and is interested on sharing lessons learned.

    Leave a comment:


  • lfrussell
    replied
    "I don't see how they can be "hiding" information if it doesn't exist anywhere. If there are no connections between each and every IQ7 inverter AND your PVS6, how in the world is the PVS6 going to get the "per panel" info????"

    I am not conversant with the specifics of how the information is acquired by the PVS6 from the iQ7s, but it's happening. This is how SunPower is getting data to display power generation metrics for the entirety of the solar array to consumers (i.e., "me"). Also, the installer has acknowledged that they do have access to the per-panel information, but cannot share this with me without exposing the information on all their other SunPower installs.

    "SunPower is just blowing smoke in their response to you re: 2014. What they are saying is that they didn't like all of the customer questions / complaints from informed consumers (-:"

    I agree, there's a lot-o'-smoke there. For-what-it's-worth, I also can see "some truth" in SunPower's concern about consumers getting "overly fussy" about performance numbers that could be easily assigned to things like location-on-roof, shading, etc. But, if Enphase and SolarEdge can manage this situation, well...

    "I suspect you can just use the Envoy in parallel. There should be no need for installation. Just plug it into your AC and Ethernet. Now getting you're system registered in the Envoy web portal with Enphase may be another matter."

    I'm hoping that this is the case. I have the installer looking into the feasibility, although I do have some concern that SunPower may try to quash their associates from installing Envoys with their Enphase-equipped panels.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSchnee21
    replied
    Well, the IQ micros "communicate" with the Envoy over proprietary higher frequency RF whose data stream is encoded onto the AC power line output sine wave. So there is no physical connection between the micros and the Envoy per se other than that the share the same AC power line (and are connected through the breaker panel). SolarEdge does something similar on the DC line which gives them a more direct and somewhat cleaner connection between the Optimizers and the Inverter.

    I suspect you can just use the Envoy in parallel. There should be no need for installation. Just plug it into your AC and Ethernet. Now getting you're system registered in the Envoy web portal with Enphase may be another matter.

    SunPower is just blowing smoke in their response to you re: 2014. What they are saying is that they didn't like all of the customer questions / complaints from informed consumers (-:

    Leave a comment:


  • NochiLife
    replied
    [USER="55839"]lfrussell[/USER] I don't see how they can be "hiding" information if it doesn't exist anywhere. If there are no connections between each and every IQ7 inverter AND your PVS6, how in the world is the PVS6 going to get the "per panel" info????

    From the spec sheet, I do see that it has two current sense transformer inputs to measure output power, but that in no way gives details for anything other than the total output.
    Last edited by NochiLife; 07-18-2019, 08:39 PM. Reason: add blurb about current sense transformers.

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  • lfrussell
    replied
    "Turn it off and use an Envoy instead? Or does SunPower require the PVS6 data for warranty purposes? You may be able to use both in parallel."

    Considering that. Just don't feel like shelling out another $600 for an Envoy and then installation costs.

    "That being said, I took a look online at the PVS6's installation manual, and I don't see where it has any ability to interface to Enphase IQ7 micro inverters. For that matter, the IQ7s REQUIRE the Envoy for readout info (which should be able to give per-panel numbers)."

    Yeah, the Enphase micro inverters on the SunPower panels is fairly new. The installer actually started to sell me the X22-370-D-AC, which still has a SunPower micro inverter. The 'E' series has a "SunPower" brand on it, but the model is IQ7 (I did not want to install panels unless they had the Enphase unit). With that said, these panels are working with the PVS6, it's just that SunPower is actually hiding the per-panel information.

    From a chat session with SunPower...

    "We retired inverter level monitoring in 2014 because we determined, after lengthy evaluation, that feature offers more information than is necessary to monitor ongoing system performance, but not enough information to help identify problems (on the rare occasions when they do occur). We also had concerns about the feature's design, in part due to negative feedback from customers."

    However, they still provide this information to partners/installers? Which means they have to maintain two separate sites (maybe minimal overhead, but still?).

    Putting in a parallel monitoring capability with the Envoy may be "unavoidable" if I really want to see how each panel is performing.

    Leave a comment:


  • NochiLife
    replied
    I'm not at all familiar with this system, but I'm no stranger to hacking things to do what I paid for them to do . That being said, I took a look online at the PVS6's installation manual, and I don't see where it has any ability to interface to Enphase IQ7 micro inverters. For that matter, the IQ7s REQUIRE the Envoy for readout info (which should be able to give per-panel numbers).
    As far as the PVS6, the only inverters mentioned in it's manual are the SMA US-22 and US-40, neither of which will be able to give you per-panel info. While I don't know your system setup, I'm reasonably certain that there is no connection between the IQ7s and the PVS6.

    Further down on the second page of the PVS6's manual, they show you how to connect the PVS6 to a laptop/computer via Ethernet cable, and log into it directly. But it's extremely unlikely that the info will be there. (Make that completely unlikely...)

    Leave a comment:

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