Alan Ha's posts

Posted by Alan Ha on Aug 21, 2010 12:43 am

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Looking for opinions on Enphase Inverters
My biggest complaint is that they charge $2 per inverter per year to see the output of the inverters.  I have 21 inverters, so $42 per year, and the system only generates $500 per your in electricity per year.  That's almost 10% per year just to see the output.

I tried to search their web site to find out what they charge before I bought the things, but they had no info on what they charge.  It was only until after I had installed the inverters that Enphase called me to register the inverter interface, and only after I asked what they charge did I get an answer.  Unfortunately, with these inverters installed under the panels on my 2 story house, it would be very difficult to change inverter manufactures.  So now if I want to know the output, I have to pay them $42 per year!

This was exactly my concern.  However, I don't think you are correct. If you look through their FAQ data you'll find a note about monitoring without their service.  You can, in fact get the data about the cells, on cursory checks.  Now, I cheat a little because I program for a living at a major software vendor, but I am actually thinking of making a system that monitors the Enphase locally if I decide to go down the Enphase route (I haven't even committed to solar yet).

Personally, data exposure is mandatory for me.  If, after I research further, I find I cannot adequately get the data then there is absolutely no way I will by the product.  I detest those "lock-in" tactics and will go to a traditional inverter if need be.  I agree... 10% of the money you generate going to monitoring is excessive!

http://www.enphaseenergy.com/support/faqs.cfm

Will the Enphase system work without implementing Enlighten? What data is available if I don't connect my Envoy to the Ethernet?
    Usage of the Enlighten web monitoring is highly recommended for all Enphase Energy Microinverter System installations. However, if there is no internet access at the installation site, it is still possible to communicate directly with the Envoy using the Ethernet port and a personal computer with a web browser. Instructions for how to connect are available in the Envoy user manual (available off the Downloads page) and you can view an extract of the manual to see what level of data is available via the local interface.
 

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