Enphase Micro Inverter Installation - Roof Mount

Ground Mount Version - Roof Mount - Tilt-leg Roof Mount

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Micro Inverters Rule the Entry Level System Category

Enphase has found a great niche in the small DIY system market. The Enphase Micro Inverter can be as little as one Inverter and as large as 100s of them.

This customer had an old 1200W Backup System that was in the house when he bought it. He did not want to replace the batteries (and manage that maintenance issue) so he chose to just reuse the existing PV Modules with new Enphase Inverters, saving a substantial portion of the cost as compared to a new system.

We used the Enphase M190 Inverter. We wired these 12 each 100W Monocrystalline Modules in series, two at each inverter. The 17Vmp x 2 matches perfectly with the 30+ Vmp recommended for the Enphase M190. The customer can still expand his system with 200W panels from a different company. That is one of great advantages of the Enphase System!

Below is the step by step process for a basic installation. Other Mounting methods include Pole Mount, Ground Mount and others...


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Safety First

 


Left Image: We mount Roof Jacks on the edge and added 2x6s to prevent the ground from a fast approach... it is not fall that gets you, it is the sudden landing
Center Image:
It might be difficult to see in the photo without clicking on it to enlarge, but the next step is to lay out and mount the feet that hold the racking system in place. We used 12 anchors in this case. The actual layout, roof structure and module orientation determine the location and quantity of attachment points.

Good support is worth it.

Next, we mounted the rail to the feet... These are Unirac SolarMount Standard rails. Unirac also makes light rail and HD Rail. There are also several other rail/racking companies that also make excellent products. Most have code compliant installation and design guides that make it easier to figure what you need.


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The Good Stuff

Then, we mount the inverters to the rails. This is the standard method. I also like to mount all the inverters at the bottom (or other logical point for easy troubleshooting).


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Almost there.

 


Left Image: First four PV Modules in Place
Center Image:  Second four!, Keep on truckin'...
Right Image: Last Four!

More Details

Connect the 240VAC from the Lockable Disconnect and 15A breaker in the customer's circuit breaker box to the first Enphase Inverter via the Enphase AC Kit.

I like to use this newly discovered SolaDeck Junction Box. It looks just like a vent, but has room for a few DIN RAIL Breakers or in this case, some terminals.

(P.S. I forgot to photograph that disconnect!)


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Details

Tada! All mounted and wired!!


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Details

Next, connect the Enphase Envoy, a data collection tool. This box communicates to all the inverters via the power-cord between the Envoy and the inverters. It collects energy harvest data as well as diagnostic information. This Envoy is the new oval shaped plastic box. The old unit was built like a tank (pictured as well...)


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Details

Finally, the best part. Envoy also talks to the Enlighten website (for a small annual fee).

This software will display energy harvest over time for each inverter, has cool movies of the days sun path and will alert you when it knows something is not right (or thinks so based on the data trends).

You can also share the web link with your friends or check up on your system while at work, errr, I mean not at home!


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Updated: July 02, 2010