My first install, questions thread.

jaggedben

Senior Member
Good ideas. You'll need to wait at least 5 minutes, probably 10-15, between each panel to use the monitoring to determine the locations. Use a piece of cardboard that covers each long row of cells, that's all you need.
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
Good ideas. You'll need to wait at least 5 minutes, probably 10-15, between each panel to use the monitoring to determine the locations. Use a piece of cardboard that covers each long row of cells, that's all you need.

Let me ask you this,

If I only connect one string at first, could I then make a list of ser numbers on that string and then I could 2 modules at a time, one on each string?
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Let me ask you this,

If I only connect one string at first, could I then make a list of ser numbers on that string and then I could 2 modules at a time, one on each string?
Connecting one string first would certainly help you narrow things down, as long as you remember how you arranged the string wiring on the arrays. I don't understand the second idea you have.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
If you can easily cover an arbitrary subset of your panels, you can determine the serial numbers for n panels in ceiling(log[sub]2[/sub]n) measurements, rather than n measurements.

For example, with 8 panels (labelled 0 through 7), just 3 measurements:

A) Cover panels 0, 1, 2 ,3
B) Cover panels 0, 1, 4, 5
C) Cover panels 0, 2, 4, 6

Then each panel's pattern of coverage/noncoverage for the 3 measurements is unique, so you can assign the serial number with the same pattern of coverage/noncoverage to that panel.

Of course, covering an arbitrary subset of your panels may be difficult, so it may be easier to cover fewer panels each time and do more measurements.

Cheers, Wayne
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Sheesh Wayne, if I were doing this I would have to consider whether it would take me more time to work through the logic than to just cover one panel at a time. :lol:

In seriousness, I suppose it would depend on the details of the size and number of arrays and how many panels were identifiable by other means.

five.five.six, I would probably suggest in this order:

1) camera, selfie stick. (You might be able to get the numbers on the top of the optimizers this way. There are labels on both top and bottom.)
2) safely disconnect one string
3) temporary covering

Between 1 and 2, depending on your luck, you might be able to narrow it down to where only a minority are 'faked'.

The most important thing would be to keep careful notes throughout. ;)
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
Sheesh Wayne, if I were doing this I would have to consider whether it would take me more time to work through the logic than to just cover one panel at a time. :lol:
Yeah, the 5-15 minutes wait time per measurement made it seem like it was worth minimizing the number of measurements. And I have strong preference for thinking over labor, so I may overthink things. :)

Cheers, Wayne
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
Sheesh Wayne, if I were doing this I would have to consider whether it would take me more time to work through the logic than to just cover one panel at a time. :lol:

In seriousness, I suppose it would depend on the details of the size and number of arrays and how many panels were identifiable by other means.

five.five.six, I would probably suggest in this order:

1) camera, selfie stick. (You might be able to get the numbers on the top of the optimizers this way. There are labels on both top and bottom.)
2) safely disconnect one string
3) temporary covering

Between 1 and 2, depending on your luck, you might be able to narrow it down to where only a minority are 'faked'.

The most important thing would be to keep careful notes throughout. ;)
I had thought about the selfi stick and I could get almost all of them and they are facing heat sink up but I think the serial number is stuck to the mounting bracket which is clamped to rail.


Trust me, I won’t make this mistake again. I did draw a map before I connected the modules so I do know which is which. I have 2 strings of 13 so, it’s a bit of work at 15 min each.
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
Depending on the rail you used, it may be possible to stick a cell phone under the array and get pics of some of the optimizer serial numbers on the bottom of the mounting bracket. That is for optimizers mounted near enough to the edge of the array.

Otherwise, you can just fake your way through the array map and as long as you are the one doing any servicing it won't really matter. Later on if/when you have to pull up panels to find a bad optimizer you can take that opportunity to correct relevant portions of the map.

Don't ask me how I know these things. :slaphead:


Soooo....

I ended up doing it a little different. Turns out if you are on the same WiFi as the SolarEdge inverter is on, you can just put the inverter’s IP in your browser and navigate:

maintenance > diagnostics > optimizer status

There you get a list of all your optimizers. They update every 3-5 minutes.

Turns out that you don’t have to shade the module much at all to see a huge dip in output.

I did 8 of them in about an hour. Not great but much better than lifting all the mods
 

PWDickerson

Senior Member
Location
Clinton, WA
We have had a couple installs where the crew misplaced the optimizer map. On one of them, there was some shading from a tree in the late afternoon. I was able to figure out where all the optimizers were located by looking at how the shadow moved across the array. If one didn't have any shading on their array, I suppose one could erect a pole in the yard to create a shadow that sweeps across the array. Might be more trouble than it's worth.
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
I’d like to thank everybody that helped. I got my final on Wednesday, inspection lasted 3 minutes max. Inspector took one look behind the dead-front and signed the card. I uploaded an image if the jobcard to SCE and had my permission to generate about 12 hrs later.

I still haven’t figured out how to setup solar edge monitoring but I’ll hit their help section.

Thanks again!
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
Actually, I am pulling my freaking hair out setting up the monitoring for the site. Not only have I failed miserably at finding any sort of support documentation as to how to apply the specific site to the monitoring platform on the SolarEdge server, their server is so freaking slow AF I don’t see how I could ever subject a customer to this sort of torture and still sleep at night.

At this point, I am seriously considering ripping it and the optomizers out, throwing them in an E-waste bin and spending $3k + 30 hours to replace it all with any product that doesn’t make me want to punch a hole in the wall.
 

jaggedben

Senior Member
Actually, I am pulling my freaking hair out setting up the monitoring for the site. Not only have I failed miserably at finding any sort of support documentation as to how to apply the specific site to the monitoring platform on the SolarEdge server, their server is so freaking slow AF I don’t see how I could ever subject a customer to this sort of torture and still sleep at night.

At this point, I am seriously considering ripping it and the optomizers out, throwing them in an E-waste bin and spending $3k + 30 hours to replace it all with any product that doesn’t make me want to punch a hole in the wall.
Lol. SolarEdge.

You need to register as an installer and then login at monitoring.solaredge.com. Then look for Create New Site on the home screen.
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
Lol. SolarEdge.

You need to register as an installer and then login at monitoring.solaredge.com. Then look for Create New Site on the home screen.
I am a registered installer

but I can’t seem to figure out how to apply the serial numbers and map from SiteMapper app to the monitoring platform SE hosts

I’ll admit that I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I’m not so dumb that this should be difficult.
 
You mean clouds shading your solar panels or getting your monitoring data through the cloud? :lol:
I was wondering the same thing! One thing many people don't realize is how much energy you get even when its cloudy (unless its really really dark and cloudy of course). I am usually pleasantly surprised when I see how much I am still making without direct sun.
 

five.five-six

Senior Member
Location
california
You mean clouds shading your solar panels or getting your monitoring data through the cloud? :lol:

Both? LOL

I don’t hate clouds but when I first got my system, I was checking in on it like a teenager fallows twitter LOL.

Made 1.03MWH my first full month and have started my 2nd install.


It’s going to be rough making this profitable. It seem there are a lot of companies that flourished while the rebates and incentives made the PV sector flush with profit an now many of them are struggling just to stay in business. Other pricing seems to be a race to the bottom.

I’ll try to differentiate myself through superior instillation and quality.


my inspection lasted all of about 3 minutes before my card was signed.

Then I chewed the inspectors ear of for 20 min. Seems the quality of installations has taken a nose dive. He said that several of the bigger companies were actually removing tile roof where the arrays wer installed and replacing them with composite instead of hiring installers who would do a decent job.
 
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