ltbighorn
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Delivery Date: 08 Nov 2015
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:01 am

RegGuheert wrote:
ltbighorn wrote:As an side, it seems Enphase has started making Envoys only report 15-minute interval failures, down from 5-minute, as a cost saving measure. This results in stair-stepping on the Enphase graphs (and anything that pulls from their API). Very annoying. In order to get 5-minute data back I've had to switch pvoutput from API polling to pushes from my local server polling the Envoy-S. Seems silly. If they want to cost save, they should just reduce the >30 day 5-minute interval data down to 15-minutes. Tiny savings either way, but the storage cost of the long-term data is going to way outsize the last couple weeks of data.
Perhaps I am not understanding what you are saying by "only report 15-minute interval failures, down from 5-minute" as all my data is still available in 5-minute intervals.


Hmm "failures" must have been a cut and paste error. Enphase has been transitioning customer Envoys to only report at 15-minute intervals, reduced from the previous 5-minute intervals. It seems to be a gradual rollout, as different people get converted at different times. I was about 1-2 months after the first user reports I saw, and I've seen others report being switched 4-6 weeks after I was.

A couple users have reported getting Enphase Support to switch them back (I had zero luck with that), but at least some of those have reported that it only lasted a short while and they were converted by to 15-minute reporting intervals again within a few weeks.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:59 am

ltbighorn wrote:Enphase has been transitioning customer Envoys to only report at 15-minute intervals, reduced from the previous 5-minute intervals. It seems to be a gradual rollout, as different people get converted at different times. I was about 1-2 months after the first user reports I saw, and I've seen others report being switched 4-6 weeks after I was.

A couple users have reported getting Enphase Support to switch them back (I had zero luck with that), but at least some of those have reported that it only lasted a short while and they were converted by to 15-minute reporting intervals again within a few weeks.
Thanks! That makes sense. Perhaps its time for me to unplug my Envoy from the internet. Of course I'll need it fairly soon to commission the new M250s.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

ltbighorn
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:24 am
Delivery Date: 08 Nov 2015
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:29 pm

RegGuheert wrote:Thanks! That makes sense. Perhaps its time for me to unplug my Envoy from the internet. Of course I'll need it fairly soon to commission the new M250s.


If you don't have your own separate metering (or Envoy-S CT-based metering) and get your data by polling the Envoy's 5-minute (soon to be 15-minute) values, and don't care about the Enlighten/API values, then yeah, that might make sense.

Since I have an Envoy-S w/CT metering, I at least have an alternative post-update (note: the firmware version did not change, no outward sign of any updates) way of getting the 5-minute data I want, otherwise I'd be much more upset.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:30 am

ltbighorn wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:Thanks! That makes sense. Perhaps its time for me to unplug my Envoy from the internet. Of course I'll need it fairly soon to commission the new M250s.
If you don't have your own separate metering (or Envoy-S CT-based metering) and get your data by polling the Envoy's 5-minute (soon to be 15-minute) values, and don't care about the Enlighten/API values, then yeah, that might make sense.

Since I have an Envoy-S w/CT metering, I at least have an alternative post-update (note: the firmware version did not change, no outward sign of any updates) way of getting the 5-minute data I want, otherwise I'd be much more upset.
I decided to not disconnect the cable from the internet because that would prevent me from accessing the Envoy through the web interface. Instead, I used my router to block the Envoy from making outgoing connections through the router. This looks just like the internet is down to the Envoy since it cannot tunnel into the mothership. (FWIW, I unblocked UDP port 53 so it could FIND Enphase, but it then is blocking TCP port 443 (https).)

Hopefully this will allow the Envoy to continue to collect data from the inverters every five minutes. I'm thinking I might be able to upload data intermittently without getting the setting change. But what I don't know is whether the servers just wait for the Envoy to connect and then immediately provide the new settings.

Thanks for the heads up on this, guys. We'll see what happens...
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:25 am

RegGuheert wrote:In spite of the fact that I have experienced one failure of a fourth-generation inverter in the past year and zero failures of the third-generation M190s, I decided to fully divest myself of M190s. I just purchased 12 new 72-cell M250s on eBay for $90 each shipped. This is the cheapest price I have ever paid for ANY Enphase inverters, new or used. These new inverters will replace the 12 M190s that are each connected to pairs of 72-cell, 120W PV modules in the field.

With this change, I expect to see a marginal increase in production in the wintertime since the old inverters spent much of their time saturated at 199W during the cold weather. The bigger benefit of this upgrade is the extension of the warranty period from ending at the close of 2025 to ending in 2042. The field array currently produces about $400-worth of electricity each year. I expect that in 2026, that amount of electricity will be worth about $600, if not more. In 2042, I expect that amount of electricity will be worth at least $800. As such, I expect today's $1080 investment to return about $12,000 between the years 2026 and 2042. If they last longer than that or if electricity gets more expensive than that, it will just be more gravy.
The 12 new M250-72s arrived in great condition in their original packaging on Saturday. The date codes on these inverters are very recent: Week 25 of 2017.

Given the recent date codes and the fact that I purchased these units to extend my warranty coverage on the field array, it makes no sense for me to install them right now. The reason is that Enphase starts the warranty period on the earlier of the date of installation or four months after the product is shipped from their factory. So I will wait until at least late October to install these new units to ensure the warranty runs for as long as possible.

Who knows? Maybe I can even get another M190 failure or two before that time.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:26 am

RegGuheert wrote:The 12 new M250-72s arrived in great condition in their original packaging on Saturday. The date codes on these inverters are very recent: Week 25 of 2017.

Given the recent date codes and the fact that I purchased these units to extend my warranty coverage on the field array, it makes no sense for me to install them right now. The reason is that Enphase starts the warranty period on the earlier of the date of installation or four months after the product is shipped from their factory. So I will wait until at least late October to install these new units to ensure the warranty runs for as long as possible.

Who knows? Maybe I can even get another M190 failure or two before that time.
As I had indicated above, I have not yet installed any M250-72s due to the desire to extend their warranty as long as possible. But I have now upgraded the wiring on the field array to allow for the transition from M190s to M250-72s. Once I started working on the wiring, I realized that I can easily accommodate BOTH M190-style wiring AND Enphase Engage wiring. This arrangement allows me to install any arbitrary combination of third- or fourth-generation Enphase inverters on that array.

Given this newfound flexibility, I am now in a bit of a quandary. The M250-72s have a peak production capability which is 612 W higher than that of the M190s (3000 W versus 2388 W). Since the array is ideally pointed during the coldest months, this will mean some additional production when it is lowest. OTOH, the M190s do not limit their output power during the other half of the year. Since my preference would be to keep the hours OFF the M250-72s as much as possible AND I would also prefer to put as many hours on the M190s as possible, I am thinking it may be best to operate the M190s during the summertime between the Spring and Autumn equinoxes when I adjust the array pointing and operate the M250-72s during the other half of the year. The goal is to try to encourage as many M190 failures as possible (to get fourth-generation replacements as spares) while limiting M250-72 failures as much as possible.

I'll probably give this a try during 2018 and see how much of a PITA it turns out to be.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~36 Years M215: ~420 Years M250: >350 Years

Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:09 am

RegGuheert wrote:I just purchased 12 new 72-cell M250s on eBay for $90 each shipped.
I couldn't help myself: I picked up 12 more new 72-cell M250s over the weekend for $85 each shipped. (My wife asked when I intend to stop purchasing $1000 boxes of inverters. ;) ) I figured that since I have nine M250s on my roof with no warranty this would be good, cheap insurance through the end of 2042. I'll probably just keep these new ones in their box and use them only when/if I need to replace something. (I expect to see a little more production from the field array during the wintertime by replacing the old M190s with M250-72s, but I doubt there is any production benefit to be gained by replacing M215IGs with M250-72s.)

FWIW, my MTBF numbers now look like this:

Third-generation microinverters (originally 42 M190s now down to 39 after replacements): 41 years (six failures)
Fourth-generation microinverters (1- M190IG, 29 - M215IGs, 13 - M250s): 85 years (one failure)

I won't start accumulating MTBF data on the M250-72s until I install 12 of them in November.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:34 am

drees wrote:
ltbighorn wrote:As an side, it seems Enphase has started making Envoys only report 15-minute interval failures, down from 5-minute, as a cost saving measure. This results in stair-stepping on the Enphase graphs (and anything that pulls from their API). Very annoying. In order to get 5-minute data back I've had to switch pvoutput from API polling to pushes from my local server polling the Envoy-S. Seems silly. If they want to cost save, they should just reduce the >30 day 5-minute interval data down to 15-minutes. Tiny savings either way, but the storage cost of the long-term data is going to way outsize the last couple weeks of data.

Yes, that was my exact thoughts as well, and frankly, I'm pissed that they didn't properly notify customers when taking away the feature, especially when they don't provide a good way to get the data directly off the envoy.
I just wanted to follow up on this subject since I just upgraded to an Envoy-S over the weekend. What I see in the Installer Toolkit App is that the Envoy-S has a setting known as "Report Setting" which defaults to "Low-Bandwidth", but which can be easily switched to "Standard". The "More Info" provided in the Installer Toolkit App says this:
Enphase Installer Toolkit App wrote:This Envoy is set to standard reporting, which typically reports 5-minute interval data to Enlighten every 5 minutes during daylight hours. You may switch to low-bandwidth, which reports 15-minute interval data to Enlighten four times per day.
But then when I look at the settings for the new Envoy-S in Enlighten Manager, this is what I see:

Image

As you can see, it talks about "...at least every 15 minutes...", but that clearly is referring to the reporting interval, not the interval between data points since the "Low-Bandwidth" setting clearly provides data more often than four times each day.

What I see on Enlighten is that yesterday when the new Envoy-S was reporting in "Low-Bandwidth" mode, each inverter was updated every 15 minutes, but today each inverter is updated every 5 minutes since I switched to "Standard" "Report Setting". As such, it appears that if you an Envoy-S AND have access to Enlighten Manager or the Installer Toolkit, you can set it whichever way you prefer, at least for the time being.

BTW, kudos to Enphase for making it so that the Envoy-S can be added to a system without ever needing to call support. The Installer Toolkit makes things much more straightforward, even if there is NO internet connection available to the system. It updated the Envoy-S immediately from my iPad and then the Envoy-S has been spending its time over the past couple of days updating the firmware on my M250s and M215IGs. It appears that for whatever reason those updates were not happening with the old Envoy. I'm glad to see that since one of my M250s had failed to receive the previous updates that its siblings had received and was still running the original image which it had received in 2013. Now nine of the M250s (the oldest ones) are all at firmware v01.22.00 and some of the M215IGs appear to be getting updated with that version today. (It appears that it has uploaded the firmware, but that it will not request a reboot in the middle of the day while the sun it shining. We'll see what happens...)
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
Posts: 5590
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Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~38 Years M215: ~460 Years M250: >300 Years

Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:19 am

RegGuheert wrote:But then when I look at the settings for the new Envoy-S in Enlighten Manager, this is what I see:

Image

As you can see, it talks about "...at least every 15 minutes...", but that clearly is referring to the reporting interval, not the interval between data points since the "Low-Bandwidth" setting clearly provides data more often than four times each day.

What I see on Enlighten is that yesterday when the new Envoy-S was reporting in "Low-Bandwidth" mode, each inverter was updated every 15 minutes, but today each inverter is updated every 5 minutes since I switched to "Standard" "Report Setting". As such, it appears that if you an Envoy-S AND have access to Enlighten Manager or the Installer Toolkit, you can set it whichever way you prefer, at least for the time being.
OTOH, when I look at page 30 in the Envoy-S Manual, I see the following verbiage instead:
Envoy-S Manual page 30 wrote:Standard
Typically reports 5-minute interval data to Enlighten every 5 minutes during daylight hours.

Low-Bandwidth
Reports 15-minute interval data to Enlighten four times per day.
So it seems Enlighten has been updated to change the wording for the "Standard" "Report Setting".
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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RegGuheert
Posts: 5590
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Location: Northern VA

Re: Enphase field MTBF: M190: ~47 Years M215: ~670 Years M250: >150 Years

Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:02 am

pclifton on December 14, 2015 wrote:I do have two M190s that are producing about 10 percent less than the other inverters. I suspect it to be the inverter, I do have a couple of spares to swap in at some point.
RegGuheert wrote:Who knows? Maybe I can even get another M190 failure or two before that time.
I am about to swap in 12 of my new M250-72-2LL-S22 fourth-generation inverters for the 12 third-generation M190-72-240-S12s which are currently attached to the PV modules in the Field Array. The wiring is now in place to allow either third- or fourth-generation inverters to operate in this array, or both. This change will increase the DC breakdown voltage of the inverters from 56 V to 62 V and will increase the maximum output AC power rating from 199 W to 250 W. Most importantly, it will extend the warranty coverage for these inverters from the end of 2025 to the end of 2042.

Seven of those M190s have been limping along with several daily "Grid Gone" events each day, but they have still managed to produce nearly as much AC electricity as their properly-functioning neighbors. But one of them has only produced about 88% of its neighbors during the month of October, so I decided to call Enphase to see if I can get them to replace it with an M190-72-2LL-S22-IG before I pull the old units out of the system. But no dice. For some reason (and I don't know where I got the information) I thought the threshold for replacement was producing below 90% of a neighboring inverter. But the representative at Enphase informed me that the criterion is actually 80%, not 90%. Oh well. It's not a big deal, but I thought I would give it a try. Now I know what the correct threshold is.

At this point, I think I have enough equipment operating and in storage to keep the entire system operating until about 2050 or beyond. Time will tell.

To this end, I have made the following transactions over the past four years (all prices include shipping):
- Sold 4 M190s for $500.
- Sold 20 M190s for $1000.
- Sold some old Trace Engineering equipment for $2500.
- Purchased 12 M215-60-2LL-S22-IG with plastic cases for $1440. (This purchase was to add the field array to the system.)
- Purchased wiring equipment for the field array for $300. (For Field array.)
- Purchased 4 M250-60-2LL-S22 with metal cases for $508.
- Purchased 9 M250-60-2LL-S22 USED with plastic cases for $1000.
- Purchased 12 M215-60-2LL-S22-IG with plastic cases for $1116.
- Purchased 5 M215-60-2LL-S22-IG with metal cases for $460.
- Purchased Engage cabling and accessories for the House and Garage Arrays for $900.
- Purchased 24 M250-72-2LL-S22 inverters for $2080.
- Purchased a spare Envoy (pill-shaped) for $250.
- Purchased an Envoy-S for $249.
- Purchased on Envoy-S Metered for $192.
- Purchased Engage cabling for the Field array for $250.

Net expenditure for upgrades: $4745 (plus a LOT of effort and fiddling).

For all that, I believe I have accomplished three things:
1) I have brought the old field array, which was originally part of a battery-based system, back into service on-grid. I expect that array will produced over $20,000 worth of electricity during its life (based on an average price of electricity of $0.018/kWh for 30 years).
2) I have extended the life of the arrays on the roof by about 25 years. I expect the electricity produced by those arrays during those additional years will be worth approximately $70,000 (based on an average price of electricity of $0.20/kWh for those additional 25 years).
3) I have GREATLY reduced my need to go onto the roof during future years.

My system will look like this after swapping in the new M250s:

Enphase Envoys:
- 2 - Envoys (pill-shaped) (2 spares)
- 1 - Envoy-S (1 in service)
- 1 - Envoy-S Metered (1 spare)

Fourth-generation Enphase Microinverters:
- 24 - M250-72-2LL-S22 (12 in service, 12 spares)
- 24 - M215-60-2LL-S22-IG with black plastic cases (24 in service)
- 5 - M215-60-2LL-S22-IG with metal case (5 in service)
- 9 - M250-60-2LL-S22 used, no warranty, with black plastic cases and M215 metal plates (9 in service)
- 4 - M250-60-2LL-S22 with metal cases (4 in service)
- 2 - M190-72-2LL-S22-IG still new, with metal cases (2 spares)
- 1 - M190-60-2LL-S22-IG with black plastic case (1 spare)

Third-generation Enphase Microinverters:
- 15 - M190-72-240-S12 (15 spares)

That's a total of 69 fourth-generation inverters and 15 third-generation inverters to cover the 54 locations I have in the arrays. Put another way, 54 inverters in service and 30 cold spares.

2050, here I come! Hopefully we will outlive all this equipment!
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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