Enphase connector protective caps

I read that the enphase AC connectors must be capped with enphase caps when not connected to the 240V bus for extended time.  How long is extended?  Can I leave the AC connectors unconnected for a week?  Two weeks?  Should I go buy a couple sets of protective caps if the system will be un-connected for three weeks?

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,970Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Unconnected on a roof, or in a living room.   Roof, install the caps immediately. The contacts are not rated for moisture, when connected they are sealed.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
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  • 99999Macaw9999999999Macaw99999 Posts: 10Registered Users ✭✭
    OK Mike95490 from your comment I conclude that the contacts will oxidize and corrode if exposed to humidity as if they are made from carbon steel and then the 240V ac will suffer voltage drop and heating from poor conductivity.  Hard for me to believe but thank you for the input.  I'll go ahead and order a bunch of these things because I might be getting more roof replacement solar panel remove-and-replace jobs this summer.  From reading the company literature I thought it had something to do with the elastomeric seals losing their elasticity.  From my life experience it is very non-standard and not normal for a 240VAC connector to be as critical as a rocket engine ignitor cable three seconds before launch.  haha  Maybe they are worried about moisture weeping into the cable and it has nothing to do with the contacts.
  • jaggedbenjaggedben Posts: 230Solar Expert ✭✭
    A poor connection to an inverter has the potential consequence of causing the inverter to drop out of producing power for 5 minute intervals after every little arc, because the inverter is sensitive enough to read those fraction-of-a-second interruptions as an unstable grid connection.  Corroded contacts on the cable will lead to arcing which will in turn corrode the contacts on the inverter, and Enphase doesn't want to replace either for you (especially the inverter) so if you don't cover them up then your not covered under their warranty.  Which I think is reasonable enough.  Specialty parts you don't find at your average electrical supplier, and might be discontinued at some point in the future, so it would be wise to take somewhat better care of them than you might other stuff. 

    Same thing goes for the DC connections to the inverter, although in the case of newer IQ models at least there is a replacement part for those.
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