power 1 aurora micro inverter

DaveH9DaveH9 Registered Users Posts: 13
Hey,
I wanted to hook up a 210W pv module to supplement my 3.4 grid tie system. So I got a 250w power one micro inverter. Now there is a problem.

the directions say that inverter won't start without the monitoring system! about $300

also what does this from the installation manual mean?..."INTERFACE PROTECTION SYSTEM AND DEVICE DOWNSTREAM OF THE INVERTER - The inverter does not include any electromechanical devices (relays, contactors, etc.) for automatic disconnection from the power grid. The system must be provided with external protection for the physical disconnection of the MICRO inverters from the grid, typically composed of an interface protection system that analyzes and controls the grid parameters and sends commands to the interface device in charge of physically disconnecting the PV installation MICRO inverters line. "

Comments

  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter
    DaveH9 wrote: »
    an interface protection system that analyzes and controls the grid parameters and sends commands "

    This line from the manual, sounds to me like the $300 monitoring system.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,049 admin
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    That is a new one--I believe the Enphase work find without the monitor--But you have no visibility into the system without it.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    Sounds like a dangerous, over-priced piece of junk built without the required anti-islanding function that all good GTI's have.

    Send it back. Stop spending money on it. $300 for the monitoring system would almost buy two Enphase units.
  • DaveH9DaveH9 Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    I talked to Power One tech support, the monitoring system (CDD)shuts the micro inverters off with loss of grid power. I am not sure why it is worded the way it is then.... Perhaps that's why the inverters won't run without it, the CDD will loose power when the grid is down.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter
    DaveH9 wrote: »
    I talked to Power One tech support, the monitoring system (CDD)shuts the micro inverters off with loss of grid power. I am not sure why it is worded the way it is then.... Perhaps that's why the inverters won't run without it, the CDD will loose power when the grid is down.

    Still sounds like they want $300 extra for the anti-islanding function that is built in to other GTI's. :roll:

    I would avoid this product.
  • windprowindpro Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter
    Still sounds like they want $300 extra for the anti-islanding function that is built in to other GTI's. :roll:

    I would avoid this product.

    The information posted previously on this topic is incorrect. There is no way a reputable manufacturer would produce a product without Anti-Islanding built in anymore, not complying with national laws and asking for lawsuits.

    The CDD would power off and shut down with a power outage (as would any other brand of monitoring). So will the Power-One Micro Inverters.


    Pg 59 of Power-One Manual
    http://www.power-one.com/sites/power-one.com/files/documents/renewable-energy/tech-manual/micro-0250303hv-i-outd-us.pdf


    7.1.2 PROTECTIVE DEVICES

    7.1.2.1
    Anti-Islanding
    In accordance with required national standards and laws, in the event of a local grid outage by the utility, or when the grid equipment is switched OFF for maintenance operations, the inverter must be physically and safely disconnected, to ensure protection of personnel working on the grid. To prevent possible islanding, the inverter has an automatic protective disconnection system called “Anti-Islanding.”


    What the manual is saying you need to provide a manual form of disconnect to meet national electrical code standards.




    http://www.power-one.com/renewable-energy/resource-center/faqs/aurora-micro


    The question:

    Is the AURORA CDD mandatory for the operation of the MICRO inverters?

    The AURORA CDD is mandatory for the initial set up of an AURORA system. After that, it’s not strictly required, but it shows the on-going energy production from each inverter, displays any faults, and its output is fun to watch and informative. It is recommended that the AURORA CDD ALWAYS be operated with the system.

    A good analogy...If you do not have the CDD would be like having an automobile without any gauges.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    Sounds like yet another case of a company that needs to hire a competent technical writer so that the information they provide is not confusing.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    IF you must buy the CDD just to set it up, then YES would be the answer to everything. YES you must have it. YES you must pay $300 extra (does anyone believe for a moment that the company is going to loan one out just for the initialization?) YES you must endure bad technical support, and YES you will probably be happier with something else.

    windpro wrote: »
    The information posted previously on this topic is incorrect. There is no way a reputable manufacturer would produce a product without Anti-Islanding built in anymore, not complying with national laws and asking for lawsuits.

    The CDD would power off and shut down with a power outage (as would any other brand of monitoring). So will the Power-One Micro Inverters.


    Pg 59 of Power-One Manual
    http://www.power-one.com/sites/power-one.com/files/documents/renewable-energy/tech-manual/micro-0250303hv-i-outd-us.pdf


    7.1.2 PROTECTIVE DEVICES

    7.1.2.1
    Anti-Islanding
    In accordance with required national standards and laws, in the event of a local grid outage by the utility, or when the grid equipment is switched OFF for maintenance operations, the inverter must be physically and safely disconnected, to ensure protection of personnel working on the grid. To prevent possible islanding, the inverter has an automatic protective disconnection system called “Anti-Islanding.”


    What the manual is saying you need to provide a manual form of disconnect to meet national electrical code standards.




    http://www.power-one.com/renewable-energy/resource-center/faqs/aurora-micro


    The question:

    Is the AURORA CDD mandatory for the operation of the MICRO inverters?

    The AURORA CDD is mandatory for the initial set up of an AURORA system. After that, it’s not strictly required, but it shows the on-going energy production from each inverter, displays any faults, and its output is fun to watch and informative. It is recommended that the AURORA CDD ALWAYS be operated with the system.

    A good analogy...If you do not have the CDD would be like having an automobile without any gauges.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter
    bmet wrote: »
    IF you must buy the CDD just to set it up, then YES would be the answer to everything. YES you must have it. YES you must pay $300 extra (does anyone believe for a moment that the company is going to loan one out just for the initialization?) YES you must endure bad technical support, and YES you will probably be happier with something else.

    You forgot YES the Enphase looks like a better deal 'cause the price of that unit you must have will buy another inverter with free monitoring. :D
  • jebattyjebatty Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    Initial price certainly is important but in the whole package it may become insignificant and there may be sound advantages to Power-One. For me the CDD added less than 1% to the total cost of the system. I have no experience with Enphase, it is a new company which I think still is not turning a profit, although it should have a bright future. Power-One is a $40 billion/year company, very profitable, been around for a long time, and a substantial player in a variety of electrical energy areas. I have the Aurora CDD for my 6900 watt system, it works well, provides lots of useful information, and I have little doubt that it was a good investment. Based on the spec sheets, the Aurora micro-inverters have about 5% higher output than the Enphase, and in my system that equates to nearly 1-1/2 additional panels 265w panels, and that more than pays for the CDD. At full sun I see my panels at 259watts/panel output.

    No experience or objection to Enphase, I considered it, but chose Power-One instead. IMO I just think that Power-One is a solid choice.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,049 admin
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    Welcome to the forum "jebatty".

    What did you do for monitoring of your array/production? I am not familier with their solution/setup.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jebattyjebatty Solar Expert Posts: 56
    Re: power 1 aurora micro inverter

    My microinvereters are Power-One MICRO-0.25-I-OUTD-US-208/240. They communicate with the CDD via radio frequency, and the CDD communicates with a web browser enabled device via wifi or ethernet. My ground mounted array is nearly 200 feet from my house, and the distance to the house was too far for wifi, although that probably would be the easiest communication method. I suspected that, so when my array was installed with underground wiring to the house, I also had the installer bury an ethernet cable. I installed the CDD at the array in an outdoor electrical box, and then the ethernet cable from the CDD to my wifi/router, with direct ethernet from the router to my Windows 8 computer (or to a wifi enabled device). Setup instructions were good; it was easy and fast.

    From the wifi/router, monitoring of the array/production via computer or wifi enabled devices is two-fold: 1) local private IP address to a real-time monitoring of the array, each panel output, total day array production, total lifetime production, along with a lot of detail on each panel, parameters, faults, etc. Any needed changing of parameters or programming is done via the computer or wifi enabled device to the CDD via the private IP address. 2) The CDD also communicates with AuroraVision.net to a password protected website for remote monitoring via the web anywhere. This is delayed 30 minutes or so, and lots of additional info is available, along with daily charting and reporting as well as charting/reporting for a variety of other time periods. CSV data files also may be downloaded.

    Since my initial install, and since it is fun to see the real-time production, I pulled out an old netbook with linux/Firefox that I hadn't used in a long time and I keep it active all the time. I'm not in the habit of wasting electricity, but the netbook draws only 14w, and I can live with that. My wife's wifi Kindle and her smartphone can monitor as easily.

    Today was clear sunrise to sunset (in about 30 more minutes), although the satellite photo shows haze. Today also is my highest daily production since commissioning on Oct 28 2013. Output was over 6800 watts for nearly two hours, with spot output into the 6900 watt range. Today's production will be 46kwh at nearly 47* N latitude. I have 26 x 265 watt Suniva panels on a fixed groundmount at 35* from horizontal to enhance summer production.
    Attachment not found.
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