Touch Lights

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
Hello, I recently installed a grid tied 2kW PV system on a customers house. He has noticed that since the day the system became operational the lamps in his house that he touches on the outside of the base to turn on and off have been doing so on their own. The system also uses the enphase inverters which for monitoring purposes send data over the home . Has anyone ever heard of anything like this or have any solutions. Thanks.


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,326 admin
    Re: Touch Lights

    I would verify neutral and safety grounding... And verify the wall outlets themselves are properly wires (neutral, hot, and ground).

    Check the Neutral/Ground connections with an AC voltmeter and see if you find any excessive AC voltage between them (you can try with the GT system on/off and see if there is a difference).

    I believe the lamps use the neutral as a "reference" to measure human body capacitance (when near)... If there is a lot of "noise" on the neutral, or the hot/neutral is reversed--the lamp switch may sense the capacitance of any nearby capacitance and false switch.

    Also, check the neutral/ground connections in the circuit breaker box--make sure they are cool and tight. And the safety ground is properly connected to earth.

    Any other changes around the same time (changed everything to CFL's, new major appliance like an electric drier operating at the same time)?

    It is possible that the GT system is generating a lot of high frequency noise--I hope not.

    If you cannot find anything wrong--I would contact Enphase and see what they say.

    Just a guess...

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Touch Lights

    I agree with Bill,

    A handy little tool is a "plug checker". A device that you can plug into an outlet, and it will light up if the plugs are wired properly,, or improperly. These are real cheap,,,~$10. You can also get one with a GFCI checker in it,,, it induces a ground fault so you can check GGIs.

    Question is,,, do the lights act improperly if the PV is off line,, either at night, or with the breaker pulled?

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Touch Lights

    i know that high rf environments play havoc with them so it could be getting too much harmonic content. i am aware of the communications to the manufacturer and if you don't use or want that communication can you turn that off? now i didn't pay big attention to the communication mode they shall employ and i can't rule this out as the problem either. maybe i would feel how much power i would produce is none of their business and metering of the power should be limited to the customer only and viewable from that customer's home and at the customer's discretion. it makes me think they wish to create a warranty based on kwhs produced.:grr
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