Saturday, November 18, 2017

Microinverters -- How to Set Up the Monitoring System Envoy / EMU

EMU Envoy How to Hook Up and Bridge Also

The EMU is a confusing piece of equipment, starting with it's name, Electronic Monitoring Unit, but then to make it even harder, the manufacturer came up with the nickname Envoy.    Whatever.   Here is what you need to know.    Everyone else tries to make believe that the EMU is simple in setup and function, and it is not and pretending that it is simple, we believe is a dis-service to customers.

Before we dig into the details, LOOK at this diagram and follow it, spend 30 seconds here, OK?    I made this for you.   Read the notes too, please.

The manufacturer highly recommend that you avoid plugging into a power strip or a GFCI electrical receptacle (aka outlet or plug). This can increase the "noise" and make it so your EMU won't communicate as well or at all.

Yes this does mean you may need to plug your existing stuff in, in some other way. You can try it, just don't complain to us if it doesn't work out. You know what a GFCI is right? That is the special type of outlet that has a test and reset function on it. But you can also have a GFCI that is located somewhere else, like at another plug upstream of the plug you are using, or even at the circuit breaker panel.

One reason that the customer must be involved in some of this stuff, is because there is some trial and error involved, and every time you plug the EMU in, you may have to hit the "Menu" button which is on the back of the EMU.  

To make matter more complicated than they really need to be, they molded the button into the back plastic so that you can't even see it.    Well look close, and you will see it.  

The EMU has to "scan" to find the microinverters, and you have to tell it to scan by pressing the back button a few seconds until you see "enable device scan" and then let go.   Now it will search for all the microinverters, and we hope the communications is good.   The search might take 5 minutes or 3 hours, it just all depends.    

The EMU will show 0 to 5 bars depending on how good the communications is, 0 being none, and 5 being great. 

3 and 4 work fine, and 2 is usually satisfactory and 1 sometimes works, however, you may have times when extra noise on the line makes the communication fail.   You will lose data during that time, but you won't be losing kWH energy produced, because the EMU is only a monitor, the EMU is NOT a controller, the micro-inverters run themselves.    So just saying, don't get all bent out of shape, in all likelihood you aren't losing any actual power, just the communications.

 Now, if you have to use the bridge, DON'T OVER THINK IT, just follow the diagram.

This is the box that the bridge comes in.

This is what the stuff inside the box looks like, as you might imagine there are 2 sides to a bridge.

And here is how to hook up the bridge, don't over think it, just plug it in as shown.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Read a HECO NEM Electric Meter

How to Read a HECO NEM Electric Meter On Your Solar Electric System (PV)

Steve Here--For Those With Photovoltaic-- They sometimes wonder whether their system is working correctly, and "waiting for the bill to arrive" is NOT a good strategy.

But if you could read your meter on one day, and then read it again the next day, that would clear up whether things are working well or not.    Many PV owners have "lost" their solar contractor, as HECO bankrupted hundreds of contractors when they started their "war on solar".

If you are one of these customers and have microinverters, we would be glad to review your system online, for free.    Simply send us an email, and we will send you a link, which will allow us to review your system online.
Watch the video below on how to read your meter, and call us with any questions.    671-5566

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How to Read A Hawaiian Electric Dial Type Meter

How to Read a Dial Electric Meter

How to Read Your Meter
Your electric bill contains all the information you need about your power usage. However, if you would like to read your own meter, here's how to do it.

As you can see from the arrows in the illustration below, the dials on your meter move alternately clockwise and counter-clockwise.

Always read from right to left.

When a hand points between two numbers (as in A, B, C and E) always read the lower number.

Sometimes a hand appears to be pointing directly at a number (as in D). To find out if that number has actually been reached yet, look at the dial to its immediate right (in this case, C). If the hand on dial C has passed zero, then write down the number on dial D to which the arrow is pointing (4). If C has not passed zero, as is the case in this example, write down the number that is lower than the one on dial D to which the arrow is pointing (3).

The correct reading for this meter is 13924 kilowatt-hours.

For information on how to read a net meter, see meter handout.