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Discussion of solar photovoltaic systems, modules, the solar energy business, solar power production, utility-scale, commercial rooftop, residential, off-grid systems and more.

Solar photovoltaic technology is one of the great developments of the modern age. Improvements to design and cost reductions continue to take place. How efficient will it become? When will it become so affordable that it's accessible to everyone? How are other energy industries having an effect on solar pv?

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This subreddit is for solar photovoltaic (PV) professionals, owners, and enthusiasts. The solar module and the systems it drives - whether small residential installations or large, utility-scale power plants - is one of the great inventions of the modern age. Steady improvements in materials, design and labor have dramatically lowered costs, module efficiencies have improved gradually as well - both serving to make the technology much more competitive against fossil fuels in recent years. What changes when solar PV is combined with batteries? What is the global impact of solar PV on the overall energy industry? When will solar become affordable for all? Shine on you brilliant solar enthusiasts!

Be sure to check out our wiki for more solar information and resources.

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Solar Links

Solar Job Training Resources

* The Solar Career Mapping Tool - This is an interactive Solar Career Map offered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). It is designed for workforce professionals, educators, policymakers and job seekers. See - http://www.irecsolarcareermap.org

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Find the latest Help Wanted feature post HERE which includes links to several industry job listing sites


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Maximising dishwasher use of SPV generated hot water

I have an SPV system which preferentially ( using an EDDI ) heats a hot water cylinder to store solar output. I run a dishwasher (DW) with a cold supply that heats water using direct elec power. Can anybody see a problem with providing a hot water feed to the DW to avoid drawing heating power ( much of which is from the grid ).

I have rejected a similar idea for a washing MC as I fear that the water temp may be too high for some cycles and either cause controls problems or damage clothes.

23:04 UTC


Charging Wire Placement?

I have a string of 6 lead acid batteries in parallel. All positives together, all negatives together. where is the best place to connect my pos and neg wires from the charge controller? Is it more effective to have them at either ends of the string or in the middle somewhere?

22:09 UTC


Are my panels OK? REC Alpha Black

I have a large array of REC Alpha Black panels on one of my roofs, and they all look a little strange. Almost like there's water trapped inside them. I'm sure that I am being paranoid, but would love confirmation that this is normal. The way that it's inconsistent but every panel has something similar going on is what has me the most perplexed. The panels were installed about 2.5 years ago and although we did see a drop in total and peak production from the first summer to the second, the whole system seems to be performing well overall.


21:53 UTC


Low Voltage on One Panel

I just received PTO on my system a few weeks ago (Solaredge 7.6k inverter /w power optimizers and 330W panels) and have been poking around the production data where I have noticed that every day I have a panel that is only operating at ~50%. Looking at it the panel in question the current is slightly low, but the voltage is much lower than the other panels (at least as far as I can tell with my basic knowledge of low voltage electronics). I know it is not shading as the other 22 panels in the array are just fine, so my theory is that it is hardware related.

Being new to solar is this normal? If it is an issue, would it more likely be the panel, or the optimizer? My plan is to call it in to the installer, but I was hoping for a little insight from the interwebs first. The installer that setup the system was a nightmare, which is a whole other story, but sufficed to say I had to advocate for myself repeatedly as they tried to shaft me at every chance that they got once the contract was signed. So, any ammunition to take to them is much appreciated.




Much thanks

21:21 UTC


Home energy monitor w/solar

Hello! What's the best one out there?

Monitor consumption and solar production?

Thank you

21:03 UTC


adding battery to existing solar system

I am looking to add a battery to work with my Tesla Panasonic and solar edge system, and potentially adding more panels.

Are there any installers in the bay area that do this?

I am having a hard time finding anyone willing to do this.

20:26 UTC


Narrowed down to two quotes (REC & SunPower), any thoughts?

We've been collecting quotes for a few weeks now and have narrowed our choices down to two companies, both providing different solutions.

Yearly kWh consumption is ~9,500. Our roof also receives no shading.

Company A

  • 19xREC Alpha Pure Black Series 400W (7600W total) @ $3.64/watt cash out of pocket price pre-incentive

  • 99% estimated offset

  • Tesla 7,600 kW inverter

  • 25 year performance/roof penetration/inverter (through company)/workmanship warranty

Company B

16xSunPower M-Series 425 Watt Panels (6800W total) @ $4.34/watt cash out of pocket price w/discounts but pre-incentive

  • 103% estimated offset

  • SunPower Microinverter (Which I believe are just Enphase IQ7HS, could be wrong)

  • Standard SunPower 25 year power/product/service warranty

As far as the two companies go, Company A has operated locally for a little over a decade and seems to have one of the better reputations I've seen out here with respect to timeliness of service and repairs and general communication. Company B has a bit of a rough reputation but is the only installer of SunPower in my area. I have some concerns regarding Company B in general given the reviews I've read on multiple sites, but their corporate at least seems interested in speaking with customers to identify problems (if that counts for anything?)

I also don't know much about the Tesla inverter so I'd be curious to hear if I'd be going wrong (or right I suppose) there as well.

20:18 UTC


Dumb question, but if derating my panel, does solar "add" the amps back? (not sure how to word this)

Hi, trying to compare some offers as we try to get our plan finalized before NEM 3.0. Most of the proposals recommend derating our breaker panel so can get the desired system size (~8.64kw, overkill IMO for our needs at present but want to future proof.) Currently have a 125/125, and they recommend derate to 100/125 to be able to handle this.

QUESTION: now that we are "losing" 25amps from the power company (SCE) by derating the panel, do we "get back" x amps (say, around 36 amps, for a 8640watt solar system), for a total of "136 amps" of max amps to the house?

With our current devices, we do not come too close to maxing out our amps - very few "heavy" electric load appliances - most are gas, and heaviest use is probably the EV, which is currently on a 120v/15amp circuit but we definitely want to boost that (although would be happy with like 240v/20-30amp). And of course HVAC - 14 seer, 5 ton unit which rough calculation is about 22 amps.

However, we do have long term plans to go all electric (water heater, range, dryer etc), and having an extra 30-40 amps to the house would be extremely helpful.


20:07 UTC


How do I read this caution sign and small update about situation with LA Solar Group

Original thread:


TLDR from that post:

Solar installer has been a series of materials dropped off without notice, then no calls, no shows, partial days, workers with no direction or dont know what their doing and now failed inspections ontop of all of it. What do?

Issue with LA Solar Group has been ongoing since Late November 2022.


This is still ongoing. They sent out some new electricians about 4 weeks ago and they rewired everything, changed out some of the previously installed boxes and put in a combiner box for 4 strings of panels. Yesterday they came and provisioned the box.

My existing system was 22 panels, they were upgraded to IQ8+ inverters, they installed 18 new panels, also with IQ8+ inverters. With the idea that the old panels and new panels would make one larger system, 40 inverters total.

They didn't give me the login for the combiner box but I was able to login and I can see only 22 inverters are reporting in, and of the 22, 11 have errors of some sort and aren't generating power. I forced a rediscovery and only 22 were discovered, 11 continue to have issues. My suspicion is currently raised that they didn't finish wiring up the new 18 panels, only reconnected the 22 existing panels.

I was looking by my panels and noticed they actually put up a new warning warning symbol on my panel and I see that only 22 panels (from the old existing system) are marked with an "E". The new ones don't have any markings. Does anyone know how to read this, does this imply that only 22 panels are generating energy?

Unfortunately I need to reach out here first because I cannot trust one thing LA Solar Group says.


20:07 UTC


Is it worth it to get a battery if I already cover my annual consumption under NEM 2?

After multiple annoying long power outages this year from storms in California I’m thinking I should get a battery backup. I work from home, so it is more than just annoying. I have to pack up my computer and find another place to work, among other things.

The benefit would mainly be non-financial. But I’m wondering if there would be any financial benefit via time of use offset. I guess it’s a math question. My intuition is that I’d use less grid power and have a bigger true-up at the end of year, but I would just get pennies on the dollar. Does that sound about right?

18:40 UTC


Solar for hot water?

Our son lives in Albuquerque and he has solar panels for heating his home. He has a gas hot water heater though, and it just gave out. I’m wondering if it would make more sense to convert the hot water heater into something that uses his solar panels. I don’t have a lot of information about how many panels he has, etc. any ideas on where he should look into this? Also, he does not have a lot of money and we’re hoping there’s some kind of programs that could help him.

17:46 UTC


Six weeks post PTO and my Solaredge inverter is already down

Welp, time to test the mettle of my installer post-installation.

I’m hoping this is a simple software fix or reset (I did a power cycle myself yesterday but no luck) because it was going gangbusters until about 4:30 Friday afternoon.

I’ve got a solid blue LED light with a flashing green which google tells me that means I’m connected to the grid but not producing.

Coincidentally, I did have an electrician come by Friday to put in a sense energy monitor but everything was working together perfectly for hours after he left. Perhaps something just got knocked loose in the service panel?

Anyway……. 🙃🙃🙃🙃

16:59 UTC


Questions about AEP Ohio net metering

Looking for folks out there with net metering from AEP Ohio. Having solar installed in the next month or so - 19.24kW system that was sized at 120% of my then usage. I have since changed heat in my shop radiant system from a NG water heater to a 7kW microboiler.

Anyway, I'm not seeing a clear explanation anywhere about how the credit for overproduction works. Do you get credit for kWh or for the price they pay for those kWh? How many months do credits keep accumulating? Is there an annual "settle up" month?



15:33 UTC


Installing Enphase consumption CT's at later date?

My installers left me the consumption CT's and said they don't normally install them because its only required if a battery system is installed. I don't mind because I have my own power monitoring system for both solar and consumption that give more granularity. However, there is limited space to add the CT's for ebphase at the moment and I would like to upgrade the MSP to allow for for the additional space needed for the CT's. The upgrade would also be a good upgrade, though not required.

My question, is there something specific that needs to happen within the app, or by the installer to allow consumption monitoring when/if i decide to add their consumption CT's? I know how to wire it up and run the cables to the box.

Should I take the class to allow me to use the Installer app and have more control, or is it not worth it. I like tweaking and having control over my own stuff

14:20 UTC


Expanding solar system along my fence

Current setup- q13.3kW (40 330w panels) with iq7. Rooftop, Houston, TX. I have a 50 foot long stretch of fencing, 7 feet high, SE facing that gets a good 4- 5 hour of sunlight. Figure I could install 10 panel along that stretch- mounting the panels vertically along the fence? Any other members here with anything remotely similar?

11:09 UTC


09:18 UTC


Troubleshooting partial panel outage

Hi reddit,

Last week, we had a major power surge in our neighborhood which took out many of our appliances (even with a whole house surge protector and individual surge protection on various outlets).

One of the casualties was our solar array. After solving the high priority fixes around the house, I noted the solar array is now only reporting production for 9 out of 18 panels.

My original installers won't be able to come out for several weeks, so I'm wondering if there's anything I can first do on my end for basic troubleshooting.

So far, I've only reset the breakers which were tripped during the surge and opened up the panel for the IQ combiner 3. A surge protection breaker is out, and I've already ordered a replacement for that, but I don't sense this is the root cause of the problem.

What should be the next steps for troubleshooting?

System specs:

Panels: Panasonic N330 x 18Inverters: IQ7 x 18Controller: IQ Combiner 3

Info from Envoy web admin page:


  • 18 Detected
  • 18 Communicating
  • 9 Producing Power

The 9 inverters not producing show the following status:

AC Frequency Out Of RangeGrid InstabilityDC Power Too Low



05:13 UTC


Enlighten accuracy?

Panels produce in Array tab add up smaller than produce number.

04:15 UTC


Projecting Summer Production

02:12 UTC


If you were building a house that you wanted to make off grid solar later on what design features would you want.

Gonna be building a home soon on about 50 acres and probably make it off grid solar at some point after the build (when I save enough money). Are there any electrical design features that would make that easier in the build process? TIA.

00:56 UTC


First time hitting 100 kWh!

00:46 UTC


What schools provide solar training to get into a solar company

Looking to get into the solar energy industry. I’ve been doing smart home and security installations for a few years now both on the sales side and on the technician side/installation. Mainly installation. What schools or classes would you recommend? Give me the best opportunity to get involved in the solar energy business? also, I live in Florida. Jacksonville just be specific. But geography is not a problem to me.

00:13 UTC


Help Wiring Series-Parallel 3 bank system Hi Everyone

I have a 48V off grid system that is made up of currently 2 battery banks each bank consists of 8ea - 6volts and wired series-parallel…this was done by the installer. I want to add a 3 bank myself to have extra juice at night as I’m running out 2-3 hrs before sun up.

Can someone please help with a diagram of how to add/wire the 3rd bank to the system?

23:48 UTC


I just moved to Latin America and I'm wondering how feasible it is to find a fully remote job in clean energy.

I recently moved to Montevideo, Uruguay and I'm interested in getting a job in clean energy. In recent years I've changed a lot in order to live more intentionally and sustainably. 97% of Uruguay already runs on renewable energy. I don't think there's much opportunity for me to advance solar here, but I do see that solar has a very bright future in the US. Does anyone know of a way I could work remotely in solar from Uruguay? Something in sales would probably be ideal. Has anyone done something like this before?

23:45 UTC


Eaton 5PX UPS for off-grid power generation?

Hey guys! I've received an Eaton 5PX UPS recently (48V system w/ 110V output) and am curious if this can be used as a "grid supply" in the event of an outage. I'm thinking it would be hooked up to have a dedicated 110V outlet to charge the batteries and also a different 110V outlet from the UPS to the house power (on its own breaker). I've thought about trying this but don't want to fry my micro inverters or anything (would that even be possible?).


  1. Grid goes down
  2. I turn off main breaker to grid (islanding my house)
  3. Eaton 5PX acts as "grid power" to my micro inverters to keep them awake
  4. Solar panels still produce max output up to my consumption during the day
  5. Eaton UPS provides power of solar deficiency until battery is depleted

My follow-up question would be if I could put lithium batteries in the Eaton 5PX UPS instead of the gel batteries it comes with to increase the efficiency and overall capacity since it's a 48V system already.


23:20 UTC


SolarEdge App

New to solar and Solaredge. Got PTO late this week and have been learning how to monitor things but I don’t see anything related to consumption in the app. Do I have to manually enable this somewhere?

23:01 UTC


Would you get rid of pool solar for 20% more production?

I have an existing rooftop pool thermal system (NorCal). It’s one of those solar mats that pumps water through its membranes to warm up by 5-10F. Right now it’s placed on the sunnier side of the roof. I have plenty of room on the other NW side but it produces almost 20% less for same number of panels.

While solar pool heating is nice to have, I’m considering getting it removed for PV. Most installers charge a fee for this ranging anywhere from $1K to $2K. But it still comes out cheaper for the same production.

I’m contemplating if I should keep it or get rid of it. Any suggestions?

21:42 UTC

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