Mixing M190 with M215 inverters ?

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  • Updated 1 month ago
I have a small branch with m190's. I want to add more modules and inverters. Can a branch have a mix of m190 and m215 or must each branch contain only one type of module? Thanks

Bob Andrews

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Posted 3 years ago

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Ted Panofsky, Champion

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They should mix just fine as long as you don't exceed the ratings on any of the cables or wiring.

Bob Andrews

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thanks - but don't they have different connectors?

Ted Panofsky, Champion

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Yes. You need to add junction boxes to hook them up. Depending on how your system is arranged you could connect the new string to the existing junction box where your m190 cable starts, or put a box at the end of the current string to start the new one (I would try to avoid this as it makes it more difficult to replace the cable on the m190s.) There are a number ways this could be done, but you don't need a new breaker if you don't exceed it's rating. I think The Enphase techs would be happy to help size the pieces.

Bob Andrews

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Thanks - I might just 'wimp' out and plug in more 190's at the end of the existing string. I am spolied by the plug and play aspect of the 190's.

westrom

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ok, so as far as calculations go, I have 7 m210s per branch, how many m215s can i add?
six?
and if i go the jb at the end of string route, do i have to strip and connect the engage and the m210 cables together with wire nuts? can enphase provide a connection diagram? what about the solid copper ground wire - do i extend it to the engage-connected panels and attach it the same way to inverters and panels or is the engage cabling system providing lightning protection grounding by itself?
enphase official answer please?

Jagged Ben, Champion

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I think that Enphase will tell you not to mix different inverters or cabling on the same branch circuit, simply because their instructions are not written in such a way as to make the required calculations straight forward.

Also, I would not add M215s to the end of an M190 or M210 string, because you will be feeding #12 wire through #14 wire, which is a bad idea for several reasons.

"what about the solid copper ground wire - do i extend it to the engage-connected panels and attach it the same way to inverters and panels?"

yes. Or, another option is to run a new copper wire to a junction box and bond it to ground there. All that matters is that it is eventually bonded to your solar GEC without creating any loops.

"or is the engage cabling system providing lightning protection grounding by itself?"

It is not. Lightning protection is a whole other ball of wax that I believe is not inherent to Enphase's installation instructions whatsoever. Regular grounding is a safety measure designed to keep people from getting zapped by the solar itself.

Sorry this is not an official answer. ;-)

westrom

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ben, i need to mix. my system was installed with future expansion in mind, 2 branches of 7 m210 to which i will add 6x2. of course i want the new m215, just for the increased warranty. i don't care for the new cabling and i see no advantage to it. wish they made new m210s with the new electronics and warranties. I assume the m215s use no electrolytic in order to afford 25yrs warranties.
as for the #14 wire, where would that be??? I have #12 from the JB to the combiner/breaker box, then #10. if i add a jb at the end of the branch, in it the connection should be from the m210 cable to the engage. this is where i need enphase to tell me 1. if it's legal 2. what is the wiring scheme.
as for lighting, I always assumed the #6 solid copper connecting the panels, railing and inverter boxes and going down to m y grounding system is there to minimise discharges, not direct strikes which would melt it. I know a lightning protection system designed and installed separately is a different story, but a direct path from the panels, achieved through this copper wire, is mandatory otherwise 1. a direct strike will go through my structure from the panels acting as a lightning rod and 2. secondary electric charges in the air during a storm would fry the inverters and maybe even find their way in my house's electrical system frying whatever they can.
Speaking of which, I am always amazed at how little residential lightning protection exists on this continent...

Jacob Michals, Community Manager

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Hey Westrom,

If you have two branches of 14 M210's you will only be able to add an single m210 to that existing run. It is all about the amperage of that branch. This single run must go down to a 15 amp breaker.

Now that being said you can have another branch installed, with a new home run. Please follow the voltage considerations (http://enphase.com/wp-uploads/enphase...) to have the correct sized run and have a certified electrician check on your main panel for your solar array expansion! :)

If you are concerned about lightning strikes please refer to the following document: http://enphase.com/wp-uploads/enphase...

-Jacob

westrom

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I have 2 branches of 7 m210s each. i am not sure we are on the same page jacob. according to your specs I can add 6 more m210/branch. how about m215? this was my question, posted in different ways in several threads and unanswered yet. thx

Jagged Ben, Champion

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"as for the #14 wire, where would that be???"

In the cabling of the M210s.

DayStar

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I was wondering the same thing as the OP asked. This is the reply i got from Enphase Energy....

"The customer's Envoy will be able to see both the M215's and the M190s however they do have to be installed in different branches as the M190's and the M215's do not have the same branch limit or breaker requirements."

Joe Utasi

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That response seems fair. One would assume that if you are safely below the maximums, that it would be acceptable... At least from an engineering perspective....