Customer Reviews: Enphase M215 Micro-Inverter M215-60-2LL-S22-IG
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars18
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on March 25, 2015
I don't want to repeat what others have said but I will fill in a few gaps based on real world use. I have a 15.3kW roof mounted installation consisting of 68 Qcell Q.base 225 panels. The most any panel has ever put out in the Texas sun is 205 W but my panels are on two faces of the roof, one facing a bit to the SE, another to the SW. AFAIKT, the derating for not having perfectly south facing install is only a few percent. For my install, I used the M215s. As one comment said, yes, they are difficult to get access to and on my roof they are packed tightly to get all 68 panels up there. And so yes it would be some trouble to service a dead inverter. But you have the same issue with string inverters in terms of bad connections, dead panels, etc. The huge advantage of the M215 is the monitoring SW called Enlighten. Using this can can tell what the entire array is doing with 5 minute resolution. If any panel is bad, I will know it right away. This makes debugging a SNAP and more than makes up for having the inverter buried in a roof array. Would ground mount be easier? Perhaps. But my cable runs are short and I don't lose real estate by having roof mount. Also, the panels absorb a lot of the energy that would have hit my roof. So my shingles will probably last longer and my attic is a bit cooler.

My friend put in a 30kW ground mount, same panels. But he used string inverters. He instrumented the whole thing with eGauge at extra cost. We find that between his optimally positioned array that uses Sunny Boy string inverters and my non optimally positioned array that uses M215 that the performance per panel is about the same. So anyone talking about "efficiency issues" is just presenting theory which I find in actual practice to be baseless. The cost of an M215 equipped setup was about 30% more in the in the inverter department (including special cables from Enphase that are needed and are not cheap...) but again, it was very easy to debug and I will have simplified maintenance going forward.

One of the things you have to know which is important IMO is that if the grid goes down these inverters do not support an "island mode". I think that is a safety cop out.You should have the ability to disconnect from the grid and then have to send some special command sequence to enable island mode. What if a storm takes out all the power and it is out for weeks on end including at your house even though you paid for inverters? That would suck but that is how it will be with these inverters. There really out to be a special interlock switch option that, when the grid is locked out, enables island mode.

Bottom line, I am very happy with everything about these inverters after 1 year of operation in the TX heat and humidity.
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on May 16, 2013
There are two most popular voltage solar panels out there, 18V and 36V. The actual panel output with load is 16V and 30V or so. EnPhase M215 is for 36V panel, or 30V panel. Its AC output has 208V and 240V two kinds. In most home with two phase power, user should buy the 240V model M215.

Although its max output is 215W, user should purchase 240W or 250W panel, since in most installation panel will not produce 220W or so for 240W panel at the best condition. Using 240W panel will allow inverter always work on its peak efficiency. Another consideration is dust in air, the dust will cause panel producing less power than its max rating.

For large installation, EnPhase has big advantage over older high voltage inverter. High voltage inverter requires all the solar panel connected in series to have 700V DC to help its efficiency. However, anyone panel gone bad, the whole array will stop working. EnPhase does not have that problem, since it is designed to be one on back of each panel.

I used to use an older inverter, the actual output is only 70%. Changed to enPhase inverter the output is above 95%. Big improvement.
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on June 24, 2014
I have a system with 17 of these micro inverters installed on my roof right now. The system produces the energy stated quite efficiently. I am pleased there.

However as an Amateur Radio operator, I am frustrated at the RF interference generated and Enphase seems unwilling to admit how many others are reporting the same problems. I might need to resort to legal actions to get this fixed. This is amazing considering their claim of FCC Part B compliance. The interference happens at several frequencies in the 144 MHz frequency band and at a level making my radio useless on several frequencies while the sun is up.
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on May 21, 2013
I installed 8 of these two years ago. Still working great. Very efficient. You need the install kit, connectors and a bit of time to figure out how to best layout the wiring. Micro inverters are way safer than stringing 500-1000v of DC on your roof with a central inverter. Many installers are familiar with this product so you'll have no trouble finding someone who understands them. I was planning on adding a few more modules this year and noticed that Enphase hasn't introduced higher-power products. PowerOne has a 300w micro inverter which seemed pretty good and would allow use of the largest 300w+ modules. No experience with that one yet.
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on December 9, 2015
I am giving this inverter 5 stars. I see comments others have made about the product. I chose to do a little testing on my own. I remotely mounted this in my garage since the panels are on the roof. This keeps the inverter out of the hot sun and rainy weather, plus I can see the status LED blink on the side. I chose to run the output through a Kilowatt meter. I found some meters actually tolerate 240vac just fine. This allowed me to see real time output without the software enphase has. I Hooked this up to two Grape Solar 105 watt panels hooked in series for a max output of 44 volts from the panel. This inverter actually does the best job at MPPT. I saw several occasions in bright sunlight the inverter was putting out 220 watts. This inverter is very efficient. Since the panels have a standard rating this means in the best of conditions panels can put out slightly more than rated. I monitored the voltages on the panel and they were about 29vdc and 256vac line voltage. I added two more 100 watt panels to the system and hooked the two panels in series and in parallel with the first two just to see what this inverter will do. I see that it actually will put out a peak output of 240 watts as long as the inverter is cool enough as I am sure there is a temperature factor with it. I can see that remotely mounting it may keep it working far better than under the panel where it was designed.
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on May 25, 2015
I run a small solar installer company, and until I used Enphase, the installation and maintenance process was much more complicated. Before understanding the whole micro inverter, Envoy, Enlighten relationship, I did not really know Enphase, but after using their products for 4 years now, I would never switch back to a central inverter or any 'dumb' micro inverter because it is cheaper in cost. Troubleshooting a solar PV installation issue is super-easy with Enphase, but not with other competitor products. Smart micro inverters are the way to go, for we live in an Internet world now!!!
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on May 18, 2016
Got five of these now. Been using them for about 2 weeks. I like them. I have been using other brands of NON-microinverters on my two other Grid Tie systems. My other systems are rack mounted on the ground and I use 12vdc fans to cool the inverters.
The new system with Enphase M215 microinverters is mounted on the roof of my porch. They work well and produce more power than the older systems because they are about 19% more efficient. All three of my systems are 1 Kw except I will be adding more panels to the new system for 1.5kW.
Heating Cooling effects:
I installed the 5th inverter a couple days ago and learned something about cooling and heat. All my inverters are mounted UNDER the porch roof for cooling and ease of maintenance. I WILL NOT mount them under the solar panels and fight heat and maintenance problems. I worked electronics systems for over 40 years and will not go there. Anyway back to the last inverter. It is mounted under the porch roof but the porch is not shaded my the solar panel. So sunlight hits the metal porch roof and radiates onto the inverter. It is about 10 to 14 degrees hot/warmer than the other four inverters. It's output os also about 20 to 25 watts less than the other inverters UNTIL that part of the roof is shaded. Then the temperature drops and the output climbs to match the other panels. Of course I will make a heat shield for the inverter.
I think in the long run these inverters will be cheaper than the other grid tie inverters. Of course you need one inverter per panel with these and with the other inverters you can stack the panels and use a larger size inverter. They cost more but I am only getting about 80% out of them AND they are over rated on the advertisements. My 600 watts states they are 600W PEAK output when you get them and get to read the label.
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on June 23, 2015
being a solar installer and system designer I am not a fan. Although they have upped their game with their latest line of microinverters their early versions still represent almost 100% of my inverter warranty issues. They have been great at standing behind the defective ones but who needs the frustration.
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on September 21, 2015
I purchased the M215's to check output of my 245W panels. My system was originally installed with M190's, they choke out solar panel output at 199 Watts. Thinking output should improve with the M215's since they choke output at 225 Watts. I discovered that improved output lasted less than 15 minutes in best case. I discovered that output in Ontario, Canada is approximately 80% of the PV panel rating. As the unit quality of the M215's, time will tell. With my M190 / D380's units, I experienced a 37 percent failure rate in the first three years of operation.
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on September 25, 2013
Since July we've been trying to get Enphase to resolve a problem with a DC resistance low report with absolutely no satisfactory resolution so only 12 of the 13 micro-inverters show as being connected to the main unit (the Envoy). Their response (in the UK) goes along the lines of "we'll speak to our techies in the states and get back to you by the end of the week". They need to be chased constantly and never actually come back with anything substantive. The micro-inverters have been installed for too short a period for me to be confident about setting out any kind of recommendation about the product itself.
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