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Tido Solar optimizers, any experience




 
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K6JEK
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RF in the shack


« on: October 15, 2020, 07:09:34 PM »

Am considering adding Tigo solar optimizers to 12 year old solar arrays. Anyone have any experience with them? Are they quiet? Noisy? Also, anyone know of RFI forums where I might post a question like this?

Paul,W1VLF, of the ARRL gave me some good advice about these but since he didn't have direct knowledge, suggested I poke around on Internet, so here I am poking around.

This house has two old-school arrays, no per-panel electronics, about 400V DC comes down to two SMA string inverters. These built-like-a-battleship inverters seem to be RFI quiet. But there are shading issues so I'm hoping to squeeze a little more juice out of the 40 panels up there with these things which seem to be made just for my situation:

https://www.tigoenergy.com/ts4/
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KD6VXI
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Making AM GREAT Again!


« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 08:25:46 PM »

I installed solar for years.  Never that brand however.  I've done Solar Edge, SunnyBoy (SMA), Trina, APC, Fronius, etc.  Small 5 panel rooftop systems to industrial scale multi megawatt with solar trackers where the entire array follows the sun all day.

You'll probably need to ensure all wires are twisted.  This will help in common mode current radiation.

You will also need to make sure you have some ferrite cores on hand. You will need to install ferrite on both the input and output of the optimizers.

Make sure all piping is metallic.  Make sure you use ground bond bushings at the entrance and exit of all pipes. Lastly, make sure your pipe lengths don't add up to a quarter wavelength at a band your really concerned with. That will act like a choke on the bonding wire and keep the noise at the rooftop, instead of being conducted to ground.

Solar optimizers can be a Godsend.  I've installed addressable converters where you assign each optimizer to a panel and can watch clouds go over the house while inside on a laptop or smartphone.  And they really do help with partial shading issues (from clouds passing by, etc).

They won't do much if you have a panel in constant shade however.

Not everything I state above is an absolute.  But it sucks when you do rfi mitigation piecemeal and have to pull your panels off 2 to 3 times.  If you have a comp shingle roof that adds a lot of wear and tear.  If it's ceramic tile, you run the risk of breaking tiles every time you go up there.

My advice, get ONE optimizer.  Inject 40 volts DC into it.  Measure the amount of trash it emits using a vhf radio, shortwave radio, etc with built jn antennas right next to the wiring.  That will give you a good idea of what the device will emit.  Better even, have a resistive load to give the SMPS something to work against.

--Shane
KD6VXI
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K6JEK
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RF in the shack


« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 10:04:43 AM »

I installed solar for years. ...

My advice, get ONE optimizer.  Inject 40 volts DC into it.  Measure the amount of trash it emits using a vhf radio, shortwave radio, etc with built jn antennas right next to the wiring.  That will give you a good idea of what the device will emit.  Better even, have a resistive load to give the SMPS something to work against.

--Shane
KD6VXI
That is really good advice.. Get one. Check it out. All the other advice too.  Thanks.
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Steve - K4HX
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 12:10:16 PM »

I saw the thread title and I thought it was going to be about propagation enhancement.  Grin
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