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RegGuheert
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Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 7:44 am

We just received our EVSEUgraded Panasonic EVSE yesterday and the car charged for the first time ever at our house on L2 this morning between about 8:00AM an 9:00AM. During this period of time, the Envoy unit for our Enphase PV system reported 0W of production. At this point I will assume that only powerline communication was disrupted, but I cannot be sure since the production reported on Enlighten during that period is nonsensical. This afternoon I should be able to easily determine if production stops by turning on the charger and observing our power meter to see if power is flowing out of our house or in. If it is flowing in, then charging has stopped production as well as powerline communication,

My belief is that this is caused by the same problem reported in the Electrical line noise while charging at 240V thread, but I had understood that our LEAF was built after Nissan had already incorporated the fix for L2 conducted emissions.

I have a couple of questions as I begin my engagement with Nissan to get this resolved:

Q1: I ran 10/3 (plus ground) to the outlet, even though the neutral was not required. It is a long, difficult run of about 150 feet and I want to be able to repurpose it in the future, if desired. While it is clear that I should cap the neutral (white) wire at the outlet end, I'm thinking perhaps I would be better off capping the end in my main panel, as well. As it stands right now, that wire is capacitively coupled to the L1 and L2 ( black and red) wires, so any voltage noise will be coupled directly into the neutral in my main panel. There is also magnetic coupling, so any ripple currents will also induce currents into the neutral. Unfortunately, the Envoy communicates with the microinverters using the neutral line, so this is likely where the noise is coming from. Does anyone know the code requirement for this white wire in the panel? Should it be connected to the neutral bar or capped?

Q2: Does anyone know of a car later than mine (5926) that included a charger with the L2 noise problem?

Q3: Is there any law which limits the conducted emissions from the charger in the LEAF? If so, what is it and which government agency oversees it?

Q4: Is the Envoy one of those devices that we simply must accept that it doesn't work if communication is disrupted by noise?

Q5: Has anyone else with an Enphase PV system seen this problem with L2 charging? If so, what is you LEAF serial number and what was the resolution (other than "charge at night")?

(Speaking of that, let's not have the "charge at night discussion in this thread. That has been and can be discussed in other threads. TIA!)

Thanks to all for any insights regarding this problem!
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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spike09
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Leaf Number: 015123
Location: Miami, Florida
Contact: Website

Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 8:10 am

RegGuheert wrote:We just received our EVSEUgraded Panasonic EVSE yesterday and the car charged for the first time ever at our house on L2 this morning between about 8:00AM an 9:00AM. During this period of time, the Envoy unit for our Enphase PV system reported 0W of production. At this point I will assume that only powerline communication was disrupted, but I cannot be sure since the production reported on Enlighten during that period is nonsensical. This afternoon I should be able to easily determine if production stops by turning on the charger and observing our power meter to see if power is flowing out of our house or in. If it is flowing in, then charging has stopped production as well as powerline communication,

My belief is that this is caused by the same problem reported in the Electrical line noise while charging at 240V thread, but I had understood that our LEAF was built after Nissan had already incorporated the fix for L2 conducted emissions.

I have a couple of questions as I begin my engagement with Nissan to get this resolved:

Q1: I ran 10/3 (plus ground) to the outlet, even though the neutral was not required. It is a long, difficult run of about 150 feet and I want to be able to repurpose it in the future, if desired. While it is clear that I should cap the neutral (white) wire at the outlet end, I'm thinking perhaps I would be better off capping the end in my main panel, as well. As it stands right now, that wire is capacitively coupled to the L1 and L2 ( black and red) wires, so any voltage noise will be coupled directly into the neutral in my main panel. There is also magnetic coupling, so any ripple currents will also induce currents into the neutral. Unfortunately, the Envoy communicates with the microinverters using the neutral line, so this is likely where the noise is coming from. Does anyone know the code requirement for this white wire in the panel? Should it be connected to the neutral bar or capped?

Q2: Does anyone know of a car later than mine (5926) that included a charger with the L2 noise problem?

Q3: Is there any law which limits the conducted emissions from the charger in the LEAF? If so, what is it and which government agency oversees it?

Q4: Is the Envoy one of those devices that we simply must accept that it doesn't work if communication is disrupted by noise?

Q5: Has anyone else with an Enphase PV system seen this problem with L2 charging? If so, what is you LEAF serial number and what was the resolution (other than "charge at night")?

(Speaking of that, let's not have the "charge at night discussion in this thread. That has been and can be discussed in other threads. TIA!)

Thanks to all for any insights regarding this problem!

Here is a basic question for you. What is the maximum capacity of your inverter? Are you sure your system can handle the additional 16A power load from the L2 charger?
Silver 2012 Nissan LEAF SL : Reserved 4/21/10 : Ordered 7/28/11 : Delivered 12/15/11
4.5m/kWh : Powered by 5kW Thin Film Solar Array
60 Months : 43K miles : 12 Bars (Free Battery Swap at 36 months)
http://pinterest.com/SPIKE09/

ERG4ALL
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Leaf Number: 000404
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 8:17 am

I have LEAF #404 and a 34 panel Enphase PV system. I've had no problem whatsoever charging the LEAF and looking at the Enphase internet graphic of our system (https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/xpWw4801 ). A couple of things may help. First of all I had originally put in a 30A circuit, #10 wire, 3 wire plus ground. Then as it got closer to actual shipments of the LEAFs, I found out that the new specs. were for a 40A circuit. Fortunately I was building my garage at the time and was able to pull out the #10 wire and install #8 with a 40A breaker. At the time I did not know if the AeroVironment EVSE needed both 240V and 120V so I used 3 wire plus ground and did not use the third wire when the EVSE was installed.

The length of my run is only about 30 feet from the EVSE to the breaker panel. I notice that you are using #10 wire and a long run. I would suggest that for a 150 ft. run you might want to use #8 or perhaps even #6. You would need to look up on the internet the recommendations for the wire size given the length of the run and the amps.

The main read out for the Enphase system is supposed to be able to be plugged into a wall outlet and then with an ethernet cable plug into your internet modem. The only problem I had was that the unit was too far away from the breaker box where the PV system was connected to the house circuits. I had to install an additional sending unit that Enphase offers. Then I could connect the Enphase readout closer to the breaker box. The readout unit is plugged into the wall socket and the readout unit's ethernet cable now connects to this extra device which is plugged into the wall socket. Then, closer to my modem, the mate to the sending unit is plugged into a wall outlet and its ethernet cable is plugged into my modem.

Don't know if any of this helps, but that at least has been my experience.
Reserved 4/20/10, Ocean Blue Ordered SL 9/30/10, ESVE Installed 11/22/10, Delivered March 8th, 2011.

wwhitney
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 8:25 am

RegGuheert wrote:Does anyone know the code requirement for this white wire in the panel? Should it be connected to the neutral bar or capped?

There is certainly no requirement to land the unused white wire in your NM cable on the neutral bar, so you can try capping it off to see if that helps.

RegGuheert wrote:Q5: Has anyone else with an Enphase PV system seen this problem with L2 charging? If so, what is you LEAF serial number and what was the resolution (other than "charge at night")?

Not yet, but I will be in your situation in a few weeks once PG&E allows me to turn on my newly installed solar panels. Come to think of it, I could do a brief test of this over the weekend. I definitely have some noise at my electrical panel while the LEAF is charging, and your situation is precisely what I am concerned about. What signal strength do you get on the Envoy during its communications check, when the LEAF isn't charging? And if you initiate a communications check while it is charging, what do you get then?

BTW, I spoke once with Bill Grossi about having my charger replaced (serial number 0835), but nothing has come of it. It seems like Nissan's strategy for dealing with this issue is to delay so they only have to replace the chargers for the vocal complainers. I haven't gotten around to complaining more vocally yet, but if charging interferes with the Enphase powerline communications, that will motivate me.

Cheers, Wayne

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drees
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 9:20 am

RegGuheert wrote:We just received our EVSEUgraded Panasonic EVSE yesterday and the car charged for the first time ever at our house on L2 this morning between about 8:00AM an 9:00AM. During this period of time, the Envoy unit for our Enphase PV system reported 0W of production. At this point I will assume that only powerline communication was disrupted, but I cannot be sure since the production reported on Enlighten during that period is nonsensical. This afternoon I should be able to easily determine if production stops by turning on the charger and observing our power meter to see if power is flowing out of our house or in. If it is flowing in, then charging has stopped production as well as powerline communication,

Looking at your Enlighten site, you have a typical case of loss of communications between the Envoy and inverters. The inverters continued to produce power during the event, but because the Envoy isn't able to read production data from the inverters, the data gets averaged out. This shows itself on Enlighten as a flat line - if you look at the logs on your Envoy (point your browser to the IP address shown on the display), the event log will show a bunch of "failed to communicate with inverter" SET messages when the problem occurred and CLR messages when the problem resolved itself.

RegGuheert wrote:My belief is that this is caused by the same problem reported in the Electrical line noise while charging at 240V thread, but I had understood that our LEAF was built after Nissan had already incorporated the fix for L2 conducted emissions.

Can't be so sure. Powerline communications are rather notorious for being very sensitive to any small amount of noise in the electrical system, even layout changes in the electrical system. For example, I simply got a new dishwasher - all of a sudden the Envoy would have issues communicating with some inverters some times even when the dishwasher wasn't running.

RegGuheert wrote:Q1: I ran 10/3 (plus ground) to the outlet, even though the neutral was not required.
....
Does anyone know the code requirement for this white wire in the panel? Should it be connected to the neutral bar or capped?

As you mentioned since the Enphase system uses the neutral line for comms and I mentioned above that PLC can be sensitive to any change to the electrical system, I would disconnect the neutral in the main panel and cap it off with a wire nut. Not sure what code says about this, but this should be OK.

RegGuheert wrote:Q2: Does anyone know of a car later than mine (5926) that included a charger with the L2 noise problem?

No, but FWIW my car (2448) doesn't induce any communications issues with my inverters charging L2 on my Blink. I don't think I've ever tried my EVSE upgrade during the day to see if also works without issue, but I wouldn't expect any difference.

RegGuheert wrote:Q4: Is the Envoy one of those devices that we simply must accept that it doesn't work if communication is disrupted by noise?

I believe so.

Enphase has a bunch of recommendations to assist with PLC issues. I may have missed it in your post, but where is your Envoy located and how many communications bars do you normally get?

Best recommendataion is to install a short dedicated circuit close to your main panel dedicated for your Envoy (if your inverters tie directly into your main panel) and then run ethernet for comms. If you have a sub-panel for combining your PV circuits, then a single outlet from that sub-panel should be used. If running ethernet to the Envoy in this location is a problem, Enphase will ship you Ethernet over Power adapters to use for free, or my preference is to use a small wifi bridge (I use a ASUS WL-330gE which works well, only draws a couple watts - it does lose the connection every now and then and requires a power reset, though).

Hope this helps!
'11 LEAF SL Powered By 3.24 kW Enphase Solar PV

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 9:47 am

35 Enphase M190s work great, with or without serial number 2244 LEAF charging.

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RegGuheert
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 10:20 am

Thanks to all for your replies! (Lack of multiquote on this forum makes it a little more difficult to reply individually.)

Regarding the placement of the Envoy, it is about 20 wire feet from the main panel, but not on a dedicated circuit. I can get it closer, but this location is convenient for internet access.

That said, the plot thickens! I did another charging test about an hour before solar noon for this array (which is 2:00PM EDT) and all worked flawlessly. I could see that we were still selling power back to the grid. More significantly, the Envoy continued to communicate without incident, showing all 42 inverters connected and reporting different power levels every 5 minutes or so.

So, what changed? Do the microinverters communicate at a lower level when they first wake up in the morning? Does the LEAF's charger draw less power below 80% SOC than above? Perhaps while the inverters were ramping up they were disrupted by a drop in AC voltage and disconnected? (Personally, I think this could be it, since these things do weird stuff when I switch off or on a section of the array.)

In any case, I plan to do some more investigation before making any changes. One thing I will do is dig around the Envoy message logs and see if there are any clues there.

I do plan to cap off the neutral in the panel, but not until I get some more data on this arrangement.

Any further testing ideas would be appreciated.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Herm
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 10:39 am

why dont you install a high frequency choke near the EVSE?

Pass both hot leads thru the choke side by side, loop them if you have room, something like this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... =107599340

This particular one has an inner diameter of only 1/4" so it might not be enough.. get a bigger one or just use one of these per lead.

Image

Here is a bigger one, 1/2" inner diameter, only $2:

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-st ... .D./1.html

Install them as close to the car as possible.. in the car would be perfect!

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wsbca
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 11:33 am

Herm wrote:why dont you install a high frequency choke near the EVSE?

Pass both hot leads thru the choke side by side, loop them if you have room...

Install them as close to the car as possible.. in the car would be perfect!



I assume you mean to put this on the feed to the EVSE from the panel - not sure how one could get them closer or not to the car in that case? Do you really mean as close to the EVSE as possible as opposed to the electrical panel?

Also, by looping, do you mean run them through the choke, then right back around and through again, then on to the destination? Are there any possible negative side effects of this seemingly fairly passive step (ie not having to disconnect any wires.)

From my panel on the outside wall, I have connectivity through the wall into the garage to both my solar inverter, and the EVSE. The circuit from the panels themselves comes down from the ceiling within the garage. They all share a gutter (~3" square), both sides of the inverter wiring come out of the top of the gutter through conduit up to/from the inverter then out to the panel, the (Blink) EVSE wiring comes out of the end of the gutter, through more conduit, up into the EVSE unit.

Are you suggesting that I could open up the gutter, identify the two live wires headed for the EVSE, and snap a choke around them, and (perhaps) this would solve the buzzing at my inverter when both the EVSE and inverter are active? For $2 I'd surely be willing to try it, since my dealer seems to have no interest in the problem without a TSB.

I'll try to edit this to attach a photo.
I was promised a jet pack!

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drees
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Re: Our LEAF disrupts our PV system while charging at L2

Thu May 17, 2012 11:50 am

wsbca wrote:I assume you mean to put this on the feed to the EVSE from the panel - not sure how one could get them closer or not to the car in that case? Do you really mean as close to the EVSE as possible as opposed to the electrical panel?

Also, by looping, do you mean run them through the choke, then right back around and through again, then on to the destination? Are there any possible negative side effects of this seemingly fairly passive step (ie not having to disconnect any wires.)

You can install the ferrite beads anywhere on the 2 hot wires to your EVSE between the main panel and your EVSE, but typically closer to the EVSE is better if possible, especially if the wires run parallel to any other wires.

Snap-on ferrite beads are easy to install, but a solid ring will typically perform better. You'll typically want to wrap each wire through the ferrite bead at least once, typically more - more loops can be more effective.

Note that ferrite beads are different and absorb noise best at different frequencies - it may take a couple different beads to find the right one.
'11 LEAF SL Powered By 3.24 kW Enphase Solar PV

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