How does noise affect power line communications?

Learn how other electronic devices can interfere with communication between the Envoy and the microinverters

A 110kHz Power line signal is broadcast across the AC wiring for communications between the Envoy, microinverters, and AC Batteries.  This is described as Enphase powerline communications. 

On occasion electrical noise may interrupt the communications.   Enlighten indicates this with the following notification examples: 

  • AC Batteries aren't reporting data 
  • Microinverters aren't reporting data to the Envoy 
  • Microinverter failed to report 

In extreme cases, this interference can result in non-operation of the AC Batteries.   If Powerline communication is impaired, the Envoy is unable to collect data resulting in inconsistent production data displayed in Enlighten.  

Some potential sources of electrical noise include:  DC string inverters, UPS and switching power supplies, surge protected power-boards, dimmer switches, LED lighting, and appliances with inductive loads such as refrigerators or washing machines. 

Best Practises to Avoid Powerline Signal Interference: 

  • Ensure AC Wiring is less than 50 metres between the Envoy and the Microinverters and AC Batteries. 
  • Locate Envoy, microinverter, and AC battery circuit breakers together in the same solar sub-board.  Install the solar sub-board as far away from the noise source location as physically practicable.  
  • Where possible, isolate the suspected source of the interference. 
  • Use Installer Toolkit, or Enlighten Manager to confirm the Communications Signal is 3 out of 5 bars or greater.  

For 3-Phase commercial installations, Line Filters are used to attenuate or reduce unwanted electrical noise.  They can also be used to block PLC signals from other Envoys.    

Data sheet for  the 250A Radius Power Line Filter.  Available from Enphase Authorised Distributors.  


Related Categories: Envoy