How to troubleshoot Enphase microinverters not reporting
If your Enphase microinverters stop reporting data, here’s a couple things to check.
If you have Enphase microinverters, you will probably have a device called the Envoy. This is the device that reports your solar production data and makes it available to the website and smartphone app.
Your Envoy is connected to the internet with a couple different possible methods. When it loses its connection for any reason, your solar production data in the app will be frozen at the last time that the Envoy was able to connect.
I’ve experienced this a few times, and was able to track down the problem, and discovered some “hidden” features along the way. If you’re also seeing that dreaded “not reporting” message on the MyEnlighten page, hopefully this guide will be useful to you.
Your system hasn’t reported data to Enlighten since…
When you log into the Enphase monitoring website or app and everything is working fine, you’ll a message like this:
It tells me that it was able to report data 25 minutes ago, which is great.
But if your system is having a communication error, you’ll instead see the message “Your system hasn’t reported data to Enlighten” and the production graph will show dots in the time period when there was no data reported from your system.
It’ll look like this:
I unplugged my Envoy from the internet to generate this graph for this article, but has happened to me in the past several times before I tracked down the cause.
It would lose connection, and then a few hours later it would reconnect and the reporting would be fine. The Envoy apparently stores the data for a period of time, so no reporting was lost. But still, it was annoying, and it made me wonder if my hardware was having a problem.
Reading the troubleshooting guide on Enphase didn’t help, because my problem was intermittent, and their manual didn’t describe how to solve an intermittent issue.
Check the Envoy internet connection
The first thing to do is find out what type of Envoy you have and how it’s connected to the internet. This page lists the different versions that are out there. Mine is the LCD Envoy, but if you have a recent installation, you will probably have the newer IQ Envoy. This guide is probably mostly useful for the LCD version, but there are some tips below that may be useful for the new version too.
With the LCD Envoy, it will connect to the internet either through Wifi or through a grey device that plugs into the wall. Mine uses the latter, and it looks like this:
There will be two of these. One of them is located next to the Envoy, and the other is placed by your internet router.
Here’s a photo of the device that is installed next to my Envoy:
The orange cable from the Envoy is the data (ethernet) cable, and it’s connected to the grey communication device, which is plugged directly into the wall outlet.
The second communications device then receives the signal. This one is plugged into your internet router with another data cable, which is how the system connects to the internet.
Power over Ethernet
It turns out the grey communications devices actually use your home’s electrical wiring as a data cable. That’s pretty neat! When you think of it, electrical wiring is made of copper, just like ethernet cable is. Makes sense that this would work.
This type of networking technology is called power over ethernet (PoE) and you can get powerline ethernet devices for networking your home in cases where you don’t want to use WiFi.
And this was the source of my problem. Power over ethernet probably works just fine in newer homes, but my house in Buffalo was built in 1910, and some of the original knob-and-tube wiring is still in place.
Try different plugs in your house
One thing about my house is that different rooms have been renovated, including the wiring, while other rooms have the original knob-and-tube. This means that depending on where I plug in the PoE devices, they’re going to try to talk to each other over different wires in the house.
When I switched to a different plug just a few feet away (one that I know has newer romex wiring), my communication issues went away completely.
So it seems that wiring 100 years old might not be good enough to carry a clean data signal. But even if your house is newer than mine with better wiring, you’ll find that powerline ethernet isn’t as robust as normal ethernet.
Anything else plugged into your house wiring can generate interference, especially other electronic devices and even light switch dimmers.
By moving around the Envoy powerline devices into different plugs in your house, you might be able to get it away from sources of interference.
Skip the powerline ethernet entirely
However, there’s one solution that should eliminate your Envoy internet connection problem completely, which is to plug it directly into your internet router.
That orange cable in my photo above is just a regular ethernet cable, and you can plug it straight into a router. You can also substitute it with a longer cat 5e or cat 6 ethernet cable if you need more length to reach your router. There’s nothing special about the cable that Enphase supplies. It’s just a standard ethernet cable.
What do you if you have the WiFi Envoy
I don’t have the WiFi Envoy, but with my model of the Envoy, the WiFi version can be identified by a little antenna sticking out the top. The newer IQ Envoys use Wifi or cellular data.
Whichever one if you have, if you have a connection issue, you should start with general WiFI troubleshooting such as checking your signal strength and looking for sources of interference. Wifi troubleshooting is outside the scope of this article, so here’s a good guide from PCMag that will hopefully help.
Access the hidden Envoy interface
While the MyEnlighten web page and app are useful for telling you about your electricity production, they aren’t very useful for telling you about what’s going on with the internal workings of your system.
If you need to dive deeper to troubleshoot issues like internet connectivity, you might find the following tip handy.
Find the Envoy on your network
It turns out that you can connect to the Envoy directly in a web browser from another device that’s on the same network. This means that you can connect to it from a laptop or tablet on the same network, or your smartphone - but make sure that your smartphone is on Wifi and not cellular data, or else it won’t be able to “see” the Envoy. This interface is available only from inside your home network, and not from the public internet.
First thing you need to get is the IP address of your Envoy, and for that you need to log into your router.
Unfortunately every router is different, so I can’t tell you exactly what it will look like for you, but they will all have a screen somewhere that shows you the devices that are connected to the network, and what their IP address is.
Here’s what mine looks like:
You can see that it’s named Envoy and has an IP address ending in .177. My router lists the connected wired and wifi devices separately. When you log into your router, you might see every connected device listed on the same page. It just depends on your router manufacturer.
Once you have the IP address, you can actually log into it directly with a web browser. Just append http:// to the IP address. For example, I put this into my web browser:
Your IP address will be different. (If you leave out the http://, your browser might misdirect you.)
The secret Enphase interface!
If you did it correctly, you’ll see a web page like this:
Some of the things you’ll see are the same data that you can find in MyEnlighten, but there’s a few things that are useful for troubleshooting.
One of these is the “Number of microinverters online” and “Last connection to website”.
While MyEnlighten does show you when the data was last updated, it always seems to lag behind a little, whereas this hidden interface seems to have minute-by-minute reporting.
Knowing the number of microinverters online is useful for finding out if it’s all of your microinverters that are having trouble, or just one of them.
This is what you see when you click on Inventory in the menu. It gives you a detailed list of every microinverter in your system, including the hardware part, its status, and when it last successfully reported data.
If you ever have trouble with just one or a couple microinverters not reporting, you can check this page for detailed information about what’s going on. If you phone Enphase for support, they will probably ask you for the hardware number, so you can consult this page to find out.
What to do when individual microinverters aren’t reporting
If you’ve checked your Envoy interface and found out that it does have a connection to the internet but have a problem with just one or more microinverters, you might have a faulty microinverter that needs to be replaced. But it’s also possible that it’s just covered with snow or other kind of debris.
This happens to me every winter, when snow partially melts and slides off some of the panels but not all of them. The result is that you’ll see some panels generating power, while the covered panels appear to be dead in MyEnlighten. This isn’t a cause for concern: just wait a few days for the wind or sun to clear the snow off your panels, and they should start reporting again.
If snow isn’t your problem and then panel appears to be clean, you might have a dead panel or microinverter. Time to call your installer or the manufacturer for warranty service.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have an Enphase connection issue that wasn’t solved by this guide.