The assembly of a Tigo System requires the scan or input of each MLPE serial number into the system's build (online). This process is best accomplished prior to installation (while still in the office) or by scanning the units on-site before laying the panels down.
However, there are times when a team of industrious installers will complete the assembly before capturing any serial numbers... What can you do?
If you find yourself in this predicament, there is one potential method in which the serial numbers can be retrieved via the Single Unit Discovery Method
Full Disclosure: This method will help the Tigo Engineers to start a Remote System Discovery based on very little information, but the process has the following drawbacks:
- Not ALL of the TS4 serials may be retrieved.
- The system layout will be incorrect (expect monitoring/troubleshooting issues at a later time)
- The process can be lengthy (48 hours or more).
Single Unit Discovery Method
The Single Unit Discovery Method requires at least one serial number from the system. From there, the Tigo Support Engineer can enter the information into the system and perform a Remote Discovery. The Data Logger / CCA (Cloud Connect Advanced) uses this information to establish the system and detect other serial numbers transmitting on the rooftop.
If the system is on a steep roof, this may seem impossible without rolling out a crane to the site. In these cases, a camera phone on a selfie stick has become an indispensable tool.
Use your selfie stick to gather as many of the outer (border) units as possible. The more, the better! It will help the Support Team to find the interior units quicker, and there will be some accuracy of placement/location for a small percentage of the total map (which may reduce confusion and labor costs when returning to the site for future visits).
Future Site Visits
Matching the physical orientation or PV Module location to the results of an assisted Discovery can be a daunting task. Especially when you have compiled a good amount of data about an affected unit but return to the site to find it's in a completely different location.
For this, we recommend one of these 3 methods:
Full Site Review - Unfortunately, this requires returning to the site and lifting panels. It's the least cost-effective approach, but it reduces any confusion for the customer and/or the installation team.
Blanket Test - If you blanket a panel (completely blocking out the sun), the results will show as a dark panel on the Tigo System View. However, it takes 15 min of blanketing to cause a significant color change to a PV Module (online), and an additional 15 min for those results to show on the Tigo Portal. Since the process is slow, it's best to have a local maintenance worker (or a person who is familiar with the system) do this onsite while you can gather the location results remotely. Then, you can correct the placement of the serials as the results come in.
Remote Estimation - The Tigo Support team can measure the strength of the RSSI (received signal strength indication) from each Optimizer to the TAP. With this information, they can deduce which optimizers are the closest to the TAP's location. The result is a map of placement by numeric value:
The system map will still not be accurate, but the Units will be sorted by distance, and this will arrange the locations closer to the actual layout.
Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, you can change the serial number locations on the System Layout page by following the directions at: Updating a Serial Number for an MLPE Replacement
Having a hard time? Contact our highly trained and helpful Technical Support Team today!