The assembly of a Tigo System requires that the serial numbers are captured, prior to installation. The best way to achieve this, is to capture the labels before even going to the site (while still in office), or by scanning the units on site, before laying the panels down.
However, there are times at which a team of industrious installers will complete the assembly before they have captured any serial numbers... What can you do?
If you find yourself in this predicament, Tigo Support can help! There are 2 potential methods in which the serial numbers can be retrieved:
Full Disclosure: Employing these methods will allow the Tigo Engineers to start a Remote System Discovery based on very little information. With this, they can retrieve most or all of the TS4 serial numbers, but the effort to do so is slow slow process (takes up to 48 hours or longer for some systems), and the results are usually a full list of serials, in a random order of locations. This is important to note, because it could cause future confusion when trying track down an anomaly (as compared to the location to the Tigo Portal/System View).
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 that are 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. This will help the Support Team not only find the interior units quicker, but accuracy of placement/location will be there for at least "a percentage" of the mapping. This will help reduce confusion and labor costs, when returning to site for future visits.
If there is absolutely no way to return to site (or gather any of the serial numbers), the Installer must rely on a Blind Discovery. In this method, a Tigo Support Agent will use a fictitious serial number to start the Discovery. Once the Data Logger has reported other units, the fictitious serial number is removed from the system.
This is considered the last ditch effort, in that there is no guarantee that any units within the system will be sorted in the correct location (within a string or an array).
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 you return to 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 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 person who is familiar with the system who can do this onsite, while you can gather the location results for a future site visit.
Remote Estimation - The Tigo Support team can measure how strong the RSSI (received signal strength indication) is, 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 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 what the layout is.
Once you have gathered all of the necessary information, you can change the serial number locations on the System Layout page. If you require assistance with this, you may Contact Tigo Support.