Wow. Glad I read this before buying.

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21 comments

  • Avatar
    Curtis Community Moderator

    Hello H P,

    Thank you for voicing your concerns. 

    The data services provided by Tigo are FREE, for any person who owns a system, and all parts are covered by warranty. Tigo does offer a paid optional Premium Service that gives the system owner and installer, additional data granularity and download data points for the entire lifetime of the system. The cost for the Premium service is nominal, and you may opt out at any time. 

    The data delay you are referring to, is occurring for a small community of Tigo customers (mostly in the EU) and will be resolved once the international service upgrade has been implemented. The vast majority of worldwide customers still receive their data on time. 

    If you would like to chat with a Sales Engineer, they can provide you with more information about our services. They also offer consultation and design services to ensure that you can create the most successful system possible. 

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    Louise Bentley

    I don't believe it is a “small community” not receiving their data on time. I am in the US and my day’s data does not appear online until late afternoon! This has been happening for the second week. It is unnerving because I am trying to do string testing and not having data until 4 hours later is hindering my testing. It feels like Tigo is “sharing the servers across the world by updating EU data in first half of my day, then doing the US data on 2nd half of the day. I do think they are probably managing “their current situation right now” the best they can, but customer communication could be improved. Their system status webpage seems to always say resolved, when I know for sure MY system status is currently ZERO data for the day.

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  • Avatar
    H P

    > The data services provided by Tigo are FREE, for any person who owns a system, and all parts are covered by warranty

    Please confirm that if I want to download MY data points, that I can do so without paying the annual fee?

    Also please confirm that there is no warranty reduction if I choose to operate my system without connecting it to the Tigo Cloud?   

    > download data points for the entire lifetime of the system.

    Please tell me how I will be able to download my data points if Tigo should go out of business or be procured by another company that opts to stop supporting Tigo products?  Or are you saying the lifetime of the system is only for as long as Tigo is in business?

    I think that you can not confirm these things and as such, not sure why you would respond with misinformation?

     

    I will also note that people have been reporting these problems since at least August 2023 (according to forum posts I've found).  That's approximately 6 months and I know it doesn't take that long to spin up another AWS instance or what have you.

     

    I don't think there's anything a sales engineer can tell me

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Archie Roboostoff Community Moderator
    Early Adopter

    Thanks for the feedback. 

    Users on free monitoring can download their data at 15 min intervals for free. You can do so by extracting a CSV/Excel file of whatever you want via our portal. Customers that pay for premium get access to the API where they can automatically pull data but free customers can download 2 weeks of data at a time from the portal. 

    The data processing delays we are experiencing are due to the growth of our platform but in the next 2 weeks we will have this issue solved. We've been moving to a new infrastructure and have been testing things with certain beta customers and a subset of our customer base. 

    We apologize for any inconvenience you may be experiencing - our engineers are working hard to bring the new system online. 

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    I've been using Tigo optimizers for a couple of years now. The hardware works great! They definitely improve my system's ability to pull in power in suboptimal conditions, which happens a lot in Massachusetts and with a lot of trees.

    My data access experience has been pretty horrible. I don't understand why Tigo is so completely opposed to customers having access to their own data. The individual optimizers talk wirelessly to the TAPs, the TAPs connect over wires to the CCA. The CCA supports modbus, but only to read in data from my inverters and other power sensors, it gives NOTHING back. No local access whatsoever.

    And when people ask in here for local access, the 'community moderators' and other Tigo staff say they would have to completely redesign their stuff from the ground up, which is 100% bs.

    I've experienced data processing delays since the first day I turned on the system, way back in 2021. They've been promising improvements since then. In the last thread, we were told the new system would be coming online in mid February. Now it's "2 weeks", so slipping yet again.

    I had set up a very simple script to fetch data out of the Tigo API and push it into pvoutput. Despite paying for premium service, apparently pulling down the most recent 5 minutes of production data 12 times an hour is too much load on their system, my IP has now been blocked for almost a month, and an open ticket I have to find out why it was blocked and whether it could be unblocked has gone unanswered for a week.

    Imagine if I could just get data directly from the TAPs or CCA? Then I wouldn't have to be accused of a DOS attack on their API with my 0.0033 requests per second...

    I'm really not sure I can recommend this right now. If you need to buy something right now, I'd probably go elsewhere. If the new data pipeline is more than a pipe dream and we see actual improvement before March, I'll reconsider that... maybe wait and see if things actually improve? They've been building this new data pipeline for like three years. It better be damned impressive!

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  • Avatar
    H P

    Wow.  Imagine paying for a service and having your IP blocked for using said service in the way said service is intended to be used!

    Thanks for your honest assessment.  

    As an 30+ year embedded firmware engineer, I can really get into a decent reverse engineering exercise but why would I buy something knowing that I'm going to have to invest a hundred hours of time to get the data I need.

    I'd like to 'wait' but I don't see any viable alternatives to optimization/RSD for my Sol-Ark based system and in order to get my government grant, I need to get panels up on the roof and inspected in the next couple months.   Right now, I've priced out an APSmart setup which will get me through an inspection and when a less problematic optimizer solution presents itself (like Enteligent/Sol-Ark's vaporware O800's) then I'll switch.  

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    I have a feeling I was blocked because I had retries enabled on the API calls, so when their system got backed up and returned no data for hours at a time, all the previous requests for data stacked up and turned into a whole lot more requests per second. But also, I don't care. They know who is connecting, they know it is a paying customer, they could have contacted me to let me know that I was hitting their systems too hard, they could have responded to my ticket, they could have done a lot of things.

    I hate the lack of local data access... I have 30 years of systems/software/automation work, and my senior project in college involved reverse engineering an old, unsupported lighting control system in use at my college's theatre. So I'm right there with you at "i could do this, but why?". And who knows, maybe they even encrypt the data between the TAPs and the CCA, and as a closed source walled garden system, they could change it at any time...

    I do hope the new data pipeline and API servers just work so i can go back to ignoring it.

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    But also, yeah, it's frustrating because the hardware itself works perfectly, and would be perfect for an optimization+RSD for solark. Right now I have a delta inverter, and the firmware in that inverter is kinda broken so loading it beyond 75% capacity causes it to back off production. Since I had the tigos handling RSD, I was able to pick up a used Solis (ex-sunrun) inverter for about $200 that is now taking 1/3rd of my roof's panels, and I didn't have to climb on the roof and change out RSDs, and it all just works and is still UL compliant/tested (because both inverters have UL listing with Tigo).

    And bonus, if I ever get around to installing the standalone arc fault detectors i bought last year, I can tie them into the Tigo as well and trigger a rapid shutdown for both parallel and series faults, where the arc detection built into the inverters only handles one of those.

    So again, it's a great flexible system, and I wish the data side was as good.

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  • Avatar
    H P

    My own personal IT policy is to have no 'cloud' stuff and all IoT stuff is on a separate VLAN with no internet access.  The fact that Tigo has tied the warranty to a requirement that the equipment is on the internet and there being a preponderance of evidence that they don't know how to run 'cloud' servers means that it's potentially easy for nefarious actors (or even Tigo themselves if they decide they don't like you) to get access to shutdown everyone's CCA's remotely and thus stop everyone's PV production.

    Fortunately, there appears to be a group of people who are actively reverse engineering the CCA firmware despite Tigo firmware updates trying to block their accesses.  The arms race appears to be in motion.   https://github.com/rp-/tigo-exporter/tree/master

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    Ooooh. thanks for that link!

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  • Avatar
    H P

    Sure.  Here's another useful link. https://github.com/Koenkk/zigbee2mqtt/discussions/18020#discussioncomment-6814908

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  • Avatar
    Gerard Marquez
    Early Adopter

    FWIW, the Solar Edge hardware has its own problem with their optimizers. The reliability is poor according to the installers that came to fix my other system (they crap out after a year or two). 

    As for Tigo, all of the data is available in the advanced charts at minute granularity. If you have premium service ($20 a year) you can play around with the api connection.

     

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    That is the big plus for Tigo here... Reliable hardware that I've had under my panels for 3 years and every expectation it'll all still be there in another 15, silently bringing in the electrons. The data side is very frustrating, but I'm too busy to spend much time being annoyed about it. I'll backfill my pvoutput data once I get access to the API again (and in the mean time I'll be grumpy about it)

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  • Avatar
    Curtis Community Moderator

    Hello Louise Bentley

    The delays you have experienced may or may not be related to the international issues discussed. For this reason, I have opened up a ticket for you. An Engineer will be in contact to evaluate the issue, very soon. Thank you for your patience with this process.

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  • Avatar
    Christopher Fraser

    Honestly, for free, I don't see the problem about a delay in the data.  It is always available later and you can check your inverters to make sure they are getting power.  It would be nice to have the data without it going to the servers first.  The product itself though is outstanding.  10-25% power boost for around $45 retail.  I mean, you aren't getting that kind of return from your solar panels even if you use 600w panels (you have to include the cost of racking, installation, etc.)  The time and cost to install tigo optimizers is negligible.  

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  • Avatar
    H P

    > The time and cost to install tigo optimizers is negligible.  

    I dunno.  The quote I was looking at was $2300 CAD on top of an $18,000 CAD system.  Maybe you have a lot of money but that's not "negligible".  (27 TS4-A-O, 1 CCA, 2 TAP).    But even if your system is 1 panel, I don't see how you can get a TS4-A-O plus a TAP plus a CCA for $45 USD.

     

     

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Christopher Fraser

    Sorry , meant 45 per panel. You don’t need two taps unless its are more than 30m from the cca. The cca package is like $300 so about $11/panel for 27. 18k cad, mind sharing what you have planned? Might be able to suggest alternatives that are more cost effective. 18k cad should be at least a 15kw system, unless that includes installation too.

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  • Avatar
    H P

    I'll have 2 strings of panels.  9 on one roof, 18 on another roof.    I speculated that a single TAP might be able to reach both strings but was getting a second TAP just in case.  So 27 x 515w panels, racking and a Sol-Ark 15k is around $18k CAD with taxes and shipping.

    From this retailer: https://www.solaronline.ca/  a TS4-A-O is $66, 2x TAP is $170, and a CCA is $219 in CAD.  So it works out to $2170 before shipping.  Probably $300 in shipping so pretty close to $2500 CAD  (approx $1851 USD according to xe.com). 

    I could get APSmart RSD for a lot less and APSmart seems less openly hostile to their customers than Tigo.   Only one of my roofs is likely to end up with periodic shading so I could buy APSmart for my 9-panel roof but my 18 panel roof is likely to have some shading during the afternoons so I could maybe save $800 by mixing APSmart and Tigo.

    If there were literally any other optimizer+RSD game in town that would work with my Sol-Ark that wasn't vaporware, I'd jump on it especially since I'm anaphylactially allergic to putting my devices on any sort of 'cloud'.  Being forced to in order to maintain warranty coverage is openly hostile.

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    I have a couple of the arc fault detectors from this company... i honestly haven't installed them yet, because other projects took precedence and my inverters have arc fault detection (though it is failing).

    But, the arc detectors at least are real, I wonder how good/reliable their optimizers are... https://www.fonrich.com/Solar-Power-Optimizer-pl3345159.html

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  • Avatar
    H P

    yeah.  That's a tough sell.  No Canadian (or even North American) dealers and their 'shop' button leads to some dodgey site that doesn't actually seem to have any products on it.

     

     

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  • Avatar
    Jesse Campbell
    Early Adopter

    😬😬😬😬😬

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