Enphase Microinverters

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 Enphase Microinverters

Enphase Energy – Company Overview and History

Enphase Microinverters: Raghu Belur and Martin Fornage launched Enphase Energy in March 2006 in California, United States. Enphase was the first microinverter company in the world, launching the first microinverter system in June 2008. Enphase didn’t take long to establish itself in the solar inverter market, having supplied 1 million inverters by September 2011.

Enphase entered the Australian market in 2012 and went public on the NASDAQ. As one of the company’s key beliefs, Enphase is dedicated to innovation. Enphase established a new research and development center in New Zealand in 2016. Enphase’s R&D advancements have spawned 134 patents around the world.

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comparison

Enphase Microinverters

WZRELB Wave Solar Inverter

61MpLXbPaYL. AC SL1500 615i9l6cauL. AC SL1000
Brand Enphase
Brand WZRELB
Item Dimensions LxWxH 8 x 8 x 5 inches
Item Dimensions LxWxH 17.7 x 9.5 x 3.7 inches
Item Weight 6 Pounds
Item Weight 9 Pounds
Input Voltage 12 Volts
Input Voltage 12 Volts
Efficiency 13%
Efficiency Up to 23.4%
Total Power Outlets 1
Total Power Outlets 2

Enphase originally revealed the Enphase IQ Microinverter System, the seventh iteration of their microinverter technology, in June of 2018. The IQ 7 series is Enphase’s most recent microinverter technology.

The Australian headquarters of Enphase is in Melbourne, Victoria.

A Quick Overview of Solar Inverters

The inverter in a solar system converts the DC electricity generated by solar panels into grid-compatible AC electricity. String inverters, hybrid inverters, microinverters, and power optimizers are the four types of solar inverters.

 

61MpLXbPaYL. AC SL1500

 

What Are Microinverters and How Do They Work?

Microinverter systems pair a microinverter with each solar panel, whereas conventional systems have only one centralized inverter for the entire solar panel array. In terms of system design flexibility, ease of installation, installation costs, and system power yields, microinverter systems have a variety of potential advantages over conventional systems. As a result, the popularity, number, and affordability of such systems are increasing.

The following are some of the general advantages of a microinverter system over a traditional system:

  • -Higher system power yields, especially when the solar panel array is partially shaded, compared to typical systems with strings of solar panels
  • In partially shadowed settings, the microinverter has an advantage.
  • Remove potentially more harmful outgoing high-voltage DC power from traditional solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
  • -Individual solar panel power production can be monitored in detail, giving system owners more peace of mind and making troubleshooting easier in the event of a problem.
  • Instead of being attached to the mounting, microinverters can be built into the solar panels themselves (a “detached” option). The installation of systems made up of these “AC solar modules” is far more straightforward than the panel + microinverter setup.

What is the top performer at PV Evolution Labs?

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) has been independently testing solar panel reliability since 2014, with help from DNV GL, and has now tested solar inverters for the first time in 2019. It is a paid optional test that manufacturers must participate in. Solar panel testing is widely regarded as an excellent indicator of solar panel quality around the world. Inverter testing is likely to be recognized in the same way. Click here to read the entire PVEL scorecard.

In none of these tests, did Enphase receives a high score.

Points of Distinction for Enphase Inverters

Enphase continues to demonstrate why they are the leading microinverter producer in the industry. They’ve done so by constantly improving their IQ range and establishing a track record in the process.

The Enphase IQ 7 Series is the company’s seventh product generation in the last ten years. This high-quality microinverter family has a low failure rate and the highest microinverter EU Efficiency of 96.5 percent in the industry. In an independent study conducted by PV Evolution Labs, the Enphase IQ 7 Series Microinverters were found to produce 1-3.1 percent more energy than string inverters.

Enphase seeks to give end-users a solution that not only offers the fundamental benefits of a microinverter system, but also a more interactive and instructive user experience than most conventional systems.

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Enphase Envoy and Enlightenment

The software that connects the user to their solar system is Envoy, Enphase’s home energy solution. It allows microinverters and the internet to communicate in both directions.

Through an internet platform and smartphone application, Enphase Enlighten allows users to monitor their system’s health and microinverter performance at the individual solar module level.

Costs of Enphase Inverters Indicative pricing

Microinverter Enphase IQ Series Micros IQ7+ 290VA

between $140 and $160

$120 to $140 Enphase IQ Series Micros IQ7 240VA Microinverter

Keep in mind that inverter costs often range from 10% to 20% of the total system cost, therefore it is frequently worthwhile to invest in a high-quality inverter because it will have a significant impact on the efficiency and performance of your Solar Power project.

Compatibility of Enphase Microinverter Batteries

Enphase Microinverters have only one important limitation: battery storage. Because microinverters generate AC power, they are incompatible with the majority of solar batteries because they are DC coupled.

Enphase Microinverters, on the other hand, can be used with popular AC batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the SonnenBatterie hybrid 9.53. Enphase also sells a CEC-approved battery, the AC Battery, which is unique in the Australian market due to its tiny size and modular design: a single unit (weighing 23kg) stores 1.2kWh of useful energy.

The AC Battery is designed for solar systems that are linked to the grid; it cannot provide backup power in the case of a blackout and is not suitable for solar systems that are off-grid.

In Australia, Enphase Microinverters are available in a wide range of configurations.

The Clean Energy Council has authorized all of Enphase’s Micro Inverters listed on their Australian website for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme, which is Australia’s home solar rebate program.

The following are the four models that have been approved:

  • Microinverter Enphase IQ 7A
  • Microinverter Enphase IQ 7
  • Microinverter Enphase IQ 7+
  • Microinverter Enphase IQ 7X

Pros and Cons of Enphase MicroInverters

Pros

  • Monitoring and fault detection at the individual panel level
  • According to PV Evolution Labs’ Australian branch in Melbourne, which has local support people, improves system resilience to shading and can boost system performance by 1-3.1 percent.

Cons

  • One of the most costly inverter options available.
  • Without an extra inverter, it is not possible to connect to a DC battery.

Specifications for Enphase Microinverters

IQ 7A by Enphase

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Enphase IQ 7+ is a new product from Enphase.

Peak Output Power 366VA 295VA 320VA Maximum Continuous Output Current 349VA 290VA 315VA Enphase IQ 7X

  • DC Voltage Maximum
  • 58V 60V 79.5V
  • EU 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent 96.5 percent
  • Dimensions in relation to safety Unit for Switching and Connecting 212 x 175 x 30.2 mm 212 x 175 x 30.2 mm 212 x 175 x 30.2 mm 212 x 175 x 30.2 mm 212 x 175 x 30.2 mm
  • Weight 1.08kg 1.08kg 1.08kg
  • ten years ten years ten years ten years ten years ten years ten years
  • -40°C to 60°C operating temperature range
  • Temperatures range from -40°C to 65°C.
  • Temperatures range from -40°C to 60°C.
  • Made in the United States/Asia
  • Asia/North America
  • Asia/North America

Enphase Commercial Solar Project Example

The Richmond Football Club’s headquarters and training facilities, the ME Bank Centre in Melbourne, received a solar system as part of this commercial project. Metro Solar installed a system with a total capacity of 100kW. Enphase M215 Microinverters and Yingli 250W Solar Modules were used in the system.

Metro Solar was able to create a system that captured maximum harvest and increased performance for the facility’s unusually large baseload, the majority of which is consumed during the day, using Enphase technology. The microinverters also allow for an additional generation in the morning and at twilight, allowing the Richmond Football Club to save money overall.

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