Micro inverters have the potential to completely change the way we look at solar inverters. While many firms continue to produce traditional and classic string inverters, developing new technology and raising the bars in the industry, however, on the other hand Enphase aims to solve the issues that string inverters come with.
Enphase has emerged as a leader across the world in the manufacturing and distribution of solar micro inverters. Raghu Belur and Martin Fornage launched Enphase Energy in March 2006 in California, United States. Enphase turned out to be the first micro inverter company in the world, launching the very first micro inverter technology in June 2008. In no time the company established itself in the solar industry, having supplied 1 million solar inverters by September 2011. This is not it. They shipped around 30 million solar inverters across the globe by the end of 2020. Before getting on to how the Enphase inverter performs and features of it, first let’s see how it works? And what’s the difference between a normal string inverter and micro inverter.
Microinverters collect the potential power from each solar panel, transform it to Alternating Current, and then deliver it to your main switchboard and power grid. Thus it increases the efficiency of your solar panel system, given the scenario your solar modules are shaded; your overall production will not suffer. Micro inverters are small individual inverters built to attach to every single panel so that the output of other panels is not affected if there are issues like shading. And string inverters are designed to get output from all the panels together and thus affecting the power generation if the shading issue persists.
Enphase Inverter models
Enphase’s microinverter family includes two product ranges, divided in two series, IQ7 and IQ8. However, IQ8 is currently not available across the globe, it is being installed only in North America.
Enphase’s seventh-generation micro inverters are based on their own software-defined architecture, which allows for a cost-effective design with a single hardware SKU available globally. This range offers a high power generation for residential and commercial units. The IQ7 series includes a range of inverters in the family. We would love to describe it in detail but this image from Enphase speaks it all, without getting into much reading. If you are confused about what inverter to choose and what would best suit your property, speak to one of our consultants to get more clarity on your solar system.
Enphase’s eighth generation micro inverters are designed to get the power monitoring right and to operate well with advanced grid forming functions. These are built in a way that they support both old generation and the latest powerful solar cells. They are known for their speed and accuracy and can be used for on grid and off grid systems. This image from CEC shows the range of IQ8 series available
Advantages of micro inverters
The key benefit of micro inverters is that every module of the system is independently monitored and tuned for high power generation. Depending on several factors such as shading, dirt, and you may continue the list as and when you observe different roofs with varying issues, solar panels can generate different amounts of power. Whereas using string inverters can affect or reduce the output generated, even if one panel fails due to any reason. Let’s look at some situations where microinverters have to offer a greater advantage over traditional conventional inverters:
1. Shading Issues: Rooftop structures and alignments, trees, buildings can all lead to shading issues. Microinverters here help to generate maximum output possible despite the shading.
2. Temperature Variations: If you reside in an area, where the temperatures do not match, meaning there is temperature difference during different times of the day, microinverters can be one of the best technologies to install to maintain the power output.
3. Unusual Roof Layouts: Every roof is different and every roof comes with its own technicalities. The angles and orientations may differ and your roof may not face the ideal direction the panels need to be installed in. The best way to get your roof analysis done, is to speak to a technical solar consultant who can guide you through the process and also help you decide the right solar products based on your roof specifications.
Reliability of Enphase MicroInverters
String inverters come with a standard warranty of 5-10 years whereas Enphase microinverters come with a warranty of 25 years. They have been tested in various climatic conditions and have only come up as genuinely high quality products. Over the years, Enphase has reported very low failure rates and as a result they are considered to be one of the most reliable inverters.
Is it worth it to buy Enphase in 2022?
Answering this question is as simple as answering is it worth it to install solar in 2022? Of course! Solar is always going to be worth it to install in Australia, specifically. If you reside in an area where shading issues are common or your roof angles are not suitable for installing a traditional solar system with string inverter, Enphase can provide you the advantage here, helping you switch to solar and reducing your electricity bills. It is 25-30% costlier than the conventional inverters. However, it does help you reduce your quarterly bills, which means you can save money. The only thing is if a solar Pv system with string inverter pays back within 3-5 years, a solar PV system with Enphase Microinverters might take 5-7 years to pay back for themselves. If you are looking for solar and are unsure about what’s best for your property, don’t worry, we are here to help. Speak to the Solar Miner team and get the best possible solar solution for your property.