The Enphase Microinverter
Enphase has pioneered a new approach to managing solar power that makes solar systems smarter and more efficient.
Traditionally, solar panels are connected together in series circuits fed into a single, central inverter device. This means that one inverter controls tens, hundreds or even thousands of solar panels as if they are one unit operating at the same power level. This approach reduces the overall system efficiency and limits the available information about individual panel health.
Enphase replaces these large central inverters with small micro-electronics that attach to each solar panel. These devices, known as microinverters, allow each panel to operate independently, leading to significant improvements in energy production and adding a new layer of intelligence throughout the system.
The Enphase System
Each Microinverter integrates with advanced networking technology and web-based software to enable new levels of intelligence and connectivity in the solar array.
Specifically, the Enphase Microinverter System consists of the following components:
- The Microinverter that connects to each solar module and converts DC power to grid-compliant AC power
- The Envoy Communications Gateway that networks with each microinverter and transmits performance information to the internet
- The Enlighten software where Enphase customers can monitor and manage their solar power systems 24 hours a day
Solar systems are constantly affected by environmental factors, such as shade, dust and debris.
Using a traditional inverter means that everything is wired in series, and the lowest performing module determines the performance of the entire series. This is commonly known as “The Christmas Light Effect,” and can significantly decrease the energy production of the system.
Enphase Microinverter Solution
Enphase Microinverters allow each solar panel to operate independently and control the power from each with 99.6% accuracy.
This results in a significant increase in the performance of the entire system.
Low Light Performance
Traditional invertoer systems typically shut off during low light conditions, such as the morning, evening or during thick cloud cover. This is due to the fact that they require a minimum amount of incoming power to operate effciently.
SOLUTION – In contrast, Enphase Microinverters go into what’s called “Burst Mode”, during low light conditions. At these times, the microinverter stores up the small trickle of power coming from the panel, untill there’s enough to send a burst of energy. By doing this, the microinverter is able to maintain highly effcient operation, even in low light conditions.
For more infomation about the performance of Enphase Microinverters follow this link Performance Handout
A Better Return On Your Investment
By investing in Enphase Microinverters the benefits will start from the day the hardware is installed, as your system can produce more energy for your home, and more income from your Feed-in Tariff. Over the lifetime of your solar array, the benefits will be substantial, with gains over 20 years amounting to potentially thousands of pounds. Enphase tests show that typically you will see at least 5 to 10 % increase in your energy harvest over traditional inverters.
Enphase Microinverter Systems incorporate advanced data collection and networking technology to provide system owners and installers with an unmatched level of information about the health and performance of their solar energy system. The Enlighten website provides per-module information about energy production, electrical conditions and module performance.
- 24/7 monitoring and management for each PV module
- Automatically identifies and diagnoses issues with module or inverter
- Remote troubleshooting capabilities and rapid replacement process
Solar-Intergrated Smart Energy Devices
In addition to its monitoring capabilities, Enlighten enables additional smart energy devices to integrate with your solar installation. Designated smart energy devices wirelessly connect with the Envoy Communications Gateway and are controlled through the Enlighten website.
Improving safety in solar systems depends on eliminating the risks associated with high-voltage DC wiring. Central inverter-based solar systems have a wide distribution of high-voltage DC wiring. If damaged, DC wires can generate sustained electrical arcs, reaching temperatures of more than 5000 degrees F. This increases the risk of fire and electrocution for systems owners, installers and fire fighters. In fact, the 2011 National Electric Code requires special equipment to detect and interrupt fire-causing DC arc faults in central inverter-based solar systems. Currently, these protection devices are not commercially available. In contrast, Enphase Microinverters eliminate all high-voltage DC wiring from the solar array and are connected together using standard AC wiring. This significantly reduces the risks of fire and injury.
The confidence Enphase have in their products is reflected in their comprehensive warranty coverage. Enpahse offers the industry’s leading warranty and servicing package including
- 25-year Limited Warranty
- 100% Uptime Guarantee
For more information about Enphase Microinverters see their brochure, click here Enphase Brochure
For more information about Solar please visit our Renewable Energy Division PV-Plus or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org