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You’ve probably heard that solar equipment has come down in price as global demand continues to rise. It’s true. But there’s another important cost associated with going solar that often gets overlooked—labor. Fortunately, Enphase, a leading innovator in solar hardware, is doing more than just optimizing their products so that they cost less and produce more. They’re even making them faster to install too, which reduces your entire system’s total-cost-of-ownership. Zensolar works with Enphase to provide solar systems that are incredibly dependable and efficient.
In 2008, Enphase disrupted the solar industry by introducing the world’s first microinverter system. Unlike traditional solar systems that feature one large inverter to convert DC power to AC power, microinverters attach to the back of every module. This allows DC to be converted to AC power immediately. Today’s high-tech Enphase microinverters are mounted to your modules at the factory level, erasing the time it takes for inverter installation.
A Smarter System to Manage Power
Enphase set out to optimize the way solar systems operate. Microinverters bring a number of advantages to your system. Perhaps most important is their reliability and ease of replacement. If a microinverter goes down, you lose production from just a single module. If your conventional inverter goes down, you lose the production of your entire system, which will impact your payback period if it’s down for a long period of time. It’s important that your array is up and running every day to get the best return over the life of your investment.
Microinverters are also less likely to fail or need maintenance since they don’t have working parts. They are small boxes with simple mechanisms inside. In the rare scenario that you do need to replace a micro inverter, the procedure is relatively easy and low-cost. Traditional inverters are complex products that require cooling systems and specific expertise to repair.
Monitoring at the Module Level
With an Enphase microinverter system, you can monitor the production of every module in your array. This is an important feature for managing your system so that you can repair damaged modules, or locate burnt out connections. In traditional arrays without microinverters, an entire row of modules might be strung together, and your solar installer won’t be able to tell which module is underperforming. This requires costly time spent dismantling the array and checking for the issue. Module-level monitoring also allows you to locate shading problems. If a group of modules is underperforming, you can be sure that something is obstructing the sunlight’s path to them.
A Company with A Track Record of Success
When investing in solar, the company that backs your warranty is as important as the system itself. Founded in California in 2006, Enphase has cemented a sterling reputation for itself in the solar industry. To date, they have shipped more than 21 million micro inverters, and the latest version of the product is the 7th generation. Enphase is a publicly-traded company, and in all likelihood they will be around to honor your warranty decades down the road. Many unproven competitors are entering the solar market right now, and unlike Enphase, there’s no way of knowing whether they will remain in business over the next ten years.
A 25-Year Powerful Warranty
Enphase microinverters offer a significant advantage over traditional inverters: they have twice the warranty period. Enphase micro inverters are warranted for 25 years, rather than the 12-year industry-standard for string inverters. Replacing an inverter is a major expense to have to pay out in the middle of your system’s lifetime, and could have a profound impact on your payback period. The industry standard warranty for modules is also 25 years, which means your whole system is covered for a quarter of a center if you choose Enphase. They also provide peace of mind in knowing that they’re likely to have an effective and organized warranty fulfillment system, which is not always the case with other manufacturers.
User-Friendly Software: My Enlighten
Purchasing Enphase micro inverters allows you to use the company’s power management software, My Enlighten. The software works with a hardware component called Envoy that collects data from you micro inverters, then communicates information to My Enlighten via the internet. Envoy can also communicate system updates back to your micro inverters. You can access My Enlighten from any web-enabled device to see how much energy your system is producing in real-time. It also allows you to see your production in historical contexts so you know how much you’re producing in year or month period. My Enlighten also allows your solar installer to monitor your system, so they can ensure it is functioning the way it was intended to.