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Enphase Energy, Inc. | Product Reviews

Factory Location: United States | 0 Reviews | 20 News


About Enphase Energy, Inc.:

Enphase Energy is a NASDAQ-listed energy technology company headquartered in Fremont, California. Enphase designs and manufactures software-driven home energy solutions that span solar generation, home energy storage and web-based monitoring and control.

Enphase has shipped about twenty million solar microinverters, primarily into the residential and commercial markets in North America, Europe and Australia. Microinverters convert the direct current power from the solar panel (DC) directly into grid-compatible alternating current (AC) for use or export. Enphase was the first company to successfully commercialise the microinverter on a wide scale, and remains the market leader in their production.

Enphase Energy pioneered the concept of a microinverter. The basic idea behind a microinverter is to convert, manage and monitor energy per panel, rather than the entire array of panels. This reduces the size of the inverter that can be placed on the back of the panel, producing an AC panel

Source  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enphase_Energy


Reviews for Enphase Energy, Inc.:


Archive News for Enphase Energy, Inc.:

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Earlier this month we announced the shipment of our millionth microinverter, and we took a moment for a celebration at our booth on Wednesday of the show. We had quite a crowd show up to help us enjoy our microinverter-shaped cake! The millionth unit also made an appearance decked out in a special golden cover plate, pictured below.

It’s been quite a journey and we certainly couldn’t have reached this point without the support of our installers and customers. To illustrate the wide-spread adoption of our Microinverter System, and the first million microinverters (making up over 30,000 installations), we put together a graphic showing a small diversity of standout arrays across North America.

We’re already working toward the next million and look forward to seeing the many unique sites and global spread of our technology in the months to come. If you have a particularly interesting or memorable Enphase installation, please share it with us! Return to the Enphase blog to check out our monthly Featured Arrays, and also visit the Enphase Community to see our Array of the Week winners submitted by installers.

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Enphase Energy released field data demonstrating the reliability of its microinverter technology. The data, collected separately and independently by Westinghouse Solar and SunEdison over a two-year period from 2008-2010, show the reliability of microinverters is 45 to 70 times greater than traditional central inverters. This level of field-proven reliability allows installers and system owners to benefit from the exceptional system uptime that the Enphase Microinverter System provides.

“Reliability and quality are core to what we do at Enphase. We’ve incorporated the experience of having sold and supported more than 750,000 units into our manufacturing process and new product designs,” said Paul Nahi, CEO of Enphase Energy. “This empirical data from Westinghouse and SunEdison illustrates the reliability of our microinverter System and the value that our estimated 99.8 percent uptime delivers to our customers.”

Enphase follows an end-to-end process, from development through manufacture, to ensure the reliability and durability of its microinverters. Each microinverter uses carefully selected components and is designed so individual components are stressed well within specification. Finally, units undergo a multi-stage testing process at the factory to minimize material or workmanship defects throughout the manufacturing process.

“Our leading AC solar solutions leverage the reliability of Enphase microinverters,” said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar. “Our AC modules, with built-in Enphase microinverters, and integrated racking, wiring, and grounding reduce field assembled components by 80 percent and labor by 50 percent. Field data has shown that these AC systems are more reliable, provide a higher ROI to the system owner, and reduce on-going system maintenance costs.”

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Enphase Energy, a leading maker of microinverters, yesterday announced the launch of what is being billed as the company’s “most efficient and powerful technology to date.”

 

This may lead some of you to ask, What the heck is a microinverter?

 

Luckily for everyone involved, GetSolar’s very own Annie Lindseth has already had a concise explanation:

 

Solar panels need (micro)inverters to convert the electricity they produce to a type that can be used at home. Solar photovoltaic panels produce DC (direct) electrical current and household appliances use AC (alternating) electrical current. AC and DC refer to the direction that electrons flow when electricity is created. Technical details aside, the key point is that electricity produced by solar panels must be converted from its raw form to a more usable one. Inverters make this conversion possible.

 

Micro-inverters perform this energy conversion for individual panels or small groups of them, not for the entire system. Traditionally, a solar system would have one inverter for all of the panels, which limits the amount of equipment needed. However,micro-inverters offer a definite efficiency advantage. Here’s why: With a traditional inverter, the solar system can only reach the efficiency of the least efficient panel. Efficiency can vary because of dirt on the panels, shading, or mechanical malfunctions. If each panel has its own inverter, however, all can operate at their maximum possible efficiencies, optimizing the amount of electricity produced in the whole system.

 

Ta-da! With this in mind, it’s worth noting that this added efficiency does typically come at a higher cost: solar home energy systems with microinverters generally cost more than systems that have a centralized inverter.

 

This latest announcement from Enphase is noteworthy for a number of reasons. Among them, the new 215 Microinverter:

 

Comes with a 25-year limited warranty (Enphase previously offered a 15-year warranty)

Offers record efficiency (a weighted power conversion efficiency of 96 percent according to CEC guidelines, for you tech dorks)

Delivers 13 percent more power (at 215 W AC) than previous generations

 

Beyond Monday’s news, Enphase’s press team has been active lately. Last week the company released data that it claims show the reliability of microinverters to be 45 to 70 times greater than traditional centralized inverters.

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Microinverters and their distributed optimization cousins are on the lips and minds of every person with an interest in the future of the solar industry.  In our conversations with the market, no other topic elicits more opinions and controversy, except perhaps outsourced versus domestic manufacturing and Eric Wesoff’s tirades.  Despite the attention and promise of growth, however, Enphase, SolarEdge, et. al. netted a paltry 2% of the overall PV inverter industry value in 2010, as reported in GTM Research's most recent report on the Global PV Inverter Landscape.  Nevertheless, news within and focus on this tiny, but the promising, the market segment is never in shortage.

 

Enphase made a splash earlier this month with an S-1 filing in which the micro-inverter company is targeting $100 million in new capital in a potential IPO.  A week later, an additional SEC filing showed that Enphase is seeking $51 million in another round of fundraising, of which $17 million has already been raised.  The S-1 filing shows that the company still has at least $30 million in reserves, and while the company has been unprofitable, gross margins have been improving.   

 

So what can we learn by diving deeper into Enphase’s S-1?  For one, revenues, and presumably estimated shipments of Enphase micro-inverters, have been lumpy.  Enphase saw a jump in Q3 2010 with an a quarter-over-quarter increase of 74 percent.  This would have corresponded to the U.S.’s natural seasonality cycle as well as the peak in the global shortage of string inverters.  Furthermore, a handful of small commercial integrators began to warm up to using microinverters in projects during the latter half of 2010.

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The solar microinverter from Enphase Energy has come along way since their first generation M175 microinverter released back in 2008. The Enphase M175 was considered the first commercially successful micro inverter followed by a successor, the Enphase M190 which was introduced in 2009.

Since Enphase Energy began selling the M175 to date they have shipped more than 500,000 microinverters making their product one of the most highly sought after solar inverter by customers.

Say hello to the third generation of the solar micro inverter by Enphase Energy, pictured above the Enphase M215 will be released in early June 2011 and will be a game-changer in solar inverter market by not only delivering better performance and simplified installation but is now backed by a 25-year limited warranty!

One of the key improvements with the new Enphase M215 microinverter is its innovative cabling system, which offers the benefits of a 12 AWG trunk cable which bumps up the number of microinverters that can be on a single branch circuit up to 17. The Enphase M190 can only support 15 microinverters per branch circuit.

The Enphase M215 is rated at 215 AC Watts which will allow the new inverter to be compatible with high power output 60 cell solar panels such as 250 watts and 260 watts rated solar panels.

Mechanically, the Enphase M215 offers faster mounting through its single-bolt design, unlike its predecessors, the Enphase M190 and M175 required two bolts to fasten each microinverter to the rail.

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Petaluma, California—In June, Enphase Energy is going to start stringing up solar panels like Christmas lights.

 

The microinverter manufacturer will come out with a third-generation product this June, said executives during a briefing at its headquarters in Petaluma this week. The microinverter will achieve a 96 percent conversion efficiency, a boost from the 95 percent efficiency on the current products. But more importantly, the new product will save labor.

 

The new inverters will allow solar panels to easily be wired up on a trunk line. Imagine a line of solar panels. Each will have a microinverter attached to them. A rat-tail cable will extend from the microinverter that will get connected to a trunk line that can be cut to length.

 

The Lego style of wiring cuts the labor involved in wiring up microinverters by 60 to 70 percent according to one installer, according to Enphase, and microinverters already cut labor by around 15 percent over-centralized and string inverters.  Less labor, less cost, better for solar.

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With over 77,000 attendees from 156 countries and 2,280 exhibitors this year, Intersolar Europe (June 8-10 in Munich, Germany) is the world's largest gathering of the international solar industry. Having just opened our European offices last March, Enphase was on hand to display our next generation microinverters and take part with all of the other leading solar companies showcasing their latest solar technologies.

If you haven’t ever been, Intersolar Europe is quite a sight to behold. Encompassing all aspects of solar, the exhibition spans 15 halls and an outdoor area that covers roughly 168,000 square feet of space. Whether you’re interested in photovoltaics, solar thermal, the smart grid or solar power electronics, you’ll find numerous exhibits from companies all over the world. Covering all this ground in three days is a bit of a challenge, but thankfully the availability of scooter rentals and electronic walkways certainly helped.

The registration queue at Intersolar in Munich, Europe's largest solar trade show.

Enphase’s Intersolar booth showcased our European product line and attracted interested customers from a number of countries, including Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, Romania, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium, to name a few. There were even installers from Bulgaria who were already raving about their experiences talking with our Customer Support department as they wait expectantly for Enphase microinverters in their region.

Visitors were shown demonstrations of the full Enphase Microinverter System, many for the very first time. Enphase representatives answered questions about our European rollout and the many certifications, distribution, and compliance steps involved in deploying to new markets. It was especially rewarding to introduce so many new people to the concept of a microinverter. We loved watching the understanding of its benefits hit them as they got a system overview at our demonstration roof and Enlighten station.

The demonstration roof was a highlight for booth guests. Enphase CEO Paul Nahi points out features on the roof to an interested visitor.

The conference dates also lined up with the timing of our M215 release, so it was an excellent chance to show how far our microinverter solutions have come since we first released M175s in 2008. Though the new products are currently only available from North American distributors, we look forward to bringing them to the European markets in the months to come.

Enphase's Magnus Abso being interviewed by a German radio show at the booth.

As always, this year’s Intersolar Europe was very informational, but also a lot of fun. We met many great people and want to thank everyone who came by the booth and spoke with us. It is an unparalleled solar exhibition, and Enphase looks forward to participating for many years into the future.

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We had the pleasure of attending the Enphase Energy Road Show at Babson College in Wellesley, MA yesterday.  Enphase had exciting news to deliver with the announcement of their next-generation M215 microinverters which allow for greater flexibility, better performance, and a faster installation – what’s not to like!  The new M215’s will start shipping in June, but solar installers are encouraged to put in their order now. 

All photovoltaic solar installations require an inverter that gathers the Direct Current (DC) produced by the photovoltaic solar (PV) array and converts it to Alternating Current (AC) which can be used in the home.  Traditionally, most PV systems have a single monolithic inverter, or a central inverter dedicated to the entire array, with SMA, Solectria, PV Powered, or Fronius being the premier players.

Enphase pioneered microinverter technology for each module and made it commercially viable.  The idea for microinverters came from the need to address partial shade.  With traditional inverters, shading can dramatically cut the production of electricity because the solar cell with the least illumination dictates the operating current for all the cells wired in that series.  People in the solar industry relate partial shading to kinking in a garden hose. The narrowed opening allows a smaller portion of water through. Similarly, shading can create a disproportionate decline in electricity production.  Using the same example, microinverters allow each module to be a separate hose, minimizing production loss.

Microinverters have other advantages.  They tolerate modules that are installed at different pitches and azimuths, rather than requiring multiple central inverters.  Microinverters also allow for a single point of failure and allow for module-level monitoring.  In addition, they can be a less expensive option for smaller residential PV installations (under 2 -3 kW). 

At the roadshow, we were able to see Enphase’s M215 microinverters in action.

Things we like:

-      Higher power output to work with 260-watt 60-cell modules

-      Better performance in lower light conditions

-      96% CEC weighted efficiency which compares to traditional inverters

-      Lighter (1 lb less) allowing for  single mounting bolt and faster installation

-      Simpler cabling – installers cut and splice cable to length

-      Up to 17 modules per 20 Amp branch circuit (up to 4.42 kW)

-      Thinner profile (1-inch thickness)

Things we don’t like:

-      Not compatible with 72-cell modules, but M190 microinverters are still available to serve this segment, although scaled back in production.

Brightstar Solar has been using Enphase microinverters in our installations for the last two years and we believe it is an excellent product. We keep abreast of the latest technologies and how to incorporate them into existing projects.  Brightstar Solar can help you make clean, green solar electricity and do your part to reduce greenhouse gases in Massachusetts.  Our company offers a complimentary solar evaluation so you can decide if solar power is right for your home or business.  Rebates are not for “do-it-yourself” projects and you must involve a licensed Massachusetts solar installer.  Please contact us online or at 617-564-0050 to schedule an appointment.

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Enphase Energy just announced that it has filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed IPO of its common stock.

The book-running managers of the proposed offering will be Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch. Jefferies & Company, Inc. will be acting as joint lead manager, and Lazard Capital MarketsLLC and ThinkEquity LLC will be acting as co-managers.

Enphase is, by far, the leading microinverter firm with more than 750,000 units sold to date and the trailblazer of the microinverter market itself.

The IPO window is relatively open and the company's revenue level, sales trajectory, and overall market position make it a good candidate for a public offering.

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After a long drought, a solar company has made it through the IPO window.

Enphase, after lowering its IPO price to $6.00 per share (down from the $10.00 to $12.00 per share range set earlier this month) has crossed over from private to a public company. The Petaluma, Calif.-based microinverter startup will trade on the Nasdaq with stock symbol ENPH. The microinverter startup raised $54 million in its initial public offering and has a market cap of approximately $325 million. We'll check in over the course of the day with updates on the price of the stock.

The IPO is cause for at least a bit of optimism in the solar and cleantech industries. Investors, entrepreneurs, and competitors will be watching closely.

The maiden offering comes nine months after the IPO was registered with the SEC. Here's a link to the prospectus.

VC investors in Enphase include Third Point Ventures (with a 19.1 percent pre-IPO stake), Rockport Capital Partners (18.1 percent), Madrone Partners (14.8 percent), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (7.7 percent), Applied Ventures (6.3 percent) and Bay Partners (5.5 percent). Morgan Stanley and BoA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters.

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Enphase has lowered its IPO price range to between $6.00 and $7.00 -- down from the $10.00 to $12.00 per share range set earlier this month.

Enphase is the Petaluma, Calif.-based microinverter startup that has been long been viewed as an obvious candidate for IPO.

The current pricing comes nine months after the IPO was registered with the SEC. The offer now looks to raise approximately $50 to $58 million. The IPO could happen as soon as tomorrow, March 29.

Timing an IPO is a delicate art, and the underwriters and VC investors behind the offering might have a sense that the market is ready for this event. That or the company is in need of capital from the public rather than private markets. VC investors in Enphase include Rockport Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Applied Ventures, Madrone Capital, and Third Point Management.

Enphase has been planning its IPO with an SEC registration on file since June of 2011.

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Enphase, the Petaluma, Calif.-based microinverter startup just priced its maiden stock offering at $10 to $12 per share according to an SEC filing.  A date for the IPO has not been set.

The pricing comes nine months after the IPO was registered with the SEC. The offer looks to raise approximately $72 million to $87 million in the capital.

Timing an IPO is a delicate art and the underwriters and VC investors behind the offering might have a sense that the market is ready for this event. That or the company is in need of capital from the public rather than private markets. VC investors in Enphase include Rockport Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Applied Ventures, Madrone Capital, and Third Point Management.

Enphase has been planning its IPO with an SEC registration on file since June of 2011. The firm must periodically update that document -- here are some of the new stats:

  • The firm has shipped more than 1.55 million microinverters since its founding, 1 million in 2011 alone.
  • Enphase estimates that represent about 40,000 installations.
  • Canada accounted for 12 percent of revenue in 2011.
  • Net revenues were $20.2 million, $61.7 million and $149.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
  • Net losses were $16.9 million, $21.8 million and $32.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
  • The firm expects to incur a net loss in 2012
  • At the end of 2011, the firm had 298 employees.
  • Enphase market share of the PV inverter market in California for residential installations was 34.4 percent at the end of 2011, based on total wattage, with data from the CSI.
  • Enphase market share of the PV inverter market in California in the 10-kilowatt to 100-kilowatt small commercial sector was 16.5 percent at the end of 2011, based on total wattage, with data from the CSI.
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Enphase Energy Inc., a provider of solar micro-inverter systems, has introduced the Environ Smart Thermostat, which the company says is the world’s first solar-integrated smart energy device.

Environ is a thermostat that wirelessly connects to the Enphase micro-inverter system, allowing owners to simultaneously manage their solar installations along with their heating and cooling systems in a single We-based platform.

Environ integrates with the micro-inverter system through a Zigbee wireless connection, the standard protocol for smart-energy devices. This connection allows owners to control the indoor climate through a Web browser or smartphone, as well as directly with the wall-mounted thermostat.

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Enphase recently tabulated the results of their first survey. This survey went out to installers who have installed at least one Enphase system.

Newcomers and Veterans Agree on Enphase. Enphase has proven valuable to both solar first-timers and solar old-timers. According to the survey, our largest customer group did their first solar installation in 2009 and the second largest Enphase customer group has been doing solar installations for more than five years. Most see significant energy harvest gains (click on the chart above). Of the installers tracking energy production, 90% observed an increase of more than 5% with Enphase, and 12% of installers noticed an increase of more than 20%.

There are many reasons to consider Enphase. 100% of installers said energy harvest played a role in their choice to use Enphase, but installers had a number of other reasons for choosing Enphase, with ease of design/installation and ease of monitoring ranking high on the list.

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Enphase Energy has secured $40 million in funding, with Bay Partners leading the equity financing. This round of financing also includes participation from Horizon Technology Finance and Bridge Bank, as well as existing investors Third Point Ventures, Rockport Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, and Applied Ventures LLC.

"This financing will be used to fund our expansion plans and further strengthen our balance sheet," says Sanjeev Kumar, the chief financial officer of Enphase Energy.

The company also recently noted that it has now shipped 250,000 inverters.

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Enphase Energy, the California-based solar microinverter system company, has been on a roll. Last May they received $22.5 million in new funding from a group of investors, led by Madrone Capital Partners. This week, they were announced as the Innovation in Renewable Energy award winner of the RenewableEnergyWorld.com Excellence in Renewable Energy awards.

Enphase solves a problem in solar energy, allowing rooftop solar systems to get up to 25% more power. Normally, the rooftop solar systems have one large inverter which limits each panel’s output to the level of the worst performer. With the microinverters, there is one small inverter under each panel which changes DC current to grid-compliant AC current and allows each panel to maximize its own output.

As the company explains it, “the Enphase Energy Microinverter System solves solar power challenges by performing Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) at each solar module. MPPT is an algorithm used to calculate and respond to temperature and light changes detected on a solar power system, and to determine how much power to draw from the module. In contrast, centralized inverter’s MPPT algorithm sees the entire solar power system as a single module, and responds to the lowest production numbers it detects.”

The company claims that the microinverters also reduce installation and operational costs by removing design limitations, allowing for mixing modules, reducing wiring time, and removing the need for DC switching points. It also takes away the concern with single converters of a single point of failure.

Earlier this year, Ready Solar committed to using the Enphase microinverters exclusively for their modular ‘Solar in a Box’ product; a pre-assembled, all AC solar electric system.

Users of the system can monitor it through the company’s Enlighten website for a $2 per year per inverter subscription fee or through their Envoy communications system.

While the company is based in the U.S. and the microinverters are only approved for North America, the components are manufactured in South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe through contract manufacturer, Flextronics.

The cost is about $200 per converter and $350 for the energy management system. The list of compatible modules can be found here.

Leslie Berliant writes on the topics of sustainability, the climate crisis, environmental health and corporate social responsibility for publications that include the LOHAS Journal, Sustainablog, Celsias, Personal News Network, the Santa Monica Mirr

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Enphase Energy said Tuesday it has developed a new product that puts two microinverters into one package and created a simpler way to wire them together.

The Petaluma, a Calif.-based company is doing field trials of this new offering, called the D380 Twin Pack, and plans to make it available for customers in the first quarter of 2010, said Raghu Belur, Vice President of marketing at Enphase.

Microinverter technology isn't new, but Enphase, founded in 2005, has put a spotlight on its use for residential and commercial installations. The company, which has shipped about 100,000 microinverters since it began selling them more than a year ago, claims to be the only one selling microinverters today.

Most of the solar energy systems installed today use centralized inverters to convert power from direct current to alternating current for use on-site or feeding the grid. In this setup, each system sends the electricity it generates to that one inverter, which typically also comes with performance monitoring capabilities.

Microinverters are meant to do the same job at the solar panel level.

Each solar panel is paired with one microinverter. The company has also developed software to track power output and gather other performance data, which are shown over a web-based display for solar energy system owners.

The D380 Twin Pack would lead to different configurations for each solar energy system. Each package has two microinverters, so installers would attach one for every two panels. Each microinverter would still be responsible for converting power from one panel only.

By minimizing the number of devices that need to be connected to the panels, the design simplifies the cabling for the entire system and addresses a key complaint by Enphase's customers, Belur said.

"Our customers spend a fair amount of time doing cable management. Our goal is to minimize roof time," Belur said.

Enphase said using its new product would cut the number of connections and junction boxes by 33 percent. Reducing the AC junction boxes is significant because each is needed typically for every 6-kilowatt of installation, Belur said. 

That advantage makes D380 more suitable for commercial installation, though residential systems, which average 4 kilowatts in size, can use it as well, Belur said. Critics have been skeptical about whether microinverters are reliable enough for large installations. Belur said the size of commercial systems that use Enphase's microinverters has become larger: there will be one in hundreds of kilowatts by the end of the year. 

The company plans to continue to sell the single-inverter product because some roofs have angles and features that require panels to be set apart from one another, he said.

The pricing for the D380 would be the same as the single-inverter product, Belur said. Enphase contracts with Flextronics to make its products.  

Although Enphase got a headstart in the microinverter market, it's facing growing competition. A big threat might come from Germany-based SMA Solar Technology, the world's largest inverter maker.

Last month, SMA said it had purchased the microinverter technology from OKE-Services. OKE-Services, based in the Netherlands, had about 15years of developing and selling microinverters, SMA said (see SMA Solar Enters Microinverter Biz Through Acquisition).

OKE-Services sold thousands of them before it sold its intellectual property to SMA. SMA plans to develop its own microinverters using OKE's IP.

Incidentally, SMA said yesterday it would build a 1-gigawatt factory in Denver, with production starting in mid-2010. The company plans to make its existing lineup of products at the new, €15 million ($22.3 million) factory.

Belur said he's not worried about SMA.

"It's late into the game," Belur said. "I treat them like another startup."

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We’ve been fans of micro-inverters for a while, especially after a frustrating winter last year in which we lost more than 200 kWh of production due to snow on our roof-mounted 5.59 kW home solar system here in Aurora, Colo.

 

While we wouldn’t have gotten all 200 kWh we lost as a result of our snow + central inverter set-up, it’s pretty clear we wouldn’t have lost as many kWh with a microinverter based system.

 

Results from a study recently released by Enphase Energy – the biggest player in the microinverter market – underscore the potential production advantage of microinverters over a central inverter-based system, though, as far as we can tell, the study didn’t specifically look at snow and snow melting issues. (Hint to Enphase: Do a study that looks specifically at snow issues!)

 

Slow melting snow really hurt the production of our central-inverter solar system. Here, you can see several panels are completely free of snow, but several are not. Unfortunately, with a central inverter, string-based system, it is the lowest producing panels that dictate production. This is a problem microinverters allow you to avoid.

 

PV Watts comparison

According to Enphase, the results show that Enphase installations on average outperform PV Watts by eight percent, with a majority of sites outperforming PV Watts by 10 percent or more.

 

A review of similar published PV Watts studies, such as the 2009 study authored by Gostein, et al., indicates that solar installations using traditional central inverters actually underperform PV Watts estimates by 8 percent on average.

 

When considered together, these results indicate that Enphase Microinverters can potentially improve the performance of solar installations by up to 16 percent on average.

 

The study examined energy production data from over 143 Enphase systems installed by Real Goods Solar, Solar Universe and Astrum Solar in California and across the Eastern U.S. This data was compared to performance forecasts generated by the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) PV Watts calculator, based on geographic location, system design factors and product specifications for each installation.

 

Yes, microinverter based systems might cost more than central inverter systems – although, one expert solar installer we contacted told us that in many cases there is little to no total cost difference. However, they’re clearly more efficient and yield more production

 

And, again, there’s the snow melting factor – or, really, in our case, the glacially slow snow-melting issue, thanks to our shallow roof pitch of 19 degrees. We so wish we had micro-inverters every time it snows and we wait and wait, and wait for the snow to melt off that one last panel that’s severely reducing the production of an entire 13-panel string.

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Enphase has been planning its IPO with an SEC registration on file since June of 2011. The firm must periodically update that document -- here are some of the new stats:

  • The firm has shipped more than 1.55 million microinverters since its founding, 1 million in 2011 alone.
  • Enphase estimates that represent about 40,000 installations.
  • Canada accounted for 12 percent of revenue in 2011.
  • Net revenues were $20.2 million, $61.7 million and $149.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
  • Net losses were $16.9 million, $21.8 million and $32.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.
  • The firm expects to incur a net loss in 2012
  • At the end of 2011, the firm had 298 employees.
  • Enphase market share of the PV inverter market in California for residential installations was 34.4 percent at the end of 2011, based on total wattage, with data from the CSI.
  • Enphase market share of the PV inverter market in California in the 10-kilowatt to 100-kilowatt small commercial sector was 16.5 percent at the end of 2011, based on total wattage, with data from the CSI.

Late last year, the Petaluma, Calif.-based startup announced that it was invading Europe via France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where its devices have passed Continental standards and are ready to be installed.

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The newest micro-inverter from Enphase Energy - the M215 - is now available and we believe that this will be one hot product.

We have been fans of Enphase micro-inverters for some time and we have installed numerous Enphase systems, particularly at shady sites.  We liked how the independence of each panel/inverter helped boost energy yield, we were dazzled by the brilliant monitoring abilities of the system, and we were real fans of the 15-year warranty (compared to the standard 10-year warranty on string inverters.)

So why do we think the new model will be such a step up?  The first and foremost is the upgrade on the warranty to 25 years!  No other inverter manufacturer offers anything comparable to their standard warranty. This means that the key components of the array - the solar panels and the inverters - will now have warranties of identical duration.  We believe this is a huge step forward in building client confidence in the fundamental reliability of solar power systems.

Second, the M215 has improved its CEC efficiency rating to 96% making it the match of any of the popular string inverters.

Third, the M215 should be easier to install as it now only requires a single bolt to attach it to the array racking and its new cabling system should allow for a smoother installation process which will help to drive down costs.

Finally, the M215 is compatible with some of the more powerful solar panels out there, such as Suntech 225.  We believe that the pairing of the Suntech panels with the M215 will be a great fit for many of our residential and smaller commercial clients.

Put it all together and we believe that the Enphase M215 has the potential to be a real game-changer.  If you have been wondering when would be the right time to add solar to your home or business, the M215is one more reason why the right time to add solar is NOW!


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