Product Briefing Outline: Enphase Energy has unvieled its next-generation microinverter platform. The new microinverter achieves a CEC efficiency of 96%, which the company claims is a new record for microinverter technology. The design of the new platform allows for direct integration into solar modules, enabling a new breed of AC Module (ACM) products. The first ACM products using the new microinverter technology will be available in the first half of 2011.
Problem: Microinverter’s have so far been used as a bolt-on additional product as they have only been developed and used in the last few years. Simplifying system integration costs, while improving conversion efficiencies could significantly reduce installation costs and make microinverters more cost competitive. Moving to AC modules with fully integrated microinverters at the module assembly stage would further reduce BOS costs.
Solution: The new microinverter achieves a CEC efficiency of 96%. In addition to its efficiency gains, the next-generation microinverter delivers a platform for ACM or solar modules with integrated microinverters. The platform offers a simple connector that replaces the junction box and allows the solar module manufacturers to easily incorporate Enphase's field-proven microinverter technology into new ACM product lines. For solar installers, ACM’s save time and cost during the design and construction phases of a solar project. Specifically, an ACM eliminates any need to install inverters, and it reduces the cost of wiring, grounding, fastening and other balance-of-system equipment.
Applications: Integrated AC modules for residential and commercial applications
Platform: The Microinverter attaches directly to the solar module and converts DC power to grid-compliant AC power. The Envoy Communications Gateway (EMU) that collects and transmits performance information from each solar module to a proprietary website for use by the customer. Per-module Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) contributes to energy harvest gains of 5 – 25%. With Enphase Microinverters, the modules are resilient to dust, debris, and shading. Enphase Burst Mode technology provides greater production in low-light conditions.
Availability: In the U.S. in the first-half 2011.