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Product Review: Enphase Battery Storage System

by Barry Cinnamon (June 14, 2017) www.greentechmedia.com

Product Review: Enphase Battery Storage System

The team at Cinnamon Solar and Spice Solar have conducted a series of hands-on reviews of commercially available residential battery storage systems.

Reviews are based on the installation and usage of each system using commercially available products and software, provided by manufacturers. The intent is to provide useful real-world experiences to installers, homeowners and manufacturers as behind-the-meter battery storage systems become more popular.

In the first review, we examine Enphase’s AC battery. 

The Enphase storage system is a modular AC-coupled battery storage system designed for residential customers with and without grid-tied solar power systems. Each modular battery includes a 1.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-iron-phosphate battery and a 280-watt inverter in a 55-pound indoor-rated wall mounted enclosure. 

The Enphase storage system is ideal for customers who want to store their solar energy or inexpensive grid energy for consumption during peak electric periods. The equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Since the system is AC-coupled, it does not require a PV system to operate, and is compatible with the entire installed base of grid-tied PV systems. Note that the Enphase AC storage system does not provide backup power.

The simplicity and modular nature of the Enphase storage system make it one of the most straightforward systems to design (with the Enphase AC battery sizing tool), install (with the Enphase installer toolkit phone app), operate (with the Enlighten web portal) and maintain.

Enphase is an established solar equipment supplier with a reputation for delivering good product and service quality.

Documentation, training and support

Enphase gets excellent grades when it comes to the design of the storage system. The modular nature of the system is inherently simple. Documentation is straightforward and comprehensive. Enphase provides regular regional training and webinars for their system.

Shipping and transportation

Large battery storage systems have special shipping requirements. The Enphase AC battery is UN 38.3 certified for shipping worldwide. Most common carriers can meet these requirements, including FedEx and UPS. Since the system is modular, it can be carried by hand to the installation site. 

Operation and maintenance

Once the system was installed and configured, operation is completely automatic. Note that it will be necessary for the customer (or installer) to update electric rates as they change.

Conclusion

Enphase has a comparatively good track record for releasing stable, well-engineered and well-documented products. We expect that the Enphase storage system will be one of the more reliable and user-friendly battery storage systems on the market. Since the complete system’s initial price point is relatively low and it works with all existing grid tied PV systems, the Enphase AC battery is an excellent entry-level battery storage option.

CLICK HERE to read the original article.

Enphase plug-and-play solar energy storage system to begin pilot program

by Lynda Delacey (October 29, 2015) GizMag.com

Enphase Battery 01

An interesting new player is set to enter the emerging home energy storage arena in the shape of the Enphase Home Energy Solution. Enphase is billed as the world’s first integrated system that allows home users to store, monitor and manage their rooftop-generated solar electricity, while controlling their overall electricity consumption. The new product will be piloted in Australia from December 2015.

The system, (which was clearly named by engineers) provides a modular AC battery array and a networking hub that connects to a cloud-based monitoring app.

“Every other solution on the market that we know of is essentially just a battery,” Enphase Energy’s Asia-Pacific managing director, Nathan Dunn, told Gizmag. “This means you’d have to add additional components to convert the power supply to AC, and additional software to monitor the battery usage. All of that requires a lot of complex engineering. We’re offering a complete solution that can be essentially a plug and play exercise.”

The wall-mountable Enphase AC Battery measures just 390 x 325 x 220 mm (16 x 13 x 9 in) and weighs 25 kg (55 lbs). Each battery incorporates a bidirectional microinverter and provides 1.2 kW hours of energy and 275W/500W power output. It has an ambient temperature range of -20°C to 45°C (-4° to 113° F) and a limited warranty (> 80% capacity) for up to 10 years or 7300 cycles.

“We’ve partnered with ELIIY Power, a Japanese battery provider to develop a battery based on Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry,” said Dunn. “This is an incredibly safe technology with a prismatic cell format that is very resilient to high temperatures and trauma events.”

According to Enphase, a hypothetical home user with a PV array may choose to install the system in three stages.

Stage one: Install Enphase Envoy-S Metered, the networking hub of the system. This device – around the size of an iPad – will send you information via the company’s MyEnlighten app. You can then start obsessing over how much energy your PV system is generating (and when), and how much energy your household is drawing from both your PV system and the grid throughout the day. This shows you how many storage batteries you may need.

Enphase Battery 03

Stage two: Start with two or three Enphase AC Batteries and have them installed in series to start building towards the battery capacity you need.

Enphase Battery 01

Stage three: The system will automatically start optimising your PV energy usage – shifting it to batteries when you’re generating more power than you use, and drawing electricity back from the batteries during peak usage periods. You can then start mixing things up – change your habits, or add more batteries and solar panels – to find ways to further reduce your electricity bill.

Enphase Battery 02

Enphase has announced pricing for the battery at AUD$1,150 (US$817) per kilowatt hour for volume purchases by direct customers in the Australian market, with a margin to be applied by partners.

There’s no denying that solar energy isn’t a cheap prospect yet, but with storage and efficiency still the industry’s biggest stumbling blocks, it will be interesting to see how the system goes on the market.

CLICK HERE to access the original article.

Enphase Announces the 4th Generation Micro-Inverter

By Brent Sauser

[youtube]http://youtu.be/qFp-cLt-Buw[/youtube]

enphase inverter 01As the cost of solar panels continue to go down and efficiencies continue to rise, it is time to consider the efficiencies of other solar array components and how to achieve the greatest results possible.

Introducing the Enphase M250 Microinverter. Solar inverters convert direct current (DC) from the solar panel into alternating current (AC) for practical electrical use. The Enphase Microinverters attach directly to each solar panel allowing maximum efficiency by independent functioning and individual monitoring. These plug-and-play inverters permit enphase inverter 02solar panels on different roof slopes and placement in different directions. If shade covers a couple panels only those panels result in a reduction of energy production. The rest of the solar array continues to operate at maximum efficiency. The two videos included in this article better illustrate the advantage of using microinverters to optimize your electrical energy production.  The following represents information directly from the Enphase website:

enphase inverter 03 “The Enphase M250 Microinverter is optimized for high-power solar modules.  Our 4th generation technology delivers reliable, high-performing systems at a great value. Plus, with Integrated Ground (IG), the M250 Microinverter does not require GEC, eliminating the cost and time associated with installing a copper grounding wire or WEEBs.”

  • Integrated Ground
  • Fast Installation: Uses plug-and-play Engage Cable connectors.
  • High Power and Efficiency: Pairs with modules up to 300W at 96.5% CEC efficiency.
  • Precision insights: Accessible in Enlighten, the world’s leading solar monitoring software.
  • 25 Year Warranty: Peace of mind.

CLICK HERE to access the Enphase website.

CLICK HERE to review the Enphase M250 Microinverter Data Sheet

[youtube]http://youtu.be/32C0vTuByaQ [/youtube]

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