Solar microinverters continue to gain market traction as the technology matures. The idea for microinverters has been around as long as solar energy production. The first products to hit the market, however, were too expensive and inefficient to be useful for any but a handful of projects.
Enphase changed that in 2008 when they released the M175. While this early product battled high failure rates, continuous improvements made Enphase the first company to bring a commercially successful microinverter to market. Enphase has grown to be a leader in the burgeoning microinverter industry ever since. Their industry dominance continued to grow with the release of the iQ system and the Enphase iQ6+. Now, microinverter products reached levels of efficiency and cost that make them an attractive option for many commercial and residential solar projects.
If you’re thinking of suggesting the use of microinverters to your clients, keep in mind that you’ll need one of these devices for each module. Be extra careful that you have all the equipment you need for the project. Make sure your project goes without a hitch and take advantage of Solerus’ free design and professional assistance.
String Inverters vs. Power Optimizers vs. Microinverters
Inverters tie the solar system to the house by converting DC energy produced by the modules into usable AC electricity. There are several types of products available. Here’s a rundown of the kinds of devices you can expect to find.
String Inverters: Solar modules link together in strings. And the string inverter sits at the end of the string to convert the DC power coming from the modules into usable AC power. These types of inverters have been around a long time, and the technology is reliable. The downside is that if shade hits any of the modules, the power production of the whole string suffers. So these work best for projects that will almost always be in direct sunlight.
Power Optimizers: These devices are installed at the module and maintain optimal voltage and current for the array. Often, projects use them in conjunction with a string inverter. Using power optimizers allow for maximum power output if one or more of the solar modules should fall into shade. Since they correct for some of the deficiencies of string inverters, power optimizers are an excellent solution for installations that already have string inverters but suffer from shady conditions.
Microinverters: These devices also install at the module. However, they act both as the power optimizer — correcting for imperfect situations — and as the inverter that converts DC power to usable AC. Because their cost is decreasing and efficiency is increasing, microinverters are becoming the “best of both worlds” solution for many new projects.
About Enphase iQ6+ Microinverters
Enphase rolled out its new iQ inverter system in 2016. The full complement of iQ devices is optimized to work seamlessly together. The iQ system’s intuitive plug-and-play components significantly reduce installation time. It also makes maintenance a breeze.
Part of the Enphase iQ family, the iQ6+ comes stacked with features. For starters, you can use the Enphase 6+ can with both 60 and 72 cell modules.
This lightweight microinverter ships ready to connect to the grid:
- It complies with the requirements for power factor, voltage, and frequency ride-through
- It remotely responds to changing grid requirements and
- Configures for several different grid profiles
It’s also easy to install:
- Weighs only 3.3 lbs
- Provides a simple plug-and-play cable management system,
- And, easily handles modules ranging from 235 watts to 400 watts
Enphase iQ6+ Microinverter Reliability
Electronics tend to go through similar failure patterns. Typically, if electronic equipment will fail, it will fail within the first few weeks after installation. If the device makes it past this initial hurdle, it should function normally for its expected life.
On average, one out of 3000 Enphase 6+ fails within a few weeks. That’s remarkably low and indicates how well Enphase makes these devices. Since the Enphase iQ6+ is designed to last 20 years, its lifespan matches approach the expected lifespan of most modules. Some string inverters, for comparison, are suitable for about 5 to 10 years.
Get the Full Package From Solerus
The Enphase iQ6+ system simplifies the installation process. Even so, a lot of planning needs to go into getting all the equipment you need for your project. It won’t do to be in the field and discover you’re one connector short and have to spend an hour travel time to get it.
Makes sure you get all the parts you need using Solerus’ full-service design and permit package. Solerus stocks only verified industry-leading equipment and can complete your entire BOM.
Additionally, we offer exceptional contractor discounts when you buy. Our expert staff will work with you every step of the way to ensure you get everything you need to complete the project.
The Bottom Line
Enphase iQ6+ ranks as one of the top players on the microinverter field. It’s very reliable comes with a 25-year warranty, making it difficult to beat. Combined with Solerus’ low contractor prices, design and permit services, and technical assistance, you can’t go wrong.
Want to learn more about the Enphase iQ6+? Speak with one of our knowledgeable solar equipment experts and get a free custom quote on this item and more here!