Since 2017, Enphase has teased the idea of a revolutionary way to approach solar inverter technology with the Enphase IQ8. While consumers still struggle to find information about the new product difficult, key information continues to come out. Enphase has not yet announced a release date for the Enphase IQ8; however, we anticipate the new technology to become available soon.
Keep reading to learn what you can expect from the new inverter.
See how Enphase continues to revolutionize the solar industry.
The Need for Off-Grid Solutions
One of the biggest questions homeowners, especially those in California, have for solar installers is: “Will my solar system power my home when the power grid goes down?” And, each time, solar salespeople have to scramble to find a digestible answer without losing integrity. The reality? Unless you pair your solar panels with battery storage technology, then no.
How Solar Panels Work
To better understand this, let’s take a quick look at how solar panels and residential solar systems work.
When the sun shines on your solar photovoltaic (PV) system, electrons within the solar cells start to move around. This process produces direct current (DC) energy. Then, circuits within the cells collect that energy for you to use in your home.
This is where your solar inverter comes in.
Most homes use alternating current (AC) energy, not DC. As a result, your home cannot use the energy produced by your solar panels on its own. When your solar panels collect sunlight and turn it into energy, it gets sent to the inverter, which takes the DC energy and turns it into AC energy. At that point, your solar electricity can power your appliances and electronics or, if you’re producing more electricity than you need, it can feed back into the grid.
How Backup Batteries Work
As explained, typical solar panels constantly produce electricity. Any excess electricity captured then gets fed directly back into the grid. Currently, without a backup battery system, you have to have a grid-tied system in order to get rid of the extra electricity produced but not consumed.
When you add a battery to your solar system, it has the ability to store this excess electricity generated during the day. You can, in turn, use it at night and provide back-up power in the event of a power failure.
Considering the battery requirement to ensure access to power and allow for off-grid solutions, a growing number of consumers have looked into adding expensive batteries to their homes. Even in 2018, EnergySage reported that 74 percent of homeowners looking to go solar also wanted backup capabilities to protect their homes.
Enphase IQ8’s Off-Grid Solution
As you can see, Enphase sees a genuine need for a solution that innovates how homeowners control their energy.
Essentially, the Enphase IQ8—with its enhanced technology—has the ability to understand what is going on in the household and react. The system will feed as much electricity as it has access to based upon sunlight available and solar power capacity, and it will adjust on the fly. If there is excess energy (i.e. more electricity captured than being consumed), the Enphase IQ8 can react and shut off until the excess is removed.
On the topic of staying off grid, Enphase has also developed some cutting edge battery technology and are using the IQ8 inverter inside of them. They call the battery line, Encharge and it is pretty awesome!
What does this mean?
So, the big question: what does all of this mean for homeowners?
The best way to understand the value this brings is by looking at recent events. Recently, a huge ice storm hit Texas, causing a state-wide energy failure. As a result, even homes with solar panels installed on their roof lost access to electricity, unless they had backup storage capabilities.
With the Enphase IQ8, the microinverters would still have functioned by having the ability to limit energy capture to that which the home consumed.
Everything would have been different if Texas homeowners with solar systems had this type of technology. They would have been some of the only people with access to power, besides those with generators or backup storage.
While the Enphase IQ8 microinverters can’t compete with batteries in their ability to store energy and pull on it when the panels are not creating electricity, they allow for homeowners to generate and consume solar power even during grid outages.
How to Get Enphase IQ8s
The biggest mystery about the new Enphase IQ8 microinverters? The release date. While Enphase has not officially announced a release date, most solar experts anticipate the launch soon.
If you want solar with off-grid capabilities without having to pay for a backup battery, this inverter will be perfect! Contact the energy advisors at NRG Clean Power to learn more about inverter technologies, Enphase microinverters and updates about the Enphase IQ8 by clicking this link.