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Future-Proofing Your Solar: Ensemble and the Future of Energy

May 20, 2019

At Enphase, when we think about the future of solar, we think about a few really big ideas. We think about the kinds of technology that can adapt and change — systems that learn and adjust to your energy needs and consumption. We think about flexibility — a system that can work around a couple malfunctioning panels or a temporary glitch in the monitoring software. We think about always-on solar — a system that can work whether you’re tied into a local utility’s grid or out on an island alone.

When we think about the future of solar, we think about Ensemble — the new technology that brings every solar component together to work in harmony.

We’ve long maintained that the heart of solar power isn’t the big panels up on the roof — it’s the inverter system that powers and directs those panels. Enphase has made our greatest impact on the solar world by decentralizing how solar panels operate and function through the use of microinverters. Our microinverters, like IQ 7 or the upcoming IQ 8 (slated for availability in 2020), pair with solar panels and take over individual panel operation. If a panel malfunctions, the microinverter will reroute and ensure continuous energy production. Why does this matter? With an Enphase system, your system doesn’t fail, even if one part falters.

Decentralizing the system.

We’ve decentralized the system, removing the possibility that one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. But, what if each microinverter, instead of just being a clever power plant security guard, could instead become its own power plant foreman?

The heartbeat of our IQ 7 and IQ 8 microinverters is a powerful new microchip. In each version, the chip processes amazing amounts of information — especially the new IQ 8. And now, guided by our Ensemble technology, each microinverter can act independently — to adopt new regulations, adapt to performance issues, or adjust production on demand. That means each solar panel on your roof has its own brain — and is made smart enough to know how to function independently from the rest of the panels. So not only will other panels stay up and running if one panel goes down, each panel can send better information back to Storage (our backup battery solution) or Enlighten (our solar monitoring software), to ensure your system is operating with peak precision.

That idea of independent thinking and processing is at the heart of Ensemble technology. Each element of the system — from the smart operation of microinverters to the way Enlighten reads and delivers information — is all about independent performance that, at the same time, works in perfect harmony with the rest of the system. And because of that independent thinking, it allows for seamless performance even with major changes, like adding Storage or new panels, or even deciding down the road to detach from the grid — it’s all possible through Ensemble. 

What if each microinverter, instead of just being a clever power plant security guard, could instead become its own power plant foreman?

Looking to the future.

It may seem like a simple idea on the surface, but in the world of solar energy, Ensemble is a powerful revolution. It means that when new government regulations come up, or when new software updates are pushed to your system, every other part of your system can adapt and keep on functioning beautifully while that part is updated. And it means if a blackout occurs, every part of your system stays up and running.

As requirements change so quickly, and weather constantly threatens your system, it’s a big relief to know your system is not only operating smoothly, but adapting as it goes to ensure it’ll keep on running smoothly for years to come. It’s a system that ensures your system will be even better in the future than it is today.

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