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The Rise of Solar+Storage

Mar 02, 2020

A  “home energy system” is the combination of solar and battery storage; this combination creates a dynamic duo capable of supplying a home with power on a quasi-sustainable basis. As long as the sun shines, solar panels generate electricity, and a chunk of that electricity is used to charge the batteries which provide power when the sun goes down. Solar panels don’t produce energy when it’s dark! This relatively new technology runs in tandem with the utility power feeding into the home, but if utility power fails, the “home energy system” takes over; these new systems offer a higher level of energy security and freedom than was possible five years ago.

People are learning that a home energy system can protect them from disasters better than their utility can. Companies like Sunrun, a national solar installer, and Enphase partner, claim 25% storage attachment rates which means that one out of every four sales is an energy system, and EnergySage’s recent polling showed that 75% were considering one. Fear is driving many who have lost power for lengthy periods to make such a purchase because unlike the sporadic power provided by their utility, a home energy system could be always on, and people want that security. Besides security, an energy system creates a hedge against the utility tariffs like TOU rates and demand charges.

The vision of an Enphase home energy system was conceived over a decade ago when the company was founded; that vision has now been perfected.  In fact, FEMA recommends Enphase microinverters as the solar technology of choice. Enphase IQ™ microinverters are the core component of a home energy system and are the most advanced inverters in the solar industry. An Enphase energy system has five components — 1) the solar panels each paired with an IQ™ microinverter, 2) an Envoy™ communications gateway to the internet cloud, 3) one or more Encharge™ storage batteries, 4) an Enpower™ smart switch for interfacing with the home’s utility grid connection, also known as MID or Microgrid Interconnect Device, and 5) the Enlighten web monitoring software.

An Enphase home energy system has more intelligence and better response time than leading competitors; this is due to Enphase's latest energy management technology called Ensemble™ which orchestrates all of the components in the system; this software is embedded in an ARM RISC processor with a 55-nanometer die shrink and 5-million logic gates, and is rightly called “Swift” for its processing speed. Because of this fast response time and duration, an Enphase system doesn’t require as much storage to operate when the utility grid is down as competing systems do, and storage is still an expensive commodity. With an Enphase system, storage is optimized, and the Enphase system estimator online tool can be used to easily figure out how much storage is required for a home energy system.

In summary, solar+storage is gaining in awareness and acceptance. Stay tuned for the next article entitled "Questions to Ask Before You Buy a "home energy system"" where a brief summary will be given on what to look for in a home energy system and key questions to ask before making your purchasing decision. 

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