For people new to Enphase Energy and microinverter technology, there’s one thing to consider when choosing an energy solution: the simplicity factor; that simplicity includes both the energy solution’s ease of installation as well as its ease to maintain, with the former being more important to installers and the latter being more important for customers. Like Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which simplified our view of the universe by simplifying the relationship between distance, rate and time, Enphase is simplifying solar energy solutions likewise.
For most solar installers who are familiar with both optimized-string and microinverter solar energy solutions, given a choice between the two, Enphase is usually chosen due to its simplicity, and that’s a major endorsement of the technology. For customers who have purchased Enphase energy solutions, it’s not needing service that is the true power of the solution.Who in their right mind wants to buy an energy solution that will need service in 3, 5, 7, 10 years timeframe and always has a chance to completely break down? Enphase’s solution is the most reliable because there is no single point of failure which the competing solutions have.
In reality, it is service-related issues that have plagued solar energy solutions going all the way back to the 1980s when solar technology first debuted; however, with the rise and maturation of Enphase’s microinverter technology, solar energy systems have reached an entirely new level of safety, reliability, and longevity. This is not to say that a microinverter cannot fail, but if one does, the rest of the energy solution will keep on working regardless of that failure, and that is is the true power and simplicity of Enphase, an attribute that makes Enphase’s microinverter technology the champion of the residential solar energy arena.
Let’s look further into Enphase’s simplicity factor, starting with some of the specific products, then discuss a customer testimonial on why Enphase is superior to its competition.
There’s an old saying, “Time is money” taken from William Faulkner’s "The Sound and the Fury". It’s quite easy to apply this to a solar energy solution’s cost, because the longer it takes to install, then the more it will cost. In the early days of solar, installations could take days to complete, requiring a team of installers. With the evolution and optimization of solar energy solutions, a solar installation on average takes no more than a single day by 2 installers to complete; that means the cost of the solution can attract a much wider customer audience than has ever been possible.Think of solar energy solution proliferation like the Dot-com Revolution, when no one had a PC on their desktop due to the expensive price tag, and then, everybody had one once the price tag became affordable.
The “Holy Grail” for solar installers is being able to complete 2 solar installations in a single day. This was unheard of years ago, but with Enphase’s optimization and simplification of the solar installation process, it is now possible. Enphase’s simplifying of the solar solution can be easily recognized from the 3 points discussed below:
For an installer switching to AC Modules, Aggregators, and Combiners, serious labor and time can be shaved off the installation process; multiply that out by days, weeks, months and years, and that equates to a major cost savings while increasing competitiveness. When and if the Federal ITC ends in 2021, installation companies will have to be as optimized and simplified as possible to compete in the marketplace; in the meantime, Enphase is providing installers with the necessary products too make that a reality before that time arrives.
The simplicity offered by an Enphase solution over its competitors is most easily understood by the following scenario which could happen anytime after installation is completed — 3 months, 2 years, 5 years, et cetera — there is a failure. For a competing solution, a failure could mean the entire energy solution is inoperable; it is possible, but for an Enphase energy solution, it is impossible. For a potential solar energy solution customer, understanding that superiority of solution is critical to making the right purchasing decision.
I am not just a writer promoting Enphase, but a customer with 85 microinverters, 6-strings, and a 20,000-Watt AC solar solution; since 2013, my solution has never been inoperable, except for when the utility grid was down or overnight. In 2015, I did have a slight problem, but I was able to easily diagnose the problem because Enphase’s Enlighten per-panel web monitoring software showed me a troubling issue with a particular solar panel- microinverter pair. The problem’s status was not easily discernible, so as a typical DIY-er, I decided to diagnose the problem in the simplest fashion: I swapped the solar panel that was the potential source of the problem with the working solar panel next to it on my roof. In that way, if I went back to the Enlighten monitoring software, and the problem had moved to that new panel location, then I would quickly know that the problem was with the solar panel and not the microinverter. As it turned out, the problem did “move” and the solar panel was the crux of the issue. Since I was not dealing with a complete system failure, in due time, I got an RMA from the solar panel company and replaced the solar panel with a brand new one. The beauty of the problem was that it did not result in any system downtime. In a competitor solution, that might not have been the case, and diagnosing the problem might have required a professional, but would have definitely included an unforeseen cost. This is where Enphase’s simplicity of solution shines.
In summary, simple beats complex. Simple attracts a much wider audience than complex. Simple solutions are easier to fix because they are more easily understood. Simple saves time and money. Simple is Enphase.