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FAQs
What are the grid interconnection voltages supported by IQ8 Microinverters?

All IQ8 Microinverters operate at 240V L-L AC voltage interconnection, except IQ8H-208 which operates only at split-phase 208V L-L interconnection. IQ8H-208 does not operate at 240V L-L AC voltage.

Note that IQ8H-208 microinverters that operate at 208V L-L AC voltage are not supported in grid forming systems with IQ System Controller 2.

Can I use IQ8H-240 Microinverters in 208 V applications or vice versa?

No. IQ8H-240 is intended to be used n 240 V, L-L applications and IQ8H-208 is intended to be used in 208V,  L-L, split phase applications.

Can IQ8 Microinverters be installed along with other IQ series (IQ6, IQ7) and legacy microinverters (M/S)?

No. IQ8 Microinverters cannot be installed on the same Gateway/Envoy with other Enphase microinverters. If a site has other IQ series (IQ6, IQ7) microinverters or M/S-series microinverters, you will need to create a split system with IQ8 microinverters provisioned on an IQ Gateway/IQ Envoy and the other microinverters provisioned on a separate IQ Gateway (for IQ6, IQ7) or Envoy S Metered (for M/S-series).

Can I pair IQ8 Microinverters with bifacial PV modules?

You can pair Enphase IQ8 Microinverters with bifacial PV modules if they are electrically compatible and installed according to the Quick Installation Guide supplied with the microinverters.

In case if there is no mandatory regulation for inverter sizing by the local utilities, use the microinverter sizing methodology of a conventional mono-facial module. However, use the real power (gained power) rather than the nominal power of the bifacial PV module. For example, if a 20% gain is expected, then refer to the module output parameters associated with the 20% gain instead of the nameplate rating of the module.

You can always use the Enphase Module Compatibility calculator to feed-in the module output parameters and check the compatibility.

Can IQ Combiner 3-ES/3C-ES and previous IQ Combiners options be used with IQ8 PV?

Yes, however IQ Combiner 3C-ES only supports 2 breakers with hold down kits. IQ Combiner 4/4C supports 4 breakers with hold down kits. IQ Combiner 3C-ES may also ship with an older version of IQ Gateway software and will need an upgrade in the field to initiate commissioning. IQ Combiner 4/4C ship with IQ Gateway eSW 7.x which will support IQ8 out of the box.

Can IQ8 microinverter operate with the IQ Battery deployed in the field?

Yes. IQ8 microinverters can operate with all 4 SKUS of IQ Battery i.e., IQ Battery 3, IQ Battery 10, IQ Battery 3T, and IQ Battery 10T.

Can we upgrade IQ System Controller 1 to support IQ8 PV?

No. Only IQ System Controller 2 has the hardware required to support IQ8 PV microinverters.

Do IQ8 Microinverters have grid-forming capability out of the box? How do I enable grid-forming capability?

The IQ8 Microinverters operate in grid-tied mode out of the box. For grid-forming capability, when commissioning IQ8 Microinverters you should also install and commission the IQ System Controller 2.

The IQ System Controller 2 ensures safe isolation from the grid and provides the home with a neutral reference that enables 120 V line to neutral appliances to be powered safely when the system is off-grid.

Please refer to the Enphase Energy System Planning Guide for more details.

Does an IQ8 grid agnostic system need an IQ Battery to be operational?

No. IQ8 PV can form a microgrid on its own and does not need IQ Battery to be present in the system. A backup capable system with only IQ8 solar microinverters is referred to as Sunlight Backup.

Learn more about all system configurations/use cases possible with IQ8 here.

IMPORTANT: Sunlight Backup configurations will require an essential loads solution for all connected loads.

Does an IQ8 PV system have a PV to ESS ratio limit?

The PV:ESS ratio system is practically limitless. This implies that for all practical purposes the number of batteries that can be installed on a site are not dictated by the size of the IQ8 PV system. In Sunlight Backup, the ratio is infinite. This enables customers to size their battery needs based on their requirements rather than based on system limitations. Note that a single IQ Battery 3/3T can be installed with a maximum of 48 IQ8 series microinverters. However, these can be IQ8/IQ8+/IQ8M/IQ8A and IQ8H (240V) microinverters so the PV system can be sized to 64A i.e., 15.36kVA for any battery size.

Does IQ System Controller support 208 V L-L or 220 V L-L operation?

No. IQ System Controller and IQ System Controller 2 only support 120 V L-N/ 240 V L-L with an 180 degree phase angle. 220/127 and 208/120 services are 2 phases of a 3 phase distribution system and have a 120 degree phase angle between them. An Enphase Energy System cannot create a 120 degree phase angle and cannot be installed at homes with 208 V L-L or 220 V L-L service.

Does the grid-forming feature work for both 240 V and 208 V AC grid interconnections?

The Grid-forming feature is supported by the IQ8 Microinverter variants which can operate at 240 V AC grid interconnection only. IQ8 H-208 does not have grid-forming functionality.

How do I size an Enphase Energy system?

There are product requirements, regulatory requirements, and user requirements.

The product requirement is a PV:ESS ratio. IQ 8 has no system PV:ESS ratio. This implies that for all practical purposes the number of batteries that can be installed on a site are not dictated by the size of the IQ8 PV system. This enables customers to size their battery needs based on their requirements rather than based on system limitations. Note that a single IQ Battery 3/3T can be installed with a maximum of 48 IQ8 series microinverters. However, these can be IQ8/IQ8+/IQ8M/IQ8A and IQ8H (240V) microinverters so the PV system can be sized to 64A i.e., 15.36kVA for any battery size.

The NEC requires the standalone supply to support the largest single load.

The IQ System Controller 2 is a NEC 705.2 defined Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID), a single throw switch capable of disconnecting and resynchronizing to the primary source per 705.50. It is required for any grid forming Enphase Energy system that uses IQ8-series solar microinverters. It supports up to 40kWH/15.36kVA of IQ Batteries and 15.36 KVA of IQ8 PV microinverters.

NEC 710 applies to electric power systems that operate in island mode. As such multimode systems are sized according to 2020 NEC 710.15(A). IQ 8 is a multimode mode inverter and capable of standalone island mode. Thus, the full nameplate can be used to comply with NEC 710.15A.

The available irradiance will determine how much power is available from solar microinverters. While the full nameplate can be used, Enphase recommends using 30% of nameplate for estimating backup capabilities for a Sunlight backup system configuration.

When adding storage to IQ8 systems, Enphase recommends supporting the largest single load from IQ Battery.

Increasing storage for additional autonomy will allow the homeowner to approach true Eenergy independence. Additional information can be found in the Enphase Energy System Planning Guide.

How is rapid shutdown initiated in an IQ8 PV system?

IQ8 microinverters ship in grid interactive mode. If installed without an IQ System Controller, the PV system disconnect, PV breakers inside the combiner or service disconnect can be the rapid shutdown initiator.

However, when installed and commissioned in conjunction with an IQ System Controller 2 (EP200G101-M240US01), the multimode function will be enabled, and a double pole single throw (DPST) switch is required to initiate rapid shutdown. The Enphase supplied rapid shutdown switch or Enphase Energy System Shutdown switch (SKU: EP200G-NA-02-RSD) must be used for this purpose.

Is there a new cabling system which is designed for IQ8 Microinverters?

Enphase IQ8 Microinverters are compatible with existing IQ cabling system which is currently being used with existing IQ6 and IQ7 series microinverters providing similar installer experience.

Note: IQ8D micros require a special cable. Please refer to the IQ8D webpage for details.

What are the changes in IQ System Controller 2 compared to IQ System Controller 1?

Only IQ System Controller 2 supports IQ8 PV. IQ System Controller 2 can support IQ6/7 PV as well. While using with IQ8 PV, IQ System Controller 2 requires an external Rapid Shutdown Initiator.

What is different in IQ8 PV microinverters compared with earlier IQ Series Microinverters?

Enphase IQ8 Microinverters are the industry’s first grid-forming microinverters. The brain of the semiconductor-based microinverter is our proprietary application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) which enables the microinverter to operate in grid-tied or off-grid modes. This chip is built in advanced 55nm fab technology with high-speed digital logic and has super-fast response times to changing loads and grid events, alleviating constraints on battery sizing for home energy systems.

In the context of National Electric Code, IQ8 with the IQ System Controller 2 is a Microgrid System capable of disconnecting from the Area Energy Power System and forming a local intentional island. The IQ System Controller 2 is a Microgrid Interconnect Device (MID) that supports disconnecting and paralleling with the Area EPS.

Earlier IQ series microinverters such as IQ7 and, IQ6 operate in the grid-tied interactive mode only.

What is the difference between Home Essentials Backup and Full Energy Independence?

Home Essentials Backup and Full Energy Independence are conceptual configurations that are helpful to set customer expectations. There is no technical difference between these two configurations and the loads connected to energy system will determine the level of energy independence or autonomy from sunlight. Sunlight Backup has no autonomy while adding a little bit of energy storage the system can support loads during passing clouds and into the evening. Larger energy storage systems increase energy independence and may allow complete autonomy during outages.

Learn more about all system configurations/use cases possible with IQ8 here.

What is the difference between IQ Battery 3/10 and IQ Battery 3T/10T?

IQ Battery 3T and 10T use the same great technology as IQ Battery 3 and 10. They have the same power and capacity, and all IQ Batteries are powered by integrated IQ8X-BAT microinverters. 3T and 10T are lighter and thinner to provide more flexibility and choice when designing to fit the space.

 

 

3

3T

10

10T

Rated (continuous) output power

1.28 kVA

1.28 kVA

3.84 kVA

3.84 kVA

Peak output power

1.92 kVA (10 seconds)

1.92 kVA (10 seconds)

 

5.7 kVA

5.76 kVA

Total Capacity

3.5 kWh

3.5 kWh

10.5 kWh

10.5 kWh

Usable Capacity

3.36 kWh

3.5 kWh

10.5 kWh

10.5 kWh

Dimensions

367 mm x 664 mm x 319mm (14.45 in x 26.14 in x 12.56 in

430 x 775 x 188 mm

(16.9 x 30.5 x 7.4 in)

1070 mm x 664 mm x 319 mm (42.13 in x 26.14 in x 12.56 in

1283 x 775 x 188 mm (50.5 x 30.5 x 7.4 in)

Weight

52 kg

48.8 kg

154.7 kg

143.6 kg

What is the difference between IQ Combiner 3-ES/3C-ES and IQ Combiner 4/4C?

IQ Combiner 4/4C supports hold down kits for all 4 PV breakers in the busbar. Hold down kits are mandatory for installing IQ8 PV micros with IQ System Controller 2 which makes the IQ8 microinverters grid forming i.e., multi-mode. IQ Combiner 4C also has a new generation cellular modem inside. IQ Combiner 3-ES/3C-ES only supports hold down kits for 2 breakers.

IQ Combiner 4/4C also features a painted load center to reduce chances of corrosion/rusting on the field.

What is the Warranty period for IQ8 Microinverters?

IQ8 Microinverters come with 25-year limited warranty in North America.

What type of PV modules are supported by IQ8 Microinverters?

IQ8 Microinverters supports 60-cell/120 half-cell, 66-cell/132 half-cell and 72-cell/144 half-cell PV modules if they are electrically compatible.

Please refer Enphase Module Compatibility calculator to check the compatibility.

Which configurations support Generator integration?

All configurations with IQ System Controller or IQ System Controller 2 allow Generator Support. Note that M215/M250 microinverter based designs will require an additional contactor or relay to control the PV array.

Which configurations support load control?

All configurations with IQ System Controllers support load control. For Sunlight Backup, an essential loads solution is required. Please see the Sunlight Backup with IQ8 tech briefs for additional details.

Why do I need a rapid shutdown initiator?

In Multimode, IQ8 Microinverters can form a 240 Vac grid.

The PV system disconnect separates the microinverters from the grid and dedicated loads, however if the IQ8 microinverters are still forming a 240 Vac grid the conductors from microinverters exceed the controlled conductor voltage limit per UL 1741.

As result, a separate rapid shutdown initiator is required. The Rapid Shutdown Initiator controls the IQ System Controller relays and a power line communications device in IQ System Controller.

The Rapid Shutdown Initiator shall be wired to dedicated terminals in IQ System Controller 200G R2 (EP200G101-M240US01). Refer to IQ System Controller 2 Install Guide for details.

Why do we have two variants with different power in IQ8?

IQ8 H has two different variants. IQ8 H-240 and IQ8 H-208.

IQ8 H-240 is intended to be used in 240 V L-L applications and IQ 8H-208 is intended to be used in 208 V L-L applications.

Note that IQ8H-208 microinverters that operate at 208 V are not supported in grid forming systems with IQ System Controller 2.

Why does the IQ Gateway (formally known as IQ Gateway) need to be wired directly to the IQ System Controller 2 in grid forming systems with IQ8 solar microinverters?

Traditionally, in grid tied microinverter systems and Ensemble 1.0 systems, the Gateway/Envoy PCBA is powered L1-N and is connected to L1 and L2 for metering. Envoy is powered from the IQ Combiner busbar.

In an IQ8 PV grid agnostic system, the IQ8 PV can form a grid behind an open PV relay in IQ System Controller. If IQ Gateway were powered via the IQ Combiner busbar and the PV relay is opened, the IQ Gateway can be damaged. This is because neutral from IQ System Controller (either from grid or from IQ battery via auto transformer) is not referenced to the L1 and L2 from microinverters. IQ Gateway could see L-N voltages of up to 360 V which can damage the IQ Gateway circuitry.

So, for IQ 8 systems, the IQ Gateway breaker inside the IQ Combiner must not be used to power the IQ Gateway and the procedure described below must be followed.

For IQ8 installations, there are three ways of installing the IQ Gateway breaker:

Option 1: Remove the IQ Gateway breaker from the IQ Combiner and put it into the generator breaker space in the IQ System Controller 2 for IQ Gateway connection if generator is not present.

Option 2: Remove the IQ Gateway breaker from IQ Combiner and put it in a backed-up subpanel if it is available nearby and has space for the double pole breaker.

Option 3: If subpanel is far away and a generator is used then replace the BR240 autotransformer breaker with a quad-breaker BRK-20A40A-2P-240V (Eaton SKU: BQC220240) and connect the IQ Gateway to the outer poles of the quad breaker. Reconnect the autotransformer wires to the inner poles of the quad breaker. Refer to IQ System Controller 2 Install Guide for details.

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