While home solar systems are made up of a number of different components, the most visible and well-known are the solar modules on your roof that convert the sun’s rays into energy. But did you know that not all solar modules are created equal? AC solar modules outshine traditional solar modules in reliability, performance, and ease of installation.
May 08, 2022
The Benefits of AC solar modules
Types of solar modules
Traditional solar panels - one or more modules assembled as a pre-wired, field-installable unit - send high-voltage direct current (DC) solar power to a solar inverter that converts it to low-voltage alternating current (AC) that our home’s devices can use. This electricity is fed into the home’s circuit breaker panel to create a solar powered home.
In contrast, each AC solar panel contains its own microinverter that converts the DC power to AC power directly at the panel itself. After revolutionizing the solar industry with the first advanced microinverter technology in 2006, Enphase partnered with some of the biggest solar module manufacturers to fully integrate Enphase IQ Microinverters into the solar panel manufacturing process to make installations faster, easier, and more cost-effective.
You can learn more about AC solar modules here.
Top 5 benefits of AC solar modules
AC solar modules make going solar easier for both homeowners and installers. With integrated microinverter technology, Enphase AC Modules deliver a streamlined installation process, superior reliability and performance, system design flexibility, and more.
Installation times are up to 40% shorter compared to Enphase Solar without AC Module integration. By eliminating the need for a central inverter, AC modules cut down on install time and materials to enable a streamlined, faster installation process. Central inverters require careful wire management during installs to ensure proper system connection and safety. AC modules, on the other hand, are known as “plug and play” because they require fewer connection points and equipment to get up and running. Installations are cleaner with easier cable management. And reduced time and materials also means lower labor costs — it’s fewer trips up the ladder and less waste.
Enhanced performance and reliability
In traditional solar systems, the central inverter acts as an Achilles heel: If one panel stops producing energy due to dirt, shade, or other issues, the inverter prevents the rest of the system from producing as much energy as it otherwise could. This can lead to lower lifetime performance and reliability.
AC solar modules eliminate this single source of failure with microinverter technology. The microinverter enables each module to operate independently, which means it can continue producing energy even if its neighbor isn’t. With this enhanced reliability, your system maximizes energy production and long-term value.
Modular and flexible
AC modules enable greater design flexibility and modularity. In systems with a central inverter, the solar panels must be installed at a specific orientation and proximity to the inverter. These systems typically require additional inverters and additional system adjustments to add more panels.
AC modules are not limited by this, so can be installed at different orientations to maximize system production and long-term value for your home. Plus, the modularity of Enphase AC Modules means that you can start small and easily grow your system as your needs evolve, without added complexity.
You can easily track and monitor your Enphase Solar AC Modules from the Enphase App, the most powerful app ever created for solar. You can view your energy production and consumption, savings, and more — all in the palm of your hand. Plus, with panel-level monitoring, you can easily identify underperforming panels or other issues. That’s the power of the sun, at your fingertips.
Quality control-backed warranty
Every Enphase AC Module comes with our industry-leading 25-year microinverter limited warranty, backed by rigorous testing for microinverter performance and reliability. AC solar modules are also subject to repeated testing throughout the manufacturing process to ensure optimal performance.
Plug and play with AC modules
Enphase AC module plug-in-play technology makes installations faster, easier, and more cost-effective by significantly reducing the number of components required. Even better, Enphase AC Modules still provide the wide range of benefits that Enphase IQ Series Microinverters have to offer.
To learn more about the different types of AC solar modules, check out this article.