In 2013 I installed an Enphase solar system on my home and barn roofs; I increased the size of the system until I reached a breakeven point with my utility costs. The finished system consisted of 6 solar strings for a total of 20,000-Watts AC. The system was so simple; it consisted of solar panels each connected to microinverters with each string of panels connected to a 20-Amp double-pole circuit breaker in a sub-panel which then connected to my main utility panel. My system has since paid for itself, and I receive yearly checks from my utility company for the excess electricity generated. In essence, my Enphase Energy solar system is money in the bank and earning a much better return, too.
In the fast-evolving world of solar technology, 2013 was a long, long time ago! In just the span of 7 years since, the new solar systems with high-performance panels and IQ microinverters, as well as the currently debuting Encharge™ storage system with microgrid-forming ability, are incredible advancements that I don’t think anyone could have envisioned back then. In 2013, 265-Watt panels with Enphase 250-Watt microinverters were cutting-edge, and 235-Watt solar panels and 215-Watt M215’s were the venerable standards. In 2013, a 6-kilowatt system using 235-Watt panels required ~25 panels; with the solar technology today, a 6-kilowatt system using SunPower’s upcoming Maxeon 425-Watt panels would reduce that requirement to just 14 panels; that’s almost a 40% decrease in solar panels, so just think of the installation time and cost savings, as well as increased efficiency; it means that as the power of the panels and microinverters have increased, the footprint size of the solar system on the roof has decreased, and that means the overall cost of solar is headed downwards; furthermore, it means that more power could be packed onto the roof if needed — maybe a future solar upgrade when the budget-conscious customer has the available funds.
Solar customers can now enjoy incredibly-evolved solar hardware — high-performance panels and microinverters pushing towards the 500-Watt realm and panel efficiencies nearing 25%. That’s almost a 100% improvement in panel wattage, efficiencies, and microinverter performance. With the Federal Investment Tax Credit at 30% until the end of 2019, there really has never been a better time to go solar, and there is still plenty of time; the ITC does not end for residential solar customers until the end of 2021; it scales down to 26% in 2020, then 22% in 2021, and then it expires.
Note that panel “efficiency” which has been aforementioned is the percentage of photon energy which gets converted to voltage with the rest of the energy being dissipated as heat; in 2013 timeframe, 13% was a common panel efficiency, but now efficiencies are approaching 25% which means that the capability of solar panels to convert sunlight into voltage has almost doubled.
The Romans used to say in Latin — “tempus fugit” which meant “time flies”, and it does; here it is 2019, and my solar system has already been generating income for 7 years, and its hardware is practically obsolete! The solar hardware available in the marketplace now is simply a phenomenal evolution of technology. Although my solar system is great and pumps out ~100,000-Watts on a nice sunny day here in Florida, I am still going to upgrade it to Enphase’s Ensemble™ technology in the new year. Here in Hurricane Alley where I live, like the “Alleys” all over the world, losing power for extended periods of time is not something I look forward to; although I do have propane generators, if my solar system could continue to work when the utility grid fails, that would be awesome, especially since after a hurricane passes, there tends to be plenty of sunshine and no grid power!
In summary, for all the customers considering solar, Enphase Energy is the company to seriously look into if you want the safest, most reliable, longest-lasting and scalable energy solution for your home. Furthermore, when calculating the financial return per year my system generates, Enphase is clearly better than money in the bank. Go Enphase!