Enphase Microinverters and HelioScope Design Software: Two Peas in the Solar Pod

May 26, 2015

Enphase Microinverters and HelioScope Design Software: Two Peas in the Solar Pod

By Paul Grana, Co-founder of Folsom Labs

Certain installers see the partnership between Enphase Energy and Folsom Labs, and wonder, “why are those companies working together?” Some people might not think that Enphase microinverter systems and HelioScope solar design software have that much in common—other than being products for the solar industry.

But in terms of the benefits they offer, the two companies’ products have many similarities. Both are easy-to-use, increase the flexibility for a solar business and help optimize solar production. They also level the playing field, helping small installers compete with national integrators on an equal footing, while also meeting the rigorous quality and reliability capabilities required by the big companies.

Easy to use: When ramping up a solar practice, installers need to have new employees join the team and make meaningful contributions to the business right away. Solar installations that use Enphase systems are completely modular. Arrays can be designed with a large degree of flexibility, placing the panels wherever they can fit—no need to balance a string’s voltage. HelioScope, for its part, automatically calculates many of the key design parameters, including shade tolerance, module orientation and row spacing.

Flexible: The world is a messy place, especially when you’re growing quickly. You need tools that can provide the flexibility to adapt. With Enphase, installers can modify the installation on the fly, which is especially useful if the rooftop has an extra vent or if the tree turns out to be taller than expected. HelioScope makes it easy to change a layout, based on customer feedback or “what-if” scenarios. One installer even had his 10-year-old son finish a design for him when he was stuck on the road during an urgent deadline!

Folsom Labs Enphase integration

Optimized: Smart customers want to get the best performance and return-on-investment out of their solar system. Enphase helps them maximize the energy yield from their rooftop or ground-mount installation, eliminating mismatch and adding modules wherever it makes financial sense (even with slight shading). HelioScope helps installers calculate the impact of different system design choices, such as which module size best optimizes the roof layout or which shade tolerance might maximize profit. The combination of Enphase and HelioScope can improve a system’s profit margin by at least 10-20%.

Democratized: The solar industry includes a wide range of companies—from billion-dollar companies to thousands of “two guys and a dog” installers who serve their local communities. Enphase microinverter systems and HelioScope enable small companies to grow their business and are also used by some of the largest and most sophisticated developers in the industry. The two companies have the quality to satisfy the most demanding engineers in the bigger firms, yet they also provide pricing and support for small businesses.

Enphase solar energy systems and Folsom Labs HelioScope have much in common—they’re like two peas in the solar pod.

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