The Enphase system intelligently integrates the critical technologies needed to solve solar energy challenges at scale: smart grid intelligence, communications, big data analytics and storage.
How Solar is Going Mainstream (Batteries!)
Raghu Belur | Enphase Energy
Enphase Energy, Inc. has announced the Enphase Energy Management System, a groundbreaking system for energy management that delivers on the vision of enabling large-scale implementation of solar power integrated with the grid. Here is a short interview in the topic with Raghu Belur, Co-founder, Vice President of Products and Strategic Initiatives
How does Enphase anticipate the Energy Management System changing the residential solar market?
At Enphase, our vision is to empower everyone to create a zero energy footprint, whether their business or their home – we do this by making solar simple and energy smart. We designed this system to be the solar technology of the future: one that addresses the shortcomings of residential and commercial solar and facilitates the adoption of solar energy worldwide. The new system offers the next-generation, smart-grid ready Enphase microinverter, plug-and-play storage, advanced control capabilities and load management. It uses big data analysis to allow both utilities and owners to better manage and optimize their energy use, a leap forward for the market. We believe this system – with state-of-the-art control, analytics and storage capabilities – could represent a “tipping point” in accelerating residential adoption of solar.
What are the features of the new system?
The Enphase Energy Management System is a leap forward in reliability, productivity, cost savings and total energy management.
Our new solution includes four main components:
- Solar Generation: Designed to meet current and future requirements, Enphase’s bidirectional, software-defined microinverter is smart grid ready and supports reactive power control. The Enphase S-Series Microinverters are the most advanced microinverters on the market.
- Storage: The Enphase AC Battery™ is an easy-to-install storage solution that offers a plug-and-play storage device. The safe, reliable battery allows solar to work the way system owners live by optimizing power consumption and storing energy for nighttime or future use.
- Control: Ruggedly constructed and outdoor-friendly, Enphase’s new Envoy-S offers revenue grade metering of solar production, home consumption and storage management. The range of network connectivity options integrates with Enphase’s mobile app and other home solutions.
- Energy Management: Enphase’s Enlighten software monitors and optimizes the use of energy resources (solar, stored and grid) providing both visibility and control into each installation. The system allows customers to easily monitor their system’s performance from any tablet or smartphone.
How does the new system differ from existing solutions?
The Enphase system intelligently integrates the critical technologies needed to solve solar energy challenges at scale: smart grid intelligence, communications, big data analytics and storage. At present, the solar industry uses isolated systems that don’t communicate or respond to changes in solar power generation. Existing systems are unable to adequately communicate or scale, and these inefficiencies present roadblocks to wider solar adoption. Our new system addresses these issues with communications, storage, big data analytics and smart grid intelligence, all of which translate into better return on investment for system owners and a cleaner, dynamic and more affordable energy solution.
What are the physical characteristics of the new system (how much extra space is needed for a typical installation)?
The Enphase AC Battery is plug-and-play and weighs 40 pounds, providing 1.2 KWh of energy storage and 275 W/550 W power output. The dimensions of the battery are 10in X 16in X10in. Its easy enough for one person to install.
How does the new technology benefit system owners, installers and other solar industry players?
The new system provides distinct advantages for virtually every solar industry player. For system owners, the Enphase Energy Management System makes solar energy more attractive with major increases in reliability, productivity, cost savings and comprehensive energy management options to optimize and manage energy output. Additionally, the system’s cloud-connected communications and load management provide solar installers and distributors increased profitability by providing easier options to manage the design, installation and management of solar array. For utility companies, the system provides greater insight, visibility and control over the grid by sharing information and control functions over the cloud.
Can the system be added to existing Enphase solar installations?
Yes. It can be added to existing Enphase systems.
When will the system be available?
The Enphase Energy Management System components will be available on a rolling basis beginning in the third quarter of 2015.
Co-founder, Vice President of Products and Strategic Initiatives
Raghu has more than 20 years of experience in the clean energy and high technology industries. Prior to Enphase, he developed high-speed optical communication technology for Cerent, which was later acquired by Cisco Systems for $7 billion. Before Cerent, Raghu was an engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, where he played a key role in the development of an alternative energy gasification system. He co-founded Enphase Energy with Martin Fornage in 2006. Raghu has a MSEE from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
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