Microinverter Leader Takes on Energy Storage

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Enphase, whose microinverter took the solar industry by storm in 2008, has continued to dominate the microinverter market ever since. They aren’t resting on their laurels, however. At Solar Power 2014 in Las Vegas, Enphase rolled out its plans to move into the energy storage market as well.

Photo: Enphase

Photo: Enphase

This is a great sign for the solar industry. Energy storage has been one of the issues that has plagued solar since its inception. The commitment of one of solar’s biggest players to develop a line of batteries opens up a lot of possibilities, particularly for the residential market. The modular battery system can give homeowners the ability to store solar energy for nighttime use and optimize solar power consumption. Ultimately this will give system owners greater energy independence.

“Storage is going to be a multi-billion dollar market and will be essential in helping solar gain broader acceptance and higher penetration,” said Raghu Belur, co-founder and vice president of products and strategic initiatives at Enphase. “It provides benefits for the system owner, while also helping with grid stability. We are bringing the same technological innovation to storage that we brought to solar, by pairing our innovative distributed architecture with the best-in-class battery chemistry in the industry.”

The Enphase AC Battery is actually a DC battery equipped with an on-board S-series Enphase inverter to convert the power to AC. The batteries themselves are manufactured by Japanese battery giant ELIIY Power. “We believe the intelligent combination of solar power and storage will be an increasingly important energy solution for the world,” said Hiroichi Yoshida, president of ELIIY Power. “We are so honored and excited about our partnership with Enphase, which is a testament to our batteries’ performance and safety. The combination of our leading battery technology with Enphase’s leading power electronics creates a truly innovative storage solution. We welcome the opportunity to deliver volume quantities of our high-quality batteries and to work together with Enphase to become a global market leader.”

The batteries will be available in 275W and 550W models. The Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries have a 10 year life expectancy and a 1.2 kWh storage capacity. The “smart” battery will integrate into the Enphase “Enlighten” monitoring system and will “learn” over time to optimize energy savings.

No release date for the AC battery has been given, but you can read more at: http://enphase.com/ac-battery/

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