The Enphase IQ8 has started production shipments in North America. The IQ8 claim to fame is that it is capable of forming a microgrid during a power outage, providing backup power even without a battery. How does that happen? The IQ8 can limit energy capture to just what the home is consuming, so in the event that the grid suffers a power failure, a proprietary, intelligent chip within the IQ8 will seamlessly switch between on or off grid.
“We began piloting the product in the third quarter of 2021 with select installers and the feedback has been great. Homeowners not only get backup power with sunlight, but also have the flexibility to add more solar or batteries in the future as their needs change,” said Badri Kothandaraman, president and CEO of Enphase Energy.
The Enphase Energy System with IQ8 comes in four different configurations: “Solar Only”; “Sunlight Backup” with no battery and the addition of IQ Load Controller to only support essential loads during an outage; “Home Essentials Backup” with a small battery; and “Full Energy Independence” with a large battery. While the first configuration is a standard grid-tied system, the remaining configurations are grid-agnostic systems that need the Enphase IQ System Controller 2 (formerly called Enpower smart switch) to island the home during an outage.
“After installing IQ8 it’s clear that this technology could be a breakthrough moment for reliable home solar power,” said Mike Teresso, president of Baker Electric Home Energy, an Enphase Energy installer partner based in California.
The IQ8 family includes five types of software-defined microinverters, IQ8, IQ8+, IQ8M, IQ8A, and IQ8H, with peak output AC power of 245VA, 300VA, 330VA, 366VA, and 384VA, respectively. Enphase reports that the IQ8H microinverter is its most powerful microinverter to date and has a California Energy Commission (CEC) efficiency of 97%. The multiple types of IQ8 enable seamless pairing with a full range of solar modules, up to 540W DC.
While IQ8 pilot installations began in the third quarter of 2021 with select installer partners, production shipments for Enphase’s broader network of distributor and installer partners in North America started last week.
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