Call (888) 338-0183 or click here for solar pricing


No CA Rebate without Solar Panel Monitoring?
Nov15

No CA Rebate without Solar Panel Monitoring?

Homeowners using the Enphase Envoy to monitor their solar panel output can qualify for an upfront, lump-sum rebate through California’s Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB). What’s the EPBB Rebate? The Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB) is one of two incentive options offered by the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The EPBB is an upfront rebate for small businesses and homeowners with systems 30kW or less (as opposed to systems greater than 30kW, which would qualify for 5 years of monthly payments through a Performance-Based Incentive).  If you qualify for the EPBB rebate, you’ll get the entire payment at the time of installation. The EPBB rebate is determined mainly by the expected performance of a photovoltaic system, which is based on factors including CEC-AC rating, tilt, orientation, location, and shading. To qualify for the EPBB rebate, you need to get a monitoring system like the Enphase Envoy Communications Gateway to track the output of your solar panels.  With a reporting accuracy of ±5%, Enphase monitoring is sufficient for the EPBB rebate, whereas revenue-grade meters with ±2% would be required for PV systems of 30kW or greater under CSI’s Performance-Based incentive.   Enphase monitoring systems include: Enphase or Siemens Microinverters Envoy Communications GatewayTM Enlighten® web-based monitoring and analysis software For more information about monitoring requirements, visit the CSI Website.   How does Enphase work? The Enphase Envoy is designed for PV systems with Enphase Microinverters, which attach behind each solar panel, turning the DC electricity from each solar panel into usable AC electricity. With each microinverter working independently, Enphase systems are optimized for locations prone to shading from nearby trees and make it easy to add solar panels to your system in the future. Each mircoinverter is connected to the internet with it’s own IP address, so the web-based software Enlighten provides data about your system’s output – whether you’re at home on your PC or using your the Enlighten app your iPhone.   Each microinverter operating independently means you can see the output of individual panels in your array, making troubleshooting issues much easier than a string inverter would. Enphase microinverter systems are recommended for small grid-tied systems, systems with multiple arrays, and systems with potential shading concerns. Benefits of Enphase Systems: Easy installation Design flexibility & scalability Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Optimized for shading Remote monitoring capability...

Read More

the simplicity of enphase mirco-inverters

I was on enphase energy’s website reading their case studies today and was amazed by the simplicity of Sreenivas family’s 2.3kW solar electric system using enphase micro-inverters. The system is made up of 13 sharp 175w solar panels which are connected to each other via AC interconnect cables that are already part of the enphase mirco-inverter. 12/3 romex is used through the garage attic from the solar array to a 1-15 amp backfed breaker in a 100 amp main panel. The Sreenivas family case study is a good example of how enphase makes deploying solar panels an easier process by avoiding stringing solar panels which has a direct impact on system complexity and how long it takes to install a solar electric system. The enphase micro-inverter is more then a grid tie inverter, they’re an “inverter solution” since performance monitoring is built into the system and is the only grid tie inverter that can monitor the system down to the individual solar panel. This installation looks quite simple, don’t you agree? What do you think about solar electric systems that use micro-inverters versus a traditional centralized inverter? Enphase Diagram of Sreenivas...

Read More

Akeena’s AC Solar Panels?

Akeena recently released a press release highlighting a strategic partnership with enphase energy, a company known for their micro-inverters. A micro inverter differs from traditional central inverters by being attached to the back of each solar panel allowing systems to harvest more electricity, simplifies installation, and increases system reliability. The partnership between Akeena and Enphase shows that micro inverters are gaining momentum in the market and are now being trusted in larger scale deployments. Traditional solar electric systems since they work with dc wiring involve high voltage and require complex stringing and design can be eliminated by panels that convert the dc to ac at the solar panel level then transmit via AC to the electrical service panel. Akeena will build enphase inverters right into their propriety Andalay system, sounds similar to the ReadySolar, “Solar in a Box” in my opinion, what do you...

Read More

Day One: Solar Power International 2008 Exhibits

Recap of interesting solar power products we saw today at Solar Power International Conference in San Diego, CA. Today we will cover interesting product developments that are hitting the market in the near future. Sanyo Electric has decided to increase the cell size to 5 inches compared their previous version of the HIT solar panels which had a cell size of 3 inches, this means Sanyo will be able to streamline their manufacturing processes to reduce costs, thus passing on the savings to the customers. For the customer, the increased cell size produces even more watts per square foot then previous models. Sanyo Electric Solar Panels are known for high efficiency and are leading the market in terms of solar panels that convert the most sunlight into electricity. Enphase, the company that makes the “micro inverter” and is developing the next generation of their mirco inverter which is claimed to make sense financially on both large scale and small solar power systems. The enphase mircoinverter is different from traditional inverters because it allocates the inveter onto each solar panel versus a string of solar panels plugged into one inverter. Having a mirco inverter behind each solar panel increases overall system efficiency, is resilient to shading issues and provides super accurate monitoring solutions that you can track on a solar panel basis. A new slim residental inverter from SMA that will include blue tooth capability for wireless system monitoring, advanced on screen monitoring and a cool red and black color. This inverter has is transformerless which means that they can pack more electronics into a slim design and still provide the same performance and realibility as previous SMA Sunny Boy models. This new inverter his still in development and more news about the product will be released soon by the company. We’ll feature more products tomorrow stay...

Read More

Say hello to Mirco-Inverters

Buzz going around solar town is there is a new “micro-inverter” on the street made by Enphase. Cool! Before I even go into what an micro-inverter” is lets start off with the basics. An inverter in general coverts the DC (direct current) power produced by solar panels into AC power (alternating current). Basically, AC power is what most of our appliances run on. So, the inverter plays a critical in your solar power system. Traditionally, solar power systems have a series of solar panels connected to an inverter. So if an inverter goes down, that whole series goes down with it. So how is a micro-inverter different? The major difference is instead of having a series of panels connected to one inverter, a mirco-inverter connects to each panel. It means, your system performance will greatly increase because: maximizes the harvesting capabilites of each solar panel in the array. increases the reliability of the solar power system. simplifies the installation process. solar panels performs better in shady conditions, and is resiliant to dirt and bird poop. Awesome innvotation continues in renewable energy industry, people are really thinking of some out of the box soltuions to problems down to the installtion level. The solar power industry is heading to mass adoption like a bullet...

Read More