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Siemens and Enphase change Solar roofs from DC to AC outlet

posted Feb 1, 2011, 9:50 AM by Solar Life

source: forbes.com

Solar Microinverter Maker Enphase Gets A Boost 
In Distribution Deal With Siemens
Image via Crunchbase

Enphase, a private company based north of San Francisco in Petaluma, is announcing it has formed a distribution deal with Siemens, which already sells inverters used for larger solar applications.

The microinverters will be co-branded with Siemens’ name displayed in a larger typeface than the Enphase name.
Regarding DC vs AC, lets be clear, neither is "safe".

 Enphase though is correct in their argument that a 240Vac micro inverter hooked up to a single 230 watt module is "safer" than the 600Vdc side of a central inverter hooked up to 20x 230 watt modules. source: rate.forbes.com/comments

Enphase's Rooftop Solar Revolution

microinverter DC to AC
Each 7-inch-long, narrow metal contraption--with a printed circuit board and a semiconductor inside--clamps on to the roof rack that holds the solar panels in place and attaches to the panel via two wires. With micro inverters, between 5% and 25% more solar electricity is harvested from the solar panels because there is no Christmas-light effect.

Enphase is backed by $100 million 
it raised from venture investors; it's also filed more than 50 patents.

Central Inverters 10Y lifeyime vs microinverter 15Y
Plus, central inverters usually last around 10 years, far fewer than the 25 years that solar panels do. "You might have to replace the central inverter two or three times," says Feinstein. Enphase microinverters have a 15-year warranty, but Nahi says the reliability far exceeds that.

Electrolytic capacitors vs film lifetime
Van Dell questions whether Enphase's product can ever last as long as 25 years because it contains electrolytic capacitors, which he says dry up and fail in the heat over time. (SolarBridge is using film capacitors, which Van Dell says last far longer.)