The SMA MI’s are useless when not coupled with an SMA string inverter and since that’s been beat to death, there’s no point in wasting more time on it here. Anyone close to this industry knows that all their R&D has left them dead in the water for micro-inverters. Nuff said on SMA.
Power One has finally just put their cards on the table and many distributors recently put the pricing and warranty information on their websites. I suggest all investors read the Power One Warranty cost tier pricing and see how expensive it gets to buy extensions on each micro-inverter that still won’t compare to Enphase’s warranty. Yes, you have to buy the damn Power One warranty!
They talk long and hard about the “advantage” of electrolyte-free capacitors but show no advantage in the form of a better warranty. The numbers are now out for all to see.
That is most likely why Enphase shares have been moving up recently. Power One was always the only true known competition and it’s finally revealed that they’re not.
Enphase should up their prices immediately since contractors will struggle to get homeowners to pay the exorbitant prices for a Power One with warranty.
If you’re going to reply to specifics, please have at least some knowledge of this industry.
This message goes out to Jmvicker whose messages are repeatedly being removed by the host before I can reply to them.
Jmvicker claims that:
1) I must be the CEO of Enphase
2) I think string systems should never be used
1): I am certainly NOT the CEO of Enphase and, in fact, I do not and have not ever worked for the company. If I did work for Enphase, I would very likely be violating at least corporate policies and possibly a few antitrust laws by posting here.
2): The original intent of this thread was only to compare competitors within the micro-inverter market. Several comments have necessitated a rehash of the aging debate of micros vs strings and, obviously, the importance of monitoring modules (panels).
I have NEVER said that string systems should go away. I just wouldn’t bother with the minor savings of installing a new one that does not include panel monitoring. Most claims of large savings are not being realistic about labor and material costs or they are installing unmonitored systems with back-stock hardware and they’re fleecing their customers.
If you read my messages, I have been consistent only in advocating monitoring of panels. If monitoring panels is just a convenience, why is it becoming the norm? Yes, even on many solar farms. Answer the question!
There are several ways to monitor panels on a string system but there is rarely logic in planning it on a new system when you compare a string system to the labor cost and other advantages of a micro-inverter (M.I.) system.
ALL brands of micro-inverters have built-in monitoring. That even includes the newer solar modules with built in inverters. As an installer, I would advise taking advantage of the savings in both labor and materials by using micro-inverters rather than a string system with monitoring and/or optimization added.
Why do I like Enphase over other M.I. competitors? If you still can’t figure out the answer to that question after reading this thread then English is not for you.
Jeffrey Jones says it in the movie “Hunt for Red October”, we all know Scroog says it, I’m pretty sure the Grinch says it, and from time to time grazing sheep say it; but JMvicker’s is the first use of “Bah!” that I’ve seen on a financial message board.
Jmvicker clearly did not read the article I referenced within this thread. He’ll ask for a link even though he knows they won’t allow one. I gave exactly what is needed to find the article in a search. The article makes clear that; the larger the system, the more important some kind of monitoring is.
No one said it has to be micro-inverters. But given the other advantages, I must question why not use a good M.I. with built-in monitoring. Now your shading is dealt with, ongoing diagnostics are provided, monitoring is remote online, production reports are easy; and in some cases, warranty matches modules. And NO LONG RUNS of DC!
“jmvicker” and “Justaworkinstiff” (probably the same person) both talk about how easy it is to find which panels are failing in a system etc. Every method of finding failed panels requires paid licensed labor to drive and/or fly to the production site, run “easy” diagnostics, test remaining modules and then fly back out again to start replacing them. What a waste of good money. The bigger the system, the bigger the waste.
Very insightful information. Thanks for your contribution.
I am surprised that Power-One would not be more cost competitive with the smaller ENPHASE since pwer-one has been late to the MI game and ENPHASE has gained so much market share so quickly. P1 has to take market share back or could be in danger of losing the race. I have a hard time believing that there is much differentiation in technology, but when I looked over the specs it appeared that P1 had the edge. As far as pricing goes, if technology is if nothing else on par, P1 has a chance to smash ENPHASE out of business since ENPH can't guarantee it will be around long enough to service it's less expensive warranty. Installers want to go with Bankable companies rather than go with a company who isn't 'even half way to breaking even on the bottom line with their revenue numbers.
I'm long P1, but intrigued by ENPH. I just don't see how with their limited product line and poor financial state that they can defeat the inverter giants.
so basically what you are saying is neither the number 1 nor the number 2 inverter companies of the world are a threat to this here company that has never even made a profit before and only has a fraction of sales compared to its peers. Sheeesh,,,,, where do you people come from?
The one thing the ENPH bunch believe is "no array should be setup without microinverters". That's nuts, actually. A homeowner or a solar farm does not need per-module monitoring. In fact, the bigger the solar farm, the better it is to use string inverters. If you have four Chinese modules and they have iffy manufacturing tolerances - yes, you want to know which module failed after four years of use. You can usually find this out with a heat gun or a voltage checker in-line if the string voltage and total string output has dropped and it's visible on a string inverter panel. My own system has two PWER Aurora inverters for a total of four MPPT voltage/amperage points in my array. No shade issues. I have exactly the same output on all four 8-module strings. I don't need to know that any module is out of spec - because NONE ARE ! :) The only reason to want to know when modules are out of spec is if you buy #$%$ Chinese modules at $.75/W. Good luck with those systems, SolarCity and SunRun customers. You need those microinverters to hold your hand. Bah!
Thanks for a wonderful comparison. the only thing you did not cover is the higher efficiency of the ENPH and the ability handle heat better than the other companies. I am long both ENPH and PWER and have a system with 86 ENPH inverters. GREAT service and production.
I'm missing something here - Enphase inverters are listed at 96% efficient. That is on par with most
other inverters on the market. In the case of newer generation inverters it is actually lower efficiency. Where are you getting the "higher efficiency" thing?