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joebigbuck 317 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 20, 2016 1:05 AM Member since: Jan 22, 1999
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  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 9, 2016 10:52 PM Flag

    "I sounds like things are not going that well in Hawaii."

    You miss the point. The only way to resolve their issues in Hawaii is to promote solar storage. My guess is within a the next few months you start to see serious movement in that direction. The same thing is happening in Arizona today.

    "PHOENIX (AP) -- An agreement between the nation's largest solar company and Arizona's biggest utility to call off a contentious battle and instead negotiate on how to treat rooftop solar power has hit a major bump, and representatives for both sides said Thursday they've called off the talks.

    "APS has said it needs changes to its rate structure encourage conservation during peak periods so it can avoid building new power plants. The demand charges it is proposing would charges customers much more if they used too much power during peak periods.

    The company also wants to end "net metering," where customers get full retain price for solar power they don't use in their homes. The company contends that shifts grid-maintenance costs to non-solar customers."

    So like Hawaii the movement here eventually will push the rapid adoption of solar plus storage. It's either that or spend the money on building new power plants. My guess is they take the 30% fed solar tax credit, add a utility incentive to it, and run with it.

    That is Nahi's vision. Not just storage, but residential storage (distributed yet connected) and not large mega utility based storage. He sees it playing out rapidly...a couple years. But even if he's wrong by a year or two...what's the big deal? ENPH does not have the funds to support a rapid ramp up anyway. A slow build up over 3 or 4 years followed by a massive ramp up would work out just fine for them.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 9, 2016 1:55 PM Flag

    "By the way, what is your view of the competitive threats and when do you project Enphase will be profitable?"

    ENPH is a disruptive tech and it's greatest threat is that another disruptive tech comes along. ENPH has the resources and enough time on it's side to overtake all the players using older tech (string/central/optimizers) but does not own the patent on future advances in the inverter space. One thing they do have going in their favor is no venture money is flowing into this space because it's seen as a commodity business right now and not worthy of new venture money. What is going on is consolidation (Tigo/SMA as an example). Because money is not flowing into the space and current players flush with cash (like SEDG) are not spending it on R&D but rather holding on to it thinking they can just outlast smaller players I don't see this as a major risk.

    As for profitable....ENPH has always funded it's growth through it's own profits. They have never done a secondary in their history. The problem is because soon they will have such a huge advantage on the competition in terms of everything (which is why they are disruptive) their market opportunities will expand greatly. So if you are Nahi what do you do? Hoard your cash and profits like SEDG or spend it on growth (India is huge market ENPH is just now tapping because of their limited resources)? Another example would be their battery roll out. Why start with just one small market? They've tested it for over a's not like SEDG's HD inverter (announced one month and supposed to be released two months later as a finished product). Why not roll it out in Hawaii and AUS? The reason is they lack the funds...not that they doubt the market. You see a PR announcing they are moving into Hawaii faster because of their success in AUS? Nope. But if they had 170M in the bank like SEDG you would have.

    The bottom line here is I think Nahi leaned a lesson that he really needs to have certain amount of cash laying around (not just credit access which they have) to fend off the shorts. Because of this my guess is Nahi will within 8 months turn his focus from growth to profits. How long that period will last depends on so many factors but in the end, like AMZN, they are going to make a boat load of money.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 9, 2016 1:16 PM Flag

    Hawaii is's just ahead of the rest of the world (like AUS) in that solar became so popular (and is) it overwhelmed the grid. They'll figure out a residential storage incentive program soon enough to get the backlog going (already a 30% fed tax credit in place if storage is installed with solar). This, of course, is great news for ENPH as after their initial success in AUS their next target market is Hawaii.

    'The filing also approved new “self-supply” and “grid-supply” tariffs for customers to interconnect distributed energy resources to HECO’s electric grids.

    Under the self-supply option, PV customers with energy storage are eligible for an expedited review and approval of their systems in areas of high PV penetration. These customers are restricted in the amount of electricity they can send back to the grid and do not receive any compensation for these exports.

    Under the grid-supply option, PV customers can export electricity to the grid, but will be compensated for these exports at a lower rate. This tariff reduces the credit from the full retail rate for net metering, to the cost of wholesale power for the islands’ utilities. Wholesale prices range from roughly 15 cents per kilowatt-hour to 28 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is about half the islands’ average retail electricity rates.

    "I’m so confident," he added, "because over 90 percent of the public in Hawaii says they want more solar, not less. This is going to result in a lot less solar, and will hurt low-income and middle class customers the most."

    Miller recently wrote that HECO is intentionally trying to block customers from going solar, pointing to interconnection delays based on technical concerns that were ultimately proven false. He called for the adoption of time-of-use rates coupled with net metering, which he said would incentivize solar customers to adopt emerging technologies like energy storage to align generation with load."

    Not sure where you are getting your solar slowdown info from....but if the market is supposed to be flat (I don't think it is) then how do you explain ENPH guiding sales up 30% this quarter?

    SEDG guided flat, but my guess is because of Sella taking a few pot shots at ENPH in his last C.C. SEDG's market share gains from the last couple years have reversed (as his 50% price advantage is gone).

    "Updated June 9, 2016
    executive summaryThe U.S. installed 1,665 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in Q1 2016 to reach 29.3 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 5.7 million American homes. With more than 1 million individual solar installations nationwide, the industry is on pace to nearly double in size in 2016. The residential solar market remained strong, with a fourth consecutive quarter with more than 500 MW of capacity brought online."

    As for the slowdown in China....ENPH does not sell there (that I know of...SEDG does a little) but anything that will bring down the panel price is good for solar here (meaning good for inverter companies like ENPH)


  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 10:02 PM Flag

    Yup, it's terrible news ENPH is entering a market expected to grow about 100 fold over the next 10 years.

    "The global market for distributed storage for solar systems will be worth $8 billion in 2026 (it was about 50M in 2014) as solar combines with energy storage in order to continue its remarkable growth, according to a new report from Lux Research. The report says solar-plus-storage is a key necessity for solar to overcome limitations like intermittency and the lack of power after dark."

    It's also terrible news neither policies or prices will be stagnant in the time (like your brain) instead moving towards adoption of storage.

    "Policy support has big impact. Thanks to policy support, Germany has installed 12,000 solar-plus-batteries systems since 2013, with a recent growth rate of 35%. Japan has launched a subsidy program to cover two-thirds of the installation costs for lithium-ion battery systems at 1 kWh or larger, while California offers a $1.46/W incentive – and mandates utilities to install 1.3 GW of storage by 2020."

    It's also terrible news ENPH is in the sweet spot when it comes to related business.

    To date, there are few pure-play solar-plus-storage vendors in the market. Instead, existing solar companies are partnering with energy storage firms to create alliances. Solar companies have a head start in terms of customer acquisition strategies (ENPH has over 400,000 installs) that energy storage companies can take advantage of through such partnerships," said Manghani."

    Then of course there is this:

    US-based Enphase Energy says it has doubled its production targets for its new battery storage system in Australia after an overwhelming response from consumers. “I didn’t expect (demand) it to be as aggressive as it was,” Enphase Energy’s Asia Pacific head Nathan Dunn said in an interview with RenewEconomy on Tuesday. “I thought the numbers we had targeted would be an aggressive target, but demand is well above expectations.”

    Yup...everything considered just terrible news on the ENPH battery front line.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 7:21 PM Flag

    "The Enphase design is going to be cost prohibitive to allow them to compete. Not only will the battery component be way too expensive but worse, each 1.2kWh module must be individual packaged with a battery controller and a microinverter and tested before shipping."

    First off, Eliiy may be a small private company but Daiwa House Group owns 1/3 of it...and they are a multi billion dollar company. So they may be small but they have deep pockets behind them.

    But as for the inverter attached to the battery consider this....

    SEDG's 7 kW inverter is around 1500....but ups to 3500 if you want to combine it with the Powewall.

    ENPH's first inverter in their battery will be the S280...but rapidly be followed by the S290 and then by the end of next year the S300.

    The S300 can be produced for 10 cents a watt or 30 bucks. Double that for profit and it's 60 bucks. Now take that times 5 to match the PowerWall.

    So one adds 2000 to the battery cost and one adds 300.

    You better hope ENPH over pays for their battery because they sure are going to have huge head start on the connected inverter.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 7:06 PM Flag

    " just forget that the size and the weight of the inverter makes it easier to dissipate the heat."

    Must not be that big of deal or string/central inverters wouldn't weigh 10X that of microinverters and last about 1/3 as long.

  • This is what Beans says:

    "If Sonnen and GE are right then the hardware will become commodities and the differentiation will be in the software."

    Once again Beans and Nahi are on the same page....only Nahi got there first.

    "It’s small and light on capacity, but Enphase see that as an advantage, in that it can be scaled up to meet a household’s needs, perhaps more precisely than other market offerings – and this is where the smarts come in again.

    “Now, when you install our gateway, it’s installed on switchboard, connects to the wi-fi and can easily be connected to existing solar systems,” says Single.

    “Right away it starts measuring consumption and generation, so the customer can work out how many batteries they will need.

    “There’s a ‘size my battery’ button in Enlighten (the name of Enphase’s energy management system) that might tell you: ‘three batteries would suit you well and, by the way, putting an extra 2kW (of solar) on your garage would also help your summer air-con load’.”

    “We use big data information – we look at the numbers, look at your lifestyle, and thanks to the micro-inverters and the modularity of the batteries, can grow the system over time.”

    “We’re always upgrading the software, via the internet – like your iPhone; always doing those updates.

    “We’ve also got a developer API found at – which provides open-source code for developers to build their own apps for Enphase system owners to use alongside Enlighten, and that ecosystem of apps will continue to grow over time.”

    “It’s all about software and capabilities. Enphase employs 100 software engineers. You won’t find that in any other energy company.”

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 3:27 PM Flag

    My thinking is ENPH made the right choice back in 2014 when they signed up with Eliiy and nothing has changed that I can see.

    It was the best choice/chemistry for ENPH then and it still is today.

    "Mr. Reghu Belur, co-founder and vice-president of Enphase Energy, comments, “For selecting a
    storage battery to be introduced to our new distributed electricity storage system, we searched all
    over the world for a partner best suited to stationary electricity storage systems with a particular
    emphasis on performance and safety. As a result of our thorough examination of different battery
    materials from battery manufacturers around the world, we have selected ELIIY Power as our
    partner, as it manufactures long-life lithium-ion batteries with lithium iron phosphate adopted as
    cathode material and with paramount safety and performance in a fully automated line that satisfies
    high quality standards."

    The question Bean's would ask is if why Eliiy is so superior why wouldn't Musk sign them up instead of Panasonic?

    The answer is Musk needed deep pockets for his battery manufacturer as he did not have the cash to build his own plant. That limited his choices to very few (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Mit).

    I'm sure performance and safety were prime considerations.....right after deep pockets.

    ENPH just wanted the long as they had the funds to scale up over time.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 3:01 PM Flag

    "Baron sees what many people miss about Tesla. It is not a car company that happens to make batteries. "

    If Tesla bombs in the car business they zero chance in the battery business. The capital costs associated with that factory will crush him before the numbers in the storage business pan out.

    But for ENPH I think it's very realistic to say their inverter revenue will soon be a footnote next to their storage business.

    "The Japanese company, whose shareholders include the Daiwa House Industry group, has inked a deal to supply California-based Enphase Energy with lithium-ion batteries for the six years ending 2020. Eliiy will also develop an eight-cell battery pack and expects to supply 125,000 of the packs in fiscal 2017. The company foresees sales of 10 billion yen in 2017.

    Enphase makes microinverters for solar panels installed on some 300,000 homes. It plans to sell Eliiy batteries to existing customers or as a set with microinverters to new customers. Enphase expects to sell 1 million batteries in 2020.

    The global market for home battery systems will nearly quadruple from 2014 estimates to 176.8 billion yen in 2020, according to Tokyo-based market research firm Fuji Keizai."

  • Reply to

    Bear Case

    by rdravin Jun 3, 2016 3:56 PM
    joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 1:02 PM Flag

    Many hedge fund managers have sophisticated software programs that just run averages which they then use to short small cap stocks. It's not nothing's just numbers.

    Say this program showed 60% of all stocks that broke 5 within 2 months of breaking 10 dropped below 1 within the next 12 months.

    You have a few billion dollars to play you run the numbers, find the stocks that fit the parameter and then short.

    On the flip side they'll cover when the share price moves above certain parameters (usually around 5).

    It was one of the reasons why back in 2012-13 when ENPH dropped down to around 2 and short interest was high what happened when it broke 5? It ran to 10 in about a month (short interest covering).

    They could care less about potential....they're running numbers based upon historical share price averages.

    As for SEDG today.....that huge black hole gap just got filled. If it reverses later today (goes negative) that would be a very bad sign.

  • Reply to

    Good News

    by mrdoofytums Jun 8, 2016 9:29 AM
    joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 12:35 PM Flag

    That's a great find. They do offer other packages if you dig deep in their web page but on the home page this offer this package:

    "These Packages Include:
    3.12kW System Solar Components:
    12 x 260W JA Solar High Performance Panels
    12 x Enphase M215-60-230-S22 Microinverters
    2 x Enphase AC Battery
    1 x Enphase S-Metered – BONUS – $500 VALUE
    Australian Designed & Made SunLock Mounting System
    Professional, CEC Accredited Installation
    4.16kW System Solar Components:
    16 x 260W JA Solar High Performance Panels
    16 x Enphase M215-60-230-S22 Microinverters
    2 x Enphase AC Battery
    1 x Enphase S-Metered – BONUS – $500 VALUE
    Australian Designed & Made SunLock Mounting System
    Professional, CEC Accredited Installation

    This goes along with Nahi stating within 2 years all ENPH systems will be sold with storage (not just solar but an energy management system). This is just the tip of the iceberg....but the fact they put this package on their home page is a really good sign.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 12:23 PM Flag

    "No plans to build a large factory to compete on price?"

    They already built it..which is why ENPH signed up with them.

    "At Kawasaki Plant 2, completed in June 2012, the manufacturing process is operated in a fully automated manner, from blending of cathode and anode materials to inspection of completed battery cells and wrapping of external film. The entire process is centrally managed and can be operated by a minimal number of workers."

    What's more..they are superior is just about every respect to Panasonic batteries (which you refer to as Tesla batteries).

    "What’s more, they offer an extended lifespan: even if charged and recharged repeatedly for 10 years (approx. 12,000 times), they will retain 80.1%* of their electricity storage capacity.

    The PowerWall is around 3500 cycles for 10 years..but only 5 at 80% if I remember right (ENPH does lower the warranty to 7000 or so but Eliiy pays for it).

    "We have developed a unique stacking method for manufacturing equipment that folds the cathode and anode and separator together in a zigzag manner (patent applied for and open for public review).
    Using this stacking method we have realized high-speed manufacturing and large-size that would be impossible with the conventional winding method."

    So you can have this battery in your garage:

    "Olivine-type lithium iron phosphate, which offers superior safety, is used as a material for cathode. Our lithium-ion electricity storage batteries are the first of their type in the world to have passed international certification organization TÜV Rheinland’s product safety test."

    In the event of a loss of function with the battery management unit (BMU), we believe it is most essential to ensure that the battery cells remain safe, and we are therefore developing and manufacturing batteries that meet high safety standards – even if punctured with a needle (internal short-circuit), crushed, or overcharged, there is no risk of thermal runaway and they do not catch fire."

    Or this one:

    "Reports out of Norway are indicating a 2014 Tesla Model S caught fire while charging up at a supercharger station. An NRK report said (via Google Translate) that no one was in the car when it caught fire, and that the fire occurred sometime after the owner of the car set the car up for charging and left. The police are currently investigating the blaze, the report said, and so far there’s no explanation as to why the car caught fire."

    Which one would you rather have...the one that can burn down your house or the safe one with more than twice the cycles?

    Never're the guy who puts high voltage wires on their roof.

    "They got Enphase management on the hook and locked them in for 2 to 6 years."

    No they are not. We already discussed that when you posted the contract as a negative and the truth is every clause in it benefits ENPH. ENPH can leave when they want has no minimum requirements and it's not exclusive

    "The Tesla gigafactory opens end of July and they have committed a greater percentage of its capacity to produce batteries for the energy storage markets due to anticipated demand and Elon's goal to save the planet."

    No they have not. The model 3 takes priority and every battery produced will head in that direction if it is successful. Mush is currently looking over Samsung batteries (among others) to try to fill in. What this means is SEDG really has no clue what is going to be in the PowerWall's they are pushing going forward.

    "Musk, clarifying further in a separate post Wednesday, said that a Samsung partnership is possible for the batteries needed to power Tesla's forthcoming energy storage devices."

    Bottom line: You continue to cut and paste nonsense. Initial sales of ENPH batteries in AUS/NZ are 100% above expectations because they are not an after thought of ENPH like the Powerwall is to Musk. So you can go with marketing or performance. So far most are choosing ENPH for performance.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 8, 2016 12:21 AM Flag

    "HD Wave will obsolete their existing technology and they don't need to introduce the Wave yet."

    You do realize Stella (SEDG's CEO) went on CNBC last Sept touting his new revolutionary product that was about to be released in two months?

    But your comment displays a child like naivete when it comes to investing.

    To think they are intentionally holding back their claimed revolutionary future product (especially after they dogged out their current line) through choice is beyond comprehension to me.

    Read this comment from Stella from the last C.C. Clearly it is a dig aimed directly at ENPH....which he had never done before (what changed?):

    " Even sometimes on the account of growth in revenues, we believe that profitability and strong balance sheet is the key to long term success in this industry, and it is critical to being able to support the 25 years warranty that characterize module-level power electronics products."

    Stella would step on ENPH and choke it out if he could. If he could have release the HD Wave Inverter last can bet he would have.

    My hope is that he did. It would have been an insane move on his part...about 100 times dumber than ENPH releasing those 400K M190's on the market when they weren't ready for prime time yet. If those HD inverters had just held up in tests for another 2 months before failing Stella would have released them en mass and today would be dealing with the massive fall out (rather than just having to explain why their current inverters aren't really TV tube tech).

    This is how SEDG's marketing VP described their string inverters a few months back:

    "“We believe HD-Wave represents a significant milestone for solar inverter technology, akin to the transition from large glass tube TVs to the flat-screen."

    This is Stella working damage control:

    I think that in Q3 calendar the majority will still be the current values are selling which is a very attractive great inverter and we keep reducing its price.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 11:59 PM Flag

    "As stated in my explanation, the big difference is being able to select the location of the string inverter. For instance, I can put the string inverter indoor near an AC unit. I am probably going to place mine in one of the spare bedrooms opposite an AC vent. "

    So you put the string inverter in the bedroom and run the A/C all day trying to keep it cool?

    I have to say that's an original reason to pick a string inverter over a microinverter.

    I can see why you're a fan of Beans.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 7:11 PM Flag

    "Read about the HD Wave technology as just one example. I will save you some trouble:"

    You mean their idea of the 1975 tech called "multi-level" that every company on the planet abandoned for reliability issues?

    Now maybe they have it figured out...but maybe not.

    In Sept of 2015 they announced to the world their current generation of string inverters were antiques (TV tube tech) and were being replaced with the HD inverters by the end of Dec.

    "“We believe HD-Wave represents a significant milestone for solar inverter technology, akin to the transition from large glass tube TVs to the flat-screen," stated Lior Handelsman, VP Marketing and Product Strategy of SolarEdge."

    "SolarEdge's first inverters powered by HD-Wave technology will be available starting December 2015."

    Well, Dec came and went and then they stated it would be the end of March.

    Well, that came and went and now they state they may have them out of the end of April 2017 if all goes according to plan.

    So as of today...and for at least another year they'll still be pushing those TV Tube tech inverters.

    With an R&D budget less than 50% of ENPH (50M vs 22M for 2015) I guess the delays and antique products are to be expected though.

    What I don't understand is why anyone would buy them?

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 6:58 PM Flag

    "Thermal losses are proportional to current squared, not voltage squared."

    Who's talking about thermal losses?

    I'm talking about why string inverters fail after just a few years and today's microinverters will last 25 plus years.

    Why do string inverters have internal cooling systems and microinverters do not?

    Why do string inverters weigh 25X as much?

    It's because they have to be designed to handle 100X to 150X times the current.

    And geez, so they replaced the M190's (2nd generation) with a antique string inverter that will fail again before the panels do. Wonder why he just didn't put up the newer generation microinverters that are far more reliable than SEDG's products according to SEDG's 10Q on warranty obligations?

    And at least those M190's didn't take down the entire string like a failed Optimizer or string inverter would.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 6:36 PM Flag

    I've read that before. Here's what I got out of it.

    "In this study, 24 Enphase M215 microinverters connected to 8 different brands of polycrystalline PV modules on dual-axis trackers were analyzed from July through October 2013 in SDLE SunFarm (latitude 41.50°, longitude -81.64°) on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio."

    The first thing is they used ENPH 3rd generation M215's as opposed to the ones they sale today (4th generation) . According to ENPH the newer M215 or 6X more reliable than the earlier generation.

    "The new fourth-generation Enphase M250 Microinverter is available now, with the M215 to be released in September 2014."

    Outside air temp has very little to do with their study. If it did wind speed would have been a factor as stagnate air under the panel, on the roof, would be of a higher temp than circulated air and showed a significance in their showed zero (which is what you would expect since the temps they reached were far below ENPH's max).

    '"The very low correlation coefficients between wind speed and any other variable, including Module.T, strongly suggest that even at higher speeds the effect of wind on (internal) temperature is negligible."

    So if outside temp was no big deal what was?

    Exactly what Nahi stated...the power of the current flowing the inverter (which is about 150 times less for microinverters than string/central inverters).

    From the analysis, we uncover that at high irradiance, the Module.T, which is determined by the difference between absorbed solar POWER and maximum DC electrical POWER loading the PV module, is the dominant predictor of Micro.T."

    From this they summarize that oversizing the inverter to the panel would be a good idea.

    "Therefore, it may be more beneficial for the long term performance of the microinverter to power match the PV module even if the conversion efficiency is reduced."

    ENPH has a similar study on the web site......which reached this conclusion:

    "Microinverter Behavior
    In all scenarios, the M215 Microinverter was operating below its maximum output for more than
    90% of the year. Figure 4 shows the total hours that the M215 spent throughout the year at
    each output power level, when paired with a 260W module in Denver, CO. As can be seen, the
    microinverter operated below its maximum output rating for more than 99.5% of the year."

    It is clear from this study that using high power solar modules with the M215 Microinverter
    results in substantial gains in annual production and minimal losses to inverter saturation. This
    conclusion is furthered by the fact that lifetime losses to inverter saturation will likely be lower,
    due to module degradation and increased soiling over time."

    The bottom line: It just was not worth the extra money to buy a high wattage microinverter when a lower cost one will work just as good 99.5% of the year. ENPH also does not void any warranty if you undersize the inverter....meaning the effect on reliability and length of service is minimal.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 5:48 PM Flag

    "As time progresses, microinverters will degrade and it will effect the thermal response of the microinverters."

    Well, we know for a fact in a few years the SEDG string inverter sitting in your garage will take down your entire system when fails.

    Now maybe my microinverters will fail before my panels give up...but maybe not for 35 years or so. Why?

    Again here is your best friend Nahi explaining it to you:

    "We have 8-9 million units out in the field, some for up to ten years, and so we understand what kind of voltage stresses they are under because we collect data not only on the AC side but also the DC side. So we know what kind of harsh waveforms that are generated under difficult conditions, and we have a database of hundreds of thousands of individual waveforms that we test. This is IP that has been gathered over ten years.

    In addition to this rigorous testing, the majority of the components used are all automotive-grade, which is the highest quality you can get. Then we have a series of internal processes that we go to in order to ensure quality. If we didn’t have the highest quality inverter in the world, you would not see us gain the type of market share we enjoy currently.

    A lot of this is very qualitative – if you sit down and evaluate the reliability of the unit and components, and you look at the different operating margins that we provide for each component and see the stresses that we allow and don’t allow, the internal protection mechanisms in place, etc, we can prove to people, empirically, that our units can stand the test of time."

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 5:42 PM Flag

    "Obviously, microinverters perform DC/AC conversion at much higher temperature than string inverter."

    That's not even remotely fact it's exactly the opposite.

    String inverters run 100X to 150X the power of voltage through their systems (P=Volts squared)....which is why, unlike microinverters, they require internal cooling systems yet still fail in the 5 to 12 year range.

    Nahi addresses this misconception here:

    "If you look at the amount of power being dissipated per square centimeter of surface area, there is more surface area with an Enphase system than there is with a string inverter, and that’s primarily because the amount of power that’s being managed by one single microinverter is in the hundreds of watts, whereas the power being managed by a string inverter or central inverter is measured in the thousands of watts. And there is no greater enemy to reliability than direct heat – which is what you get when you’re dealing with that much power and that much dissipation.

    So the physics would tell you that if the design criteria is met properly, you have a better operating condition with a microinverter."

    The bottom line is microinverters own every advantage possible over string/central inverters (including heat dissipation/reliability)...except for price.

    And that's changing rapidly.

  • joebigbuck joebigbuck Jun 7, 2016 2:47 PM Flag

    "Nobody would leave the design/implementation of a microgrid to a solar installer, and it is not the same skill set as a software engineer sitting in a corporate office someplace."

    Local installers may have been responsible for placing those microinverters on the roof but clearly ENPH's corporate office is where Hawaiian Electric went to help solve their problems....because ENPH's microinverters are software based (which is the future according to both Nahi and Beans).

    "I would say almost literally a push of a button from our corporate offices, we were able to upgrade about 800,000 of our inverters to a new grid profile to help stabilize the grid.”

    Nahi has stated (see his comments I just posted from the Q4 2015 C.C.) that very shortly (2017) they will start to monetize this information.

    " So I think that in terms of materiality we are looking at probably 2017. But there is a tremendous amount of work going on today and there is work - we were going to be in trials with multiple utilities across the U.S. both for storage as well as solar as assets and as controllable assets on the grid this year."

    Like batteries, this is an area ENPH is spending large sums of money that are not showing up on the bottom line....or even in analyst estimates. They get zero credit for it.

    Which is why ENPH sits with a market cap 1/10th that of SEDG and what SolarBridge sold for with less than 1/10th the revenues (100M).