The S Series are the only ones that are "smart grid ready" and configurable for variable grid profiles like Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Rule 14H, California Rule 21, and others. It is just a matter of time before other geographies adopt similar Rules.
If you already have an Enphase system or if you purchase a system today with M or C series microinverters the only way to upgrade is to replace the microinverters. It would appear that all new Enphase systems should be built with the S Series microinverters in order to be "future proof".
Since they are not "smart grid ready" the M and C Series could be viewed by some as obsolete. If installers see it that way then Enphase could be writing down inventory.
“Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) Rule 14H and California’s Rule 21 are driving inverters to need to incorporate more smart grid functionality,” says Teff Reed, senior director of microinverter systems, Enphase Energy. The company addressed these needs with the release of its S-Series inverters. SolarEdge and Fronius also have HECO and California Rule 21-compliant products.
“Inverters are now interacting with the grid to enable distributed generation on a large scale,” says Tristan Kreager, director of Solar Energy for Fronius.
“Now, the most technologically advanced inverters for the residential, commercial and utility-scale sectors are utility compliant and can operate in any market, including Hawaii and California,” says Brad Dore, director of marketing for SMA America.
If you go to their website you can see where Princeton Power sells complete solutions, like their complete EV charging stations, where ideal Power only sells the inverters. Even if Green Charge has to pay a little more the complete solution from a single vendor probably wins out over them putting their own system together from components from several vendors.
Are the Dinosaurs eating microinverters for lunch?
GTM Research: "The top inverter supplier to both SolarCity and Sunrun in 2015, ABB supplied almost a quarter of the overall residential market and was ranked No. 3 in the Leaderboard. Its market share among EnergySage installers is much smaller, in the range of about 5 percent. SolarEdge leads both lists after consistently expanding for the past several years."
All Others 7.9%
Don't know for certain but Ideal Power has been working with Green Charge networks since 2013.
Google: IDEAL POWER RECEIVES MULTI-UNIT ORDER TO SUPPORT GREEN CHARGE NETWORKS' INTELLIGENT ENERGY STORAGE FOR CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS
From March 17, 2015: "We are committed to using the best of breed technology in our intelligent energy storage systems," said Vic Shao, CEO of Green Charge Networks. "Green Charge's system requires a power conversion solution that can scale and adapt to multiple applications in order to meet the growing demand for energy storage. We are pleased to be working with Ideal Power."
Ideal Power has worked closely with Green Charge Networks since 2013, providing systems for more than a dozen California customers including municipal buildings, schools, and electric vehicle fast charging installations.
Note the reference to: "electric vehicle fast charging installations."
SolarEdge has pushed Enphase to the edge of the financial cliff. It remains to be seen whether or not they will push Enphase over the cliff.
With their large cash position and 30%+ margins SolarEdge has the ability to significantly reduce the prices of their products which would devastate the Enphase business even further.
Launching the new battery line from a position of financial weakness may do more to sink the ship rather than save it.
Enphase stock is nothing more than a gamble. Enphase management brags about being silicon valley guys. Based on their financial performance since inception and to date, they do not appear to understand how to compete and survive in the renewable energy business.
Paul Nahi is better at BSing than he is at running a profitable company. The BOD should replace him.
Green Charge Networks named Tim Larrison as its new CFO. Green Charge claims to be "the largest provider of commercial energy storage in the United States with more than 45 megawatt-hours of energy storage projects in operation or under construction." Earlier this year, Jeff St. John reported that "Green Charge Networks and Stem have been racing each other for the title of top behind-the-meter battery startup -- and for funding to back their no-money-down deals for customers."
ChargePoint Raises $50M as EV Charging Market Hits its Stride
Rising EV sales and California utility rollouts mean growth capital for the country’s biggest charging network
by Jeff St. John May 05, 2016
Building a network of electric vehicle charging stations to replace the corner gas station network we have today will take billions of dollars, eventually. It’s taking hundreds of millions of dollars to bring ChargePoint up to scale.
On Tuesday, the Campbell, Calif.-based startup announced a $50 million investment led by Linse Capital, and joined by Braemar Energy Ventures and Constellation Energy. The Series F round brings ChargePoint’s total investment to north of $164 million, with previous backers including Kleiner Perkins, Rho Ventures, and strategic investors BMW iVentures and Siemens.
ChargePoint has also done some work in settings that have solar power or batteries to add to the energy mix. Its project with Green Charge Networks (Ideal Power ?) is using batteries and EV charger scheduling and control to make sure a Silicon Valley school doesn’t spike its electricity demand profile and absorb costly demand charges, for example.
As for the need for growth capital, ChargePoint’s press release noted that 2015 EV sales grew 80 percent over the previous year to 565,000, and that upcoming models like the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt are exciting consumer appetite for an affordable all-electric alternative.
The EV charger market is still relatively small, with much of the existing infrastructure funded by government grants, like the Department of Energy program that’s funded about 4,600 of ChargePoint’s home and business charging systems.........At the same time, utility deployments like the 5,000-charger rollouts being planned by California utilities Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, are meant to help open up underserved markets, such as multifamily housing.
But apparently not Wall Street.
The Pumper's Prediction: "Just wait till next time." "If you don't see it you must be blind or stupid". "Just listen to what Paul said".
The Enphase top secret plan: "reduce cost".
The competitor's counter plan: "reduce cost".
Some would characterize that as a competitors "death spiral".
Who is in the best position to survive, the one with lots of money or the one running out of money?
Global solar PV inverter revenues were estimated at $6.9 billion globally in 2015. Paul Nahi and certain Pumpers on this board believe microinverters will replace all inverters (dinosaurs). After all these years microinverters are still only a tiny fraction of the inverter market. Will that remain the case?
After 10 years of trying Enphase management is still trying to figure out how to make money selling microinverters. They now believe a battery and an energy management system are needed to add the missing element to sell more microinverters.
Has any company ever been financially successful selling microinverters?
If not now, then when?
Will the battery save or sink the ship?
Or are Paul and the Pumpers F*O*S when they say just wait till next year or the year after or the year after that?
Pass the Kool-Aid.
I they have M series and C series microinverters in inventory they are obsolete since they do not have the "smart grid" functionality needed for Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Rule 14H, California Rule 21, and others.
"Our plan is working" Here is the proof.
$ in millions Q1 ’16; Q1’15
Total Revenue $64.1; $86.7 (down 26%)
Gross Margin % 18.8%; 32.6% (down 42%)
Operating Loss ($16.0); ($2.5) (increase of $13.5m)
Net Loss ($15.7); ($3.2) (increase of $13.5m)
Loss per Share ($0.34); ($0.07) Increase of $0.27)
After reporting terrible financial results and increasing inventory levels they report the following to investors:
"We have been tremendously successful. We contiune to grow and take market share." Paul Nahi
It was not a purchase of stock by him.
It was a giveaway of stock options to him by the company.
It appears that 5 directors were granted stock options.
Stock Option (Right to Buy) (1)
Explanation of Responses:
( 1) Issued pursuant to the 2011 Equity Incentive Plan.
( 2) Such option will vest in twelve (12) equal monthly installments from the grant date, such that the option is fully vested on the one-year anniversary of the date of grant, subject to the Director's Continuous Service (as defined in the 2011 Equity Incentive Plan).
Sounds like they tried a lot of different technologies along the way and the Aquion batteries and the Ideal Power converter turned out to be the major components.
April 25th, 2016 by Cynthia Shahan
The City of Santa Clara in California recently enjoyed the grand opening of the largest public multi-standard electric vehicle charging facility in the state. City and electric vehicle (EV) industry officials enjoyed the effort to enable more refreshing air and celebrated the milestone at the Santa Clara Electric Vehicle Charging Center, which is located in the city’s Tasman Parking Garage.
“This garage also features a rooftop solar array and state-of-the-art power storage capability.”
How many charging stations are present here, you ask? 48 Level 2 chargers and one DC Fast Charger.
The 6-story parking structure has a 370-kilowatt photovoltaic installation and uses battery technology from Green Charge Networks.
The Darfon MIG320 and MIG660 are available starting in Q1 2016 through authorized distributors.
(They are designed to keep working if a capacitor fails.)
ANAHEIM, CA – September 15, 2015 – Darfon America Corp. introduced its 3rd generation micro inverters, the MIG320 and MIG660. These new micro inverters create the ultimate economical solution that is flexible enough to be installed in either residential or commercial environments. The MIG320 and MIG660 can handle PV modules up to 350W with no or minimal clipping and can be configured using standard trunk or daisy chain cables. Highly reliable, the MIG320/MIG660 family is engineered to continue running at a slightly lower efficiency should a capacitor go bad, rather than just stopping production entirely. The MIG660 is a dual micro inverter with a cost-per-watt of a string inverter. And with just one AC connector, it reduces the chance of connector based problems.
Darfon also suggests the AC-Rack approach over the AC-Module approach. Marrying microinverters and racking: A better solar proposal April 21, 2016.
“Buying an AC module limits the panels from which you can choose, which can hurt budgets because panels are the most expensive component of a solar installation,” said Bryan Whitton, product manager at Darfon America. “Also, if the inverter fails, it’s likely both the module and the inverter will need to be replaced to preserve the AC module’s UL certification.”
Due to the drawbacks of AC modules, some manufacturers have come to offer a different kind of marriage. Instead of integrating microinverters with modules, new solutions combine microinverters with racking. For example, Darfon’s ACRak is a preassembled solution combining its microinverters and trunk cables with IronRidge’s XR rails at the factory. Like AC modules, this helps reduce installation time so contractors can move on to other projects, but with more flexibility. You also have the luxury of selecting almost any module.”
tef4d, I think you misread my posts and jumped to conclusions.
1. "Nothing about CA Rule 21 is retroactive to existing installations so nobody buying a system today should worry at all about a utility rule change that doesn't even take effect until mid 2017 and will only impact new interconnections."
I specifically stated in an earlier post that Rule 21 is not retroactive. My exact quote was the following: "Existing installed M and C Series are grandfathered but you cannot upgrade without replacing all of your microinverters. If you had an inverter on the wall that is nearing its 10 to 12 year life expectancy you can replace it with a new inverter."
Rule 21 has 3 Phases and Portions of Rule 21 are currently in effect. My additional point was that if you build a system with M and C series microinverters that system will never be compliant with all the Rule 21 Phases. Being compliant with Rule 21 can give the homeowner benefits in terms of being able to sell power or battery capacity to the grid. You would need to build the system with the newer but more expensive S Series microinverters in order to be compiiant with and to get the benefits of Rule 21.
2. "Added to that, the Enphase microinverters are software defined meaning that whatever changes do take place can simply be up loaded as a software change."
That is a misconception. You can update parameters that the micrinverter allows to be updated but you cannot add new functions like those needed for Rule 21 compliance.
3. "You should worry more about whether string inverters will still exist in 25 years to make those optimizers run"
You do not need to use a SolarEdge inverter. You can use a variety of inverters. "Independent optimization technology (IndOP™) - allows operation with any inverter and requires no additional interface hardware "
If folks purchasing a PV system look at the balance sheet of the equipment vendor many would be comfortable purchasing from SolarEdge but many would avoid Enphase.
"All ENPH newer generation products are designed to work with previous generations.....but I am not sure "
That is correct. Newer version microinverters can replace older version microinverters.
However, the problem for Enpahse is the new Rule 21 that was adopted in California and may soon be adopted in other jurisdictions. Rule 21 requires so called "smart grid functions", Those functions do not exist in the M and C Series microinverters but do exist in the S Series. Only the S Series are "smart grid ready"
Someone can confirm or refute this but it appears that M and C Series microinverters can no longer be used in California since they do not comply with Rule 21. Personally I would not want to invest in an M or C Series microinverter system that will never be compliant with Rule 21. Distributors in California and elsewhere may start returning unusable M and C Series microinverter inventory to Enphase.
"Central/string inverter tech is over 30 years old and mature while micro inverters are still in their baby stage. "
There are new technologies being developed that will be game changing for all inverters.
One disadvantage of the microinverter architecture is the example of the M and C Series microverters now appearing to be out of date and they cannot be upgraded but would have to all be totally replaced to comply with new rules like Rule 21. The same could happen to the S Series once yet a new set of grid interface Rules are developed. In other words, the microinverter archiceture is less future proof. That is another reason some folks prefer the SolarEdge architecture where you expect to upgrade the inverter every 10 or 12 years since newer ones will have more functions and will be more efficient.
Imagine buying a computer that you never upgrade for 25 years. That is what you are doing when you buy a microinverter system.
I believe Rule 21 "smart grid functionality" has now been adopted in California. The only Enphase microinverters that comply with Rule 21 are the S Series. Therefore it appears that the M and C series can no longer be sold in California. Existing installed M and C Series are grandfathered but you cannot upgrade without replacing all of your microinverters. If you had an inverter on the wall that is nearing its 10 to 12 year life expectancy you can replace it with a new inverter.
Some folks may be concerned about Rule 21 eventually being adopted in their jurisdictions and avoid old technology M and C Series microinverters.
If you wait for the 30% to 50'% S Series price reduction you can buy the "smart grid ready" S series for less than the current prices of the M or C Series. Some may also want to wait for the S Series price reduction due to the slightly higher efficiency of the S Series (,5%)
Most other inverters including SolarEdge are already "smart grid ready" due to long standing requirements in Europe. They just turn it off when the inverter is used in the US.
Apple typically does not revealed the cost or functionality of their next gen product. If they did the competitors would have more information than Apple would want them to have.
Now that Paul has completely disclosed his detailed game plan to competitors, you can bet they are not going to just sit idly by and let him beat them on price.
Enphase has their work cut out for them this year. Now that others have priced their batteries Enphase needs to price their battery so they fly off the shelf and figure out how to profit on quantity.