A Total Solar Solution: Case Study using Enphase Microinverters

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A Total Solar Solution: Case Study using Enphase Microinverters

This is a story worth telling. It goes to the core of who we are at Goodhew Solar: Solution Providers.

The Solar Challenge:

Our customer in Cleveland already had a 6.6kw Solar System with a 5kw Growatt Inverter. It had been installed for almost 3 years, working well, but not producing enough to meet the needs of the customer. Especially with the recent purchase of an Electric Vehicle.

Why? See the picture below…

Cleveland Roof Before

Cleveland Roof Before

In this picture you will see there are two rows of solar panels facing east (to the right of the picture). At the time this location presented the best option for a standard string inverter system. However, it is not optimum and is also challenged by the shade from some nearby gum trees. Our customer knew this at the time and now that we were able to closely measure the performance over a 3 year period the solar system was producing about 80% of what a similar sized solar system would produce on average.

The customer needed more electricity from their rooftop solar system. But how?

With a custom-built roof facing in multiple directions, shade issues from nearby gum trees and limited by a single phase 5kw solar export limit we needed to find a way of doubling the production and deliver.

Lucky for us our customer had done quite a bit of research and by communicating and working together we arrived at a customized Enphase Microinverter solution. We had installed Enphase Solar Systems in the past, but nothing quite like this so the challenge was set.

Why Enphase Microinverters?

Smart – Flexible – Powerful – Reliable – Scalable – Shade Management

No string inverter system could achieve what we did using Enphase. We had installed Enphase systems before but this was certainly the most challenging.

We were able to do the 3 key things to deliver what the customer needed

1. Install panels in different sizes (370 watts and 440 watts) and in different alignments to suit the dimensions and aspect of the available roof area. See the photo of the roof below after installation:

Cleveland Roof After

2. Install a system that had the intelligence to talk to the old Growatt Inverter and the Meter simultaneously to ensure any solar export was limited to the regulation requirements ie 5kw at any given time.

Enphase Design Concepts Existing String System

Enphase Microinverters

3. Install a system that would maximise the production of every panel individually regardless of the shade impact. In other words when one or more panels were affected by the shade then others would and could produce independently.

The installation did not come without a few challenges but the customer is very happy with the outcome. The early data on the production output are very promising as you can see from the graph from the Enphase Envoy system. We can track this from our office and our customer can track it from their device.

Enphase Envoy Graph

The message of the case study is this. Don’t be put off by the normal challenges that some “cookie cutter” installers will tell you is just too hard. Today’s solar technology is smarter and lasts longer than ever before. Yes you may pay a bit more but you will still get the return on investment and smash you power bills once and for all.

To find out more about Enphase Microinverters or any other type of flexible inverter system give us a call. We love a challenge.