Photovoltaic (PV) systems provide enough energy to reduce the monthly electric bill, provide energy backup, and allow users to live off the grid. However, inverters limit how many solar panels can be installed in your array. To install more modules, you might need to replace your inverter with a bigger one. Here is an alternative to conventional inverters, the Enphase IQ7 microinverter.

Figure 1 – PV system with IQ7 Microinverter.  Source: Enphase

IQ7 microinverter: How does it work?

The first step into understanding the magic behind the IQ7 is knowing how the device works. Common PV systems plug panels in series and similar arrays in parallel, then connect those to the inverter that needs to be sized for the array. This also means if a module malfunctions, the whole string of panels will not work. Enphase IQ7 microinverters work differently.

Each solar microinverter you acquire is plugged directly into a solar panel, converting the DC signal into AC and generating the home’s regular voltage output. Then those are plugged into Envoy, the brain of the operation. This allows for easy modular expansion of the PV system. This means that if one module fails, it will not bring down a whole branch of panels.

Table 1 – Enphase IQ7 Microinverter Voltage/Current Parameters. Source: Enphase

My Enlighten: Control and connect your home to your PV system

As a solar energy user, you need to control your generation, receive updates of its status, and more. To make that possible, IQ7 microinverters in connection to Envoy are controlled by one simple app: My Enlighten. The web application tracks the generation of electricity at the module level and monitors your whole system.

Why should you use Enphase IQ7 for your home

The IQ7 microinverter is only compatible with 60-cell modules making them ready-to-plug into the solar array of your home, making size expansion a lot easier than with string inverters. It also provides the possibility to have a three-phase system in your home.

You may consider coupling your modules with IQ7 microinverters and Enphase AC batteries to enjoy a smart backup power system with perfect compatibility. Common PV systems’ power is limited by panels shaded by trees, buildings, and other objects.

With Enphase IQ7, each panel is allowed to reach its potential, thus providing the system with different amounts of energy contributions from each panel proportional to the solar energy they are receiving. The IQ7 microinverter makes for a safer and more cost-effective solar system, making it perfect for all homes.

Figure 3 – Connection of the IQ7 microinverter from Enphase – Source: Enphase

The best option for all weathers

Installing solar modules using conventional methods and a string inverter makes for an overall flawed generation. In ideal weather conditions, the solar system will work seamlessly, at least as strong as the weakest solar module in the whole string. Unfortunately, the weather is not always optimal, making strings perform as good as the most shaded solar panel. 

With the usage of an Enphase IQ7, each module performs individually, allowing for a much better overall power generation. If there is a weather-caused shade or obstruction in one of the modules, the rest of the string will continue working at full power, allowing for optimal system performance.

Understanding solar microinverters and their unique applications ensure that you can make a decision that is beneficial to your specific situation.