When it comes to solar energy, there are a lot of choices to make. SolarEdge vs Enphase is just one of the many decisions you’ll have to make when going solar. So, which one is better? That’s what we’re here to find out. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast SolarEdge and Enphase systems, so you can decide which is the best for you.
The choice of Enphase or SolarEdge is highly dependent on your households needs and layout. For example, if your home only gets enough direct sunlight in some areas, you may want to go with Enphase and their microinverter technology. If you’re house gets constant sun coverage without any obstruction, and if you have a simple roof like a flat roof, SolarEdge may be the better choice. However, both companies have their advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before making a decision.
The competition between these two industry giants is fierce, as they fight for the business of those looking to go solar. SolarEdge and Enphase offer different technologies that are both excellent choices for home- and business owners.
Solar inverter types
The primary purpose of an inverter is to change direct current into alternating current so that it can be used as electricity. Without this technology, solar systems would not work. Here are the three types of solar inverters that make solar possible:
- String Inverters
- Micro Inverters
- Power Optimizer System (String inverters + Power optimizers)
MLPEs are devices that optimize power output and improve the efficiency of solar panels at the individual level. This technology offers a range of benefits for system owners, including increased panel performance and improved overall energy production.
Although string solar inverters have been cheaper and more efficient for bigger systems in the past, Power Optimizer Systems and Microinverters are now becoming much more popular due to recent technological advances. One big downside of string inverters is that they’re inflexible, meaning MLPEs are usually a better choice with their added monitoring capabilities.
Central inverter with power optimizers
The main inverter, attached to a wall, translates the direct current (DC) energy in your panels into an alternating current (AC). SolarEdge’s hybrid inverters contain power optimizations that help reduce shading effects on their array. String inverters without optimization capabilities are like old Christmas lights: if one light bulb burns out, the entire string is affected. Power optimizers prevent this by allowing control of operation between each panel.
SolarEdge was established in 2006 and developed the DC-optimized inverter solution, which changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic (PV) systems. The SolarEdge intelligent inverter solution maximizes power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by PV systems, resulting in improved RoI (return of investment). https://www.solaredge.com/us/corporate/about-us
Enphase was founded in 2006 to revolutionize the solar industry. Their microinverter technology converts sunlight into a reliable and resilient source of energy, capable of powering homes and businesses. Enphase microinverters work with virtually every type of solar panel, and when paired with their award-winning smart battery technology, they create some of the best-performing clean energy systems on the market. https://enphase.com/about-us
SolarEdge vs Enphase: Scalability
Enphase microinverters have more scalability potential than SolarEdge models because you can simply add solar panels with compatible microinverters to increase the size of your system. With a SolarEdge system, you’re limited to the size of the central inverter which determines how many solar panels it can take in.
Clients who see a potential increase in their future power demand, whether it be from adding electric vehicles or a large battery backup system, often want a scalable solution. With Enphase microinverters, theoretically, you can add an unlimited number of panels to your system.
Enphase provides a clear advantage in terms of scalability when compared to SolarEdge. With the ability to scale retroactively, Enphase can provide consumers with the flexibility that they need. However, not all consumers require this type of significant scalability. It heavily depends on your roof and surrounding obstructions.
Enphase & backward compatibility
In the last few years, Enphase has made technological advancements, moving from an earlier model, the MP50, to the IQ series currently on the market.
What does this mean for home and business owners?
Enphase’s new IQ models are not backward compatible. This means that consumers who have an older version of Enphase inverter technology would need to purchase all new inverters to upgrade their solar array or add on—they wouldn’t be able to simply scale.
SolarEdge & backward compatibility
Unlike Enphase, SolarEdge does not offer a micro inverter solution. This means that if you have an older version of their inverters, you can simply upgrade to the latest model and continue operating as usual.
SolarEdge vs Enphase: Battery backup options
More and more solar companies are now incorporating backup battery storage solutions into their business model. This involves storing unused solar power in a battery to be used at a later time, such as during a power outage or when household energy demand exceeds solar production. During an outage, important loads like the fridge, TV, lights and AC outlets can still be powered by the combination of solar and stored batteries – even at night!
AC- vs DC-coupled batteries
The key to understanding the difference between these two brands’ battery capabilities lies in knowing the difference between the two technologies. Direct current (DC) is the only way that batteries can store electricity. A DC-coupled battery receives power from an inverter before it’s stored in panels, as is the case with SolarEdge. Though there are some drawbacks to this method, overall efficiency is increased because power conversion happens fewer times.
An AC-coupled battery receives energy in the form of alternating current (AC). Enphase microinverters convert DC power to AC power first on the roof. This type of solution provides more flexibility, but it is less efficient. The reason for this is that AC-coupled batteries store electricity as DC; however, they have a mini-inverter built in which allows them to receive and convert AC to DC before storing it. Once stored, the inverter will then convert back from DC energy to push the power supply home through an AC outlet. There is a lot of conversation happening.
While neither SolarEdge nor Enphase has a clear answer as to which solution works to attain the greatest energy efficiency, they differ in their approaches.
SolarEdge StorEdge Backup Solution
The StorEdge DC-coupled backup solution not only provides power during grid failures but also manages solar production and consumption. Based on a SolarEdge single-phase inverter, this is an affordable solution that is compatible with high-voltage LG Chem RESU batteries. These particular batteries have been known to be one of the best solutions available on the market today. While there are other powerful backup battery solutions, you won’t find anything more cost-effective than LG’s RESU batteries.
Enphase’s unique approach to backup batteries places them in stark contrast with SolarEdge. Rather than partnering with a leading manufacturer of batteries, they offer a proprietary battery: the Ensemble. Even though we would normally applaud this kind of full-scale offering, the result does not live up to expectations. The Ensemble costs significantly more than some of the industry’s best solutions and offers less power output and storage capabilities.
The only downside to using a non-Enphase battery is that your choices become limited. With the microinverter design, you can only choose an AC-coupled battery instead of a DC-coupled one.
So which is it?
Ultimately, each company offers a unique solution to energy storage for grid outage situations. SolarEdge’s DC-coupled StorEdge Backup Solution is an incredibly cost-effective option that has been proven to be one of the best in terms of power output and storage capabilities. Enphase’s proprietary Ensemble battery does not compare favorably – it is more expensive and has lower output capabilities than other solutions on the market. Nevertheless, it is still a viable option for those who want to stick with Enphase’s brand of products.
In the end, you should evaluate your particular situation before deciding on which energy storage solution is right for you. Consider the costs, efficiency, and power output capabilities of each option before committing to a solar battery that best suits your needs.
Solar monitoring: Enphase vs SolarEdge
Enphase and SolarEdge make it easy to see how much electricity your solar panels are creating through your smartphone. You can check in on a panel-by-panel basis so that you can easily keep track of the progress of your solar system.
When it comes to monitoring capabilities, there isn’t much of a difference. Both companies offer a comprehensive monitoring platform with real-time energy production data and analytics. Both Enphase and SolarEdge also come with the ability to turn your solar system on or off from anywhere in the world.
SolarEdge vs Enphase: Warranty
Both companies strongly believe in their products and because of this, they both offer 25-year warranties on their microinvertershttps://enphase.com/download/2022-04-30-enphaseenergy-microinverterlimitedwarrantyuscanada and power optimizers.
SolarEdge offers several longer warranties than most other companies. Inverter warranties start at 12 years but can be extended to 20-25 years for an additional fee. SolarEdge Home Gateways and similar devices come with a 5-year warranty included. https://www.solaredge.com/sites/default/files/solaredge-warranty-june-2016.pdf
These warranties do not cover labor costs. Your solar company may be able to include this in your installation contract, so it is worth investigating beforehand. Depending on the chosen company, re-installing a SolarEdge inverter rather than numerous micro-inverters might save you money in the long run, as they are much easier to replace. For example, keep in mind that a contractor will charge more for rooftopping due to falling hazards.
What about the price?
Enphase’s product, while complicated, is easy to use. The only drawback is the cost; SolarEdge may be a more affordable alternative depending on budget and roofing situation.
Evaluating SolarEdge vs Enphase
If you have a complex solar installation, such as partial shading or multiple roof segments, then Enphase or SolarEdge inverters are great solutions to maximize your electricity output.
Enphase microinverters offer better expansion flexibility than either power optimizer or string inverter-based systems if you think you might want to expand your system in the future—such as supplying electricity for an electric car.
If you’re looking for an integrated solar energy system that offers features like electric vehicle charging, consumption monitoring, and more, SolarEdge is a great option. When comparing SolarEdge vs Enphase, it’s clear that SolarEdge has a lot to offer homeowners who want to expand their solar system beyond just panels. If you want a full suite of energy-efficient products that work together seamlessly, SolarEdge should be your first choice.
Which is better? SolarEdge vs Enphase?
Enphase does cost more initially, but its technology is cutting-edge. Their microinverter allows for this state-of-the-art solution. SolarEdge may not be as new, but you can save more in the long term with them.
Enphase may offer a more sophisticated product, but SolarEdge stands out because it offers a complete set of products.
Homeowners often want more than just solar panels, which is where SolarEdge offers a real advantage over Enphase. With options like electric vehicle charging, consumption monitoring, and more integrated into the system, SolarEdge provides homeowners with a full suite of energy-efficient products that work perfectly in sync.
Although both companies offer extensive monitoring and installation capabilities, they each have their specific advantages and disadvantages.
It’s best to decide on SolarEdge or Enphase by evaluating your project and energy needs in-depth. By doing this, you’re able to make a choice that is right for you instead of letting someone else tell you what is best. This is because each solar installation design will provide its own set of insights. And honestly, no one can give an objective ranking between the two companies since they offer such different technologies and capabilities.