The utility-favored NEM 3.0 decision has taken effect in California. And now that solar export credits have been slashed to pennies, the fastest way to break even on solar energy is to include a battery system.
Solar + Battery Systems
Battery systems fall into two categories: AC-coupled and DC-coupled systems. And while a DC-coupled system is slightly more efficient, an AC-coupled system has unique advantages, which we’ll cover in this article.
The two largest solar equipment manufacturers are Enphase and SolarEdge. Enphase offers an AC-coupled system, and SolarEdge produces a DC-Coupled system. They are both similar in price, with the Enphase Energy Systems generally costing a bit more
SolarEdge uses Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC), while Enphase uses Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry.
- Are less prone to overheating and don’t require cooling other than air (passive cooling).
- Can withstand thousands more charge cycles before showing signs of degradation.
- Although both batteries carry ten-year warranties, the Enphase batteries will last longer.
Why we prefer the Enphase Energy System:
A DC-coupled system has one central inverter connecting the solar panels and the batteries. The DC power from the solar panels and the DC power from the batteries is converted to AC inside the single inverter and then sent to your home or business. This one conversion from DC to AC makes DC-coupled systems more efficient.
Enphase microinverters take DC from the solar panels and convert it to AC for use in your home or business. Enphase batteries also have built-in microinverters, which convert excess AC power to DC to store in the battery. Then, when power is needed from the battery, the microinverters convert it back to AC. While this process is less efficient than a DC-coupled system, other advantages exist.
The weakest link in any solar system is the inverter.
A DC-coupled system only has one inverter. If it fails, you will go without the entire solar and battery system until someone can replace it. In some cases, getting a replacement could take weeks or even months.
With an Enphase AC-coupled energy system, there is no single point of failure. That’s because if one microinverter fails (connected to the solar panels or inside the batteries), your system will continue to operate with only a negligible loss until it is replaced.
Enphase recently announced a bi-directional (two-way) charging system for EVs coming to market in 2024. This will allow owners of EVs with bi-directional charging capability to use their vehicles as a battery source that provides power at night and during outages.
We're Enphased Trained & Certified
At Central Coast Solar Brokers, we like to stay educated and updated on all the unique equipment and services the solar industry offers. We’ve been trained and have received certifications in the Enphase Energy System sizing, design, and sales.
Contact us today to learn more about this powerful energy management system for your home or small business.