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  • Enphase Ensemble

    Did anyone else see Enphases new announcement about their Ensemble system?
    https://enphase.com/en-us/stories/ar...ready-ensemble

    I was planning to go with SolarEdge to do my system, but now I'm rethinking that. I'd like to see a little more information, but they full grid autonomy is a very nice benefit.

  • #2
    I wouldn't hold my breath for the rollout. If my reading between the lines isn't too far off rerality, the hype says 2020 for general avail.

    My skeptical attitude makes me think about 1-2 yrs. after that for the early adopters'/beta testers' experience to get the bugs/kinks out and gain some reasonable approximation of reliability.

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    • #3
      While Ensemble sounds great, I still don't see how it will work (in any usable fashion) with no energy storage. All it takes is one cloud to pass in front of your array and the entire system will suffer from voltage collapse (when operating in backup power mode) under any appreciable consumption load. You're going to blow out a lot of circuit boards and compressors with everything turning on and off and browning out multiple times per day.

      The "backup solution" would only potentially work during ~10am to ~6pm (when most folks are at work/school). And usually, we only lose power during hurricanes and snow/ice storms -- WHEN THERE IS NO SUN.

      So you'd have to be home to shut off all non-critical loads. It would have to be sunny with few or no clouds. And you'd be limited to a few kW of power, at most. I guess it's better than nothing, though not nearly as good as a small portable generator (assuming you can get gas -- which was an issue for us when Sandy rolled around).

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      • #4
        Ahhh. Nevermind, they're hawking batteries now, too. Again.
        https://enphase.com/en-us/ensemble#self-reliance

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        • #5
          Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
          I wouldn't hold my breath for the rollout. If my reading between the lines isn't too far off rerality, the hype says 2020 for general avail.

          My skeptical attitude makes me think about 1-2 yrs. after that for the early adopters'/beta testers' experience to get the bugs/kinks out and gain some reasonable approximation of reliability.
          2020 isn't that far away. And it is compatible with the current generation of micro inverters, so I could install the solar panels this year, then add the Ensemble switch and Encharge batteries next year.
          I do admit I wish the battery modules were a bit larger in capacity. 1.2kWh seems awfully small when you have to add all the packaging and wiring for each module.
          Still, I don't need a ton of power during a blackout; just enough for the fridge, well and furnace.

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          • #6
            Outback FXR has been doing all this for several years with string inverters, nothing new here...

            I own 2 of the FXRs and even added on some Enphase early micro-inverters for an experiment...works for me.

            Micro-inverter are quick with less copper, equipment and labor...and I already had enough battery storage, so quick and easy was hard to pass up...older (new) micro-invertors are priced very low too.
            Last edited by neweclipse; 06-02-2019, 02:18 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JSchnee21 View Post
              While Ensemble sounds great, I still don't see how it will work (in any usable fashion) with no energy storage. All it takes is one cloud to pass in front of your array and the entire system will suffer from voltage collapse (when operating in backup power mode) under any appreciable consumption load.
              Yes.
              You're going to blow out a lot of circuit boards and compressors with everything turning on and off and browning out multiple times per day.
              The compressors that don't have short cycle timers are few and far between these days. But yes, it could be an issue for some people. Solution there - don't use the system in that mode.
              So you'd have to be home to shut off all non-critical loads. It would have to be sunny with few or no clouds. And you'd be limited to a few kW of power, at most. I guess it's better than nothing, though not nearly as good as a small portable generator (assuming you can get gas -- which was an issue for us when Sandy rolled around).
              Without the Enpower 200G (the thing the 2017 NEC refers to as the Microgrid Interconnect Device) at most you are going to get one circuit working - and that's only if you shut off that breaker, and independent operation is enabled. Some installers might allow for that, but I strongly suspect that anyone who asks for backup power will get at least the small (~1kwhr) battery and the MID as part of the installation.

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