Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Enphase Ensemble

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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.

    Comment


    • #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).

      Comment


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

        Comment


        • #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.

          Comment


          • #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.

            Comment


            • #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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Good overview of the Enphase Ensemble components that will be released later this year:

                https://enphase.com/sites/default/fi...e%20system.pdf

                I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a 200G and Ensemble-3, and seeing in practice how well it works with existing Enphase IQ6/7 based solar systems. They are also releasing an 80A combiner (the Envoy Combiner 3C) with 4th 20A circuit that can be used for additional PV arrays...or a spare circuit for the storage.

                The 200G says generator integration (in the future), does anyone know if the initial 200G units can be upgraded to support generators in the future, or if a new 200G with the generator integration has to be swapped in?
                Last edited by rynoshark; 09-05-2019, 04:35 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also, does anyone know how the 200G and Ensemble-3 will play with older 1.2kW Enphase IQ battery systems? Presumably nothing changes with those, except I wonder in a power outage and the Ensemble-3 is producing power (and turning on the IQ6/IQ7 for the panels), if the IQ6 in the Enphase IQ Battery units will also turn on?
                  Last edited by rynoshark; 09-05-2019, 04:42 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    rynoshark, I saw this yesterday also and agree with neweclipse that there are already current ways to do this and Enphase is just renaming an existing technology. I do have a Enphase system and like it but nothing new here.

                    They are marketing it as something new and simple.... and then the electrical drawings come out and their isn't anything simple about it.

                    https://enphase.com/sites/default/fi...e%20system.pdf

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NewBostonConst, it seems like the existing Outback FXR (and related models) that neweclipse mentioned above only support EITHER on-grid or off-grid setup (e.g. you pick one at time of installation). It doesn't appear they support switching modes on power failure...so you either use battery storage/charging for off-grid power, or you use on-grid battery for time shifting battery usage to avoid peak pricing. Is that right?

                      The only complex part of Enphase's setup to me is the transitional period of rolling the product out to existing IQ6/IQ7 systems as an upgrade, which has lots of limitations on the capacity of the Enphase battery, especially with large PV arrays (which may need to then be split into smaller separate ones). This complexity only seems to exist to provide an upgrade path for households with "legacy" IQ6/IQ6 systems. A new install should be about as simple as you can be (since you need a transfer switch, battery/chargers, and then the standard PV circuits...with all the associated shutoff switches and other NEC code required items).

                      I'm happy to deal with a bit of added complexity to be able to upgrade my own Enphase system...rather than them release a product that would have required me to replace all my existing inverters/combiners/etc. to support grid-tied battery backup with power failover. This seems like a win-win for existing Enphase IQ homeowners (who can cost effectively upgrade their system with battery backup) as well as solar installers (who can provide a cost effective upgrade/upsell).
                      Last edited by rynoshark; 09-05-2019, 01:05 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rynoshark View Post
                        NewBostonConst, it seems like the existing Outback FXR (and related models) that neweclipse mentioned above only support EITHER on-grid or off-grid setup (e.g. you pick one at time of installation). It doesn't appear they support switching modes on power failure...so you either use battery storage/charging for off-grid power, or you use on-grid battery for time shifting battery usage to avoid peak pricing. Is that right?
                        NO it is not right. Outback most certainly CAN support backup for Grid tie installs. that is the entire point of most bimodal systems and sort of the definition of bimodal inverter. An OutBack inverter can do load shifting (what you are calling time shifting) AND backup at the same time.

                        My system switches so seamlessly that my wife and I often don't know that power outages have occurred till we notice in monitoring or that the stove clock (not on backup power) has reset.

                        Originally posted by rynoshark View Post
                        The only complex part of Enphase's setup to me is the transitional period of rolling the product out to existing IQ6/IQ7 systems as an upgrade, which has lots of limitations on the capacity of the Enphase battery, especially with large PV arrays (which may need to then be split into smaller separate ones). This complexity only seems to exist to provide an upgrade path for households with "legacy" IQ6/IQ6 systems. A new install should be about as simple as you can be (since you need a transfer switch, battery/chargers, and then the standard PV circuits...with all the associated shutoff switches and other NEC code required items).
                        This system would be what is called an AC coupled bimodal system which is about the most complex of a bimodal install.
                        DC coupled systems are simpler both to install and to operate.

                        Last edited by ButchDeal; 09-05-2019, 01:20 PM.
                        OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rynoshark View Post
                          NewBostonConst, it seems like the existing Outback FXR (and related models) that neweclipse mentioned above only support EITHER on-grid or off-grid setup (e.g. you pick one at time of installation). It doesn't appear they support switching modes on power failure...so you either use battery storage/charging for off-grid power, or you use on-grid battery for time shifting battery usage to avoid peak pricing. Is that right?
                          Nope. I have an FXR based system for backup, and it supports a lot of modes, including UPS (where the inverter never lets the power drop, but still allows backfeed when the grid is there.)

                          I would note that a big advantage to an Enphase IQ8 based system is that it can be installed incrementally even for off-grid systems.
                          Last edited by jflorey2; 09-05-2019, 01:32 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post
                            NO it is not right. Outback most certainly CAN support backup for Grid tie installs. that is the entire point of most bimodal systems and sort of the definition of bimodal inverter. An OutBack inverter can do load shifting (what you are calling time shifting) AND backup at the same time.
                            Great, I misunderstood reading their materials that real-time bimodal was possible. Thanks for explaining!

                            Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post
                            This system would be what is called an AC coupled bimodal system which is about the most complex of a bimodal install.
                            DC coupled systems are simpler both to install and to operate.
                            Can DC coupled systems be easily expanded and changed? What I really like about Enphase is the ease at which solar can be extended...in my case, I undersized my solar due to budgetary reasons, but will add more PV panels to the existing system (racking already exists) over time, as well as adding battery. Plus, panels can easily be swapped to higher output panels later (assuming I still have microinverter capacity). It seems with DC systems, so much pre-planning and sizing had to be done that you had to decide everything up front and stick with it for the next 20+ years (unless you wanted to spend a large sum of money to update the inverters/DC system all at once). This also means that for solar installers, existing customers mostly won't upgrade for decade+, so having a relationship with them isn't as valuable in the Enphase world where 2-3 years later you could upsell additions to their existing solar systems. But I'm happy to be wrong in my assumption!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rynoshark View Post

                              Great, I misunderstood reading their materials that real-time bimodal was possible. Thanks for explaining!
                              bimodal means that the system can be both ON and OFF grid. Outback has some of the most options for zero feed in, load shifting, backup, demand avoidance, AC coupled, etc , etc.



                              Originally posted by rynoshark View Post
                              Can DC coupled systems be easily expanded and changed? What I really like about Enphase is the ease at which solar can be extended...in my case, I undersized my solar due to budgetary reasons, but will add more PV panels to the existing system (racking already exists) over time, as well as adding battery. Plus, panels can easily be swapped to higher output panels later (assuming I still have microinverter capacity). It seems with DC systems, so much pre-planning and sizing had to be done that you had to decide everything up front and stick with it for the next 20+ years (unless you wanted to spend a large sum of money to update the inverters/DC system all at once). This also means that for solar installers, existing customers mostly won't upgrade for decade+, so having a relationship with them isn't as valuable in the Enphase world where 2-3 years later you could upsell additions to their existing solar systems. But I'm happy to be wrong in my assumption!
                              being able to be changed is not the same thing as simple. AC coupled are complex and you can do them now, with most existing bimodal inverters.

                              Some DC coupled systems are very easy to modify like the SolarEdge StorEdge system which can be installed with a minimum solar array, zero batteries, and no transformer. or even NO solar. You can add solar, batteries, transformer at any time easily.

                              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X