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What is the Right Size Enphase S-Series Micro Inverter?

All 1KOMMA5° systems are currently using the new Enphase IQ7 range of microinverters. The S230 and S270 Micro Inverters feature cutting-edge design, the industry’s most rigorous reliability testing, and it is based on continuous feedback from millions of units in the field. It’s an intensive process, but the end result is simple: the best microinverter on the market that performs, year after year.
Author
Tom Sedgwick
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What is the Right Size Micro-Inverter?

As the largest installer of Enphase systems in NSW, our technical team have data from thousands of microinverters that backs up the research done by Enphase. There is detailed information about micro-inverter performance to back up the following guidelines, but here is a quick summary.

Module Power RangeUp to 280W Over 280W
Microinverter SelectionS230 S270
Enphase s270 Micro Inverter

The S230 microinverter will handle a panel up to around 280W, and even then the inverter isn’t stretched or over-worked, it will just clip some of the output on those few occasions where the panel is performing at peak output.

In our experience, we have found that matching a high-wattage panel with an Enphase S230 micro inverter achieves greater generation and yield than with an S270 microinverter. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this is achieved by having a better panel to inverter ratio – where to achieve maximum efficiency the output of the panel should be larger than the rating of the inverter.

This is also confirmed by data and analysis from Enphase. Enphase state that it isn’t until the DC to AC ratio increases beyond 140% (320W with an Enphase S230 Micro Inverter) that losses begin to exceed additional gains:

“annual losses to inverter saturation increased geometrically with module size, and at a certain point, the marginal losses would begin to exceed the marginal gains. This crossover typically occurs above 140 per cent DC-to-AC ratio.”

“Through real world testing, Enphase has shown that when using larger modules on the M215 Micro Inverter, annual output losses are less than 0.5% on panels up to 275W

“Overall, annual losses to inverter saturation were insignificant. In 90% of the scenarios using the M215 Microinverter, including all scenarios with module nameplate ratings below 275W, annual losses were less than 0.5%. Conversely, increasing module size [compared to microinverter size] resulted in significant gains in annual production, even while inverter size remained unchanged.

“…applying high power solar modules to microinverters leads to greater lifetime performance, lower installed cost per watt, and ultimately, the highest return on investment for the end-customer.”

This research conducted on the M-Series micro inverters also applies to the new S-Series. and is illustrated below:

Oversized Solar System in Summer
Oversized Solar System in Winter

With Enphase, Quality is Everything

When you invest in solar, you deserve a system you can count on — today, tomorrow, and for years to come, no matter what the weather throws our way. Enphase see quality as a core foundation of their business, so it is with great excitement that we are now installing the new and improved 5th Generation Micro Inverter, built around a focus on quality at every stage.

Tested to the Limit

The S230 Micro Inverter has been tested for 1 million hours. That’s over 100 years! Your new Enphase system could last longer than your solar panels.

Quality by Design

Innovative design is the first step towards building products of the highest possible quality. Each microinverter component represents tens of thousands of hours of thought, research, testing, and perfecting, aimed at making each piece as rugged, efficient, and long-lasting as possible. Refined over five generations, the S-Series smashes the industry standard for reliability.

Enphase Microinverters Have No Moving Parts

It’s simple but true: the more moving parts in a system, the more frequently something breaks. In an Enphase system, all the action takes place inside a small, efficient box. String inverters are complicated, with lots of separate and easily breakable components, such as fans. If one tiny part breaks in a standard inverter, it can cause the whole system to fail.

Reliability Begins with a Focus on Quality

Enphase has always understood that quality isn’t something you can tack on at the end — to build truly reliable products, you have to make quality your focus from day one. From design to engineering to manufacturing, every stage of the process focuses on reaffirming that Enphase is making the highest-quality solar inverter possible.

A 10-Year Warranty, Out of the Box

Enphase stands by the S-Series Micro Inverter with an industry-leading 10-year product repair & replacement warranty. Because you’ve already got enough to worry about, dealing with a faulty solar system shouldn’t be one of them.

Enphase S230 Microinverter

Built on the fifth-generation platform, the Enphase S230 Microinverter achieves the highest inverter efficiency for module-level power electronics. With its all-AC approach, the S230 simplifies design and installation and delivers optimal energy harvest.

S230 Enphase Micro Inverter
  • Output Power: 220/230VA

  • Commonly used module pairing – input power: 195 W – 285W

  • Peak Power Tracking Voltage: 27 – 37 V

  • 95.8% EU Efficiency

  • 96.7% Peak Efficiency

  • Integrated ground, eliminating the need for a copper grounding wire or WEEB

  • Compliance: AS 4777.2, AS 4777.3, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62019-1, IEC/EN 62109-2

  • Configurable for variable grid profiles

Enphase S270 Microinverter

Built on the fifth-generation platform, the Enphase S270 Microinverter supports both 60-cell and high-powered 72-cell modules. With its all-AC approach, the S270 simplifies design and installation for 270 VA installations, and delivers the most reliable energy solution for your customers.

Enphase s270 Micro Inverter
  • Output Power: 260/270VA

  • Commonly used module pairing – input power: 230 W – 350 W

  • Peak Power Tracking Voltage: 27 – 48 V

  • 95.6% EU Efficiency

  • 96.9% Peak Efficiency

  • Integrated ground, eliminating the need for a copper grounding wire or WEEB

  • Compliance: AS 4777.2, AS 4777.3, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62019-1, IEC/EN 62109-2

  • Configurable for variable grid profiles

Request for a solar or home battery storage quote today to see how much you can save!

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