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Are AC Batteries An Overlooked Solution for Solar Storage?

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 31, 2016 5:26:14 PM

Enphase is finding willing customers for AC Batteries in Australia and New Zealand, with projections for 70,000 sales.enphase_ac_battery_plugandplay.jpg

Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH), a global energy technology company, announced today that it is now shipping AC batteries to its customers in Australia and New Zealand.Installers cite ease of installation, simplicity as reasons for strong demand. Enphase is currently the only provider with an integrated offering that manages solar + storage together, although Tesla, Solar City and other companies are moving in that direction.

Enphase, however, has taken a somewhat different approach, in offering AC batteries instead of DC storage with inverters. Orders continue to exceed expectations, with the company having revised production plans up based on volume projections provided by distributors totalling 70,000 batteries in Australia and New Zealand over the next 12 months.

Enphase's authorised distributors and installer partners in Australia have also cited strong demand from homeowners.

"The demand from both installers and homeowners for the Enphase AC Battery in the lead up to its debut in Australia and New Zealand has exceeded our expectations," said Nathan Dunn, managing director of Enphase Asia-Pacific. "Installers are telling us the Enphase Storage System offers the simplest installation on the market, and their customers are just as excited, with many paying for the system without even seeing it."

The modular size of each 1.2kWh Enphase AC Battery enables installers to right-size each installation to match a homeowner's unique energy needs, and gives them the flexibility to easily add more batteries in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the difference between AC and DC storage batteries, here's how Solarchoice.net describes each type:

"AC-coupled storage is bi-directional and can store grid power. DC-coupled storage can only store energy from the solar panels. DC storage is lower cost (especially for retrofits) as it leverages existing PV inverter technology – there is no need to install a specialised, storage-ready inverter.

An AC system usually also includes a UPS mode, which can also provide backup AC power from the batteries when the grid has failed or is disconnected. DC systems, on the other hand, require the grid to be working available at all times to export AC power, as is the case with a typical PV inverter; when the grid goes down, the system must also shut down for safety reasons." (Note, however, that products such as Tesla's Powerwall claim to have overcome this limitation—Editor)

"We worked with other brands of solar battery storage before the Enphase AC Battery arrived," noes Peter Thorne, co-founder and director at Solaray. "Simply through word of mouth, we've seen the demand for Enphase products surge, and our installation team is booked out for the next three months, for both new solar plus storage installations and the retrofitting of existing solar systems with Enphase AC Batteries."

"Enphase AC Batteries are simple to install, safe and provide a high value add sale for both new solar customers and retrofit customers," said Darien Spencer, vice president of manufacturing and operations at Enphase. "We have partnerships with some of the best suppliers and manufacturers in the world, and we're confident that we can meet the demand for our products in the Australian and New Zealand markets."

More information about the Enphase Home Energy Solution

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