Enphase Energy today announced that it has shipped more than 500,000 microinverters to date and plans to triple production capacity in 2011 to meet accelerating demand within residential and commercial solar projects.
Enphase’s unique approach to solar inverters utilizes design and manufacturing approaches more commonly seen in the high tech electronics industry. For example, Enphase Microinverters are digitally controlled by a custom semiconductor chip, which also provides built-in monitoring and networking capabilities.
Microinverters convert DC current to AC current for each individual solar module. Traditional inverters convert the output of an entire solar array. Microinverters are said to allow greater efficiency, detailed monitoring and design flexibility.
Although Enphase has had the microinverter niche to itself since its founding in 2006, a number of competitors have brought products to the market in the last year. These include SolarBridge, Azuray and SolarEdge.
“By embracing similar manufacturing and supply chain practices, Enphase is in a position to benefit from the cost-reduction and high-volume manufacturing advantages also enjoyed by the world’s top electronics companies,” said Greg Sheppard, chief research officer for IHS iSuppli, a research firm tracking photovoltaic supply chain performance.
Enphase’s growth was also recently cited in an analysis by Stifel Financial Corp., a full-service regional brokerage and investment bank, as picking up substantial market share in California solar installations.
The analysis of over 74,000 solar project applications recorded in the California Solar Initiative (CSI) database reveal Enphase reached over 13% market share in 2010 residential installations up to 10kW, up from 5.3% in 2009. Results also show growth in commercial systems ranging from 10-100kW, with Enphase capturing 9.3% in 2010, up from 3% in 2009.