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The M215 is Enphase's fourth generation micro inverter. It features a new cabling system known as the trunk & drop that further reduces roof time by further simplifying the installation process. The trunk and drop installation process is broken down to a few steps.
Start by laying out the cable along the rail where the micro inverters are located. Next connect the micro inverters to the trunk cable connection points, then connect the end of the cable to the junction box. Then terminate other end of the cable with a termination cap and create a weather tight seal. Finally, any unused connectors must be covered using the blank caps provided.
The Enphase M215: What it Does
The Enphase M215 Micro-inverter shifts DC to AC conversion from a large, centralized inverter to a compact unit attached directly to each solar module in the power system. Distributing the conversion process to each module makes the entire solar power system more productive, reliable, and smarter than traditional inverter systems.
Enphase micro inverters provide maximum power point tracking (MPPT) at each solar module maximizing energy harvest at all times, even during variable light conditions. Forget about string design, marginal designs, co-planarity, and matching modules. With the Enphase micro inverter system additional modules can be added as needs and budgets grow without requiring the replacement of a large centralized inverter.
Solar Power Challenges
Solar power production is affected by various factors such as module mis-match, obstruction shading, inter-row shading, and obstacles such as dust or debris. In addition, non-uniform changes in temperature, irradiance, and shading create complex current-voltage curves, further affecting energy harvest. This is due to the fact that in traditional systems the performance of the entire system is dictated by the performance of the weakest module.
The Enphase M215 Micro-inverter Solution
The Enphase M215 solves solar power challenges by performing Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) at each solar module. MPPT is an algorithm used to calculate and respond to temperature and light changes detected on a solar power system, and to determine how much power to draw from the module. In contrast, centralized inverter’s MPPT algorithm sees the entire solar power system as a single module, and responds to the lowest production numbers it detects.
The Enphase MPPT algorithm works at each solar module in an installation and achieves greater than 99.6% accuracy which enables it to maximize energy harvest at all times, even during variable light conditions. Tests show systems using Enphase Micro-inverters increase energy harvest by as much as 25% over systems using traditional inverters.
Traditional centralized inverters implementations create a single point of failure for solar power systems. If the inverter fails, the entire system is disabled. Enphase Micro-inverters convert power independently at each solar module. If one micro-inverter fails, the rest continue to operate as usual. Also, if a micro-inverter is damaged or fails, it can be replaced during routine maintenance or when convenient, further reducing maintenance costs.
Reduced Operational Costs
With the Enphase Micro-inverter System, installers are no longer limited by string design, marginal designs, co-planarity, and matched modules. The space, heat, and noise associated with a large inverter are eliminated. Enphase Micro-inverter Systems improve mechanical integration, reduce wiring time, and remove the need for DC switching points.
Another benefit of the distributed Micro-inverter design is the potential for installations to be expanded over time. An initial set of solar modules can be installed and additional modules added as needs and budgets grow without requiring the replacement of a large centralized inverter.