10 great reasons to install Enphase AC Batteries

25 March 2017 by
10 great reasons to install Enphase AC Batteries
AC Solar Warehouse Pty Ltd, Rob Birchall

Enphase AC batteries are an all-in-one energy storage unit that consists of a (lithium ion phosphate) battery and an interactive inverter charger which charges and discharges the battery directly from a 240V AC supply.   AC batteries are used to store excess solar energy generated by a solar system to off-set energy usage at night, or at any other time when energy is being purchased from the grid.

Here are ten great reasons to consider installing Enphase AC Batteries:

1.  Safer wiring – No dangerous DC wiring

There is no dangerous DC voltage wiring required when installing AC batteries.  AC batteries are wired directly into the switchboard on a dedicated 240V circuit like an air conditioner, a hot water system or any other permanently wired appliance in the home or business.  The AC wiring has over-current and earth leakage protection like any other circuit.

2.  Safer design – perfectly matched battery charger

AC batteries have an internal interactive inverter charger, which is perfectly matched to the battery.  This means there is no need for installers to determine which individual components to use and hence take on the responsibility for correctly matching various components such as the battery, charger, inverter, DC cabling and fuses and DC isolator to meet various manufacturer’s warranty conditions and Australian Standards.

3.  Versatile – Can be used on any solar system

AC batteries are wired to the switchboard on a dedicated circuit so there is no need to change the existing solar system inverter to a new interactive inverter/charger.   The AC battery senses the electrical output of the existing solar inverter so the make or model of inverter does not matter.  The AC battery system has a current transformer (CT), which is clamped over the AC cable from the existing solar system inverter to determine the solar output.   The AC battery system also has a CT that is clamped over the mains cable to monitor the energy being purchased from the grid.  Using the solar generation and energy usage data the AC battery system can determine whether the battery should be charging or discharging in order to optimise the performance of the system.  The AC battery can be programmed with specific time-of-use tariffs if available so it can also buy-and-store energy when electricity is cheap and discharge-and-use energy when electricity from the grid is expensive.  By not having to modify the existing solar system there is no risk of potentially voiding the warranty on pre-existing components.

4.  Sized for every application – can easily add additional storage

AC batteries are wired directly into the 240V wiring so adding additional AC batteries is very easy and can be done at anytime in the future should energy storage requirements increase.  Using the remote monitoring capability of the AC batteries enables the performance of the system to be observed over time and it can be easily determined if or when additional energy storage would be appropriate.

5.  Superior performance – Low losses and long life

AC batteries are modular units, which means that they are relatively small and each battery has its own Battery Management System (BMS).  All batteries tend to have characteristics that vary from battery to battery so by having the batteries modular with multiple BMS systems the overall performance of the whole battery system is improved.  Each battery operates at its peak and is not affected by the others in the system.  This improvement can out-way any losses that occur from AC to DC conversion, which can be in the order of 3%.   AC batteries have a small inverter designed to allow the battery to discharge over a 3-4 hour period, which extends the life and performance of the battery.  If a larger inverter was used the battery would discharge faster shortening battery life.

6.  Flexible – can easily add newer model batteries in future

Because AC batteries are wired directly into the 240V wiring additional AC batteries can be added in future even if they are a completely different model and battery chemistry.  The existing batteries will continue to operate at their full capacity and will be unaffected by additional batteries.

7.  Easy to install – high and consistent install quality

AC batteries are wired directly into the 240V wiring on a dedicated circuit with a 20A circuit breaker.  AC Batteries are mounted on a wall-mounting bracket which can be fully installed and wired prior to the lifting the battery onto the bracket.  Batteries can be therefore be installed quickly and easily by a single person.

8.  Simple warranty – one warranty from one manufacturer

Because the AC battery is an all-in-one unit there is one warranty from one manufacturer.  If there is a performance issue it would be detected via the remote monitoring and the battery can be easily replaced.  There is no need to determine whether it is the battery or the charger that is underperforming in order to obtain warranty support.  In the unlikely event that an AC battery requires replacement the other batteries would continue to operate at their full individual capacities while the substitute battery is being sent to site.

9.  Low maintenance – remote monitoring

AC battery systems have a comprehensive internet-based remote monitoring system so the performance can be constantly monitored.  This enables a real-time assessment to be made of the optimum energy storage capacity at any specific site and recommendations for additional batteries to be made when appropriate.  The system provides energy usage information that can also be very useful in targeting energy reduction strategies.

10. Low up-front costs – the easiest and cheapest way to get started with storage

The modular nature of AC batteries enables small, lower cost systems to be installed with the potential to grow in size over time as component costs reduce or energy consumption patterns changes.

AC batteries combined with an AC solar system are ideal for new homes where a very small system can be installed initially during construction.  The owner of the home can easily upgrade depending on their needs.  For example, a young couple with low energy usage may find the small solar and energy storage system may suit their needs, whereas a large family may need to add more solar and storage in order to meet their energy usage needs.

If you would like more information about installing an AC battery energy storage system contact AC Solar Warehouse today on 1300 55 44 67.