Panasonic and Enphase Energy Partner on High-Efficiency AC PV Modules

February 12, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Panasonic Corporation of North America today announced a strategic partnership with Enphase Energy Inc. for the development of high-efficiency AC Photovoltaic Modules (ACMs). To support this partnership, the 320W Enphase IQ 7X Microinverter™ offers compatibility with Panasonic's N Series Photovoltaic (PV) Modules HIT® (N325/N330), and will be made available to distributors starting May 2018.

The Enphase IQ 7X Microinverter is compatible with Panasonic's HIT® modules, and the partnership will continue with the co-development of ACMs that will offer significant advantages to integrators and installers.

A recent Enphase market survey of installers nationwide affirmed the value-add of ac modules, with significantly lower install times, and additional savings on logistics and overhead costs, making it a preferred choice for installers. Installers and Integrators also benefit from fewer inspection steps with factory-assembled and tested ACM products.

"Panasonic prides itself on its dedication to delivering reliable products to our customers," said Mukesh Sethi, Group Manager, Panasonic Residential Solar Group "This partnership with Enphase Energy will enable us to combine our products and expertise to offer a new solar solution that can help our customers meet their renewable energy needs. We look forward to our future with Enphase Energy and what we are able to achieve within the residential solar industry."

Panasonic's N Series HIT® Modules are among the most efficient panels on the market, with high power outputs and greater energy yields due to their industry-leading temperature coefficient of -0.258% /⁰C. Panasonic solar modules keep at least 90.76% of their initial power output even after 25 years of use.

"The N series PV Modules are manufactured for peak performance, making them an ideal partner for the Enphase IQ 7X Microinverter," said Mr. Sethi. "With a unique heterojunction technology and advanced bifacial cells, these high efficiency panels offer homeowners state-of-the-art features and maximum solar production."

As part of Enphase's seventh-generation microinverter platform, the IQ 7X Micro leads the industry with broad regulatory compliance, advanced "Smart Grid" features, and the high fire safety rating. The IQ 7X Micro will support 96-cell PV modules up to 400W with peak ac output power of 320W and a Maximum Power Point (MPP) tracking range of 53-64V.

"Built on our extremely successful IQ platform, the Enphase IQ 7X Microinverter delivers superior performance with 97.5% CEC efficiency, as well as high levels of reliability and safety," said Raghu Belur, Chief Products Officer at Enphase Energy. "Our seventh-generation product now powers 96-cell high-efficiency panels, including the Panasonic N Series panels HIT®, with a single, worldwide SKU."

When combined with the Enphase Envoy™ Gateway, AC Combiner 2.0™ with built-in Revenue Grade Meter (RGM) and disconnects, the Panasonic-Enphase ACMs will provide highly advanced PV systems to home owners and quick installation time for integrators and installers. Compliant with Rapid Shutdown Requirements of NEC 2017, the IQ 7 Microinverter System will significantly lower overhead costs and offer homeowners a safe residential PV systems solution.

"We are excited to work with Panasonic on this new high-performance AC module program," said David Ranhoff, Chief Commercial Officer at Enphase Energy. "Panasonic is a global brand that homeowners know and respect. Together we will bring high-quality solutions to the roof that our customers can trust and benefit from for years to come."