The Enphase IQ 7 is one of the most advanced inverters from Enphase Energy, the world’s first manufacturer of microinverters. It’s compatible with the latest panels on the market and offers a peak efficiency of 97%. The IQ 7 inverter is also one of the lightest and most compact inverters, weighing a mere 1.08 kg.
Enphase Energy’s researchers have been analysing the most suitable application of maximum power point tracking, active cooling system, and integrated DC isolator into their components for boosted solar PV production.
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter series is a family of microinverters that includes IQ 7, IQ 7+, IQ 7X, and IQ 7A units.
Whether you have commercial or residential use in mind, you’ll find all you need to know about the Enphase IQ 7 solar inverter in this review. Read on to learn about its features, advantages, limitations, and more.
Let’s get into it!
What is the Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter?
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter is a 7th generation microinverter that can attain a maximum output capacity of 240 VA and maximum efficiency of 97%. These inverters are designed by Enphase Energy, the world’s first manufacturer of microinverters, at its plant in Fremont, California.
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter is part of the Enphase IQ 7 Series enhanced for high-powered 60 or 72-cell modules. Installing the inverter is straightforward, thanks to its polymeric enclosure features and revolutionary cabling system.
Enphase’s goal with this 7th generation inverter is to deliver the characteristic benefits of a reliable microinverter system to end-users. It also offers a more collaborative and helpful user experience than most conventional systems specific to Enphase’s patented technologies.
This inverter was released on the market in 2018. Since then, several new iterations have been developed, the most recent of which is the smart grid-ready IQ 7A microinverter.
The Enphase IQ 7 solar inverter series are manufactured on the Enphase platform. They are a superior alternative to traditional longer strings inverters.
Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter Range
Enphase Energy is a leader among solar inverter manufacturers. The company is the original manufacturer of microinverters and makes constant adjustments to its IQ inverter series models.
Enphase features four solar inverters in the IQ 7 series, approved by the Clean Energy Council for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), Australia’s home solar rebate program.
The current product line includes:
- Enphase IQ 7
As the most popular inverter from Enphase, thus unit is designed to function with the latest solar panels on the market. It has a peak efficiency of 97% and is one of the lightweight inverters at just 1.08 kg.
- Enphase IQ 7+
As the upgraded version of the base IQ 7 model, this device offers a higher peak efficiency of 97.5%. It can also operate at lower temperatures, making it ideal for hot climates. The Enphase IQ 7+ inverter has the same weight and dimensions as the regular model.
However, the Enphase IQ 7+ is not compatible with all solar panels on the market. Always check with your panel manufacturer to ensure compatibility before purchase.
- Enphase IQ 7X
The Enphase IQ 7X is the most powerful inverter in the IQ 7 series, offering a peak efficiency of 98%. It is also the largest and heaviest inverter in the series, weighing 1.45 kg.
The Enphase IQ 7X is equipped to work with the most powerful solar panels on the market, such as those used in commercial solar installations. Like the IQ 7+, it is not compatible with all panels, so be sure to perform due diligence before buying.
- Enphase IQ 7A
This unit is the latest inverter in the IQ 7 series, released in 2019. It offers a peak efficiency of 97.8% and is the same size and weight as the IQ 7+ inverter.
The Enphase IQ 7A is a smart grid-ready inverter compatible with the latest home battery systems on the market. It is also compatible with the majority of panels on the market.
Enphase hybrid inverters.
The IQ 7 series inverters from Enphase can form part of a hybrid solar system, meaning they can operate with both solar panels and home battery systems.
However, not all inverters in the IQ 7 series are compatible with home batteries. Only the IQ 7A and IQ 7X models can function with most home battery systems on the market.
If you’re looking to install a home battery system with your panels, we recommend choosing the Enphase IQ 7A or IQ 7X inverter.
This 7th generation Enphase hybrid inverter has a unique design and a single hardware SKU.
They feature a built-in Rapid Shutdown feature that’s terrific for residential and commercial use. The inverter can quickly and safely shut down when required, preventing any potential hazards.
Enphase IQ 7 series inverters are also compatible with the Enphase Home Energy System, letting you monitor your solar energy system from your smartphone or computer.
Enphase IQ 7 Inverter Technical Specifications
Enphase products are known for their tremendous efficiency and output ratings, which the product datasheets capably demonstrate:
|Peak Output Power
|Maximum Continuous Output Current
|Maximum DC Voltage
|EU Weighted Inverter Efficiency
|Dimensions with Safety Switch / Connection Unit
|212 x 172 x 30.00 mm
|Operational Temperature Range
|-40 °C to 60 °C
|Country of Origin
|North America / Asia
What is the Enphase IQ 7X Solar Inverter’s Output Capacity?
The Enphase IQ 7X solar inverter has a maximum output capacity of 240 VA, determining the number of panels you can connect in series. It’s a fine choice for small to medium-sized solar PV systems.
The Enphase IQ 7X solar inverter’s capacity is expandable up to 12 kW. This means that you can increase the size of your solar PV system by adding more Enphase IQ 7X solar inverters to your panels.
What is the Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter’s Efficiency?
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter has a maximum efficiency of 97%, meaning your solar system generates less heat and converts more power into usable AC electricity.
This is important because it reduces electricity losses and increases your solar PV system’s output.
Enphase is reputed for producing some of the most efficient solar inverters on the market. The Enphase IQ 7 inverter is no exception, as it boasts one of the highest efficiencies you can find in a solar inverter.
How Many MPP Trackers do Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverters have?
The Enphase IQ 7 solar inverter has three MPP (Maximum Power Point) trackers. This means that it can accurately track the maximum power output of your panels and ensure that your system is operating at its optimal efficiency.
These MPP trackers also allow the inverter to adjust its output based on the sun’s intensity, temperature, and shading changes. The inverter can operate at its highest efficiency even when conditions are sub-par.
Do Enphase IQ 7 Inverters have an Internal DC Circuit Breaker?
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter includes an internal DC circuit breaker. This protects your system from overloading and short-circuiting.
The DC circuit breaker is also crucial in a power outage. It ensures that your entire system doesn’t backfeed into the grid and cause damage to utility equipment.
Enphase IQ 7 Inverter Key Features
The Enphase IQ 7 is a seventh-generation smart-grid-ready system whose cabling system, combined with its polymeric insertion, makes it simple to connect, control, and monitor the systems on every panel in your PV system.
Here are the main features of the Enphase IQ 7:
- Optimised for high-powered 60-cell and 72-cell modules: the IQ 7 is designed to work with today’s high-powered PV modules. This results in fewer inverters required per kilowatt (kW), saving on installation costs.
- Class II double-insulated enclosure: the Enphase IQ 7 comes with a NEMA 4X-rated, double-insulated enclosure that can withstand harsh weather conditions, making it ideal for outdoor installations.
- Built-in Ethernet and WiFi: it comes with built-in ethernet and WiFi connectivity, allowing you to access the Enphase Enlighten monitoring system from any device.
- Integrated ground-fault protection: the inverter’s integrated ground-fault protection protects your system from dangerous electrical faults.
- The maximum output power is 250 VA: the maximum output power of the Enphase IQ 7 is 250 VA, making it suitable for small to medium-sized solar PV systems.
Other notables include:
- It aligns with advanced grid support, voltage, and all frequency ride-through requirements.
- Enphase put over a million hours of testing into this model.
- These microinverters have a low failure rate, with an EU Efficiency of 97%.
- It can receive firmware updates for changing the requirements of the grid.
- It can attain the highest efficiency for module-level power electronics.
- The inverter is configurable for varying grid profiles.
- Simplified installation thanks to its cabling system and the polymeric enclosure features.
What is the Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter’s Warranty?
The Enphase IQ 7 solar inverter comes with a 10-year warranty claim covering manufacturing and material defects which can be extended to 25 years with the Enphase Enlighten monitoring system.
This is one of the most generous warranties on the market and shows the company’s confidence in its product. To qualify, you must meet the following conditions:
- Install your product in compliance with Enphase’s installation instructions,
- Use Enphase-approved cables and components, and
- Only utilise the inverter for its intended purpose.
Enphase will repair or replace any defective parts free of charge. If the company cannot repair or replace the product, they will offer a refund of the purchase price.
Enphase has an Australian office based in Melbourne, Victoria, and its customer service is available 24/7 to help you with any coverage concerns.
Is the Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter Safe and Reliable?
Enphase Energy established itself as a leader in the solar service market due to its proven track record, low failure rate, high quality, advanced system monitoring service, and successive product innovations.
There are numerous advantages to using any range of IQ 7 inverters and AC modules, especially when individual panel-level monitoring is required.
Although it involves a higher upfront cost for smaller systems than the typical string inverter systems, it remains a dependable system if you must comply with rapid shutdown requirements.
Previously, microinverters weren’t a mainstream option for those considering energy storage. However, this changed with the newly designed “Enphase IQ battery storage system and smart controllers,” which seamlessly integrates solar and backup generators to provide partial and full off-grid functionality.
If you’re looking for a premium spec, safe, high-performance solar system with excellent monitoring, then any Enphase IQ 7 series model comes highly recommended.
The benefits of owning an IQ 7 series model include:
Higher Efficiency Ratings
With a CEC rating of up to 96.5%, the Enphase IQ 7 is one of the most efficient solar inverters on the market. This ensures that more of the sun’s energy is converted into usable electricity, ultimately lowering your energy bills.
Enphase microinverters have a long lifespan and a low failure rate. The company is so assured of its product that it offers a 10-year warranty you can extend to 25 years.
Easy to Install
The Enphase IQ 7 installation process is painless thanks to its innovative cabling system and polymeric enclosure. This makes it ideal for both new solar installations as well as retrofits. Additionally, its small size means that you can install it in various locations.
The Enphase Enlighten app makes it effortless to monitor your solar energy system. With this app, you can see how much energy your system produces in real-time and track your energy production over time.
This easy monitoring allows for the quick detection of any faulty inverter due to panel degradation, thereby averting underperformance of the whole system.
Safe to Use
The Enphase IQ 7 is a safe solar inverter thanks to its ground fault isolation feature that protects you and your family from electrical shocks. It guard’s your home’s wiring from damage in case of a power surge.
It also features an internal circuit breaker that automatically shuts off the inverter in the event of an electrical problem.
This inverter is future-proof and can be easily updated to take advantage of new technology as it becomes available. Additionally, its ability to communicate with other devices via Enphase’s proprietary networking protocol, Envoy, makes it possible to create a smart home grid.
The Enphase IQ 7 microinverter has been safety enhanced. It directly converts dangerous DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC right on the rooftop, making it an ideal inverter for your panels.
The panels are controlled independently, so if there’s an isolated malfunction, the rest of the system will continue to function without substantial energy loss.
However, the Enphase IQ 7 inverter has several limitations that make it less than perfect. These include:
Extreme Weather Damage
Enphase IQ inverters are mounted on roofs exposed to extreme heat, humidity, and possibly salt mist if the installation is near the ocean.
Although most microinverters are tested and made to withstand harsh climate and weather conditions, some may develop faults over time due to prolonged exposure.
A major shortcoming of the Enphase IQ 7 is its cost. They are relatively affordable on a smaller system that requires less than ten panels. However, they could cost $1,000 or more if you exceed that amount for a residential solar installation.
This is a significant investment compared to string inverters that typically cost $300. You must also consider the installation price since microinverters must be mounted on each solar panel.
Solar Power System Service and Replacement
Enphase has a strong reputation for customer service and providing replacements for defective microinverters. However, getting a replacement can be time-consuming, and power can be lost while waiting for the replacement to arrive.
Servicing and replacing a faulty component is not as straightforward as getting to a new string inverter on the side of your house. Your solar installer needs to climb onto your roof, work with your racking system, unbolt the solar modules, and replace the microinverter to re-establish AC conversion capability.
Limited Battery Compatibility
The Enphase IQ 7 is not suitable for all battery systems on the market. It’s only compatible with select Enphase storage products, including the Enphase Encharge 3 and Encharge 10 batteries. This limits your choice of batteries if you want to add storage to your energy system in the future.
Fire Hazard Potential
If you live in an area prone to storms, you may need to change your microinverter installation plans. These devices may act as a miniature lightning rod when installed on a facility with loose roofing materials. This could lead to fire or damage to the electrical grid.
Is the Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter CEC-Approved?
The Enphase IQ 7 is CEC (Clean Energy Council) approved, meaning that it meets all the Australian requirements for a grid-connect solar inverter.
To qualify for CEC approval, inverters must:
- Have under 1.5% total harmonic distortion to allow for a higher level of power quality,
- Feature at least 95% efficiency to minimise heat loss and improve overall system performance,
- Operate safely and reliably under Australian conditions,
- Include all the necessary safety features required by Australian standards, and
- Be tested by an accredited laboratory.
Enphase’s IQ 7 meets all these requirements, making it one of the most reliable solar inverters on the market.
Which Batteries are Compatible with the Enphase IQ 7 Inverters?
A substantial limitation of the Enphase IQ 7 inverter concerns battery storage.
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter isn’t compatible with many well-known solar batteries in the marketplace. This is because microinverters are DC coupled, and they output AC power.
However, you can utilise them with AC battery systems such as the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Sonnen ECO, both available on Nectr at competitive prices.
Enphase Energy has manufactured an expandable 1.2 kWh AC battery module compatible with the Enphase IQ 7 inverter and can be managed through the Enphase Enlighten portal. It communicates with the Enphase Envoy, enabling a complete range of load shifting and demand management features.
This AC Battery is unique in the Australian market because it is entirely modular: a single battery unit, an essential part of an inverter, stores 1.2 kWh of usable energy.
The sole drawback of the Enphase AC battery is that you cannot use it as a backup power supply. Fortunately, there are many popular AC batteries now available with backup capability, including the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the new Enphase Empower batteries.
This energy storage device, branded Enphase Ensemble, is built around the new Enphase Encharge IQ batteries. The new generation IQ8 microinverters are available in two types: the compact 3.4 kWh model and the sizeable 10.1 kWh model, which is technically three smaller batteries combined into one unit.
This energy storage system is designed to work in parallel and continuously distribute 3.8 kW and peak power of 5.7 kW, over ten times more than previous generation Enphase batteries.
The new energy storage device also has full backup capability due to embedded grid forming IQ8 microinverters, and the additional Empower smart switch unit, which contains the grid isolation device.
The IQ System Controller 2 provides grid integration and continuous backup power in a power outage. It enables a home micro-grid formation and combines all the necessary grid interconnection equipment into a compact aesthetic enclosure, making installing the panels much quicker and easier.
The controller is a 3-in-1 integration of solar power, storage, and backup generator, enabling off-grid functionality. It’s currently available only in North America.
Can you Retrofit a Battery to Enphase IQ 7 Solar Inverter?
The Enphase IQ 7 cannot be retrofitted with a battery, as these microinverters are DC coupled. They’re only compatible with select Enphase storage products, including the Enphase Encharge 3 and Encharge 10 batteries.
Additionally, Energy Solutions is the exclusive supplier of the Enphase Home Energy Solution in Australia, including the Enphase IQ 7 inverter. Energy Solutions is the only place you can source Enphase IQ 7 inverter and batteries designed to work together in Australia.
Is the Enphase IQ 7 a High-Quality and Valuable Inverter? Our Opinion
At Nectr, we believe that the Enphase IQ 7 is an excellent inverter overall. It’s one of the most dependable solar inverters currently available.
It is also one of the lightest and quietest inverters you can buy. The Enphase IQ 7 inverter has a maximum efficiency of 97.5%, guaranteeing consistent energy production.
The inverter is also expandable, and you can begin with a single Enphase IQ 7 and add more over time as your needs change. It’s easy to install, includes simple instructions, and can be installed within an hour.
The Enphase IQ 7 inverter is also among the most popular solar inverters on the market. The company has installed over 1,000 Enphase IQ 7 inverters in Australia alone.
If you’re looking for a top-quality inverter with expandable energy storage, the Enphase IQ 7 is a fantastic option.
As you’ve read throughout these Enphase IQ 7 inverter series reviews, these devices carry an impressive range of features.
The fact that this 7th generation microinverter can be controlled individually and is highly reliable and intuitive are some of the key reasons we recommend this model.
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