Even though microinverters are a very different concept from string inverter technology, many consumers will still compare the Enphase IQ7 microinverter against a string inverter in their buying decision. Therefore, the question must be asked, how does the Enphase IQ7 range compare? 

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Make and model:  Enphase iQ7 & iQ7 Plus.

Variants:  240 | 290 W

  Design, Performance.

  Affordability.

Once viewed as the pioneering solar technology pushing innovative boundaries, Enphase is often renowned as an overall product of refinement. After a decade after Enphase’s original product release, the Enphase IQ7 range, should be considered the most refined Enphase model yet. But is it? The 7th Generation device could almost be considered characteristically similar to the IQ 6 range however there are notable differences.

Design.

Without a doubt the more innovative of all the inverter technologies Enphase release a new design at an average rate of 1.4-years between models as the Enphase IQ7 range is a 7th generation product within 10 years. Internal temperature is cooled using a fanless design maintaining an exceptional IP 67 weather rating. With such innovation no major international awards are related directly to the Enphase IQ7 range at the time of writing.

Less than desirable, Enphase IQ7 and IQ7+ is battery compatible only via an AC coupling connection method. For ease of integration, the Enphase AC battery provides a seamless one brand solution when an Envoy S Metered communications gateway has been installed. 3rd party AC coupled battery devices are also compatible with integration though would require a separate communications gateway and monitoring system, such as the Tesla Powerwall 2.

Enphase iQ7 and iQ7 Plus data sheet >

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Design
  • AC Coupled battery compatibility with selected battery technologies.
  • New release.
  • Fanless.
  • Major internationally recognised award.
  • CE certified.
  • Innovative.
  • IP 66.

Features.

Features of the IQ7 and IQ7+ relate more directly to the system as a whole which includes such components as the Envoy S Metered communications gateway, essential to the function of the microinverter system. Although not explicitly built for displaying local production information, as the data is intended to be viewed through the Enphase MyEnlighten portal, the Envoy S Metered gateway presents only basic LED function. Which facilitates expended consumption monitoring alongside solar production information. With a limited local display, ensuring ease and access to such data is vital then, and that is where the Enphase IQ7 system (through the Envoy S Metered) thrives with the essential communication forms of WiFi, Ethernet, or mobile network (optional extra).

As a double bonus, the need for an inbuilt DC isolator is obsolete with microinverter technology, and Maximum Power Point Tracking is achieved at each solar panel. Through such, the Enphase IQ7 facilitates mandatory module-level optimisation where shade losses affect the shaded panels only and not a whole string. If required, Rapid Shut Down technology is integrated within each IQ7 device. Falling just shy of outstanding in the features department installer software support requires the ability to adjust operational parameters remotely. All in all a very feature rich inverter technology as standard.

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Features.
  • 2 MPPTS.
  • Basic LED.
  • WiFi & Ethernet (plus 4G optional).
  • Manufacturer supplied module-level optimisation options.
  • No manufacturer supplied module-level rapid shutdown options.
  • Manufacturer supplied expanded monitoring options.
  • Mandatory optimisation shadow management.
  • Installer remote access support is rated at - firmware updates.

Performance.

Searching for the pinnacle in various performance specifications? The Enphase IQ7 plus inverter technology is almost that. Aside from the exceptional European Weighted Efficiency of 97% as the only blemish in a perfect score. The IQ7 plus registers outstanding for different temperature extremes operating from -40oC all the way through to +65oC. Weight concerns are minimal at 1kg per device and noise emission is obsolete.

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Performance
  • 97% European efficiency.
  • Temperature range of -40°C (-40°F).
  • Temperature range of +65°C (149°F).
  • Temperature derating not listed.
  • Weighs 1 kg (2.2lbs).
  • Noise emission obsolete.

Guarantee.

Warranty conditions vary between the regions. Locations such as the US enjoy an outstanding 25-year part and service warranty as standard. Potentially more enduring environments such as Australia are limited to a 10-year parts and service warranty. Concerning inverter guarantees internationally 10-year parts and service is highly respectable. To assure such warranty conditions are met an authorised Enphase installer network does exist, unfortunately, there are no added end-user benefits such as an extended warranty.

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Guarantee
  • 10-year parts warranty.
  • 10-year service warranty.
  • Authorised installer network with no end-user benefits.

Software.

One of the better manufacturer produced monitoring platforms, however, lacklustre if viewing through the free end-user portal Enphase MyEnlighten. Has the potential to be so much more and probably is the software one would expect when using the paid subscription for the EnergyManager portal. > (Coming Soon).

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Software
  • EnergyManager portal
  • iOS & Android app.
  • Alerts & fault diagnosis.

Affordability.

With such great features as standard, the end product is indeed not cheap. Considering the features at hand, perspective into what you get for your money over simply cost alone ensures that the Enphase IQ7 package is not just a device which converts DC into AC energy. That being said, it would be considered expensive if that is your only criteria.

As a gauge, An Enphase IQ7 5 kW solar inverter package including Envoy S Metered is available online from: 

USD 2500  |  AUD 3500  |  EURO 2200 

Excludes taxes, shipping and installation.

Source – Google.

Enphase Microinverter IQ-7+

Enphase

iQ7 - Affordability
  • Superior technology score.
  • 5kW approx for $2500 USD ex.

OVERALL.

Easily one of the most versatile solar technologies for any given installation, the Enphase IQ7 solar inverter package offers far more than basic DC to AC conversion. It is an entire energy production and management solution built with end-user experience in mind. A result ensuring full control over your energy production investment and in turn greater chance of consistent bill reduction.

Enphase

iQ7 - Overall
  • Design 4.2
  • Features 4.4
  • Performance 4.3
  • Guarantee 4.5
  • Software 4.0
  • Technology 4.3
  • Affordability 2.6

Have a question?

Don’t be shy, leave it below and a Solar Review community member will respond with the insight you need.

Insight:

How was the score for the Enphase IQ7 calculated? By utilising the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria V2.3 >

14 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to be able to see what each solar panel puts out but sunpro says they don’t do that. And they charge too much for the app . on line. Even though the salesman said I wood be able to do that

    • The best you’re going to get for free is via the mobile application available on both Apple & Android. View: Enlighten APP > ARRAY > DAY, MONTH, YEAR or LIFETIME data available in kWh values only. Unfortunately, the desktop MyEnlighten portal doesn’t seem to have this feature. Further advanced insight can only be achieved through purchasing the Enlighten Manager subscription.

  2. Approximately 15 months ago I had a 5.4Kw Enphase system installed. I am now increasing with a new additional system of 4.6Kw, a total of 10Kw. When I purchased my original system, I was advised that this system is the best micro invertor Enphase system available. Now, I am told that my original micro Enphase system is obsolete and I need to upgrade to the new micro invertors at a premium cost. Your claimed performance of the new micro invertors up to +65c is in my mind pointless as my new panels, Qcell quantum, have a reduction in performance with any temperature above 25c. As I am using a different supplier to install my additional Enphase system, what interface issues will I experience in interfacing with my original system? How can I have access to observe the individual performance of each solar panels with these two separate systems?

    • As one of Enphase’s key selling points is that the system is beautifully modular, you shouldn’t have to upgrade the existing systems Enphase micro-inverters, which at a guess given the timeframe of installation would be an Enphase S series micro (5th Generation)? Depending on which Envoy gateway you have, maybe this might need upgrading to the Envoy-S Metered version? You shouldn’t have too many interface issues if you have the correct gateway. You can view total kWHs in the basic Enphase MyEnlighten (mobile) software. However, if you wish to view peak power and other advanced fetures you will need to purchase the software upgrade to Enphase Enlighten Manager.

      Requesting addition community insight on multiple Enphase product pairings?

  3. I can not obtain service from All American Solar to get my wifi system working. It worked at the start but then has not worked since August of 2018. Can anyone assist me in correcting this issue?

    • Press and hold the WPS button on the wireless router for a few seconds. On most routers, a WPS indicator begins flashing. If you are not using the Installer Toolkit mobile app, initiate a WPS connection by pressing and holding the Envoy-S AP Mode button for 5 seconds. The Network Communications LED begins flashing green. Within three minutes the Network Communications LED lights solid green, indicating a successful connection to Enlighten. If the Network Communications LED remains off or lights solid amber, see Troubleshooting.

  4. If you are located in a remote area WITHOUT INTERNET SERVICE You will not be able to Set Up and Configure the Enohase IQ-7 Microinverters AND Envoy S.

    NO WHERE IN ANY ENPHASE INSTALLATION MANUAL DOES IT STATE THAT INTERNET SERVICE IS REQUIRED TO INSTALL AND SET UP THE SYSTEM.

    We called the Enphase Tech Support and they;

    1) Have ZERO Technical Knowledge in PV Systems and only read through a Script;

    2) Cannot send you PRECONFIGURED IQ-7 COMPONENTS for Remote Locations that have no Internet Service;

    3) YOU CANNOT SETUP THE IQ MICROINVERTERS WITH THE ENVOY S. The Envoy S is required to update its Software via the INTERNET;

    4). NO WHERE IN THE ENPHASE INSTALLATION MANUALS DOES IT STATE THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS TO HAVE EITHER AN ANDROID OR IPHONE TO DOWNLOAD THE INSTALLER TOOLKIT. Repeated requests for the Installer Toolkit Software for. Laptop or Tablet was IGNORED BY ENPHASE.

    IF YOU ARE IN A REMOTE LOCATION AND HAVE NO INTERNET SERVICE THE ENPHASE IQ 7 SYSTEM WON’T WORK AND WILL BE USLESS.

    Note: You also need an Internet Service to Troubleshoot the ENPHASE IQ SYSTEM. Again, without an Internet Connection you will not be able to find or correct any IQ-7/ENVOY S ERRORS OR SET UP ISSUES.

    • This is a very good insight and a very good point which is not part of the current Solar Review Inverter Assesment Criteria (V2.3) in where a cross-section of prospective solar shoppers require such isolation. Remote operational features will be considered and no doubt integrated into V2.4. Thank you for contributing valuable insight and assisting Solar Review to evolve.

    • I have installed several Systems with IQ7,s , and they work right out of the box. Plug and play. The Envoy unit is only neccesary when you want to monitor the production etc. If there is no internet at the site, you shouldn,t bother about an Envoy…

  5. I live in California and waiting to get my solar system installed. Going with LG Neon 2 335 watt panels. My installer is installing IQ7 Micro Inverters. What i want to know is, will there be any advantage of installing IQ7+ inverters instead of the IQ7? Please advice. Thank you

    • Potentially not much apart from the fact you could see a few higher numbers in the peak power section of the monitoring platform. At the end of the day you’ll rarely use this function but refer to the Wh/kWh view which is where true performance is determined. Inverter oversizing is a great thing and the manufacturers even endorse it. One of the major reasons many install on the smaller Enphase variant is where network/grid limitations are in place. Such limitations are factored on the AC output of the combined inverter capacity and not the DC input (Array Capacity) which allows for an overall larger system and overall greater kWh. Find out if certain network limitations are at play in the form of max export capacity or feed-In tariff qualification.

  6. I am being told by different Solar installers that the Enphase reliability in Central Texas is not good and they will not install them. Also I know that Enphase change their warranty to 25yrs but this does not include labor for repair, so this maybe the reason.
    Can you tell me what is the FIT rate on the IQ7 & IQ7+ product. I look at Enphase and they only give MTBF of 300yrs after the infant mortality phase of the bath tub curve, which they state is around 2-3 weeks, but never give FIT rates for either the infant mortality or the bottom of bath tub curve (random failure rate).

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