Company: Enphase Energy
Enphase Energy has been creating a market for solar microinverters –distributed inverters that replace a central inverter for solar panels — since its initial product launch in the summer of 2008 and has now shipped more than 500,000 of them.
To keep its lead will not be easy, however. Not only is venture-backed Enphase facing competition from other microinverter developers, but it’s also up against companies making alternative and more mainstream products, like the traditional central inverters. To remain competitive, the Petaluma, Calif., startup will be launching a series of products this year that are smaller, lighter and tailored to different customer types.
In June, it plans to launch its third-generation technology that will boost its microinverter’s average efficiency to 96 percent, a one percentage point improvement from the current version, Enphase’s VP of products, Raghu Belur, told a group of reporters at the company’s headquarters Tuesday. The company will also offer a new installation method that will help shave labor costs. Enphase CEO, Paul Nahi, also hinted at the possibility of offering a warranty that will be longer than the 15 years that it current provides.