The Enphase IQ 7+ is the most recent addition to Enphase’s microinverter series. This IQ 7+ solar inverter now includes a greater 290 W output (up from 280 W), allowing you to connect it with somewhat larger panels than the previous generation.
Microinverters are used in more than half of all solar power systems in North America and are an excellent alternative to the standard string solar inverters. Microinverters (or micros) offer several benefits over typical string inverters but at a higher initial cost.
Due to its ease of installation, shading tolerance, and customisable array design, the Enphase IQ solar inverter range remains our go-to microinverter choice for grid-tie systems. The latest iteration adds capacity to the IQ 7+ model and introduces the new IQ 7X, which is compatible with 96-cell modules.
Read on for our full Enphase IQ 7+ review, including its cost, specifications, optimum use conditions, and features.
Let’s dive in!
What is the Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter?
Enphase IQ 7+ is an essential component of Enphase’s current product line. The inverter boasts a maximum power output of 295 VA and can achieve a microinverter EU Efficiency of 96.5% at 230 V.
Enphase is a NASDAQ-listed American inverter manufacturer formed in 2006. The company is the solar industry leader in microinverter technology, and they supply microinverters worldwide.
There are numerous inverter brands to choose from in the Australian market: some are top-notch, others are adequate, and a handful are either terrible or obsolete. However, the Enphase IQ 7 series models are among the best solar inverters currently available.
Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter Range
The IQ 7 series has been available since 2018, with successive variants introduced. The Enphase IQ 7+ range has been optimised for high-powered 60-cell / 120-half-cell and 72-cell / 144-half-cell, and 96-cell modules.
Enphase’s 7th-generation IQ 7 microinverters are powered by unique software-defined architecture for an even more efficient design. The Enphase IQ 7 microinverter series provides 4% more power, is 19% lighter, and is 17% smaller than the previous models in the IQ 6 series.
At Instyle Solar, we have the full range of Enphase microinverters, including IQ 7, IQ 7+, IQ 7X, and IQ 7A microinverters:
- IQ7-60-2-US 240 VAC,
- IQ7-60-B-US 208 VAC,
- IQ7PLUS-72-2-US 240 VAC,
- IQ7PLUS-72-B-US 208 VAC, and
- IQ7PLUS-96-2-US 208-240 VAC.
Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter Technical Specifications
Here are the technical specifications of the Enphase IQ 7+ from the data sheet of Enphase Microinverters:
|INPUT DATA (DC)||IQ7-60-E-INT||IQ7PLUS-72-E-INT||IQ7X-96-E-INT|
|Commonly used module pairings||235 W – 350 W + 1||235 W – 440 W + 1,2||320 W – 460 W + 1,2|
|Module compatibility||60-cell PV modules only||60-cell and 72-cell PV modules||96-cell PV modules only|
|Maximum input DC voltage||48 V||60 V||79.5 V|
|Peak power tracking voltage||27 V – 37 V||27 V – 45 V||53 V – 64 V|
|Operating range||16 V – 48 V||16 V – 60 V||25 V – 79.5 V|
|Min/Max start voltage||22 V / 48 V||22 V / 60 V||33 V / 79.5 V|
|Max DC short circuit current (module Isc)||15 A||15 A||10 A|
|Overvoltage class DC port||II||II||II|
|DC port backfeed under single fault||0 A||0 A||0 A|
|Ambient temperature range||-40 ºC to 65 ºC||-40 ºC to 65 ºC||-40 ºC to 65 ºC|
|Relative humidity range||4% to 100% (condensing)||4% to 100% (condensing)||4% to 100% (condensing)|
|Connector type||Enphase EN4 bulkhead with integrated TE Connectivity PV4-S DC connectors||Enphase EN4 bulkhead with integrated TE Connectivity PV4-S DC connectors||Enphase EN4 bulkhead with integrated TE Connectivity PV4-S DC connectors|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||212 mm x 175 mm x 30.2 mm (without bracket)||212 mm x 175 mm x 30.2 mm (without bracket)||212 mm x 175 mm x 30.2 mm (without bracket)|
|Weight||1.08 kg||1.08 kg||1.08 kg|
|Cooling||Natural convection – No fans||Natural convection – No fans||Natural convection – No fans|
|Approved for wet locations||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Enclosure||Class II double-insulated, corrosion-resistant polymeric enclosure||Class II double-insulated, corrosion-resistant polymeric enclosure||Class II double-insulated, corrosion-resistant polymeric enclosure|
|Environmental category / |
UV exposure rating
|Outdoor – IP67||Outdoor – IP67||Outdoor – IP67|
|Communication||Power Line Communication (PLC)||Power Line Communication (PLC)||Power Line Communication (PLC)|
|Monitoring||Enlighten Manager and MyEnlighten monitoring options. Both options require the installation of an Enphase Envoy-S.||Enlighten Manager and MyEnlighten monitoring options. Both options require the installation of an Enphase Envoy-S.||Enlighten Manager and MyEnlighten monitoring options. Both options require the installation of an Enphase Envoy-S.|
|Compliance||AS 4777.2, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62109-1, IEC/EN 62109-2||AS 4777.2, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62109-1, IEC/EN 62109-2||AS 4777.2, RCM, IEC/EN 61000-6-3, IEC/EN 62109-1, IEC/EN 62109-2|
The CEC design guidelines in Australia state that the inverter’s continuous AC power output won’t fall below 75% of the array peak power to perform at maximum efficiency.
The absolute DC input is limited to 350 W at 25 ºC as per AU/NZS 5033:2014 4.3.12 (d).
What is the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter’s Output Capacity?
Here is the output capacity of the Enphase IQ 7+ solar inverter:
|OUTPUT DATA (AC)||IQ 7 Microinverter||IQ 7+ Microinverter||IQ 7X Microinverter|
|Peak output power||250 VA||295 VA||320 VA|
|Maximum continuous output power||240 VA||290 VA||315 VA|
|Nominal (L-N) voltage/range||230 V / 184 – 276 V||230 V / 184 – 276 V||230 V / 184 – 276 V|
|Maximum continuous output current||1.04 A||1.26 A||1.37 A|
|Nominal frequency||50 Hz||50 Hz||50 Hz|
|Extended frequency range||45 – 55 Hz||45 – 55 Hz||45 – 55 Hz|
|Maximum units per 20 A (L-N) branch circuit4||16 (230 VAC)||13 (230 VAC)||12 (230 VAC)|
|Overvoltage class AC port||III||III||III|
|AC port backfeed current||18 mA||18 mA||18 mA|
|Power factor setting||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Power factor (adjustable)||0.8 leading… 0.8 lagging||0.8 leading… 0.8 lagging||0.8 leading… 0.8 lagging|
The nominal voltage range stated can be extended if necessary or required by the utility. Meanwhile, the limit of maximum units per branch circuit can vary depending on your location. You can refer to local requirements to know the number of microinverters per branch.
What is the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter’s Efficiency?
For the Enphase IQ 7+, the company has reached the microinverter EU Efficiency of 96.5% at 230 V. It can have a maximum efficiency of 97.5% CEC efficiency at 240 V. However, it is only available in the US market.
Additionally, the IQ 7+ was proven in a study by PV Evolution Labs to produce 1 – 3.1% more energy than string inverters.
How Many MPP Trackers does the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter have?
Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controllers play an important role in solar power systems. It maximises the output power of a solar panel for a given set of conditions.
The MPPT range of Enphase IQ 7 inverter is 27 V to 37 V, while the MMPT range of IQ 7+ is from 27V to 45 V. Enphase maximises its energy production by using a sophisticated MPPT algorithm.
String inverters usually have MPPTs and can only work with two groups of panels. Meanwhile, microinverters are individually connected to one PV module, which allows an individual MPPT to control each module.
This, in turn, ensures that the maximum power available in each module is still exported to the utility regardless of how other PV modules perform.
You can view the IQ 7+ manual for more information on the product and its installation procedures to prevent any risks with installation.
Does the Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter have an Internal DC Circuit Breaker?
No, the IQ 7+ does not include an internal circuit breaker. However, it does have an AC circuit breaker.
A circuit breaker is generally used to protect your power system. It cuts off the electricity supply in the event of circuits overheating, which could lead to an electrical fire.
Although AC and DC have heating effects for the same RMS values, they also have differences. AC voltage regularly alternates its direction and values while DC power and direction are always linear. For this reason, DC circuit breakers cannot be used for AC circuits.
Unlike DC optimisers, microinverters are excellent for expanding the solar system because each module-inverter-kit works autonomously.
Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter Key Features
Here are the IQ 7+ inverter key features:
- Smart-grid Compatible:
The inverter features advanced grid support, frequency, and voltage requirements to make it a capable and smart grid-ready microinverter. This feature simplifies the installation process and is configurable for different grid profiles.
- Active Cooling System:
The thermal control feature directs heat out of the inverter and allows it to withstand harsh conditions. It uses a two-stage heat dissipation to perform that action. It doesn’t matter whether you use high or low loads on the inverter; the cooling panel will always keep it under control.
Moreover, this inverter features remote control and other accessories, making it ideal for those who leave the house frequently. You won’t have to worry about power failures while you are away.
- High Power:
The inverter’s peak power is 366 VA @ 240 VAC and 295 VA @ 208 VAC. This produces greater system power yields, especially when the solar panel array is partially shaded, compared to traditional systems with longer strings of solar panels.
The benefit of microinverters in partially shaded conditions (Image via Enphase Energy.)
- Compact and Easy Setup:
The Enphase IQ 7+ microinverter system saves time by simplifying inventory management. The microinverter packaging is more lightweight and bundles fewer wires.
It also has half the conductors and weighs half as the prior Engage cable. The Enphase IQ system’s components work together for more convenient instalments. Their ease of use contributes to a significant boost in installation speed.
The Enphase IQ 7+ system is compatible with various modules, including 60, 72, and 96-cell high-power solar panels. Despite its versatility and power, the IQ 7+ Microinverter still achieves up to 97% efficiency.
- Prepared for Utility Needs:
With UL 1741 SA certification, the Enphase IQ 7+ is smart-grid ready. Grid needs will continue to grow; however, this IQ system can quickly adapt to future requirements due to remote update capabilities.
- No String Sizing Requirements:
You don’t need to worry about how many panels you connect with your microinverters. They are less affected by shading and more easily expanded. You can always start with one panel and an IQ 7+ inverter. This way, you can offset a portion of your electricity payment and also expand the system.
- Easy Installation:
The painless installation process is one of the best features of the IQ 7+. There’s an input for your panels and an output for connecting the Q cables from unit to unit, with the last one connecting to your junction box.
The standard home AC wire will be installed from the junction box to your breaker panel; far more straightforward and inexpensive to install than the DC electricity wiring used with string inverters and optimisers. This can save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation.
- You can also easily monitor your system with just a glance at the colour status:
> Green: Everything is in functioning normally.
> Yellow: The microinverter is operational but not connected to the IQ Envoy monitoring system.
> Red: The microinverter has failed, and the panel is not supplying electricity.
However, an IQ Envoy is required to monitor the IQ solar inverter’s performance. Luckily, any Envoy issues can be easily identified with its LCD display.
Compliant with Rapid Shutdown Codes and Smart Solar Inverters Regulations:
In the case of an emergency at your home, first responders must be able to swiftly and securely deactivate your system to avoid the risk of electrical shock from live DC electricity circuits from the array. The IQ 7+ complies entirely with the most recent national fast disconnect codes (NEC 2017 690.12).
It also fulfils California’s Rule 21 definition of a “smart inverter.” Smart inverters communicate with the utility grid, allowing you to regulate when and how your system delivers power to the grid. This assists the utility in smoothing the demand curve and providing more dependable power during peak consumption periods.
What is the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter’s Warranty?
The IQ 7+ includes a warranty of up to 25 years, which greatly exceeds the warranty period of Sunny Boy’s SMA inverters and other competitors who provide just 12 years of warranty. It corresponds to the market’s 25-year guarantee standard for Tier 1 solar panels.
However, this depends on the market in question. In Australia, Enphase only offers ten years of limited warranty on their IQ 7+ inverters. The coverage can start as early as the product’s shipment from the Enphase factory or if it is “activated” in the Enphase’s Enligten® system or has been granted permission to operate by the authorities.
The company offers a repair, refund, or replacement of the product if there is a major failure and compensation for any loss or damage. It can also apply if the product does not meet the acceptable quality.
Other warranty conditions include having consumers purchase the devices from Enphase itself or any authorised reseller. The devices remain at the original location within Australia or New Zealand.
Enphase’s Australian office is based in Melbourne, Victoria. Customer service is accessible and hassle-free for any warranty claims as long as you follow conditions and procedures.
Read more about the Enphase IQ 7+ inverter limited warranty to familiarise yourself with the requirements.
Is the Enphase IQ 7+ Inverter Range Safe and Reliable?
Its straightforward installation process, smart-grid readiness, high efficiency, thermal control feature, class II double-insulated enclosure, rapid shutdown feature and various other features make the Enphase IQ 7+ a dependable and secure inverter for your solar power system.
Additionally, the IQ 7+ inverter has UL certification. Underwriter Laboratories (UL) is a private safety testing organisation that certifies products, facilities, processes, or systems based on industry-wide standards.
Having UL Certification means that the IQ 7+ has been tested and proven to meet the safety standards, making the product more credible to the marketplace and authorities.
Is the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter CEC-Approved?
CEC-approved inverters mean that the Enphase IQ 7+ solar inverter meets the standards of the Australian CEC and the IEC.
Enphase is also a solar inverter suitable for installation under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).
Can You Retrofit a Battery to the Enphase IQ 7+ Solar Inverter?
Yes, you can retrofit a battery to Enphase IQ 7+ solar inverter. It’s as simple as a new installation using AC coupling.
Below is an illustration of how it works:
Illustration source: Solar Quotes
Residential solar batteries are frequently unstable and a poor financial investment. If you require verification of this assertion, check the Canberra Institute of Technology’s July 2019 Battery-Testing-Report.
Enphase will limit your options to an AC-coupled battery storage solution once batteries become commercially viable. The primary issue with AC coupling is one of regulation. We are limited to a maximum of 10 kW of inverters on each phase in Queensland, the ACT, NSW, and parts of Victoria.
Furthermore, the 10 kW limit covers the total of all microinverters and the AC, linked inverter/battery charger.
This indicates that you may have an extensive solar system with a small battery or a small solar system with ample battery storage. If you can DC couple, you could have a powerful solar system and ample battery storage. Choosing Enphase, on the other hand, does not provide you with that option.
In the event of a blackout, some hybrid inverters can operate in an off-grid mode for longer as long as there is enough solar energy to recharge during the day. However, dedicated off-grid solar systems should be designed and installed with specialised off-grid inverters that can handle larger surge loads.
A hybrid inverter, also known as battery-ready inverters, is similar to string solar inverters but allows for the direct linking of a battery storage system, allowing for greater solar self-sufficiency. If there is a blackout, most hybrid inverters also supply a minimal degree of backup power, although they are not meant for extended off-grid operation.
Is the Enphase IQ 7+ a High-Quality and Valuable Inverter? Our Opinion
Enphase IQ 7+ is an excellent inverter produced by one of the most reputable inverter manufacturers in the industry. The company has ensured certifications of its products, including the IQ 7+, to solidify its credibility that all its products meet the necessary safety standards.
The IQ 7+ retains many benefits and features at a competitive price to boot, making it one of the best solar inverters available. An active cooling system, rapid shutdown feature, high power, shade tolerance, smart grid readiness, and easy installation are additional reasons to buy. It also lasts longer than other inverters on the market, with impressive service life exceeding 20 years.
All in all, IQ 7+ is a rock-solid addition to your solar power system.
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