The Enphase IQ 7A microinverter is among the best solar inverters available and goes head to head with the typical string inverters in the market. These devices are known for their easy installation, flexible design, active cooling system, and high performance.
Although such solar inverters command a higher upfront cost, they justify their price tag with plenty of advantages for your solar power system.
You should always choose a high-quality and reliable microinverter to guarantee consistent performance and efficiency. Many solar inverters are available in the market, but we recommend the Enphase IQ 7A microinverter.
Wondering why? This article has the answer. Read all you need to know about the Enphase IQ 7A microinverter and what makes Enphase the best inverter manufacturer in this review.
What is the Enphase IQ 7A?
The Enphase IQ 7A inverters are the latest range of intelligent grid-ready microinverters. Their seventh-generation IQ technology works in conjunction with individual solar panels, and these devices are easily installed and maintained via their intuitive design and active cooling system.
Much like the Huawei Sun2000-KTL-MO inverter range, these models’ efficiency is superior to previous hybrid or string inverters’ models. They can also work effectively in heavy shade conditions, ensuring the maximum efficiency of individual panels.
Enphase was founded in 2006 by Raghu Belur and Martin Fornage in California. It is the first company to introduce microinverters for solar panels. Since then, it has revolutionised the solar industry, transforming sunlight into a dependable and rapidly scalable power source.
These intelligent microinverters can be connected to Enphase’s industry-leading app, which provides access to all the data of the solar systems in the user’s hand. If you join these inverters with the IQ Smart Battery (an award-winning battery technology), you get the best quality solar with an efficiency of 97%.
These inverters can be used to export surplus solar power to the grid. This means that centuries-old grids can consume clean solar energy provided by solar systems. And the best part is that you can get paid for the solar power export in the form of solar rebates.
Enphase is a solar industry giant that’s listed on NASDAQ as ENPH. Recently, they introduced fourth-generation (4G) technology in their microinverters, allowing them to remain permanently connected to the internet, providing you with real-time updates. Enphase also introduced the sixth and seventh generations of its IQ technology.
A solar inverter converts DC power from a solar panel into AC power. It is used to run appliances and devices with off-grid energy. Conventional solar inverters operate for the entire solar panel array. But when it comes to microinverters, they are attached to separate solar panels. All solar panels work off-grid and independently from the central solar system. The microinverter converts DC into AC electricity quickly.
The IQ 7A inverters are also great for systems with a small number of solar panels. Residential homes that use solar power for running home appliances should take particular notice of these IQ 7A inverters.
Since the DC power is converted to AC power at the panel level itself, there is no need for long strings or cables like with conventional inverters.
Enphase solar systems have reached nearly every home in Australia and the rest of the solar-powered world. Since 2020 alone, the company has shipped over 30 million microinverters globally.
Overall, more than 39 million microinverters have been installed across 139 countries. It has helped provide thousands of people with clean energy sources, thus working toward a shared carbon-free future for all its customers.
Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter Range
For the IQ 7A series, a PowerPoint tracking voltage range is 18 V – 58 V. It has the CEC peak power tracking voltage range of 38 V to 43 V when a DC input of 58 V is applied.
When the output (AC) voltage is 240 V AC or 208 VAC, the extended frequency range is 47 – 68 Hz.
The optimum temperature range required for the Enphase IQ 7A inverter is -40 ºC to 60 ºC. The temperature range perfectly matches the harsh conditions of Australian and European weather.
Enphase IQ 7A Technical Specifications
|Feature||Specifications (240 VAC)||Specifications (208 VAC)|
|Best for module pairings |
(Recommended PV module input power)
|295 W – 460 W||295 W – 460 W|
|Module capability||60-cell, 66-cell, and 72-cell||60-cell, 66-cell, and 72-cell|
|Maximum input DC voltage||58 V||58 V|
|Powerpoint tracking voltage range||18 V – 58 V||18 V – 58 V|
|Minimum and maximum start voltage||33 V / 59 V||33 V / 59 V|
|Maximum DC short circuit current||15 A||15 A|
|Overvoltage class DC port||II||II|
|DC port backfeed current||0 A||0 A|
|PV array configuration||1 x 1 ungrounded array without the need for any extra DC protection. |
For AC side protection, a max of 20 A is required.
|1 x 1 ungrounded array without the need for any extra DC protection. |
For AC side protection, a max of 20 A is required.
|Peak output power||366 VA||295 VA|
|Maximum continuous output power||349 VA||290 VA|
|Nominal voltage and range||240 V / 211 – 264 V||208 V / 183 – 229 V|
|Maximum continuous output current||1.45 A||1.39 A|
|Nominal frequency||60 Hz||–|
|Extended frequency range||47 – 68 Hz||–|
|AC short circuit fault current across all three cycles||5.8 Arms||–|
|Maximum units per 20 A branch circuit||11||11|
|Overvoltage class AC port||III||–|
|AC port backfeed current||18 mA||–|
|Power factor setting||1.0||–|
|Adjustable power factor||0.85 leading and lagging||–|
|CEC weighted efficiency||97%||96%|
|Temperature range||-40 °C to +60 °C||-40 °C to +60 °C|
|Relative humidity range||4% to 100%||4% to 100%|
|DC connector type||MC4||MC4|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||212 mm x 175 mm x 30.2 mm||212 mm x 175 mm x 30.2 mm|
|Weight||1.08 kg (or 2.38 lbs)||1.08 kg (or 2.38 lbs)|
|Cooling system||No fans involved; natural convection||No fans involved; natural convection|
|Degree of pollution||PD3||PD3|
|Enclosure||Class II double insulated with a corrosion-resistant enclosure||Class II double insulated with a corrosion-resistant enclosure|
|Environmental category||NEMA type 6||NEMA type 6|
|Communication||Power line communication||Power line communication|
You can find more information about this inverter on its datasheet.
What is the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter’s Output Capacity?
The Enphase IQ 7A has two different (AC) output capacities, i.e. the 240 VAC and the 208 VAC.
The max output (peak) power for the 240 V category is 366 VA. Its maximum continuous output power is 349 VA, while the maximum continuous output current is 1.45 A. The nominal voltage of the power output for 240 VAC is 240 V. The range for the output is between 211 – 264 V.
The peak output power for the 208 VAC category is 295 VA. Its maximum continuous output power is 290 VA, while the maximum continuous output current is 1.39 A. The nominal voltage for the power output of the 208 VAC category is 208 V. This output can range between 183–229 V.
The nominal frequency of the 240 VAC and the 208 VAC categories is 60 Hz, while the extended frequency range is 47-68 Hz.
What is the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter’s Efficiency?
The maximum efficiency of the Enphase IQ 7A microinverter is 97%.
The CEC weighted efficiency of 240 VAC is 97.0%, while the CEC weighted efficiency of 208 VAC is 96.5%.
The Enphase IQ 7A solar inverters provide easy installation methods. They have the highest levels of efficiency that support 60-cell, 66-cell and 72-cell modules.
How Many MPP Trackers does the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter have?
Each microinverter has at least dual MPPTs.
Does the Enphase IQ 7A Inverter come with an Internal DC Circuit Breaker?
Enphase IQ 7A inverters have a DC circuit breaker that cuts off the power supply above 58 V. These inverters come with built-in rapid shutdown (NEC2014 and 2017).
DC wires carrying low voltages are attached to each microinverter. These wires help diminish the risk of high DC voltage by acting as load breakers.
Enphase IQ 7A Key Features
The Enphase IQ 7A has a high continuous power rating of 349 VA, with a maximum DC input voltage of 58 V. This means they are recommended with solar panels up to 460W, making them perfect for high-power residential and commercial solar applications.
The IQ 7A series of microinverters also offers some terrific features:
- Easy Installation
The Enphase IQ 7A is easy to install with its two-wire cabling and lightweight design. Your CEC installer will have no issue configuring the solar inverters with the rest of the system.
The inverter is placed near its panel, eliminating the need for a lengthy DC solar cable. The Enphase IQ 7A inverters are also compatible with battery storage systems.
They can be integrated easily with the help of the Enphase Envoy-S communications gateway and the monitoring and analysis software.
- Reliable and Efficient
The Enphase IQ 7A inverters have a CEC efficiency of 97%, which ensures high performance and optimisation. The system is protected by a Class II double-insulated polymeric enclosure, ensuring it doesn’t overheat.
These solar inverters can connect to solar panels producing 295 to 460 W of total output. Since one solar inverter connects to one solar module, it can produce electricity more efficiently.
Suppose one solar module has malfunctioned or the system has a faulty inverter. In that case, the solar system won’t collapse, as is the case when traditional solar inverters are connected with the whole system.
Individual solar inverters can also be adjusted to help capture solar power from different directions.
- Unique Software Architecture
Another feature that makes these solar inverters impressive is their software architecture. These inverters include a single hardware SKU to guarantee performance throughout usage.
The Enphase IQ 7A and related solar inverters in this series are known for producing more power at half the weight of previous iterations.
With the aid of an internet connection, it’s possible to monitor the performance of individual solar panels and detect any fault with the solar inverter.
What is the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter’s Warranty?
IQ 7A solar inverters feature an industry-leading warranty of ten years.
The warranty starts four months after Enphase dispatches the product. A limited warranty is provided to IQ 7-series microinverters, which are fitted with Envoy products such as:
- Envoy-S Metered
- Mobile Connect
- Consumption CT
The limited warranty period starts the same as the standard warranty (4 months from the date of shipping). This limited warranty is valid for five years.
The warranty cannot be claimed under the following conditions:
- If there are installation mistakes and the quick install manual isn’t followed.
- A microinverter is installed in an area that does not meet its installation conditions.
- Any fault arises after the expiration of warranty time.
- If Enphase has already repaired the product once before.
- If any of the original markings are defective.
- Any damage occurs during the transportation of the product.
- If the grid profile parameters are changed.
- If the product is not registered with Enphase Envoy product via the internet.
A limited warranty also does not cover:
- The labour cost/installation cost.
- Theft of the product.
- Any software program installed on the covered product.
Is the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter Reliable? Is the Solar Inverter Safe?
Enphase products are rigorously tested, and the IQ 7A solar inverters are no exception.
Enphase inverter performance is highlighted in the extreme summer weather, during temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) in Adelaide (Australia). The performance is reviewed continuously for many days until the elevated peak temperature of 45.9 °C. These advanced checks and balance techniques have proved the reliability of the microinverters.
In typical DC string systems, electricity moves from the roof through concealed wires to the inverters. However, in the case of Enphase microinverters, DC energy is instantly changed into AC on rooftops. This instantaneous conversion prevents the risk of arcing from possible wire damage.
Here is further proof of the security these IQ 7A inverters provide:
- Optimised for high-powered solar modules
The main advantage of integrating solar panels with the Enphase IQ 7A system is that the panels can be optimised to produce solar power individually. The Enphase inverter works with 60-cell / 120-half-cell and 72-cell / 144-half-cell modules.
There are various types of inverters in the market, such as hybrid inverters. But microinverters can enhance individual solar panels’ performance and ensure that the solar system produces the maximum amount of power.
2. High versatility
Another advantage of the Enphase IQ 7A solar inverters is that the panels aren’t restricted by being placed in a specific direction like traditional solar inverters. As a result, they are incredibly versatile, and you can place them in various orientations and tilt angles.
Even if one solar panel fails, other panels can continue to operate, ensuring a continuous electricity supply.
3. High quality
Over time, Enphase has proven it manufactures the best solar inverters in the market. The high quality of these smart-grid inverters ensures a low failure rate and high solar system efficiency.
Various tests conducted by the PV Evolution labs have confirmed that these inverters produce up to 3.1% more energy than traditional string inverters.
Enphase Envoy and Enlighten is a prominent software solution in the solar industry that’s included with the IQ 7A series. This software guarantees the system’s maximum performance and allows customers to keep track of the system’s performance.
Using this software, customers can monitor the health and performance of their IQ 7A microinverter via the mobile application or through the Enphase website.
4. Terrific warranty
This solar inverter also comes loaded with a ten-year warranty. That way, if the inverter stops working within the defined period, customers have ample time to make a warranty claim.
5. Ability to track performance
Another advantage of the Enphase system is that all microinverters can track their performance and relay the data back to the company. Enphase has been ensuring its systems’ highest quality and efficiency for years using this information.
The company also can reset and update firmware remotely. This means that any severe failures can be dealt with swiftly.
Enphase also has an Australian office, so its products are designed to specifically meet national and local regulations.
However, these Enphase IQ 7A inverters also come with some limitations:
- Limited compatibility with solar batteries
The main constraint of the IQ 7A microinverters is that they aren’t compatible with various solar batteries because they usually are DC coupled.
However, you can use the Enphase IQ 7A microinverter in conjunction with popular AC batteries, such as the SonnenBatterie Hybrid 9.53 and the Tesla Powerwall 2.
The IQ 7a microinverter also comes with its own battery approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC). However, this AC battery is only helpful for solar systems connected to the grid. It doesn’t work with off-grid solar systems.
2. High price
Enphase might not be suitable if you are looking for cost-effective inverters. They typically retail at higher prices than other inverters in the market. However, this is expected given the premium build and quality Enphase includes in all their products.
Is the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter CEC-Approved?
The Enphase IQ 7A solar inverters are CEC approved. The CEC efficiency of these solar inverters is 97%.
CEC has the Solar Retailer Program, which testifies if brands can sell their solar systems and storage within the limits of industry requirements. This program is supervised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
All the brands are accountable to this program for their sales and advertisements. This program regulates all the rules that must be abided by the brands.
Can you Retrofit a Battery to the Enphase IQ 7A Solar Inverter?
Any Enphase IQ 7A solar inverter attached to the Enphase energy systems can be retrofitted with an IQ battery.
The company produces “solar-plus-solution,” which helps prevent the risk of high voltage DC hazards. Enphase IQ Batteries are provided with innovative Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry. This battery storage system can prolong the lifetime and safety of the microinverters via improved thermal stability.
These batteries arrive with a ten-year warranty and contain specialised over-the-air software. Homeowners can easily store surplus energy by retrofitting a battery with IQ 7A solar inverters. A battery-backed solar system decreases your reliance on the grid, thus giving you the freedom you want from good solar.
How Long do Enphase IQ 7A Microinverters Last?
The Enphase IQ 7A microinverters are designed to last for at least twenty years. This is far longer than any other product currently on the market and offsets the high retail cost of these systems.
The system will likely fail within five years if you purchase a traditional inverter, especially with lower-end models. Most of these inverters also come with just a five-year warranty.
If you opt for a high-quality inverter like the Enphase IQ 7A, you can save yourself the hassle of replacing your systems every five years.
Is the Enphase IQ 7A a High-Quality and Valuable Inverter? Our Opinion
The Enphase IQ 7A microinverter is an excellent seventh-generation IQ platform. Enphase has taken the lead over other solar industry manufacturers with these microinverters. This has been made possible by their sheer determination and consistent innovation in the IQ range.
The Enphase IQ 7A microinverters have a meagre failure rate, with a maximum CEC efficiency rate of 97%. These inverters are more reliable than a typical string inverter.
As per PV Evolution Labs, Enphase IQ 7A produces 1-3.1% more energy than the total output energy of competing string inverters.
The IQ 7A microinverters assure a user-friendly installation and warranty of ten years. Moreover, the built-in Envoy technology gives the users real-time information about their microinverter’s performance and control.
This article highlights nearly all the advantages and disadvantages of the Enphase IQ 7A. These environmentally friendly microinverters are reliable, durable, and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
While it will always be your decision, based on our research (and extensive solar experience), we have found the Enphase IQ 7A one of the best microinverters you can buy right now!
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