The guys tackle the concerning feeling that roofs are not quite as populated as years past. Why?
News suggests that installs are down nationally and various reasons are cited and they even go so far as to explore how one company could be responsible? Tesla/Solarcity? But the World bank has other plans ceasing all funding for upstream oil and gas projects moving forward seems to suggest that renewables squarely have a place at the energy table. Matt Egan of CNN also suggests that there are signs that renewables may continue to gain ground on fossil fuels, especially coal. “The seismic shift in renewables economics” will cause “large reductions in carbon intensity in the global power sector,” Morgan Stanley wrote in a recent research report. Several major markets have reached an “inflection point where renewables are the “cheapest form of new power generation,” Morgan Stanley wrote. It expects that trend to spread to “nearly every country we cover by 2020.”
In local news Ensych and Holu Energy create a Solar plus storage PPA for the Cameron Center in Maui.
Today’s Product focus on Enphase Energy offers the guys a chance to review a Juggernaut in the renewable energies industry. Jay and Josh explore the rise of microinverters from the m175 all the way up to the current 6th gen IQ series. They are offered an interview with the founder of Enphase in an upcoming episode to explore the 8th generation microinverter coming in 2019 which is rumored to operate in backup mode during the day time without batteries!…yes without batteries….thats what I said without batteries.
The day’s future focus is about an amazing new tech coming out of NREL transparent photoelectric glass solar panels that achieve an astounding 11% efficiency.
Josh: [00:00:29] Aloha Maui Nui! Hey this is Josh and Jay here.
Jason: [00:00:32] Happy aloha Friday! It’s a little wet.
Josh: [00:00:34] Little wet out there guys. Yeah. Wow check that out.
Josh: [00:00:37] This is the Solar Coaster. Episode number 32.
Jason: [00:00:43] 32, yep we are 32.
Josh: [00:00:45] 32…ish.
Jason: [00:00:46] Its 32
Josh: [00:00:46] Oh wow. So it is definitely interesting to be here. Just a few weeks before the end of the year after quite a run for about seven months or so getting this show off the ground.
Jason: [00:00:57] Yeah I don’t think we’re getting it off the ground. I think we’re in we’re in flight.
Josh: [00:01:00] And we go, and we got some, well, I know originally on it was kind of like “Hey, I wonder if going to have enough talk about here with the renewable energies?”, and then every week it just kind of gets more and more kind of interesting, contentious, political financial.
Jason: [00:01:12] We’ve said that before. We don’t like to do political as much as we probably could, but yeah no there’s no shortage.
Jason: [00:01:20] I mean we literally had a bit of a stumbling block when our scheduled call-in person had a family emergency couldn’t come in. So this morning we’re rushing around trying to find somebody else to fill the slot, and you know what. we had like three people step up.
Josh: [00:01:36] And it’s kind of remarkable.
Jason: [00:01:38] There’s just that much to talk about.
Josh: [00:01:39] Yeah yeah really so we have. As a result of that we have a really great roster of shows coming up over the course of the next few weeks you know to kind of close things out for the year.
Jason: [00:01:49] We run a little fast and loose, but you know we have a real schedule and it’s going forward for about a month and a half.
Jason: [00:01:55] And these are really cool things. So we have today is a really great show. We’re going to be hearing from people from Dave on the roof. He’s got a couple of things say about what’s going on in the field. Amazing news and events and we also have Enphase Energy stepped up today and they’re doing some really unique things in this space. Been around veterans in their residencies.
Jason: [00:02:15] Enphase is a name everybody should know, and if you don’t, you’ll want to stick around and listen anyway.
Josh: [00:02:18] Anyway really cool stuff and then we’ll talk more about these upcoming shows. But we’re talking about. Well maybe I’ll just wait a little bit and let me get a little bit of housekeeping out of the way right out of the gate here. So we are the solar coaster we’re a renewable energy focused solar focused talk show right here in lovely Maui County. We’re here at KAOI 1110AM and can be found here at 1:05 p.m. every Friday of the week. We’re also on a couple of FM stations 96.7 FM central Maui 96.5FM on the west side 98.7 FM upcountry streaming at KAOI1110.com is a great location to check us out. If you are not in the Maui County area and we also have our Web site which is, what is it Jay?
Jason: [00:03:03] solar-coaster.com Also has the link there you can get right in and listen live as well as the Facebook live stream which is going right now.
Josh: [00:03:13] Say hi Jonah, Jonah Heller over there helping us out with social media. Thank you so much buddy.
Jason: [00:03:17] We really do appreciate you.
Josh: [00:03:18] And we got Gary over here. Engineer in the field doing his thing.
Josh: [00:03:22] So we are we are also we’re sponsored by a great stable stable of companies Maui Solar Project, Tabuchi Electric America, Sonnen Batterie, and more recently.
Jason: [00:03:32] Pika Energy.
Josh: [00:03:33] Pika Energy. And thank you so much guys for your support.
Jason: [00:03:36] Josh still has my shirt Pika
Josh: [00:03:39] They were messing around, and we where like “Hey, we’d love to get some swag.
Josh: [00:03:41] There we go! Jonah’s got the Pika Energy shirt. They’re really nice ones, American Apparel, right? I got to get back down to my medium days like quite a road in front of me before I can wear a medium again. So you can also find us on podcasts right. So iTunes, what are the other ones Jay?
Jason: [00:03:59] iTunes, Stitcher, and TuneIn are live. iHeart Radio is still pending.
Josh: [00:04:04] Pending. Yeah we heard a couple things about that too.
Josh: [00:04:06] Yeah I know. I don’t want to go into that.
Josh: [00:04:07] All right all right. So we are a call-in show and you can reach us if you like to call in and kind of give us some ideas or questions or whatever.
Josh: [00:04:14] 808-242-7800 is our call in line.
Jason: [00:04:20] yep 808-242-7800 To give us a call of questions comments. Interesting solar stories, let us know.
Josh: [00:04:24] We love hearing from everybody about this stuff. So let’s jump on you know one of the things I noticed, and I think this is kind of the flavor of this of our news and events section here today Jay. One of the things I noticed, you know, over the course of the last week or so I don’t see as many guys out there on roofs putting in solar systems as I have in past years.
Jason: [00:04:45] Yeah and this is kind of an interesting phenomenon for you. I don’t know if I ever really noticed. But it makes sense to me what you said is that we’re coming up to the end of the year. Everybody wants to have their system installed because they can get the tax credits this year assuming that it’s installed this year. And so there’s this rush at the end of the year and we’re not seeing it
Josh: [00:05:06] not quite as much I mean I keep looking up you know when I’m driving when I’m going around I’m like “is that a guy?…nope, Hes just doing roofing”, and so it doesn’t really kind of look the same way in my opinion. And so it’d be interesting to see we are seeing some conversations here in our news and events section about the general kind of like volume of stuff that’s happening around the country. So we can learn about, what do you start out with here Jay. We gonna do the, we do have a local thing of course we can touch base.
Jason: [00:05:34] yeah Let’s do that let’s do that first
Josh: [00:05:36] get that Out of the way.
Jason: [00:05:36] That’s a good one. Non-profit incubator signs a solar plus storage PPA. Now what’s is a PPA, first of all?
Josh: [00:05:42] So PPA is it’s an acronym for “Power Purchase Agreement”, and it looks like this one is actually from a company that we’re familiar with and have some business with the MSP side of the fence here and so this is Ensync Energy and working I think via their subsidiary Holu out here in Maui County so they put together a pretty radical system with about 100 say solar plus storage project encompasses 148 kilowatt photovoltaic installation ensync Energy’s DER super module 244 kilowatt hours of energy storage supported by this matrix energy- matrix energy management system. So and DER Flex Technologies- wow theres a lot of TM’s in there, theres like 3 TM’s in there
Jason: [00:06:29] Yeah yeah yeah. All this stuff. whats a super module. why does it matter.
Josh: [00:06:33] So super modules this is this is the lithium ion energy storage.
Jason: [00:06:37] Oh okay
Josh: [00:06:38] as I understand that that’s an actual container.
Jason: [00:06:42] Right.
Josh: [00:06:43] That’s a container. It’s a shipping container.
Jason: [00:06:45] Okay so it’s a big battery.
Josh: [00:06:46] I believe. Yeah.
Josh: [00:06:47] And then you know what I find interesting about this system is they say they go on to say in this article and it’s PRNewsWire.com new releases and then you can just kinda search.
Jason: [00:06:58] this will be going up on the solar-coaster.com website after the show.
Josh: [00:07:01] Right. Yeah absolutely.
Jason: [00:07:02] But but do check that out. But this is right here in Maui County and I think that that was the most interesting thing is that there’s this massive nonprofit Business Incubator is going in and specifically focusing on renewable energy supply.
Josh: [00:07:17] J Walter Cameron center but I found interesting actually was the next sentence and that’s in that paragraph second paragraph of the article says the solar energy system incorporates two subsystems a 62 kilowatt alternating current PV only system to directly serve the buildings loads and an 86 kilowatt direct current system connected to the super module to store energy for off peak solar hours and for demand charge mitigation. Isn’t that interesting.
Jason: [00:07:42] What that means to me is that it’s just a DC to DC from the solar and then it would be inverted after the battery the battery is pre inverter.
Josh: [00:07:50] Sure. Yeah but it’s interesting the way they worded it right.
Jason: [00:07:53] Yeah.
Josh: [00:07:53] And the fact that they broke it down in that manner so very cool. So good to see some you know very forward thinking projects hitting the ground here in Maui, despite the fact that we’re not seeing a lot of guys on the roofs
Jason: [00:08:04] yeah that, but the J Walter Cameron center is supposed to be 43,000 square feet of office. This is huge. This is the reason why they need a shipping container sized battery.
Josh: [00:08:15] I’m really excited to see these types of technically advanced systems being deployed or being being signed and then having organizations like ensync and holo engage. These are serious organizations.
Jason: [00:08:27] This is one of those things that I’ve told you before. I really really can’t think of a better business model here than being able to export. Like doing software development or something you can collect energy from the sun, work on your computer, export a specific string of electrons that happens to be your software or whatever you generate. You have like no footprint. You can bring in an awful lot of money because your target is the entire world market, right? Doing apps or whatever and it’s just a great business to be in here, because you’re not ruining anything.
Josh: [00:09:02] right right, Gotcha gotcha OK so we just heard a little bit about what’s going on here in Maui.
Jason: [00:09:05] My free time.
Josh: [00:09:07] And what some of these other articles are talking about what’s going on around the rest of the country.
Jason: [00:09:11] a little More global but reflects what we’ve been seeing since this is US solar slowing Hawaii going… US solar slowing what does that mean.
Josh: [00:09:21] Well there’s some discussions here that the overall amount of solar that’s been deployed in this year 2017 is not what was expected. Right is that the nature of this conversation?
Jason: [00:09:31] Is essentially that the GTM Research and SEIA the solar energy industries association reported that we installed 2.0 3 gigabyte, gigaWatt of solar PV which is actually below 2016 levels.
Josh: [00:09:50] Right. And there was and there’s a reason why.
Jason: [00:09:53] Everybody’s pointing at reasons and that’s kind of what the conversation is. They’re talking about the tax there’s a glut before the tax credit was extended to the 30 percent ITC tax credit was extended to 2020, everybody was trying to get it under the wire.
Josh: [00:10:08] so That was a jam that was like Hey everybody We need to be in before this thing goes away. Right. And now that’s not there anymore so there’s not that artificial push of get it in while the ITC’s existing.
Jason: [00:10:18] right Right. And I would assume that at the end of 2020 you would see the same thing again.
Josh: [00:10:22] And when I say ITC I mean the federal tax credit thats 30 percent. thats what I mean
Jason: [00:10:26] Right. so, so yeah 2020 would you would have that again. But right now everybody who is going to do it last year I guess kind of has done it already. Is that the deal. so. So that’s one excuse I suppose this one really struck me as very adversarial. the title of the article is where is it now. Oh it’s the street insider the title of the article is literally The slowdown is traceable to one single company tesla.
Josh: [00:11:04] when you said That to me I almost thought you were joking.
Jason: [00:11:07] I thought it was a joke.
Josh: [00:11:08] It says Tesla largely responsible for slide in U.S. home solar sales. Are you kidding me.
Jason: [00:11:13] Yeah right.
Josh: [00:11:13] I mean I get it. I mean this is in by the way guys Streetinsider.com and that actually is the this is not a Borowitz New Yorker thing. I mean this is not like one of those satires right. This is real. December 15th 2017 and basically they’re talking about how how Tesla acquired Solar City and changed the rate of its operations. And they did. They basically in-housed all that solar
Jason: [00:11:39] But they also, They’ve stopped marketing and Tesla. They have massive push with their solar roof thing. They started taking a whole bunch of reservations at like a thousand dollars a pop or whatever it is. And they’ve basically I mean they don’t need to chase leads because they’ve got a list of prepaid. Right. Right. So they said we are going to still have no service.
Josh: [00:11:58] We’re going to at all all our marketing machine which traditionally is a major component of the solar business. Right. Like Sunrun is another example of a comparable solar business where I think what’s the other one will come to me later is at Suniva maybe? but there are some other companies out there that are kind of like a top 4 or 5 PPA lease. Vivant is like another one that’s really big that’s kinda notorious out here because they didn’t do a lot of great things for our environment and then. But but you know these kinds of businesses. But when Tesla announced they just said we’re going to do a different way. So they were moving I think towards that retail model of we have this brand cache and then people are going to come to us rather than us come to them.
Jason: [00:12:34] Right.
Josh: [00:12:35] And this article saying hey this is kind of the reason this is a contributing reason to why we have less solar. That’s a heck of a thing.
Jason: [00:12:42] That’s a big thing to insinuate.
Josh: [00:12:44] Yeah I don’t know if I buy it but I think it’s very interesting that that that.
Jason: [00:12:49] I don’t see that one so much but the general trend does seem to be that we’re not selling and or installing as much solar buying as much solar as we were even a couple of years ago.
Josh: [00:13:01] But what does that mean in the long terms of the big picture. Maybe its not actually.
Jason: [00:13:05] That’s the that’s the thing. This is this is news major news at its best just putting out click bait. You know trying to get you to read the article.
Josh: [00:13:12] I don’t buy it.
Jason: [00:13:13] I don’t I don’t see it at all. And the one thing I can point to is that just 48 hours ago WorldBank was at the One Planet summit sponsored by the president of France there and they had a massive press release that they put together basically saying this: World Bank as of 2019 will no longer fund gas or oil research for new gas or oil field, anywhere.
Josh: [00:13:42] that’s Unbelievable.
Jason: [00:13:42] Basically saying there’s no more money go away.
Josh: [00:13:47] That’s just hard to believe. Right. Where exactly was that line Jay was it like four or five in there.
Jason: [00:13:52] Yeah it’s pretty it’s pretty far down
Josh: [00:13:55] It’s right after one it says the World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas after 2019. That was that that was the clincher right there. I mean that’s a pretty, did your dad send you this?
Jason: [00:14:07] no no I found this one this one.
Josh: [00:14:08] I mean this is a powerful thing. Right WorldBank saying hey I mean this is not a this is a group saying We don’t have confidence in this anymore. And certainly not long term. And the counter to that is there’s a lot of confidence obviously in renewable energies if they’re not going to finance further research into or see upstream oil and gas.
Jason: [00:14:26] Specifically the search for new extraction points.
Josh: [00:14:32] Gotcha. Gotcha. Pretty remarkable. I mean so I think that indicates certainly a really good vision in the future for how renewable is going.
Jason: [00:14:41] So the message the message for all this news is that yeah everybody is out there screaming The sky is falling but you know what the long term is we’re we’re still good.
Josh: [00:14:49] Absolutely. And we had one more thing there on December 15 from Matt Egan of CNN. You remember that they’re saying it’s kind of related the same thing Jay.
Jason: [00:14:56] I didn’t get that one.
Josh: [00:14:57] So there are signs renewables may continue to gain ground on fossil fuels especially coal. The seismic shift in renewable renewables economics will cause large reductions in carbon intensity in the global power sector. Morgan Stanley. So the key is that solar technology’s gotten dramatically cheaper making it making it competitive in some markets against fossil fuels the price of solar panels has been cut in half in the last less than two years. Morgan Stanley estimates. So lot of really kind of positive stuff here. Several major markets have reached an inflection point where renewables are the cheapest form of new power generation quote unquote cheapest form of new power generation. Morgan Stanley this is not Mother Jones here guys. This is more Morgan Stanley we’re talking about.
Jason: [00:15:40] yeah Morgan Stanley and World Bank have confidence.
Josh: [00:15:42] And let’s just finish off on this one the last sentence in that little stanza from that article. I think that was Matt Egan of CNN. It expects that trend to spread to “nearly every country we cover by 2020.”. Yes so the fact that I’m not seeing boatloads of guys on the roof out there probably shouldn’t worry me too much. All right. Very good stuff.
Jason: [00:16:07] Not at all.
Josh: [00:16:07] Very good stuff. And speaking of guys on the roof. Hey Gary. How would you and then we got Dave out there is he still on the line?
Jason: [00:16:16] Dave is not there.
Josh: [00:16:18] Maybe well catch dave on the back. OK we’re going to move in that direction in just a moment.
Jason: [00:16:23] I think that our hear from our sponsors and then we’ll be right back with you.
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Josh: [00:18:36] OK. There’s our commercial run. Got a great group of sponsors there that.
Jason: [00:18:40] Love those guys.
Josh: [00:18:42] That help Solar Coaster stay on air. Thank you so much for your support and for yeah helping us do this thing that we really like to do. So we have a great product focus today folks. And it is a company that I’ve worked with over the years in my MSP hat for doing installations for probably about a decade now. Really remarkable company Enphase Energy a juggernaut.
Jason: [00:19:04] Yeah even before I had thought about doing anything in renewables with you coming on the show etc etc. I when I was an IT but I knew who Enphase was. The name is out there. These are people you know.
Josh: [00:19:16] Yeah yeah and we have we have two great staff members Jane Pimental if I hope I pronounced that correctly a regional sales manager for Enphase Energy and potentially also Nick Marelli who is a field applications engineer and we’re going to learn about some of the kind of background in the present day kind of state of some of these products. There’s some new products in the works there, both micro and micro inverters is of course what they do but also storage and some other things. So really excited to hear from Enphase. Let’s Patch em in. Oh we’re good right now. Hey aloha welcome to the show. Jane are you there online.
Jane: [00:19:49] aloha Yes I am.
Josh: [00:19:50] Hey welcome to the solar coaster. Thank you so much for joining us.
Jane: [00:19:53] Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Josh: [00:19:55] So Jane actually kind of came in last minute was super supportive she goes Yeah id love to jump on the solar coaster with you guys and you know we were really appreciative of that. So you know Jane you know we were basically here in Maui County and we’re communicating to the people that live in this environment there’s a lot of renewable energies Enphase has a big presence here. You know you were definitely part of the of the boom and the kind of ramp up of renewable energies over the course of last 10 years
Jason: [00:20:22] And certainly within the NEM era where were very post NEM at this point.
Josh: [00:20:26] Right.
Jason: [00:20:26] But but certainly through that whole transition.
Jane: [00:20:31] yeah well it seems like people know what Enphase is like cause we have like well over 50,000 systems in Hawaii and thank you Hawaii.
Josh: [00:20:40] Wow that’s a lot.
Jason: [00:20:43] That’s a big number.
Josh: [00:20:44] That’s about that’s about the full. We have about 60,000 utility account holders here. in I think Maui County.
Jason: [00:20:50] Right.
Josh: [00:20:50] So that is probably probably that’s about like everybody in Maui.
Jason: [00:20:55] Right. Right. It would be. it’s a statewide number but goodnight.
Josh: [00:21:00] Nick Oh oh great we got your colleague Nick on the other line. Bring him bring him in as well. Yeah right. OK. Hey aloha Nick, we got Jane on the line. Welcome to the solar coaster.
Nick: [00:21:12] Thank you. Nice to meet you guys
Josh: [00:21:13] Nice to meet you. So its great to have you both here. And you know we were just catching up with Jane and talking about how Enphase has a really recognizable brand out here in the Hawaii marketplace and quite a lot of deployed systems and there’s been you know and this is a really interesting company and I actually had an opportunity to go to and face HQ probably about five years ago now out in Petaluma and it was super impressive Jane and I really kind of really talk about that story and my friends and family occasionally you know it’s I really enjoyed meeting people got interesting company culture there you know. So can you tell us a little bit give us a basic intro of Enphase maybe and give us a sense for you know kind of even yourselves. Give us a little introduction of ourselves.
Jane: [00:21:55] Sure yeah so I’ve been with Enphase five years. So a fun solar coaster ride but I came from high tech and I really want to get into renewable energy. I was at Apple for a number of years and when I was kind of evaluating you know companies to go too, by far Enphase you know the innovator and the high tech leader in solar was my first choice, and I feel really lucky to be here. Yes. So you know it’s been around 10 years it’s great that you were able to come to Petaluma to see us in northern California here. And we’ve been headquartered there the whole time. And you know homeowners really like the fact that we’re a U.S. based company. And we’re you know the global global energy technology leader we really strive to make super smart and easy to use solar solution. And you know we make as you mentioned we make micro inverters and storage and just as important as all that is is software. The software you really create intelligence systems so we are software defined like micro inverter software defined architecture. So that’s super important.
Josh: [00:23:10] Absolutely yeah. And I had that kind of feeling in Petaluma right. I got to kind of got a soft spot for Marin County cause I got family out there, and when I was there and but when I was there you know I had that feeling of a kind of a tech company. It felt like kind of like almost like a software company or something.
Jane: [00:23:27] we have just as many software engineers as hardware engineers.
Josh: [00:23:30] Right. And I actually remember not to get too off topic. I actually remember while doing the tour and I think Ian Knox maybe was given the tour and we were walking through the facility and then we walked into the lab with all the really kind of engineering kind of guys you know and then he was and he was funny because he was Ian was you know hes kinda like the business guy and he’s like All right so we’re doing this we’re doing this we’re doing this and I think the 250 was on the boards at the time and he pointed out and he goes this is a really powerful micro inverter but we can’t talk about that too much. And then I walked over to the engineer and I was like wow that’s amazing, and I pointed something out that I knew about it and then he couldn’t contain himself, and he started effusing with content, and Ian threw him a look and was was like “no buddy”.
Jane: [00:24:16] Yeah there’s a lot of patents there for sure. Yeah. You probably walked into where we have our reliability lab. So we have these chambers they call them where we do all the testing and we put the micro inverters through all these extreme conditions even more extreme than Hawaii conditions.
Jason: [00:24:35] I don’t know about that but all right
Jane: [00:24:39] we’ve really focused on quality and reliability to back up our 25 year warranty. So that was in the Petaluma chambers we call them. It’s it’s pretty remarkable to see.
Josh: [00:24:50] Gotcha gotcha. So when I think about. And Nick jump in in a moment here. Nick if you’d like. Tell us a little bit about you know kind of how you play a role in Enphase. When I think about you know Enphase I tend to think like in terms of it’s come to the market defining residential inverter right at one point the on-grid, the inverters that were available were basically central inverter, string inverters. Then along came Enphase that’s pretty much how it goes right Jane. And then and then. So that that allowed for panel level optimization which was something that didn’t really exist prior to Enphase or at least not in the broad spectrum. And so that was kind of like a real innovative change. And I don’t know when that happened but I’m guessing probably about like 8 – 10 years ago or something.
Jane: [00:25:37] Yeah. So it’s been and it was you know the goal of Enphase was to really simplify solar and create this distributed architecture that high tech approach to Solar. So our founder co-founders Ragu and Martin two brilliant guys you know created this you know we’re able to implement their idea and refine it over 10 years. We’re now on our seventh generation product.
Josh: [00:26:05] Being an installer Jane, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but being an installer I could probably almost like account through those generations and I’ve seen the all on a roof you know from the earliest levels. That was the first one was like a 180 maybe I might.
Nick: [00:26:21] Yeah the M175 and the. M200. That was the very first generation
Josh: [00:26:32] That was the first one out of the box right. And then you. And so it’s really been interesting over the years. I remember when you launched the M250 probably about three or four years ago here in Maui at the Grand Wailea. That was pretty remarkable. We were so excited to have the power to meet the larger panels you know. And and now you’re moving on. I’ve seen a graph recently on that on one of your articles talking about a whole suite of products right. So there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on and you continue to innovate which is wonderful. So very cool. Very cool. So let’s see here what else we want to jump into Jay. One of the things that I’m getting I’m actually getting pinged right now Nick and Jane from various people in the field asking questions and I got one from Anthony here and he asked a little bit about lets see he asked a little bit about the the battery system and I know you’ve got a battery system you get a module we actually showcased it at the Maui Film Festival.
Josh: [00:27:24] Is there anything you can tell us about your battery system as we are in kind of post NEM world out here just like Jay was saying.
Jane: [00:27:33] So we have a modular 1.2 kilowatt of battery really adapts to the super simple to install. It’s just a quick, single person Plug and Play installation. It’s super safe. There’s no high voltage DC in the system. And you know it so it’s a modular approach just like our micro inverters are modular so you can start with just one battery and you can go up to you know we have installations that have 40 batteries so.
Josh: [00:28:04] How many batteries.
Jason: [00:28:05] I’m sorry.
Josh: [00:28:06] 40 just for 4 0. Wow. Yeah. So 41.2 kilowatt hours.
Jane: [00:28:14] And that’s at a school of Australia. So, Nick, I don’t know if you want to jump in on the batteries.
Nick: [00:28:22] Yeah. The skill ability of the batteries are key to a battery. Really what makes it what makes it appealing. The other thing is is having everything built within the same system so our batteries our micro inverters and lighting this whole entire platform into our suite of products kind of all works together and makes the mixed installation process really really seamless. One thing is that installers really really seem enjoy.
Josh: [00:28:47] Right. Right. And it’s a really interesting kind of architecture. I mean it definitely is something that’s entirely unique and there really I can’t think of another parallel really because you’re talking about you have panels on the roof. You have micro inverters on effectively like a branch circuit and then you come down into let’s say the garage for example generally there are indoor batteries right guys.
Nick: [00:29:06] That’s correct.
Josh: [00:29:07] Yeah. And then you have these storage modules which are effectively like the size of a like less than a carry on rights like about half the size of a carry on maybe or something. And you put them on the wall. I’ve seen the installation video and it is super simple. Right. And then you can build them out on it. Like how many can you put on. isnt there a limit about like 10 or something. You could put on one breaker or something along those lines and if you know that technical info off the top of your head.
Nick: [00:29:34] It would be it would be 13. if the batteries to a 20 amp circuit.
Josh: [00:29:39] Right. So that’s kind of similar to the way like you have a certain limit for the number of micros you can put on a roof over a certain limit for the number of batteries you can put to a given breaker. It’s kind of similar in a way is that right.
Nick: [00:29:48] Yeah exactly right.
Josh: [00:29:50] Right. That is totally different than anything else I’ve seen in the marketplace right. And what is the chemistry you guys are using.
Nick: [00:29:56] It’s the lithium iron phosphate. So of the one of the safest lithium chemistries out there right.
Josh: [00:30:03] Right. And is this all based off of your IQ series of micro inverters because what is the current kind of like maybe you could give us a sense of the current series of micro inverters there in market today. I was just using the other day so it’s getting my head around something.
Jane: [00:30:29] So right now we have introduced the IQ 6 of this is the six generations maybe we can tell what by the 6 there.
Jane: [00:30:37] So we have IQ 6 and 6+. And so this is a new architecture you had in Hawaii the M series, and the S series, which where the previous one for the IQ 6 and 6+. It’s a new architecture and this kind of sets the stage for some really cool stuff. IQ 7 will be out next quarter. IQ 8 in another year. What IQ 6 and 6+ does is it brings that smart grid ready technology that you guys in hawaii already know and love. And we here in California have a rule 21. So it means that smart grid technology. Also those other changes for Enphase in terms of you know the form factor and the cable. And so the the IQ series for connecting to the battery would be the IQ battery. So everything IQ needs to be IQ. So IQ cables, IQ battery, IQ envoy.
Josh: [00:31:40] so There’s a whole suite of technology that surrounds that all the corresponding components right. all the corresponding components need to be IQ 6 rated.
Jane: [00:31:52] And and then IQ 7 will be out next quarter, and that will support it’ll be 10 watts higher per micro inverter the 7 and 7+. And then in the summer we have 7X Then that’s going to be supporting 96 cell modules.
Josh: [00:32:14] Whoa. So got really, I see kind of in it’s kind of like there’s great infographics in one of these articles as new products costs reduction while adding functionality and value. Add this kind of you know evolution from M250 through the products you just mentioned the IQ 6 the IQ 7 and even the IQ 8 in 2019 Right. And it looks like the wattages keep increasing I guess you’re anticipating having panels with greater and greater power capability. Right. And I see that you know you’re the, Jay had explained this to me is getting a little geeky but ASIC gates in millions increases. I just said to him I said I have no idea what that means Jay, Can you explain it. I don’t know if Jay wants to.
Jason: [00:32:56] no. It’s ok
Josh: [00:32:57] OK. But in any case there’s there’s this real kind of rapid evolution of this technology and it seems to be getting smaller and smaller right the form factor is changing as well.
Jane: [00:33:06] yeah, well the ASIC is kind of our crown jewels of the chip inside the micro inverter is incredible. And we have at Enphase like over 140 patents, not just with the chip but with everything. But that’s our differentiator and that’s not something anyone else could duplicate or come up with. So that’s a lot of brain power behind that. But really creating some of the new capabilities and the IQ 8 which we had talked about earlier to create this really unique opportunity for Enphase to create a kind of islanding capability So when the grid goes down your solar system would still be working.
Josh: [00:33:46] And that is quite a thing.
Jason: [00:33:48] Yeah that’s a feature that basically everybody here wants. I want to roll back just a second ASIC stands for Application Specific IC for Integrated Circuit for anybody who doesn’t know that. Basically what it means is that Enphase has gone through the R&D to generate a specific chip that, that has all their control its hardware. I personally do FPGA programming just so you know who I am. But this means they’ve gone through the R&D and they have a fab and they’re making they’re making these things and it is exclusive to Enphase and no one else can can get this unless they have a license I assume, this chip and use it. So there is some really specific circuitry that goes into it.
Josh: [00:34:29] That’s remarkable you know and then out here right now we’re in kind of an interesting time Jane, And Nick we have not sure how closely you’ve been following HECO’s the public utility commissions orders and then HECO’s just recently issued a response, which I don’t think is public, but the in terms of these new programs we have right. So CGS effectively the consumer grid supply program that we had the backfilling version that was left pretty much concluded. I think they’re still taking applications and this new program called CGS+ was initiated right and hasn’t really been clarified exactly how they’re going to implement that, that’s what the back and forth going on between the utility and the Public Utilities Commission. But the CGS plus program as I understand it in very simple form is that we want to offer the utility the opportunity to control that export during the day when it’s just you know PV. And so it’s a very kind of intelligent architecture that would be required to make that thing happen, right. So it seems to me that these kinds of inverters may be able to answer that. I mean I’ve talked to other inverter guys that said well we don’t really have an inverter that does that
Jason: [00:35:36] Basically what it does is Yeah and there needs to be a conversation between the systems of the utility and the systems of the homeowner.
Josh: [00:35:42] Right.
Jason: [00:35:43] And as far as I know the protocols don’t really exist yet. Nobody’s got a standardized communication method. So it’s something that’s that’s in discussion.
Josh: [00:35:56] Yeah, so Jane just you know we have got these couple of programs that are going to be clarified hopefully in the next few weeks that CGS plus. And also there’s a smart export program which is related could be related to your energy storage module. So there the program will actually provide a revenue stream or some form of compensation for providing energy to the grid or and or power various things so the conversation we’re right in the middle of that right now it’s quite an interesting time out here in Hawaii.
Jane: [00:36:21] Yeah I heard a thing you know. Yeah the CGS+ would nice to actually get that the info on that. But you know in terms of communicating with the utility company of the week we’ve kind of been a leader in that regard too. We’ve partnered with HECO on a number of initiatives. So I feel like we’re kind of clued in and tied together as much as possible, on some of those requests and requirements. Yeah.
Josh: [00:36:52] Well you know just as an installer we’re sitting here going Okay well people want. And they’ve also have another area which is quite interesting. They’ve clarified that net metering systems can be expanded. Right. And so there is this theoretical kind of understanding right now that if you have a NEM system and you want to expand your system you’re allowed to. And it’s in a non export fashion but once again what does that mean? Does that mean that there have to be batteries integrated in order to create a system to be able to not export energy as its created and used.
Jason: [00:37:24] Well there’s only two choices You either store the energy or you shed it.
Josh: [00:37:27] Right. Right. But perhaps smart inverters like enphase is creating could answer that need some kind of a creative way.
Nick: [00:37:33] Whats interesting is to be able to add on to a NEM system that’s pretty powerful there. What they can do and what we already do within the CSS program we can limit export. Right now with CSS and the zero export system we’re able to use the production and consumption metering and set that export threshold to zero which will essentially prevent the system from exporting. within that functionality though we could also set a threshold that would save the size of the existing NEM system.
Josh: [00:38:00] Whoa.
Nick: [00:38:01] So that would be.
Jason: [00:38:03] That’s amazing.
Jason: [00:38:05] Yeah that’s that’s fantastic that’s exactly exactly what I want. Yeah yeah I am I’m an old NEM owner. I am still searching for my solution right now. And that’s precisely what I want. I want to be able to generate more. I mean I don’t have an electric vehicle yet but I’m seriously eyeing them of course and I’m going to need more generation capacity. Not only that my panels are just just ancient at this point as are my inverters they are Enphase although they haven’t been reporting but it’s 100 percent my fault. I’ll fix that but it’s just aging equipment at this point. It’s been 10 years old plus.
Josh: [00:38:42] but what I find amazing about this idea that Nick just clarified is that you know if I’m hearing this correctly let’s say that this non export NEM expansion gets clarified between the utility and the PUC. And then something like a micro inverter could potentially be installed and another five or 10 panels on a 20 panel array and you could use behavior modification to consume that energy during the day. Right. Without a battery you could use it. You can plug in your EV as an example during the daytime and produce that energy from solar and gain all the benefits that you would get with that. But you could be assured that you would never export more than your preapproval size. Right. Right. That is pretty powerful because we’ve been scratching our heads guys on how exactly how to do this. And it sounds like you may have a solution.
Jason: [00:39:33] So it’s just the setting right. You just punched the number in the box and press return.
Nick: [00:39:38] More or less it’s very software defined. That’s kind of the benefit of having two way communication system. We can create the settings back at Enphase and we can provision them out into the field and then the micro inverters will accept those setting. Then when you also work in storage system you have all these different pieces you could really really tailor their system especially with Enphase that’s so scalable. You could really tailor the system to match the specific needs
Josh: [00:40:04] And are you in contact with HEI or HECO HELCO and MECO in terms of using your micro inverters right now to expand NEM systems or is that something that you’re going to start right away.
Jason: [00:40:16] You only have two choices.
Nick: [00:40:20] We do work very closely with HECO and HEI.
Josh: [00:40:23] Okay. Okay. Okay great. We’ll definitely keep our eye on that. And then Jay you got any other talking points that you want to cover.
Jason: [00:40:31] No that’s really cool I now need to go and research this a bit more or swing by guys. The invites always open.
Jane: [00:40:40] yeah were gonna be there next month so we will swing by
Jane: [00:40:40] So we will swing by.
Jason: [00:40:40] really, oh fantastic. Excellent excellent love to have you on show if you’re here.
Josh: [00:40:43] That would be very cool. And before we do close out are there any other kind of things that we should be aware of. I mean of course I could talk all day long and speculating about the IQ8 series but I won’t do that to you. You did mention that we might be able to speak with one of the founders did I hear that correctly in an e-mail potentially about the IQ8.
Jane: [00:41:01] Yeah. So Ragu Velour is our cofounder, he loves everything Hawaii and he’d be a great person to talk through the product roadmap in IQ8 and I Ensemble, so I think we should bring him on the show Yeah Because I think would be really awesome for Hawaii.
Josh: [00:41:19] Yeah yeah that’s a big deal right there.
Jason: [00:41:22] we’ll revisit that. Of course I want to offer is there anything you want to communicate.
Josh: [00:41:26] Yes is there anything you’d like to add Jane or Nick to let us know that we didn’t kind of touch on.
Jane: [00:41:33] Well just think of Enphase for commercial as well, comercial projects So I know there’s still a lot of commercial installations happening and probably like 20 percent of our installs are commercial. I mean from big to small you know sometimes people think of it as a small commercial but we do a lot of larger ones too but so yeah think about that too, we have you know on our website a lot of information on it and the IQ is a really good architecture for commercial as well.
Josh: [00:42:02] That’s great to keep in mind. I actually was just designing a system, lite commercial, about 40 kilowatts I mean like basically like a BNB kinda thing and we were playing with the IQ 6 and the 6+. And it was really a cool experience and it was kind of getting my head around the the ratings related to the utility and stuff. So yeah and you know I got to tell you I really have a great appreciation for Enphase and all the really innovative work that you’ve done over the years so I want to thank you so much for coming on the show and definitely extend the invite to your co-founder, we can dig into the IQ8, and Jay’s kinda chomping at the bit right now looking at me.
Jane: [00:42:41] All right. OK. sounds like a plan.
Josh: [00:42:43] Yeah. Thank you very much and we’ll look forward to talking with you again soon. So thanks for coming on the Solar coaster.
Jason: [00:42:48] Really appreciate it.
Josh: [00:42:49] Aloha Nick thank you.
Nick: [00:42:51] aloha.
Josh: [00:42:51] Bye bye.
Jason: [00:42:53] Very cool. Very cool. Commercial 60 or 70, 72 cell. and is there a difference there. I wanted to ask but I wasn’t quite sure. when you talk about installing residential versus commercial. I mean what’s the real difference. You’ve talked about that too there’s different size panels and stuff like that.
Josh: [00:43:13] So there’s a couple of differences right. So you could think of it in a couple of different ways right. There’s actually the meters themselves for different types of tariff and different types of meters which you know some are residential and some are effectively business or large scale meters and they have different tariff codes you can see them for utility kind of one distinguishing point. And you know a lot of times when you install a solar system on a commercial setting you know you’re looking to generate a lot more power. And so panels can be another distinguishing feature. Right. You can go from a 60 cell module to a 72 cell module. .
Jason: [00:43:49] That was my understanding.
Josh: [00:43:50] Yes but it’s not. It’s kind of a gray line like we’ve used 72 cell modules in the past on residential. It’s not that you can’t use them, right? But generally speaking that’s what a 72 cell module exists for. It’s a bigger two man carry kind of panel.
Jason: [00:44:03] And oh that’s a key piece. All of a sudden you need a lot more people on site for the install
Josh: [00:44:08] Yes. So it’s just a different kind of thing. And then of course you know when we think about Enphase in our minds we may be thinking residential but it’s a great point that Jane brought up Enphase I’ve seen case studies that Enphase has shared where you can see cost savings related to using Enphase in commercial settings and when we say commercial a lot of times commercial in the mainland could be very like big megawatts you know and we get that here too. But there are definitely opportunities where I could see micro inverters play an important role in commercial they had this beautiful one it was something like a couple of megawatts and it was a greenhouse facility somewhere it was probably a few years back. Maybe they’re using their M250s or something like that. But yeah. So commercial kind of has those distinguishing areas I would say.
Jason: [00:44:50] Yeah that makes more sense I mean it’s just a little confusing. Well what’s the difference. I mean you see solar panels on houses and you see solar panels on businesses does it really make a difference.
Josh: [00:45:02] Yeah well so that was really cool And I think that though with Enphase you know when we once again look at this thing where you’ve lived with Enphase for years you had it on your home. Many of my friends and family have Enphase I got a couple of text messages from my buddy a moment ago, I put Enphase on his house right and he’s asking me oh what is the IQ. Can I expand with the IQ 6+.
Jason: [00:45:22] Apparently yeah. That’s the answer. Good. So I want to get a future focused segment because this is something that we actually had slated for last week and I never got to talk about it. This is really neat. A couple I want to say like a month maybe two months ago we had a little article that someone had speculated doing the math that if we replaced all the glass in every house in every state all over everywhere with solar powered solar smart windows. Right. These are actual transparent kind of solar panels that will give you a much smaller amount of current but they’re still see through. You could actually generate enough power to offset all the electrical generation.
Josh: [00:46:22] Well it does matter more on the north side. Exactly. You would never see the sun but someone had done that. They did the area math and.
Josh: [00:46:31] so all The optimal area.
Josh: [00:46:32] think about a giant skyscraper. You know they only have this tiny little footprint vertically. Right. And if they put solar panels up on top they can’t do much but they can put every single window and have it generate a little current you could do something it still doesn’t it work for the skyscraper because they consume so much power.
Josh: [00:46:48] A lot of times. there dense too there’s like other skyscrapers around them.
Jason: [00:46:52] Right. So you wouldn’t get a whole lot of direct sun either. But this was really interesting now the solar powered Smart window which is a what would you call it it’s a tinted glass chemistry that really reacts to being hit by sunlight. It’s photo reactive glass but it also generates current when struck so it tints itself. At nighttime it would be transparent and then as the sun comes up it would get darker . Automatically it’s chemistry and you can tap it from the edges you would put conductors on the edge you don’t get lines across your window or anything else but it’s just conductors on the edge. And this window would generate power for you. And these are up to 11 percent efficiency which is a lot for something that doesn’t actually obstruct your sunlight right.
Josh: [00:47:46] I mean that’s a game changer right there. That’s about half of your of your kind of high efficiency solar panel right now.
Jason: [00:47:52] Yeah. Well what’s the efficiency the best panels you sell.
Josh: [00:47:55] Well best is like like 22 or something like that.
Jason: [00:47:58] so 11 percent and yeah half.
Josh: [00:48:00] Yeah I mean that’s pretty amazing right. Right.
Jason: [00:48:03] Pretty crazy. Yes so you could generate enough. And she says 80 percent, 80 percent of the US requirement. But you’d have to cover every single window with it so it’s basically replacing all your glass. I don’t know if that’s going to happen but it’s interesting to see this technology kind of take off where they’re already up to 11 percent. Can they get to the point where they’re actually generating the same as an opaque cell?
Josh: [00:48:30] Yeah I mean who knows. But the thing is you just have so much more space to work with. Right. You know it’s acceptable to not have a 20 percent and if you’re at 80 percent of the nations is that nations or world’s energy requirement.
Jason: [00:48:46] It was U.S They’re specifically talking about the U.S.
Josh: [00:48:49] You don’t need to double it to get to where you’re knocking out all the energy. I mean it’s pretty powerful in its current form.
Jason: [00:48:56] Yeah exactly. So prototypes tested reached up to 11.3, So manufacturing deviance and such aside, it’s about 11 percent but that’s a really really fantastic technology. It’s so cool it like it like I said is it goes transparent when the sun goes down and you can still see outside.
Josh: [00:49:13] Yeah it’s a utilitarian kind of thing too you’re not just getting. Think about it if you’re able to reflect once the sun starts to kind of come into the window if you don’t have a film on that to reflect it, you’re taking in all that thermal energy and now you have to do something with that. And if it starts to heat up the building your air conditioning system is.
Jason: [00:49:33] You’re using more energy to sort of remove the heat.
Josh: [00:49:36] So there’s kind of a, Yeah like a twofold effect here right. When you’re able to keep visibility in the nights it’s not like this weird film that makes your house all dark.
Jason: [00:49:48] Yes certainly not all the time.
Josh: [00:49:50] Then you have regular transparency through your windows and then the sun when it starts to, like your house Jay when the sun really starts to boom in.
Jason: [00:49:56] And there’s about 45 minutes a day where it is just blinding and you have to go and pull the blinds.
Josh: [00:50:02] And I look at you like can I pull that thing down because this is…
Jason: [00:50:04] you just want to go outside I can’t stand in here and you can’t stand in the kitchen for that 45 minutes.
Josh: [00:50:09] And the sun is just booming right through those windows. And when you pull down those you know those kind of.
Jason: [00:50:14] they’re tinted shades but there…
Josh: [00:50:15] Yeah but in this case it would automatically do it. Yeah right. Which is pretty amazing yeah. is this NREL here so there’s no one really to call right.
Jason: [00:50:25] No this is still R&D right.
Josh: [00:50:28] This is, and NREL for everybody is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and all of the good stuff comes out of here.
Jason: [00:50:34] But it’s all military funded locked down and you can’t get in there.
Josh: [00:50:38] But in terms of the terms of the livability of this you could imagine an environment where you’re no longer concerned about that sun coming in and making you uncomfortable and you’re no longer concerned about that sun coming in and creating a thermal problem that needs to be resolved with air conditioning and then simultaneous to that you’re actually harnessing a real relevant amount of energy.
Jason: [00:50:59] It’s a real amount of energy not only that, it’s outside of the normal energy curve for your rooftop solar because it’s vertical, it’s the tail end of the day when everybody comes home and kicks on the AC. So why wouldn’t you want that extra bump.
Josh: [00:51:11] Yeah yeah that’s interesting. That’s interesting. And you know another thing is a high latitude or low.
Jason: [00:51:18] Those folks for sure.
Josh: [00:51:20] If you’re in like Alaska with a South facing roof, south facing wall I can’t even say it south facing wall, and you wrap this film up there, this new glass up there it’d be very interesting to see what kind of impact that has.
Jason: [00:51:34] I’ve seen I’ve seen traditional solar installs that are just vertical at those latitudes because that’s the only thing they can do.
Josh: [00:51:41] That is of the really famous up in Anchorage. And I’ve actually met the fellow that installed that and he told me all about the story it was a cool story.
Jason: [00:51:47] All right. yeah I want to talk about that last week. It was really really awesome stuff. Check it out if you want. Electrek.CO has got the link up there on the solar-coaster.com Website.
Josh: [00:52:01] And I think you know and were kind of an interesting time here we have a little bit extra time in the future focus section and next week is going to be almost like a total future focus show really in a sense.
Jason: [00:52:12] Oh yes and no. The company’s existed for a long time it’s something that’s close to your heart.
Josh: [00:52:17] Yes. So I want to let everybody know that next Friday we have an amazing show scheduled. We’re going to hear from Japan calling from Japan from an organization known as Peace Boat and also that is working on a remarkable piece of technology called the EcoShip. And this is funded, billed schedule middle, there in the middle of actually getting off the ground with this build. And it is unbelievable thing when you see it visually I don’t know exactly how to describe it verbally but effectively it is.
Jason: [00:52:45] Essentially a cruise ship with a huge amount of renewable technologies built into it.
Josh: [00:52:51] Right. And one of the renewable energy technologies that could really make it a big deal cause it’s got about 1.2 MEGs of solar on it. By the way guys… Would be this NREL 11 percent efficiency. glass, We’ll bring that up with Yoshioka Tetsuya-san next week who will call in for EcoShip and Peace Boat here on the solar coaster in Maui.
Jason: [00:53:14] Tune in next week. Makawao 3rd Friday for anybody who’s up there we’ll wander around.
Josh: [00:53:20] Aloha everybody. This has been the Solar Coaster sponsored by Maui Solar Project, Tabuchi Electric America, Sonnen Batterie and Pika Energy. Special thanks today to Enphase, Jane and Nick and thanks to Jay, and Jonah, and Gary, and everybody here at KAOI 1110AM.
Jason: [00:53:34] And Josh.
Josh: [00:53:37] Hey have a great weekend. We’ll see you next week folks.
Jason: [00:53:39] Aloha.
Josh: [00:53:40] Aloha