As hurricane season continues, the storms just keep on coming. The power has been out in our area off-and-on for weeks, and no matter where you are in the country, you or someone you know has probably experienced an outage.
As storms get stronger due to climate change power outages are more typical, and it’s become quite clear that our country’s aging grids can’t handle these extreme weather events. There’s no question that in this day and age, installing backup power is key to a homeowner’s peace of mind.
There are many options for backup power, but as an Enphase IQ Battery Certified installer, we encourage you to adopt clean, silent, renewable home battery storage rather than loud, polluting, fossil fuel burning, climate killing generators. Read on to find the answers to your top questions about Enphase IQ batteries!
How does Enphase IQ work to keep the power on in a storm?
In the event of a power outage, your IQ batteries will seamlessly switch on and provide power either to your selected breakers, or your entire home if you’ve set up a whole house system.
In the photo below from left to right, you can see the IQ Controller, which controls the battery system, the IQ 10 battery, IQ 3 battery, and the IQ Combiner. The combiner comes with your solar energy system whether or not you have a battery. The two IQ battery sizes are offered so that you can combine, stack, and choose the level of power backup for your needs.
The IQ Controller is the brains of your battery system, and will tell the battery when to switch on. You can program the battery to turn on at specific times, like at night, but when the grid goes down it happens automatically. Because it is placed next to your meter, the meter will tell it that there is no electricity coming from the grid and it is time to turn the battery on.
How much energy is stored in an Enphase IQ battery?
Each IQ 3 can contain up to 3.6 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, and IQ 10 can contain 10.1kWh. Assuming the grid is down, and if it’s snowing or overcast and your panels aren’t producing, then that stored energy is what you’ve got until the batteries can be refilled the next time the sun comes out.
It’s important to note that kilowatt hours are different than kilowatts. Kilowatt hours refer to energy usage over time, whereas a kilowatt is a specific measurement of energy. If you’d like to understand this concept better, check out this great video from Enphase:
How many IQ batteries do I need?
You can check out your main service panel to see what the minimum requirement is for your home, and then talk to our solar consultants to see what the right combination is for your needs. To start, check your main service panel to see what the highest amperage is on your circuit breakers and let your solar consultant know this information. They will tell you what the minimum size is for your home.
Once you know the minimum requirement, then you can think about whether you’d like to back up your whole home or just certain breakers. For context, if you just want to keep some lights on and run a few other items, then about 7kWh may be plenty. But for a typical day’s worth of electric use, the US average is 28.9kWh for the whole home. This is of course dependent on your lifestyle and electricity needs.
Variable Sizing Allows Flexibility
What’s cool about the IQ system is each size is stackable, so you have the ability to choose a size that works for your needs and you can add on later if your needs change. If you just want to back up a couple of breakers in case of a grid outage, one or two small IQ 3s could work. If you have an EV and want to charge at night, two or more of the larger IQ 10s may make sense.
Why should I invest in IQ batteries instead of a gas generator?
Unlike a gas generator, Enphase Encharge is clean, renewable, and basically silent, so while it’s taking care of your family’s power needs it is not disturbing the entire neighborhood, burning fossil fuel, and polluting the air with a gas motor.
If you have solar panels, the IQ is a no-brainer, as it works seamlessly with your solar system to keep your renewable energy flowing no matter what’s happening with the grid. The solar panels and the batteries have multiple Enphase microinverters–so even if one microinverter fails, your power still works because there is no single point of failure in the system. It’s like having a backup for your backup, which is great peace of mind when you need to keep the power going in your home.
What is the warranty for Enphase IQ batteries, and are there any incentives for storage?
Ipsun is proud to be a Certified Enphase IQ installer. The standard Enphase IQ warranty is 10 years. Ipsun Solar covers a 1-year warranty on the labor.
And did you know that the 26% federal tax credit that covers solar also applies to battery backup systems? You can even get the credit if you install the battery after you installed your solar!
Interested to learn more? Give our Sun Crew a call at 703-249-6594 or reach out to us below. We love talking about Enphase Encharge and are happy to answer your questions or give you a quote!