Enphase Energy partnered with Yingli Green Energy Australia to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on a unique four-storey sustainable home in East Melbourne, Victoria. The solar PV system uses Enphase Energy microinverters and Yingli Solar photovoltaic panels.

Featured on Grand Designs Australia recently, the Five x Four Project, as the name suggests, is built on a very compact 20-square-metre property. The project sets a new precedent for the design and running of a sustainable home in Australia as it considers the full lifecycle of a building’s development from its design and material choices to its day-to-day operations.

The four-kilowatt solar installation uses 15 Yingli Solar n-type monocrystalline 270W Panda Series panels integrated into the building’s facade and roofline. The installation comprises of over three different angles including six panels installed vertically on the northern facade of the building to maximise output throughout the day.

Energy drawn from these panels is converted into electricity using 15 Enphase M250 microinverters, designed to deliver a superior standard of reliability, power and efficiency. Microinverters have been installed behind each panel, helping to maintain the building’s striking aesthetics. Occupants will be able to monitor the system’s generation in real time through Enphase’s Enlighten software, a cloud-based platform that provides insights on energy production and system health as well as pre-emptive alerts to any potential issues.

Nathan Dunn, Managing Director at Enphase Energy Asia-Pacific said they were delighted to be part of this iconic residential development that set a benchmark for sustainable living through thoughtful design. Using the Enlighten platform, the occupants will be able to gather insights on their energy generation – and soon consumption – through an engaging interface. Additionally, Five x Four is set to be one of the first homes in the world to generate, store and control its own power using the revolutionary Enphase Home Energy Solution including the Enphase Storage System.

According to Daman Cole, Managing Director for Yingli Green Energy in Australia, homeowners throughout Australia have embraced solar identifying its cost savings and environmental benefits. The Five x Four Hayes Lane Project has taken this dream one step further by maximising its small footprint to generate the highest possible solar energy. For this installation, Yingli’s n-type Panda panels were used as they produce more power per square metre compared to traditional solar technologies, especially in limited roof space conditions.

With Five x Four's estimated peak cooling load on a 40°C day being under 3kW, the solar system will generate more power than the home will consume, therefore exporting approximately 20 percent of the system's generation back to the grid. Once the Enphase Storage System, an AC battery is installed, Five x Four can store its solar power for use at night.

The Five x Four Hayes Lane Project has been modelled on a minimal lifecycle energy and One Planet Living approach, which enables a building’s occupants to monitor their ecological footprint and adapt their behaviour to yield better results.