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SMA Solar Inverters | What You Need To Know

 

Founded in 1981, SMA Solar Technology (SMA) is a renowned German manufacturer for solar inverters. Known for their residential, commercial and utility-scale grid-tie and off-grid systems, SMA has become a household name.

During a decision to move manufacturing processes to China in 2017, SMA took a reputational nose dive. As a fall out, the popularity of their new single-phase converter the “Sunny Boy” was jeopardised. In 2019, the decision was made to relocate manufacturing back to Germany, and as a result, the Sunny inverters and TS4-R module optimisers are now the number one pick for Australian solar users.

Most Popular SMA Solar Technology ProductsPhotovoltaic System Technology - SMA

Sunny Boy Solar Inverters

Even though the Sunny Boy had a slow start in the solar market, the residential single phase inverter has now been rated as one of the best quality single-string inverters around the world.

Similar to most inverters nowadays, the Sunny Boy model is monitored and managed using wifi and Bluetooth technology instead of an external display.

The current AV range is available from 3.0kW up to 6.0kW. However, it is also available in lightweight versions that range from 1.5kW, 2.0kW and 2.5kW. 

The Sunny Tripower Solar Inverters

SMA has a 3 phase version of Sunny Boy called The Sunny Tripower which is effective for both residential and commercial installations. The new compact efficient package is 8.0kW and 10.0kW. If you are looking for larger commercial systems the old SMA Sunny Tripower is still available in 15000TL, 20000TL and 25000TL versions. 

Similar to the Sunny Boy model, the Sunny Tripower is also available in a lightweight range – starting at 3.0kW system and extending up to a 6.0kW system.

The main difference between the Sunny Boy and the Sunny Tripower is that the Sunny Tripower comes in a deep blue colour while the Sunny Boy is bright red. 

Sunny Tripower Core 1 Solar Inverters

An award winning inverter that has cemented SMA’s success with the commercial solar space is the 50kW Sunny Tripower Core 1.

It is said to be the “world’s first free-standing string inverter” which means it can be fixed to the ground, or roof, rather than onto a wall. It features 6 MPPT inputs and has a very competitive price point for the small to medium commercial market. 

Sunny Highpower PEAK 3 Solar InvertersSolar Panels

SMA also released a 150KW inverter named Sunny Highpower PEAK 3. It is popular for large scale power plants operating up to 1500V DC. 

What Sets SMA Solar Inverters Apart:

  • SMA features Sunny Portal which is a free cloud-based monitoring platform. This provides a great monitoring interface for the performance of the solar system.
  • SMA is partnering with TIGO which develops a product used for panel level monitoring.
  • They have a variety of products for commercial installation which can cater even a large scale system.

What Should You Do?

The best way to get the solar panels that suit you is to compare quotes from multiple, experienced CEC accredited installers in your area. This is to ensure you are getting a system that is tailored to your needs and property, not what the installer wants to sell. 

Solar Market partners with top solar installers across Australia and will match you up with 3 local solar installers so you can start saving sooner.

If you need more help, take our 2 min quiz to find out what kW solar panel system you need and the costs involved.

Request 3 FREE Solar Quotes

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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