SMA at the 24th EU PVSEC: development of technological leadership and increase of customer benefit

To further develop the advance in system technology in order to continually increase user-friendliness: The motto of SMA, the largest manufacturer of inverters in the world, for the 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition says it all. It represents the clear positioning of the company as technological leader in system technology and sums up what the visitors to Hamburg can expect from SMA: newest SMA technologies which are completely dedicated to maximum customer and user benefit. Visitors can learn about new products and technologies, such as the new OptiTrac® version, tailored to shaded PV systems, at the SMA stand (Hall B4, Stand G74).

Slim enclosure, simple mounting concept: the Sunny Boy 3000HF

With the Sunny Boy 3000HF, SMA strongly compliments its new inverter generation for the world market. Based on the latest SMA technology, the inverters offer the highest yields for galvanic separating devices of the 2000 W, 2500 W and 3000 W power classes. Additionally, during the development of the design, the focus was on the special building requirements in the USA: because of the slim enclosure, the Sunny Boy 3000HF can be integrated fitting perfectly in timber-framed walls. Additionally, in the USA the grounding of the PV system is stringently prescribed. The SMA engineers have also developed a convenient solution for this: as a result of the pluggable grounding set the inverter can be simply and safely grounded - without the installer having to open the lid. The actual cabling is already laid out in the device, the plugged-in fuse therefore only closes the electric circuit. Since the fuse is in a removable plug module, a replacement is also very easily possible.

"With the development of the Sunny Boy 3000HF, we have been able to develop our technological leadership another step further. For our customers and the system owners this systematic development work pays off: through the continual reduction of the specific prices and a continually increasing installation- and operation comfort", says Günther Cramer, Spokesman of the Board.

The pluggable communication interface of the new PV inverters, expected to be available from the first quarter of 2010, also follows a similar concept: the standard unit will be delivered with every device, and can, if necessary - for example for communication via RS485 - be replaced simply. The wireless communication via Bluetooth® is an integral component of every device. Furthermore, the installer no longer has to open the enclosure for the parameterizing of the communication and for country settings, rather very simply uses the communication unit. It contains as standard a part of the operation control, the holder for the SD card as well as three decode switches for country versions and Net ID for the Bluetooth communication. The reduced weight, the modern graphic display and wireless system communication with Bluetooth make the devices especially user-friendly. And the extended input voltage range from 175 to 700 Volts (or to 600 Volts in the USA) also gives you extraordinary flexibility of system design.

Low investment and installation costs - high operation and yield security: the Sunny Tripower

Also represented: the Sunny Tripower expected to be available from the end of 2009. Firstly, in addition to its own properties as highly efficient PV inverter, it offers a multitude of integrated functions from PV system technology. The device has, for example, an electronic string fuse, a self-learning string failure detection and an integrable over-voltage protection. "In comparison to external solutions, through this a significant reduction of the investment, installation and maintenance costs can be reached while simultaneously increasing the operational reliability and yield security without additional cost. This makes the Sunny Tripower extremely efficient and flexible and ensures high security in terms of investment and planning" says Günther Cramer, Spokesman of the Board. All devices are in addition designed for the feed-in of reactive power. Thus, they represent a reliable contribution to grid management in compliance with the BDEW guidelines.

Through the uncomplicated integration of the Sunny Tripower into the existing SMA communication landscape the above mentioned solutions can be integrated into the system monitoring without additional costs. An electronic string fuse as an alternative to a thermal fuse gives greater operational safety, is loss and maintenance free and requires no complex dimensioning. As a result of the self-learning string failure detection, even the parameterizing of nominal values is not necessary. The integration possibility of the DC over-voltage protection type II in the inverter ensures in addition a reduction in the system costs and mounting time.

Additionally, SMA offers with Sunclix the new uniform DC plug system for SMA inverters, a simple solution for tool-free mounting. The appropriate field plug is enclosed with both the Sunny Boy 3000HF and the Sunny Tripower free of charge.

Efficient operation of shaded PV systems: the new OptiTrac Global Peak

Even when the effects of shadowing on the annual energy yield is often lower than commonly assumed: it sometimes leads to considerable yield losses. "It is an important target for SMA to further minimize yield losses caused by shadowing. With the OptiTrac inverter operation control, we have have developed a technologically leading solution here and go a step further now with the new version", says Roland Grebe, Chief Technology Officer. The new version was specially developed for those PV systems where partial shadowing is unavoidable. Which, from experience, tends to be an issue in the small and medium power range. The problem: if individual modules of a module string are shaded, suddenly numerous "local" MPPs (point of maximum power) occur on the power curve of the string.

It is crucial that the inverter`s MPP tracker operates the PV generator at the actual, 'global' maximum power point as much as possible and to not adjust itself to a local power maximum. Since this can lie significantly lower in power than the global power maximum and thus cause yield losses. "In contrast to the current standard MPP tracking procedure, with the newly developed OptiTrac version, we achieve exactly that which serves the secure locating of the global power maximum in shaded PV systems", explains Roland Grebe. Constant operation at global maximum again increases the energy yield of a partially shaded string clearly and ensures the optimum operation of the partially shadowed PV system. A good example, that new technologies for the user can pay off literally.


Information & press contact

SMA Solar Technology AG
Anja Jasper
PR Product Manager
Sonnenallee 1
34266 Niestetal, Germany
Telephone: +49 561 9522 2805

About SMA Solar Technology AG:
With a turnover of more than 680 million euros in 2008, SMA is the global market leader for PV inverters, a central component of every solar power system. The SMA group is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented on four continents in eleven countries. The group employs more than 3,000 people (including temporary employees). SMA produces a broad range of inverter types which offers suitable inverters for every photovoltaic module type used and for photovoltaic systems in all power ranges. The product portfolio includes inverters both for grid-connected photovoltaic systems and for stand-alone systems. The company has been listed in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) since June 27, 2008 and the company's stock has been listed on the TecDAX since September 22, 2008. In the past years, SMA was recognized several times with awards for its outstanding performance as an employer.