SMA Raises the Bar: Top Marks for the Sunny Tripower 17000TL in Photon’s Inverter Test

In the most recent inverter test of the trade magazine Photon Profi, the Sunny Tripower 17000TL from SMA was declared a "top-quality product" with an overall grade of A+. With its three-phase solar inverter, SMA was able to "set a new standard" and manufacture "an inverter that is beyond compare." The Sunny Tripower impressed the experts primarily with its by far highest efficiency ever measured in one of Photon’s tests. But the device’s completely new features also contributed to its top result, such as the comprehensive safety concept Optiprotect to monitor the solar generator, as well as the excellent MPP tracking.

According to Günther Cramer, SMA CEO, this outstanding overall test result confirms of the leading global manufacturer’s strategy, to keep especially an eye on total cost of ownership (TCO). For example, accessory components such as an overvoltage protector will be integrated directly into the inverter, which will cut installation and wiring costs. "We’re focusing on cutting costs of the entire system. At SMA, more than 600 engineers are successfully working on using technological innovations to increase the inverter’s efficiency and performance, to make installation and service easier, and as a result, to cut the system costs. The Sunny Tripower holds our top spot," said Cramer, commenting on the device’s excellent results in Photon’s test.

Reducing the system costs of the PV plant is a central component of SMA’s product strategy. In this context, besides grid integration and developing new technologies, the focus is primarily on reducing the specific costs, optimizing efficiency and making installation even easier. According to Cramer, the field of systems engineering is mostly technology-driven. "An inverter like the Sunny Tripower shows just how far ahead we are in technology and in reducing system costs. In Photon’s test, we had the highest efficiency ever measured in an inverter, which is truly impressive. On top of that, as the share of electricity supplied by renewable energies grows, inverters can take on new tasks, such as grid management." Cramer said that not only does SMA offer award-winning inverters, SMA also provides security for the future and for its customers’ investments Combined with our technological leadership and our complete product portfolio, we create significant added value for installers, customers, and system operators."

The company is used to the Sunny Tripower getting a top result. Back in March 2010, it received the Innovation Award at the 25th Symposium for Photovoltaic Solar Energy in Bad Staffelstein, Germany. The integrated Optiflex technology is an example of a completely new concept to flexibly configure PV plants. Bernd Engel, Senior Vice President of Technology Development, explains why this plays a crucial role in reducing a system’s total cost of ownership: "More and more often, a certain number of modules is specified when configuring a solar plant. A system defined by the number of modules is often impossible to establish with conventional concepts that involve a single solar-inverter. In this case, you need to use an additional device for the ‘leftover’ modules, which leads to higher installation costs and work and also reduces system efficiency." According to Engel, Optiflex completely solves this problem. As a result, the Sunny Tripower offers significant benefits to both installers and system operators, such as an easier installation and a maximum energy yield.

About SMA
With a turnover of 934 million euros in 2009, the SMA Group is the global leader in the market for solar inverters, which are a central component of every solar power plant. The SMA Group is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel in Germany. It is represented by 13 international subsidiaries on four continents. The entire group has more than 5,500 employees (including temporary workers). SMA produces a wide variety of inverter types, a matching inverter for every type of photovoltaic module, and offers inverters for photovoltaic systems of all sizes. The product range includes inverters both for grid-connected photovoltaic systems and for stand-alone systems. The parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been traded in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and has been part of the German TecDAX stock index since 2008. SMA has received numerous awards in recent years as a result of the company’s outstanding performance as an employer.

PR contact:
SMA Solar Technology AG
Anja Jasper
Sonnenallee 1
34266 Niestetal, Germany
Tel. +49-561-9522-2805