Fronius and SMA Launch Programs to Improve Customer Service, Increase Market Penetration

May 20, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

The new Fronius Service Program helps photovoltaic (PV) system installers maximize customer energy yields by certifying them to complete board-level replacements in the field, reducing system downtime to minutes instead of days. Launched by the Fronius USA Solar Electronics Division in March, the Fronius Service Program will offer training sessions frequently throughout the year for the Fronius IG, IG Plus and CL grid-connected PV inverters, along with the Fronius DATCOM data communications system for individual PV system monitoring.

At the same time, Conergy USA has strengthened its existing partnership with SMA America to better support Conergy customers with enhanced benefits, greater product availability, access to deeper technical support, and expanded technical training on SMA products and services. Moreover, Conergy customers will now receive highly competitive pricing and package deals including high quality products from both companies.

For Conergy, this new distribution program is an opportunity to service a larger network of installers and integrators with expanded product availability, competitive pricing and package deals. “We are very excited about this expanded relationship with SMA America”, said Anthony Fotopoulos, President of Conergy Americas. “SMA has long been a top selling premium brand in the Conergy portfolio in the USA, and we believe this will help reinforce the importance of quality products in the solar market – an aspect of business that Conergy has been backing for many years.”

"Fronius USA is dedicated to empowering PV system installers, along with the entire solar distribution chain that supports Fronius USA products, with the necessary know-how to positively impact their customers," said Thomas Enzendorfer, Director of Sales and Marketing, Fronius USA Solar Electronics Division. "Through hands-on factory training by Fronius USA experts, the Fronius Service Program empowers PV system installers with the information they need to ensure fast, accurate servicing that limits system downtime."

Each two-day Fronius Service Program training session allows installers to earn eight North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) credit hours. When participants pass the program's evaluation test, Enzendorfer said, they will be certified to complete board-level replacements at a customer site, which is more efficient than other inverter systems that have to be completely removed and shipped to the manufacturer. That delay increases PV system downtime and reduces energy yield, which impacts system return on investment.

“Conergy focuses on high quality standards for its complete systems and offers its customers tailor-made solutions for every kind and size of installation. SMA has been a valued partner for Conergy in the US for many years. Their focus on quality and reliability strongly aligns with Conergy’s product strategy. The new SMA Distribution program is big step for the solar industry. SMA is establishing a clear channel policy and is recognizing the importance of the distribution business. We fully support their efforts to help the solar industry in the US mature,” said Christian Kaesler, Director of Conergy US Distribution.

SMA, will begin shipping several new products in the coming weeks and the new model will ensure prompt product and service availability through Conergy’s leading distribution network in the US. “With the roll-out of SMA America’s new distribution program, it was important to align with partners that shared a similar commitment to quality and service,” said Henry Dziuba, president and general manager of SMA America and president of SMA Canada. “Conergy has long been a leader in the industry, shown strength as a company, and offers comprehensive professional training and support.”