SMA Reinvents Iconic Residential Inverter Line

January 17, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

SMA has continued the evolution of its iconic Sunny Boy inverter line with a complete redesign of its popular models with Secure Power Supply. Developed to best suit the needs of the North American residential PV market, the UL-listed Sunny Boy 5.0-US/6.0-US offers simplified processes and a robust feature set that allows for reduced costs across all residential PV business operations. Its enhanced Secure Power Supply feature also now provides up to 2,000 Watts of opportunity power, allowing operation of larger electrical loads like refrigerators and space heaters, and affording even more value to homeowners in the event of a grid outage.

“This new line of Sunny Boy inverters delivers cost savings to PV professionals while providing end-users with enhanced features that maximize power production throughout the life of the system,” said Marko Wittich, SMA executive vice president of sales for the Americas region. “While inverter options in the residential segment continue to increase, SMA once again provides superior technology that proves to be the clear choice for those who are looking to maximize ROI while minimizing risk.”

With the Sunny Boy 5.0-US/6.0-US, SMA now offers a residential inverter with complete grid-management capabilities, ensuring a utility-compliant solution for customers operating in any market, including Hawaii and California. It is an economical solution that delivers flexible system design and shade mitigation. It can be utilized for a variety of applications including grid-connected and off-grid systems and accommodates hundreds of stringing configurations.

The Sunny Boy 5.0-US/6.0-US interfaces directly with a smartphone, tablet or notebook, thanks to its integrated Webserver and WLAN. This communication platform provides state-of-the-art monitoring via Sunny Portal for centralized system management. It is also compatible with SMA’s Installation Assistant, which simplifies commissioning and reduces time and labor spent in the field. Improved, next-generation AFCI functionality offers greater sensitivity for identifying arcs as well as more accurate detection to reduce false tripping.

This inverter solution features an integrated dc disconnect that greatly reduces the costs associated with equipment stocking and order processing while speeding installation, as well as a two-part enclosure concept for expedited servicing. SMA also plans to release additional powers classes and units with an optional revenue-grade meter with cellular communication later this year. SMA will roll out to the market in March a new inverter for high-voltage batteries like the Tesla Powerwall.

The company will initially sell the SMA Sunny Boy Storage ac-coupled system in Germany, and later make it available to other markets such as Italy, the UK, Australia and the USA. “Within a year, the cumulated number of battery-storage systems installed in Germany so far has more than doubled to over 30,000, thanks to the decline in prices,” commented SMA CEO Pierre-Pascal Urbon. He added that in the mid-term, the company anticipates global annual demand of approximately up to EUR 1.2 billion (USD 1.3bn) for all storage applications. SMA is collaborating with “almost all well-known battery producers”. The new product offers easy integration into new or existing photovoltaic systems.