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SMA Solar Inverters (Sunny Boy,Sunny Island,Sunny Mini Central) – Review of Price,Brand,Comparision

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SMA  Solar is the world’s biggest supplier and manufacturer of solar inverters with 40% marketshare of the world market of solar inverters.This Germany company has become the most valued solar company in Germany beating out the old stalwarts like Q-Cells  and Solarworld. SMA Solar has managed to maintain its marketshare and grow as fast  with the global solar demand unlike some of its competitors.The company has been one of the few solar companies in the globe abe to maintain their margins despite a massive gut of solar panels which have brought down solar panel prices below cash costs.Over 3.5 GW of SMA solar inverters are installed globally and the company employs thousands of people Globally.SMA Solar is now facing still competition from Chinese companies who have a dominant presence in the growing domestic market of China and also from competitors like Power-One,Satcon and others who have entered the hugely profitable and growing market of solar inverters.Besides these pure play solar inverter companies,industrial giants like Schneider Electric (Xantrex solar inverters),GE Solar Inverters,ABB and Siemens too are biting at SMA’s heels.SMA Solar is facing competition from the growing presence of solar micro inverters led by companies such as Enphase which threaten to reduce the market for the normal solar inverters.However SMA is known as the best brand of solar inverter in the industry for its high quality and reliability.SMA Sunny Boy inverters are known for their high efficiency and good performance .Despite the higher prices charged by SMA Solar,the company has managed to keep its top dog spot in the solar inverter market.

SMA sells  a wide variety of solar inverters  for different markets of medium power solutions , solar power plants as well as residential solutions.

SMA Solar Inverters Review

1) Sunny Boy- Sunny Boy inverters are targeted mainly towards the residential market and come in a wide variety of sizes starting  from 460 Watts and ending at 10000 Watts.They come with Shade management with OptiTrac Global Technology and H5-Topology Transformer technology.which ensures one of the best yields in the industry.Sunny Boys are available in both transformer and transformerless types and have efficiencies which range from 95-97%.They also come with OptiTrac MPP tracking and OptiCool active temperature management.Most Sunny Boy inverters also have integrated ESS DC switch-disconnector .Sunny Boy also features the international SMA grid guard interface.

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2) Sunny Tower– Sunny Tower is a central inverter with an efficiency of up to 98 %.It has  OptiCool temperature management system and a modular design. It is possible to combine Sunny Mini Central with Sunny Boy inverters, thus guaranteeing maximum flexibility in plant design and expansion.

3) Sunny Mini Central Solar Inverters – Sunny Mini Central Solar Inverters are SMA’s power solution for mid range solar power systems with capacities above 15000 Watt.They are fitted with die-cast aluminum housings and can be installed outdoors close to the generator.Like Sunny Boy Solar Inverters,These Central Inverters also come in both transformer and tranformless types.


Sunny Mini Central 6000 to 11000 TL Solar Inverters are transformerless solar inverters with a power rating of 6000 -10000 Watts and 700 Voltage


Sunny Mini Central 7000HV – This is meant for thin film solar power projects and has a power rating of 7000 Watts at 160 Volts

Sunny Mini Central 6000A – This is meant for  solar power projects and has a power rating of 6000 Watts at 600 Volts

4) Sunny Tri Power Solar Inverters – These are utility grade 3 phase solar inverters with two MPP inputs and a broad input voltage range.It has Optiprotect with self-learning string-failure detection, electronic string fuse and integrable DC surge arrester.It has Bluetooth communication ability and efficiency rating of 98.2%.It comes in the 8-17 kw ranges.

5) Sunny Central Solar Inverters – These  are SMA’s main solar inverters for the solar power plant market.Sunny Centrals have String monitoring, capacity for teamwork and the ability to feed into the medium-voltage power grid.The Sunny Centrals are easy to install – indoors as well as outdoors. With peak efficiencies of over 98 %.Sunny Central have power ratings starting from 100 kilowatts and going upto 1.25 MW which makes it one of the biggest solar inverters in the market.They have extended input voltage range up to 1100 V.

6) Sunny Island Off Grid Solar Inverters – These solar inverters are targeted towards off grid solar power market.These come  with a battery pack the devices form a self-sufficient AC voltage grid.PV and wind energy systems, diesel devices, water or CHP (Combined Heat and Power) can be coupled on the AC side just as conventional 230 Volt consumers.They come in 600 to 5000 Watt power range.They can reach the maximum efficiency level of over 96 %.They have ntelligent battery management for maximum battery life and a 5 year warranty as well

SMA also has started producing wind inverters and sells a wide range of monitoring systems for solar panel systems.

SMA Solar Inverter Efficiency

SMA Solar sells solar inverters which are of high efficiency and quality with most of its solar inverters giving 95% efficiency which makes it the leader in the market.SMA Solar has even started demonstrating transform-less solar inverters with 99% efficiency which is the highest efficiency solar inverter in the market.Note the efficiency of a solar inverter is very important as it can improve the power yields substantially over the lifetime of the solar panel.You can increase your electricity by thousands of kilowatt hours with a 1% improvement in efficiency.While making solar inverters is not a very complicated task,the technology required for high efficiency solar inverters is not easily available making.

SMA Solar Inverter Warranty

SMA gives 5 year warranties on its products like most of the other western manufacturers of solar inverter like Fronius and gives an exteneded 10 years solar warranty for an additional payment.It is expected that with more competition from micro inverters and other solar inverter markers,the warranties should increase over time.Note Solar Panels generally come with 25 year warranties compared with 5 years for solar inverters.

SMA Solar Inverter Prices and Comparison

Solar Inverters sell for a wide range of prices depending on the quality,brand and features.In general European solar inverters from SMA,Xantrex sell for a higher price than that from Chinese makers.The Chinese solar inverters are the cheapest as you can buy a 5 kw solar inverter for $1500 compared to $5000 for a premium solar inverter from SMA.Like other solar inverters the prices of solar inverters from SMA have come down as the prices of solar panels has declined at an astounding rate.However the rate of decline in SMA Solar inverter prices has been much less than that of solar module prices.SMA Solar Inverters are higher priced than other solar inverters because of the company’s premier brand positioning,good quality and service.However solar inverters will go down in price as larger competitors from Asia such as solar inverter manufacturers from Taiwan and China like Sungrow and Delta Electronics grow bigger and invest more money.Power-One has managed to capture a large segment of the solar inverter market by pricing its solar inverters at least 20-30% cheaper than Fronius,Kaco and SMA Solar without compromising too much on quality.

Read the review on Xantrex Solar Inverters.


Abhishek Shah

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