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SMA Inverter: Review

SMA is a solar icon. The German company was established in 1981, which is prehistoric in the world of solar, and for a long time the SMA string inverters, branded Sunny Boy and Sunny Tripower, were head and shoulders above any other on the market. In Singapore, from when the solar boom started around 2008 if you were to ask any solar installer which the best string inverter on the market was (regardless of price), they would no doubt utter the letters SMA. That is no longer the case, at least not in the 5 - 30kW inverter sizes. Whilst SMA is still a leader in the large-scale inverter market, they are no ranked as high for small to medium residential and commercial installations.

Whether people are familiar or not with the solar system, anyone who you may ask to name the best inverter at that time, SMA would always pop out of their mouths. That’s the success of the SMA. SMA currently has over 5,000 employees from four continents in twenty countries.

Is SMA a good brand? Are their Solar Inverters any good?

Yes. They are a German company who are regarded as the #1 Solar Inverter company in the world. Solar Era recommends the SMA when quality is the most important consideration. With more than half a million inverters installed in Singapore you should definitely consider an SMA Inverter.

The SMA Sunny Boy Inverter is recognised as providing high performance and a great range of features.

If you are looking for a high end solar power system and want the best then you will be looking at SMA.

The Sunny Boy: SMA’s most popular string inverter

How does SMA’s Sunny Boy inverter compare to the other options available on the market?

The Sunny Boy produces more energy on an annual basis than competing models using traditional optimizers. [Editor’s note: this is a bold claim! This particular claim is backed by a 2019 study from the University of Southern Denmark, which has been rebuked by rival inverter manufacturers. It’s worth doing your own research on this.] This is thanks to SMA’s ShadeFix optimization, which is a proprietary, integrated inverter technology that optimizes PV system energy production in every situation – even when shading occurs. It also uses fewer components on the roof than traditional optimizers, providing greater reliability and investment security for system owners.

What’s more, SMA is also the only manufacturer that offers a proactive monitoring and service solution for free with every Sunny Boy inverter. SMA Smart Connected monitors the inverter and in the event of an error, notifies the installer. It also can offer automated service guidance and even proactively ship a replacement. SMA has taken the guesswork out of service, which means our system owners can rest easy. Instead of owners having to painstakingly look at every module themselves to ensure proper performance, Smart Connected automates the entire process and watches for issues 24/7.

What would you say the best use cases are for the Sunny Boy? Who should consider installing this technology?

The Sunny Boy is the ideal choice for residential PV installations because of its long history of durability and reliability. In fact, the Sunny Boy is the only residential inverter installed and operational in systems that are 20+ years old. It can be used in any rooftop scenario, even in shaded conditions thanks to SMA’s ShadeFix optimization.

What warranties do you offer for the Sunny Boy inverter? Does your warranty cover the cost of shipping and labor for replacements?

While anyone can issue an attractive warranty on paper, SMA believes its German engineering and superior quality represent its best guarantee. For owners needing that extra peace of mind, however, SMA offers extended warranties up to 20 years, which includes the cost of shipping as well as a service rebate for the installer to offset costs for the owner.

Where are SMA products available? Do you have a certified installer network?

SMA products are available for installers to purchase across Singapore through a network of trusted Authorized Distributors. Solar Era is a trusted solar energy professionals who are trained to install and service your residential or commercial SMA solution. If you’re looking for a qualified SMA installer in your area, we are all you need!

Advice for homeowners evaluating inverter options

What should customers consider when shopping for a solar inverter?

Not all solar inverters are alike, so look for a reputable partner like SMA, with more than 40 years of experience and a proven track record for quality and reliability. And be sure to ask your solar installer what brand of inverter is the most reliable and why they recommend one inverter over another. At SMA, we believe you shouldn’t put more components on the roof than are absolutely necessary, which is why SMA’s ShadeFix takes optimizers off the roof and places them in the inverter. And don’t forget, the Sunny Boy inverter was developed with precision German engineering and represents decades of experience across the globe.

Get quotes including SMA inverters on Solar Era

The best way to see the true value of different solar technologies and equipment brands is to compare them yourself with Solar Era. You can specifically request certain types or brands of equipment, review equipment head to head, and even compare custom solar quotes from local installers all from the comfort of your couch. Get started today to receive quotes for SMA inverters with us.

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