Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 side by side. Making the right solar energy system choice isn’t easy. With many people telling you what they think is the best, ask yourself “the best of what?” Best features? Best guarantee? Best performance? The list goes on. Make a decision based on data and the specifications of what’s important to you.

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Make: Fronius vs SMA.

Model: Primo vs Sunny Boy AV-40.

Variants: 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0.

Connection: Single-phase.

 

GREATER THAN 3.3 IS A VERY GOOD SCORE. The following content for the Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 should be used as a guide only. Individual circumstances and compatibilities should always be taken into account when selecting the right inverter for any given installation. The below Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 content has been built using the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria 2.0 and above based on available product specifications at the time of writing. 

Design.

Design is what defines a particular solar inverters ability to meet end-user expectation from modern appeal, future integrations and versatile installation locations.

Design Overall: Derived from the industries best specifications in each Solar Review inverter design sub-category, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy Featured Image

Fronius

Primo
  • AC and DC Coupled battery compatibility with selected battery technologies.
  • No change for the last 5-years.
  • Fan Cooled.
  • Major internationally recognised award.
  • TÜV Reihnland certified.
  • Inspiring.
  • IP 65.

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • AC and DC Coupled battery compatibility with selected battery technologies.
  • New Release.
  • Fanless.
  • Major internationally recognised award.​
  • TÜV Reihnland certified.
  • Inspiring.
  • IP 65.

Features.

As the heart of your new self sufficient power supply, the features of an inverter define the opportunity for diverse interaction, variable installation design methods and defined asset management opportunities.

Features Overall: Derived from the industries most notable qualities in each Solar Review inverter features sub-category, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy

Fronius

Primo
  • 2+ MPPTS.
  • LCD Graphic & basic LED interface (no internet required).
  • WiFi & Ethernet inbuilt.
  • No manufacturer supplied module-level optimisation options.
  • Manufacturer supplied module-level rapid shutdown options.
  • Manufacturer supplied expanded monitoring options.
  • Nominated shadow management protocol onboard.
  • Installer remote access support is rated at - firmware updates.

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • 2+ MPPTS.
  • Multifunction LED & local app connectivity (no internet required).
  • WiFi & Ethernet inbuilt.
  • Manufacturer supplied module-level optimisation options.
  • Manufacturer supplied module-level rapid shutdown options.
  • Manufacturer supplied expanded monitoring options.
  • Nominated shadow management protocol onboard.
  • Installer remote access support is rated at - operational parameter adjustments.

Performance.

Performance in more ways than just efficiency alone. How does a solar inverter perform within its intended environment and in adverse conditions? The key specifications not often at first thought.

Performance Overall: Derived from the industries best specifications in each Solar Review inverter performance sub-category, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy

Fronius

Primo
  • 97% European efficiency.
  • Temperature range of -40°C.
  • Temperature range of +55°C.
  • Temperature derating of 40°C.
  • Weighs 21.5kg.
  • Noise emission of 65 dB (A).

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • 97% European efficiency.
  • Temperature range of -25°C.
  • Temperature range of +60°C.
  • Temperature derating of 50°C.
  • Weighs 16kg.
  • Noise emission of 25 dB (A).

Guarantee.

Manufacturer guarantees are interesting when selecting an inverter technology. More commonly is a complimentary extension to base guarantee options in recent years. As guarantee obligations can often be shielded by installer incompetence, should a manufacturer define an adequately trained installer network with a complimentary warranty extension (added end-user benefit), such guarantee has been considered as a base warranty more likely of adhering manufacturer installation specifications.

Important: A manufacturers obligations under guarantee will be obsolete if the inverter is not installed to manufacturer specifications. Use an authorised installer.

Guarantee Overall: Derived from the industries greatest base guarantees in each Solar Review inverter guarantee sub-category, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy

Fronius

Primo
  • 5-year parts warranty.
  • 5-year service warranty.
  • Authorised installer network with no additional end-user benefits.

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • 10-year parts warranty.
  • 5-year service warranty.
  • Authorised installer network with additional end-user benefits.

Software.

In a modern world, software is how you interact with your self generated power supply. More than just a monitoring portal, inverter software is evolving to become the entire energy management protocol as the new standard.

Software Overall: Derived from the industries most feature-rich user experience in each Solar Review software category, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy

Fronius

Primo
  • Fronius Solar.web
  • iOS & Android app.
  • Alerts & fault diagnosis.

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • EnnexOS (2019).
  • iOS & Android app.
  • Alerts & fault diagnosis.

Affordability.

All well and good having the greatest technology, but what if that technology is simply out of reach for most? Adversely, the cheapest product may lack essential technology requirements expected by many end-users. Put price into perspective. Affordability is where price and technology come together to help determine value.

Affordability Overall: Derived from the comparative industry price points, inverter affordability is a combination of technology for price, the side by side combined average for Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy Featured Image

Fronius

Primo
  • Very good technology score.
  • 5kW approx for $1460 USD ex.

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • Exceptional technology score.
  • 5kW approx for $1390 USD ex.

OVERALL.

The below overall comparison for the Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is broken up into two final scores.

  • Overall technology ranking; the average of design, features, performance, guarantee and software (for those less concerned about price).
  • Overall ranking; the average of design, features, performance, guarantee, software and affordability. 

Overall: The final average of each Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria category. Out of 5, side by side the combined average for the Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 is as follows:

Fronius

Primo
  • Design 3.4
  • Features 4.1
  • Performance 3.6
  • Guarantee 2.8
  • Software 4.0
  • Technology 3.6
  • Affordability 3.3

SMA

Sunny Boy AV-40
  • Design 4.1
  • Features 4.8
  • Performance 4.1
  • Guarantee 4.2
  • Software 4.5
  • Technology 4.3
  • Affordability 4.2

Have a question?

OR maybe a different perspective? Be heard in the comments below.

Insight:

How was the score for the Fronius Primo vs SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 calculated? By utilising the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria V2.3 >

4 COMMENTS

  1. There’s a couple of things in this comparison i wasn’t aware of, such as the higher operating temperature of the Sunny Boy inverter, thanks for pointing that out. In regards to software (monitoring), do you have ENEX OS already in the US? In Australia, we are still on the standard sunny portal. Can definitely agree on the noise, comparing the DB, you don’t hear anything on the SMA inverter but on hot days, the Fronius is quite noisy.

    • The data migration will take time globally. Options to register a system under ennexOS are available through Sunny Portal https://www.sunnyportal.com/register however, it’s not quite there yet. The Fronius Primo has been a good inverter for some time, it does appear though, overall it is now languishing behind an evolved residential inverter offering in the last few years.

  2. In every section the chinese SMA is better. Doubt. Pity, I cannot find the crap solar post where the old german and chinese version compared by inside. I dont think in this case SMA is better in any scenario, also they plan to turn their head back to Germany and shut down chinese manufacturing. What a well decission, go out then turn back. I think this review is totally one-sided.

    • You’re entitled to your perspective, no question. All Solar Review does is identify the best specifications commercially available and scales the scoring accordingly to what is best down to average and then below average https://review.solar/inverter-assessment-criteria/. Rest assured there is no bias in the Solar Review criteria, the specifications are what they are, irrelevant of manufacturing origin. Is the Fronius’s temperature derating at 40°C better than the SMA 50°C? Fact is there is better still available on the market. Is the Fronius Primo’s noise emission at 65 dB (A) better than SMA’s <25 dB (A)? Does Fronius have a Fronius supplied module-level optimisation option? How does the Fronius Solar.web monitoring system compare to the SMA's Intersolar award-winning ennoxOS energy management software? Where the Fronius Primo range is superior to the SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 range is negative operating temperatures -40°C compared to -25°C. These are just a few examples, the scoring is relative to the varified product specifications in each field. Defining technology by region of manufacture alone in rapidly advancing technologies is obsolete and narrow-minded in a modern world. The beauty is today, prospective solar shoppers have the luxury of choice and the Fronius Primo is still a very good inverter option in every sense and has been for a good portion of time.

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