As an industry stalwart, we’ve come to expect big things from the SMA brand. When combined though, how does the 2020 residential range of SMA Solar inverters compare against the industry’s best-known specifications? 

.Manufacturer:  SMA Solar 

Series:  Sunny Boy, Sunny Tripower, Sunny Boy Storage.

Variants:  Single-phase, Three-phase, Storage (commercial and off-grid exempt).

No matter your residential power supply requirements, it’s fair to say that there is an SMA inverter option to suit. That being said, is the SMA solar inverter range likely to meet end-user expectation?

An entirely different question facing all solar inverter manufacturers as energy storage becomes an essential desire for those looking to maintain a self-generated power supply.

What we do know is that when the likes of SMA make a move, the industry stops for a moment and pays very close attention.

Note; Residential grid-tie solar inverters considered only. Above 3.3 is considered a VERY GOOD score.

Single-phase.

A bold statement in what would soon be the modern trend. One of he first inverters to embrace the new wave of multifunctional LED interfaces mitigating a common point of failure in conventional inverter designs. SMA proves itself as an industry pioneer once more with the next generation SMA Sunny Boy range.

Model Qualities Rank Detail
Sunny Boy VL-40
1.5 - 2.5kW, WiFi connectivity, single-tracking
4.2 superior
Sunny Boy AV-41
3 - 6 kW, max effc up to 50ºC, WiFi connectivity, dual tracking.
4.4 elite

Overall score at the bottom of this post. 

As data becomes more powerful than ever, SMA falls short in offering a single-phase energy meter to accompany the SMA Sunny Boy range determining the 3-phase unit is fit for the same purpose. An inhibiting factor where limited switchboard real estate is available.

Severely high performance in testing conditions ensures the SMA Sunny Boy inverter range is an elite solar inverter option for diverse applications.

SMA Sunny Boy AV-40 Top View - Solar Review

Three-phase.

One of the more refined 3-phase string inverter offerings ever produced raises the benchmark of residential 3-phase consumer expectation. Following an almost identical design to its single-phase counterpart, the SMA Sunny Tripower redefines 3-phase expectation with a modern low noise, lightweight presence.

Model Qualities Rank Detail
Sunny Tripower AV-40
3 - 6 kW, max effc up to 50ºC, WiFi connectivity, dual tracking.
4.4 elite

Overall score at the bottom of this post. 

All-round superior specifications in a compact design makes the SMA Sunny Tripower as a force to be reckoned with on the 3-phase landscape. Similar to the SMA Sunny Boy range, end-users may be slightly dismayed with the absence of a DC-coupled hybrid solar and battery variant in the mix.

The New SMA Sunny Tripower 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 kW Solar Review

Storage.

Slightly underwhelming in its smaller format, the SMA Sunny Boy Storage range redeems itself with for more significant battery supply requirements.

Model Qualities Rank Detail
Sunny Boy Storage
2.5 kW single string HV battery connection, WiFi connectivity.
4.2 superior
Sunny Boy Storage 2
3.7 - 6.0 kW, multi string HV battery connection, WiFi connectivity.
4.3 elite

Overall score at the bottom of this post. 

Single battery supplies rarely meet the expectations of the end-user. Therefore, ensuring a battery inverter with expansion capabilities can facilitate the option of expanded energy storage a reduced cost.

SMA Sunny Storage 2kW Battery Inverter

OVERALL.

The next generation of SMA Solar inverters provides one of the most comprehensive inverter suites available for the modern home.

However, with such inverter manufacturing prowess, SMA still appears to be holding out on a DC-coupled hybrid solar and battery inverter. While on the wish list for many installers is a dedicated single-phase energy meter to unlock the full insight of the new ennexOS monitoring software in a more accommodating package.

Not without its selected drawbacks, the SMA solar inverter range remains a robust, high-performance electrical inversion machine built to endure a diverse international landscape.

SMA

Solar Inverters Overall; SUPERIOR
  • Sunny Boy VL-40 - 4.2
  • Sunny Boy AV-41 - 4.4
  • Sunny Tripower AV-40 - 4.5
  • Sunny Boy Storage - 4.2
  • Sunny Boy Storage 2 - 4.3
Outstanding
[ 4.8 - 5 ] The pinnacle of certified specification.
Elite
[ 4.3 - 4.7 ] A rare calibre of technology produced by the industry elite.
Superior
[ 3.8 - 4.2 ] Specifications which are exceedingly superior to that of the industry average.
Very Good
[ 3.3 - 3.7 ] Advanced technology against the industry average.
Good
[ 2.8 - 3.2 ] Better than the industry average is that of which strives a portion better.
Average
[ 2.3 - 2.7 ] A score within this bracket is considered the industry average specification.
Ordinary
[ 1.8 - 2.2 ] Considered below the industry mainstream average.
Poor
[ 1.3 - 1.7 ] There's better, there's also worse.
Inferior
[ 0.8 - 1.2 ] Far below the modern industry average.
Awful
[ 0.3 - 0.7 ] Possesses specifications which are absent or unverified by a certified testing institute.
Avoid
[ 0 - 0.2 ] Unlikely for technology manufactured in the modern era.
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Insight:

How was the score for the SMA Solar Inverter range of solar panels calculated? By utilising the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria V2.4 >

SMA product range, manufacturers international site. View >

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