Save yourself the heartache of making a lousy inverter decision. The SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 is the modern version of the world-famous SMA Sunny Boy TL. An inverter once considered the pinnacle of single-phase solar inverter technology. Therefore, the question exists, how does the new SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 compare, not just to its predecessor, but also to modern rivals?
Make and model: SMA Sunny Boy AV-41.
Variants: 3 / 4 / 5 kW.
Warranty, Software, Features.
Embracing a new design, the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 has had its share of criticism. Die-hard SMA advocates suggest that shifting manufacturing locations from Germany to China would be the great undoing of a respected inverter manufacturing powerhouse (update below).
Others would suggest that removing the graphic display isn’t what consumers want. The SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 indeed was the boldest move the solar industry had seen by a manufacturer in a long time.
As home appliances evolve to be more communicative and reliable, so must solar inverter technologies. No longer just a means to convert DC to AC energy.
A common point of failure in all solar inverters is LCD type graphic displays. Foresight on the reliability front exists via replacing the need for a graphic display with multifunctional LEDs and your smart device.
Rounding off the SMA AV-41 design, battery connectivity is available via AC Coupled battery technologies or through SMA’s extensive range of battery inverters. The IP 65 weather rating provides versatility in mounting locations while convection cooling ensures low noise and reduced serviceability over the operational life.
SMASB AV-41 Design; SUPERIOR
AC Coupled battery compatibility.
Released 2019 (prior model AV-40).
Global Solar + Energy Storage “Solar PV Inverter of the Year” award 2019.
TÜV Reihnland certified.
SMA’s proprietory ShadeFix shadow management protocol is a proven cut above string level optimisation solution. As a dual tracking inverter, the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 possesses an inbuilt DC isolator and is further enhanced by the new-era multi-function LED local interface.
For added versatility, manufacturer-supplied add-ons in module-level optimisation and rapid shutdown exist through SMA’s own Tigo Energy solutions. Expanded monitoring capabilities are outstanding within the SMA range, with one of the broadest selection of energy management and environmental monitoring systems available.
Finally, advanced operational parameters can be adjusted remotely to aid better system performance and improve system uptime.
SMASB AV-41 Features; OUTSTANDING
2 x 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.
Remote access operational parameter adjustments (max).
Weighted efficiency within the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 remains within the highest calibre at 96.5% (avg). A wide operating temperature range facilitates diverse climates between -25oC to +60oC (-13oF to +140oF), and 100% humidity. Further complimenting the temperature specifications is an exceptional derating point at 50oC (600VDC).
Noise emission is present, although, unnoticeable to most. If sensitivity to acute noise emission exists, the 25dB(A) noise rating must be factored in the selection process. The significant difference from the previous model is weight reduction by a staggering 10 kg (22 lb). The New SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 weighs a mere 16 kg (35.3 lb). A weight which is more accommodating for load-sensitive performance requirements.
SMASB AV-41 Performance; SUPERIOR
96.5% Weighted efficiency.
Min temperature range -25°C.
Max temperature range +60°C.
Temperature derating point 50°C.
Noise emission max 25 dB (A).
One of the more assuring product warranties available, the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 is accompanied with a 10-year product warranty if purchased through the authorised SMA dealer network. A tremendous upside as the SMA dealer network undergoes consistent training into SMA best practice installation techniques.
With manufacturer scrutiny over approved installer networks, installation is more likely to meet manufacturer specifications. Such a result ensures warranty validity. Further complimenting the guarantee, an SMA dealer ensures expedited repair in the event warranty.
SMASB AV-41 Guarantee; SUPERIOR
10-year parts warranty.*
5-year service warranty.
*Authorised installer network with additional end-user benefits.
As of 2020 SMA Sunny Portal Users will be converted over to SMA’s next-level ennexOS monitoring platform for a superior system monitoring experience.
See the full SMA Sunny Portal monitoring software review for more insight > (Coming Soon).
SMASB AV-41 Software; ELITE
iOS & Android app.
Alerts & fault diagnosis.
Module-level monitoring options.
Consumption monitoring options.
Relocating production back to Germany as of 2020, the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 range could have been much more given where solar technology is heading. Future-ready, the SMA ways of adding device after device to accommodate the future can prove costly depending on one’s requirements. Nonetheless, the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 is an elite single-phase solar inverter option by a trusted inverter manufacturer.
SMASB AV-41 Overall; ELITE
*AVG references industry average specifications.
How was the score for the SMA Sunny Boy AV-41 solar inverter calculated? By using the Solar Review Inverter Assessment Criteria V2.5 >
This article was originally published December 30, 2018.
To reflect evolving criteria this content has been updated over time.
- April 29, 2020
How does the entire current range of SMA solar inverters compare against each other? Discover now >