In our latest Tech Tip video, SMA Solar Academy Senior Technical Trainer Mike Mahon demonstrates how easy it is to install and commission the Cellular Modem expansion kit for the Sunny Boy US PV inverter.
Tech Tip: Watch a Step-by-Step Tutorial on the Installation and Commissioning of SMA’s Cellular LTE Modem Kit
Don’t get left behind when mandatory compliance of California Rule 21 Phase 2 and 3 goes into effect on March 22, 2020.
We’re excited to announce that TÜV Rheinland has certified the SMA Energy System to UL Standard 9450:2016 for the USA and Canada.
TÜV Rheinland is an independent, accredited global safety inspection organization that acts as an unbiased third-party for product testing. With the UL 9540 system-level certification, the SMA Sunny Boy Storage inverter has been certified in conjunction with lithium-ion batteries from global manufacturing leaders BYD and LG Chem.
Since its emergence in 2016, the much-coveted UL 9540 certification has only been achieved by a small group of energy storage system manufacturers. This prestigious certification is particularly important as it assures the highest level of safety for an energy storage system, which is typically comprises multiple components including the inverter, battery management system and the batteries themselves.
While the SMA Sunny Boy Storage inverter and the lithium-ion batteries have already achieved independent product safety certifications such as UL 1741 and UL 1973, this system-level certification is the first instance of these components being evaluated for operation as a combined unit according to a national safety standard. It’s also the first time in history that any product from either BYD or the LG Chem has ever been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to UL Standard 9540.
What does this mean for SMA’s customers?
It means they now have the highest level of assurance and confidence when buying the system. The requirement for the rigorous evaluation is becoming increasingly necessary for receiving incentives for the installation of battery energy storage systems, such as under the California Energy Commission (CEC) Senate Bill 1 (SB1) Guidelines. The UL 9540 certification requirement is also becoming more commonly referenced in regional building construction codes such as the California Fire Code and is a considered a best equipment installation practice by local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) such as building inspectors and fire marshals.
Even where not yet formally required, the safety certification benefits consumers, utilities, building owners, firefighters and the general public. In many circumstances, it also benefits customers and installers by expediting system permitting and approval.
The additional accolade showcases not only the SMA commitment to safety but also the versatility the company offers to clients through multiple battery options. SMA’s holistic approach of achieving certification of the Sunny Boy Storage inverter in conjunction with the BYD B-Box and LG Chem RESU lithium-ion batteries also honors the true intention of the UL 9540 Standard.
The result of SMA’s rigorous certification efforts? Complete peace of mind for our customers.
For more information on this certification click here.
Hurricane Dorian is gone but the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is certainly not. SMA gets many questions about how best to prepare and deal with the aftermath of hurricanes. Here, we provide you with answers to the most common questions.
FEMA released a report in 2018 concerning solar systems robustness to hurricanes. The primary recommendations are to ensure correct wind-loading calculations are done during the design phase, good quality control is enforced during constructions, and that annual checks of the entire array’s module clamps are done. Right before a storm strikes, it is also recommended to ensure gutters are cleared and all objects that could be flying debris impacting the array or balance of systems components are cleared or secured.
While some microinverter manufacturers emphasized the report’s comment that microinverters “have a greater chance of allowing undamaged panels of a PV array to continue to produce electrical power”, they conveniently ignored the fact that all microinverters will provide ZERO power if the grid is down.
The only UL-listed, grid-tied PV inverter that can safely provide power without batteries during a grid outage is the SMA Sunny Boy. The ground breaking Secure Power Supply (SPS) feature of this inverter line has been around since 2013 and can provide up to 2,000 watts of silent, emissions-free pure sine wave AC power as long as the sun is shining.
After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, dozens of SPS outlets were retrofitted onto Sunny Boys to allow customers to unlock this feature as the utility outage stretched into months. After Hurricane Irma passed through Florida in 2017, some folks realized their grid tied system was useless without utility power – see this News 6 Orlando video, which talks about the only grid-tied PV system without batteries that can work in grid outage. They mention an investment of $275 for the SPS hardware, which does not include the Sunny Boy inverter.
Now, for those customers focusing on energy management that would also like to expand their utility-independent operating capability, the SMA Energy System has the nearly identical Backup Lite feature! The main difference is that the 2,000W is available as long as the battery has energy.
Going even further, the SMA Energy System for whole home backup has the Automatic Backup Unit accessory for the Sunny Boy Storage. This setup allows homeowners to power larger 240VAC loads and have access to all of their PV system’s output, without the utility grid.
This means that the customer used as an example on the video has an additional option. As the SMA Energy System is AC-coupled, it can be retrofitted into already existing PV systems, and these are not limited to SMA PV systems. With the PV able to cover loads and recharge the battery, many hours of utility-independent run time are achievable.
Don’t wait for another storm threat to get ready. Visit our website for the latest information on SMA’s residential solar and storage solutions!
If a power outage or other emergencies like tornadoes or hurricanes hit your home, you can keep the refrigerator running and the lights on with backup power from by the SMA Energy System.
In Part I of this blog series, we provided details on how homeowners can maximize energy consumption with the SMA Energy System. In Part II, we elaborate on the options for protected loads and whole home backup power.
With the SMA Energy System, homeowners are able to achieve both whole home backup during power outages and efficient energy management when reducing energy bills requires more than just a PV system.
In Part I of this blog series, we will provide details on how homeowners can maximize energy consumption with the SMA Energy System. In Part II, we will elaborate on the options for protected loads and whole home backup power.
A New Jersey family will no longer need gas-powered generators during outages. The installation of SMA’s Sunny Boy Storage with Automatic Backup Unit in their residence will provide them with backup power – and peace of mind – during emergencies.
Financial and environmental reasons moved the Ratliff family to add storage to the solar system at their home. They wanted to be able to maximize self-consumption to take advantage of lower rates with time-of-use billing and avoid the use of dirtier gas-powered generators.
Exact Solar, the installer to whom the family entrusted this project, analyzed its client’s needs and options available to come up with a recommendation of connecting three LG Chem batteries to an SMA Sunny Boy Storage battery inverter with an Automatic Backup Unit.
This fully integrated solution for whole home backup power from SMA offers an AC coupled architecture, which provides opportunities for new PV or retrofit installations, and allows up to three high-voltage batteries connected in parallel to the battery inverter. It also has a 200 Amp rated bus for direct line-side connection to large home electrical panels. In addition, it balances up to five kVA of imbalance across phases, reducing the potential for system interruption during backup mode operation due to imbalanced loads within the home.
“We chose the SMA Sunny Boy Storage because it was the system that was able to give the customer the functionality he was looking for at a reasonable price. The Sunny Boy Storage inverter was able to be connected to three of the LG Chem batteries, which is the amount of energy storage we needed, and the ABU gave the controls necessary to maximize self-consumption for all of the customer’s loads and not be limited to just a critical loads subpanel. As more utilities go to time of use pricing or limit export, I think we will see more and more storage systems being implemented,” said Exact Solar Founder and President Mark Bortman.
The 20.13kW system was commissioned in February 2019.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Rosenfeld recently at an event held by CALSSA in California State Capitol. Dave has spent most of his career “helping the little guy stand up to powerful interests” and is currently the Executive Director of the Solar Rights Alliance.
In this interview with Dave, we discuss everything you need to know about this non-profit organization, why they are advocating for solar stakeholders in California, and how you can join their efforts.
It is February the 22, 2019, and today is the day we’ve been anticipating for California Electric Rule 21, Phase 2 implementation!
Guest Post: Brian Fortman, Texas Instruments