This SMA inverter review looks at this German made unit for what it is. The inverter is the heart of any solar power system. The SMA Sunny Boy is much more. The Germans have a good rep for being good makers of stuff. Take German cars… They are the envy of the auto industry around the world. So what about solar power? Are the Germans really that much better than everyone else? Is there any real difference between a Chinese inverter and an SMA Sunny Boy inverter? Most importantly though, is it worth another $1,000 – $1,500 to get the SMA Sunny Boy?
SMA Inverter Review – A Look At A Standard Inverter
To do a proper SMA inverter review we should first answer this question: What is the job of a solar inverter? Well, in basics — it should change the energy made by solar panels to make it work in your power outlets. AND, it should do this without losing much power (no losses). This is very basic, some other jobs of an inverter:
- Track the MPP of the solar panels
- Take up to 2 separate strings in to allow more power
- Make a steady output power
- Monitor the solar power
So doesn’t a “standard” Chinese solar inverter do all these things?!?
Yes it does, you can buy a Growatt or a Samil or a JFY inverter and you know you are getting a product that does the job it’s meant to. It doesn’t always have all the bells and whistles but it does the job. So what is it that makes the SMA Sunny Boy inverter better than a “standard” one?
SMA Inverter Review – What Makes The SMA Sunny Boy The Best
SMA think of everything. Their engineers know solar power and inverter tech better than anyone. They have gone through every possible issue that could go wrong, and allowed for it in their design. Here are some features of the SMA Sunny Boy 5kW inverter that make it stand above the rest:
- Bluetooth monitoring ability
- Neat display
- Intuitive display
- Sleek design
- Easy to add batteries later
- Reactive power control
- Excellent support in Australia
- Fast warranty service (if needed)
- A very low failure rate
The SMA Sunny Boy 5kW Inverter is a step above the rest. When it comes to power supply and inverters, what you want is 3 things:
SMA have well and truly gone above and beyond with their Sunny Boy range of inverters and I reckon they’ll continue to make the best products for many more years.
BTW, the inverter currently used in Australia is the SB5000TL-21. There are also a bunch of solar monitoring options available for the SMA Sunny Boys and most of them are beauties.
SMA Inverter Review – Where Does The SMA Sunny Boy Fall Short?
Well to be honest, there aren’t many flaws. I mean it doesn’t make you breakfast or clean your floors but it’s a pretty bloody good inverter. One thing it doesn’t do is remote monitoring. You can access the unit via Bluetooth, but who uses Bluetooth!?
SMA Inverter Review Summary
The SMA does everything you want it to… Everything except easy, cheap monitoring. SMA have plenty of monitoring solutions if you can fork out the cash.