SMA Solar Technology AG received the Intersolar Award in the photovoltaics category at this year’s Intersolar in Munich. The prize was awarded for the entirely redesigned Sunny Central 800CP. “CP” stands for compact power: the new SMA central inverters offer both superior output and performance in a small space, and is the first PV inverter to offer 800 kVA of nominal power in combination with 98.6 percent efficiency as a single device.
Its compact and weatherproof housing also makes it easy to load, offers simple transportation and can be set up nearly anywhere. An additional reason for the distinction was the enormous cost-minimizing potential that the central inverter offers for the realization of large-scale plants.
SMA has received the Intersolar Award for the second time, once again demonstrating the company’s innovative strength in various market segments. The company received the award for Sunny Boy 5000TL in 2008, ideal for the private rooftop plant segment. This time the award was given to Sunny Central 800CP. The SMA central inverter is specially designed for use in solar power plants, and impressed the jury with its high level of efficiency and contribution to system cost reduction.
Maximum efficiency and integrated monitoring functions ensure highly reduced system costs
“The SC 800CP redefines system technology for large-scale plants and makes them economical in the long run by consistently following SMA’s development strategy: integrating top performance and the latest technologies into an exceedingly compact inverter. That has allowed SMA to dramatically lower system costs and simultaneously increase inverter efficiency,” says Jürgen Reekers, who received the award and heads the Central Inverter Development Division at SMA.
The background situation: central inverters in this performance category have traditionally been housed in concrete stations, which not only meant substantial material and transport costs, but also respectively high levels of CO2 emissions. Even plant monitoring – previously distributed across the field – is associated with significant planning and installation expenditure. With the new Sunny Central 800CP, SMA is now able to increase performance by over 25% as compared to comparable devices and simultaneously reduce system costs by up to 35%, thus considerably increasing the large-scale plant operating efficiency.
Simple installation through compact construction and intelligent technology
Eliminating the concrete station, integrating string monitoring into the inverter and compact construction also make installation significantly easier. Moreover, it considerably reduces CO2 emissions, and makes setting up large solar power plants no problem – even in areas that are difficult to access. Intelligent power management is another new feature: together with the OptiCool cooling concept, the device provides the full 880 kVA in continuous operation at an ambient temperature of up to 25°C – 10% more than the listed nominal power. Sunny Central 800CP is the first outdoor-ready PV inverter with more than 500 kVA output and a compact housing. With its comprehensive grid-management features, it also meets all existing and future standards. And yet another outstanding feature: the world’s only Optiprotect function monitors up to 1,600 individual strings for potential failure in combination with intelligent fault management, while an integrated, self-learning approach eliminates time-intensive calibrations.
The overall result is a dramatic reduction in system costs and maximum inverter efficiency. “The EPIA has set the ambitious goal of 12% photovoltaic power generation in Europe by 2020. The use of large-scale PV power plants and their comparably lower system costs is imperative to achieving that objective. The market for large-scale PV plants is growing at a fast pace worldwide, including in North America, India, and China. Thanks to its one-of-a-kind flexibility and affordable price, Sunny Central 800CP can be present in all of these markets," remarked SMA Chief Technology Officer Roland Grebe following the awards ceremony.
Sunny Central 800CP has been produced in Europe since May 2010 and is expected to be available to the North American market by the fourth quarter of this year.
Sunny Central 800CP advantages at a glance:
- Substantial cost reduction with an innovative outdoor concept
- Higher yields with intelligent power management
- Efficiency and longevity with the active OptiCool® cooling concept
- Cost-optimized operation monitoring with Optiprotect
- Security for the future with integrated grid support technologies
The SMA Group generated sales of more than sales of 934 million Euro in 2009 and is the worldwide market leader for photovoltaic inverters, a key component of all solar power plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented on four continents by 13 foreign subsidiaries. The Group employs a staff of over 4,000 (incl. temporary workers). SMA’s product portfolio includes the most comprehensive range of inverters on the market, offering a compatible inverter for every type of photovoltaic module and for all plant sizes. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company SMA Solar Technology AG has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for its excellence as an employer.
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