Extreme locations with extreme exposures

Desert-proof, earthquake-secure, storm-resistant: these are qualities that are indispensable in central inverters exposed to extreme climate conditions.

Sandstorms, wide temperature swings, or high humidity are only a few examples of the extreme conditions affecting all device elements. The worst imaginable weather is one of the great risks that solar technology has to take into account.

But no matter what the weather, no matter what the location, pv system technology is expected to be absolutely reliable and operationally secure.

Harsher than the harshest climate: SMA quality tests

SMA regularly subjects its inverters to a series of demanding tests to exclude all possible risks right from the start. In company-own and extern test centers extreme climate scenarios can be simulated – even beyond the point of worst case.

All device types, especially open-air inverters in the Sunny Central CP series, are taken to the limits of their endurance in tests lasting several hours.

The results provide conclusive information about performance, recommendations for optimized installation, or ideas for the development of new products for specific locations and conditions. The results also prove that the inverters have qualities that exceed even the most demanding expectations.

SMA lightning test

Lightning can strike at anytime, anywhere. The lightning test ensures that the Sunny Central CP will continue to function without problems even after suffering a direct hit.
During lightning strike simulations, the devices are subject to currents of 40kA. This corresponds to double the power of an average lighting strike.
The test proves that Sunny Central CP will continue to function during and after lightning strikes.

SMA electromagnetic compatibility test (EMC test)

If several electronic devices are located in the same general vicinity, the danger of electrical or electromagnetic interference has to be eliminated to ensure uninterrupted performance.

The EMC test takes into consideration both the possibility that the inverter might interfere with the performance of other electronic devices, as well as the reaction of the inverter to interference from other devices on the Sunny Central CP.

Results show that the inverter is not only immune to interference from other devices, but also that it emits minimal interference itself.

SMA earthquake test

Developed especially for sites in earthquake-prone regions, this test is intended to verify the structural stability of the central inverter and its flawless functioning in such an event.

The device is subjected to multiaxial dynamic stresses on a servo-hydraulic vibration system. This corresponds to the forces that the device must withstand in the event of an earthquake.

The test confirms that structural stability, integrity and function of the inverter is not impaired, even under extreme, earthquake-like stresses.

SMA climatic chamber test

Locations in Africa, Asia, or North America are often subject to extreme temperature variations. The climate chamber test was developed to ensure that the Sunny Central CP inverters can withstand them.

SMA has its own test center with walk-in climate chambers for simulating high temperatures and humidity to subject the devices to extreme conditions.
Inverters are run in temperatures of between –40°C to +90°C to test the limits of their capabilities. The tests also include relative humidity of between 10 and 95 percent. Tests on running inverters can last up to 1 000 hours.

The results show that the Sunny Central CP inverters continue to function reliably and securely even under extremes of temperature and humidity.

SMA sand and dust test

Extreme local climates require extreme durability. This is especially true in desert-like regions. Searing hot to icy cold temperatures coupled with sandstorms mean that devices are subject to the worst possible conditions.

The sand and dust test was developed to ensure that the devices can withstand the worst of desert challenges: the extremely fine dust particles that can penetrate the smallest of openings and slits to settle all over. The devices have to be tested to determine the extent to which these particles might damage function and components.

SMA sand and dust test

Dust is blown directly at the devices at speeds of between 1.5 and 20 m/s. The integrated OptiCool® cooling system takes in and circulates air just as in normal operation.

Large amounts of dust settle onto device and seals. The interior of the device is completely unaffected. The same is true for the ventilators: when they are removed at the end of the test, they are found to be completely free of dust particles.

The test proves the complete reliability of the Sunny Central CP in sandy, dusty environments. The OptiCool’s encapsulated design securely protects the device and its electronic components from damage: a guarantee for the uninterrupted operation and longevity of the entire PV installation.