The next level of PV performance optimization

SMA ShadeFix

SMA ShadeFix

The next level of PV performance optimization

SMA ShadeFix optimization is a proprietary, integrated inverter capability that optimizes PV system energy production in every situation – even when shading occurs.

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Maximum energy production in almost every scenario

PV systems are installed in scenarios where they can convert the largest amount of sunlight into electric current. However, it is not always possible to prevent dormer windows, chimneys, trees and other obstructions from casting shadows on PV modules. This reduces energy yield and lengthens a system owner’s payback period.

This is why SMA has developed a superior optimization technique – SMA ShadeFix. And the best thing about this solution is that SMA ShadeFix optimization is integrated into SMA inverters at no extra cost.

Greater energy production

in every situation and over the entire lifetime of the system. Even in shading.

Enhanced safety

due to fewer components. This keeps the risk of failure to a minimum.

Improved quality & service life

thanks to field proven SMA products and automatic inverter monitoring.

Greater sustainability

through long-lasting solutions and high recyclability.

SMA ShadeFix produces more power than alternatives

SMA inverters with ShadeFix optimization produce the maximum power from PV modules – even in most shaded situations. They outperform traditional module-based optimizers, which require additional hardware. This was the conclusion of a study titled “The Impact of Optimizers for PV Modules” carried out by the University of Southern Denmark in May 2019.

Normal weather shading

Many PV systems experience only shading from passing clouds. SMA ShadeFix optimization outperforms traditional optimizers in these situations because it experiences lower conversion losses and doesn’t require additional power to run the added module-level devices.

Minimal shading

Sometimes a chimney or roof vent causes mild shading. SMA ShadeFix optimization achieves greater energy production than traditional module optimizers in these situations too. How? Optimizers require additional power to operate, sapping system production.

Medium shading

Moderate shading may occur from nearby trees but even that is no match for ShadeFix optimization. SMA’s cutting-edge technology still outperforms traditional optimizers by finding the optimal operating point without consuming unnecessary power or adding superfluous hardware to the system.

Heavy shading

Traditional module optimizers only yield additional energy gains vs ShadeFix optimization in heavily shaded systems. However, system design best practices should mitigate instances of heavy shading.

SMA ShadeFix

Fewer components, enhanced safety and a longer service life. Maximum sustainability.

Enhanced safety due to fewer components.

Why do we use integrated solutions at SMA? Because as the number of components in the entire system increases, so does the failure rate of the PV system. This is why you should never install more devices than necessary.

The benefits are clear:

  • Less work involved in installation and planning
  • No additional electronics on the roof
  • No unnecessary risk of fires and accidents
  • Faster service thanks to SMA Smart Connected

Highly sustainable due to first-class complete solutions

There are, of course, many more reasons for an efficient system design: effective material use, low transportation costs, fewer service calls required – these are only a few examples. As an innovative company, we are always thinking one step ahead in order to combine long-term business success with environmental protection and social responsibility.

  • High material efficiency and durable products
  • High recyclability as fewer components are used
  • CO2 savings thanks to the efficient solution

How SMA ShadeFix works

What is SMA ShadeFix?

SMA ShadeFix is our software-based shade management system. Commonly this feature is used in systems with light to medium shading. Your energy yield is optimised without adding any further components to the system or PV modules. SMA ShadeFix is already integrated into SMA SUNNY BOY and SUNNY TRIPOWER inverters and activated automatically during commissioning. There are no additional costs because SMA ShadeFix is an integral part of the operation management of SMA SUNNY BOY and SUNNY TRIPOWER inverters.


How does SMA ShadeFix work?

SMA ShadeFix uses an intelligent and proven MPP tracking system for many years to determine the operating point with the highest output during shading conditions. With SMA ShadeFix, SMA solar inverters use the best possible energy supply from the PV modules at all times to increase yield in shaded systems.


What distinguishes SMA ShadeFix from conventional power optimisers?

SMA ShadeFix optimises the energy yield in systems during standard shading conditions. This makes SMA ShadeFix the ideal solution in most shading situations to make the best use of the available power of the PV modules. SMA ShadeFix is a software-based solution and is already integrated into SMA SUNNY BOY and SUNNY TRIPOWER inverters. As with conventional power optimisers, additional installation efforts are not required. The advantage of this is a minimised risk of failure of the entire system. The costs for system planning and assembly are kept low. SMA ShadeFix is an integral part of the inverter operation management, included in the acquired scope of services of SMA SUNNY BOY and SUNNY TRIPOWER inverters. Further acquisition costs, as with other power optimisers, are no longer necessary and the amortisation period of the system is not unnecessarily extended.


What is the difference between SMA ShadeFix and OptiTrac Global Peak?

SMA ShadeFix is based on shade management system OptiTrac Global Peak. In the future, SMA will place an even stronger focus on this feature and the ongoing technical development of this solution for shade management. For this reason, we have decided to reposition the feature in the market and give it the attention it deserves.


In which products is SMA ShadeFix integrated?

SMA ShadeFix is available in SMA SUNNY BOY and SUNNY TRIPOWER inverters (see inverter manual or technical datasheet). The parameter name may not yet be shown in the user interface. However, the feature is fully available since SMA ShadeFix is activated by default.


When will the SMA ShadeFix feature be visible in the inverters?

From September 2019, all updatable SMA solar inverters with OptiTrac Global Peak will successively receive a firmware update The feature is updated automatically. The status of the feature remains the same and no further settings are required.


How is SMA ShadeFix activated in the inverter?

The feature is activated by default in current SMA solar inverters If necessary, the time interval at which the inverter determines the optimum operating point can be adjusted via the user interface (see inverter manual). No further settings are necessary.


Whitepaper

Read the whitepaper

SMA’s proprietary ShadeFix technology maximizes PV system energy production, even in shaded conditions, without the need for additional hardware. And, it is backed by a study conducted by the University of Southern Denmark.

 

Read the Whitepaper

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