SMA’s super versatile Sunny Island battery inverter beats the loadshedding challenges in South Africa

  • South African households and businesses have experienced load-shedding for decades, which has got progressively worse.
  • This winter they braced themselves for up to 16 hours of no power daily.
  • The SMA Sunny Island offers a versatile solution to the problem which will ensure your home living experience or your business is not compromised by lengthy grid power outages.

What is SMA Photovoltaic (PV) inverter?

A PV inverter is the heart of every PV plant. It is an electronic device converts the direct current (DC) from the sunlight into a grid compliant alternating current (AC). SMA has vast innovative portfolio of products ranging from residential/ commercial applications up to utility scale. These products include the smallest Sunny Boy & Sunny Tripower inverters tailored for use in residential and commercial systems.

What is SMA Sunny Islands battery inverter?

The Sunny Island is SMA’s first & most famous battery inverters which support a variety range of applications whether single phase or 3 – phase systems. The Sunny Islands temporarily stores self-generated power in the batteries thus making it possible to use in cases when grid/external source is not available, for example during load shedding. The flexibility of these battery inverters supports a wide range of applications:

  • On grid applications
  • Off – grid applications &
  • Battery backup mode

SMA’s “On -Grid” applications with Sunny Islands

On Grid applications we have the public grid as the main source with a PV system installed with the aim to reduce consumption from the public grid merely with the sole purpose to reduce electricity bill. Any excess energy from the PV can be send back to the grid. The storage system is optional in this application; however, it would economically make sense to include storage even for self-consumption applications. The sunny islands can be integrated providing backup solution.

SMA’s “Off – Grid/ Battery backup” applications with Sunny Islands

Off grid applications as per SMA concept, we classify these systems as those with own external source. In these applications the storage solution is a must in the system and PV system is considered the main energy supply with the batteries as the main autonomous grid for the system. In these applications the Sunny Islands can connect an external source with the aim to protect the batteries in an event when solar energy is insufficient/unavailable to charge the batteries, the external source will intervene to maintain the State of Charge (SOC) of the batteries.

What battery types are supported by the SI’s?

The Sunny Island is equipped with an integrated battery management systems for lead -acid batteries that ensures the batteries charge carefully & deep discharge is avoided; however, it is possible to connect other battery technologies such as lithium-Ion. SMA has a list of approved batteries to connect with the Sunny Islands that is also available on the website.

Three phase load customers & storage solution

For customer with a three-phase load can also use the Sunny Island battery solution. The SI’s can be parallel connected in cluster of three; all connected to a single battery. For customers with larger systems, they can expand by adding more Sunny Islands and this is than called a Multicluster systems. In a single three phase system, we can connect a maximum of twelve clusters using SMA’s Multicluster Box.

For a versatile, high quality and reliable inverter solution, specify the SMA Sunny Island inverter for your home or business.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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