25 Apr 2014

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Information from SMA.

Sunny Design - making solar pv system design easier

If you’re going to persuade a potential customer to spend thousands of pounds on solar PV, they need a reliable answer to one key question: What do I get back?

So, wouldn’t it be great if you could have a piece of paper to hand to that customer telling them the annual yield which your recommended solar pv system could give them?

Well, with SMA Solar’s free Sunny Design software you can now give your customer that information - and a lot more. Sunny Design has been produced to help make solar PV system design easier. The software can be downloaded for free from the SMA website and within a few minutes this powerful, user-friendly, tool can tell you how to optimise the peak performance of both your array and your inverter.

First, Sunny Design just needs a few pieces of information from you.

It needs to know where you PV system will be located, some information about local weather, including minimum, average and maximum temperatures, and the type of inverter grid connection you will be using. Next it needs to know the alignment of the roof, the mounting type you will be using and if you’ll be using a tracker.

Input the manufacturer and model of module you plan to use - then let Sunny Design do the work for you.

Sunny Design can specify the best SMA inverter to install based on the information you have provided. And it will give you a recommended range of strings and modules.

This will ensure you have sufficient modules for the inverter to hit the all important PV start voltage - and to ensure it can stay within the maximum power point tracking window. That is, of course, crucial if your customer is to maximise yield from their solar PV system.

By recommending a maximum number of modules per string for the specified inverter (again based on your specific location and its likely minimum and maximum temperatures) it will also ensure you don’t overload your inverter with a potentially damaging high level of DC electricity.

Finally, Sunny Design can produce an easy to understand overview for your customer setting out annual kWh yield and a host of other useful data to help them make their decision.

The software makes it easier for you to design them a customised PV plant - giving them peace of mind and saving you time. The overview can easily be exported as a PDF providing you with a printable document (note you can include your company logo, contact information etc.) to present to the customer to help them make their decision.

Sunny Design can be downloaded for use offline on a Windows pc or notebook - or you can use the online web browser version with an iPad or Android tablet device. Convincing your customers of the power of solar just got that little bit easier.

Q What happens if I carry out work on an in-warranty SMA Solar inverter?
A We’ll quickly pay you a set fee for your services

As an installer of SMA inverters you’ll know just how reliable our products are - it’s probably one of the key reasons you chose to install one. Our Sunny Boy inverters, for example, come with a five-year warranty and are designed to last between 20-25 years.
Now that’s what we call longevity.

But what happens in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, and the product you have installed is under warranty? The short answer is - we’ll pay you to help us put things right for your customer.

Our focus is on two things. Firstly, we aim to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum for your customer. Downtime, of course, means yield loss, and that’s in no one’s interests.

Secondly, we promise to adequately compensate you for your services - and to do so quickly.

So, assuming the product is covered by our manufacturers’ warranty (or our extended warranty) we’ll pay you a lump sum for fixing things, whether that means replacing or repairing the device.

Straight off we will pay you £90 for your travel and set up time. If you need to replace the inverter, or if any additional replacements are required, we’ll pay you an additional £15 for each, and all payments are made to you directly from Germany.

Once you become aware of a problem, your first port of call should be the relevant SMA service line. A list of numbers can be found on the SMA Solar UK website. Alternatively, you can log a request for service support online.

Our team of experts will be happy to advise you on the nature of the problem and what needs doing. Be sure to make a note of the ticket number you are given as this will be important when you come to invoice us.

We aim to pay you as quickly as possible and have taken steps to minimise any red tape. An invoice form, plus guidance on completing it and sending it to us, is available on the SMA Solar UK website.

If your customer’s inverter has to be replaced we aim to ship a comparable device with all necessary updates on the same day as the fault is logged. If an in-warranty device is replaced the remaining warranty period carries over to the replacement device.

We think that’s pretty clear - and we hope you do too.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments or queries regarding our service and installer rebate policy.