Questions and Answers on Discontinuation of the Sunny WebBox

This post was originally published in 2015. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

At the end of October 2015, we will be discontinuing some of our communication solutions such as the Sunny WebBox. This announcement led to some questions. First of all, thank you for your feedback. As announced, we would like to respond to the key points you raised in this Q&A document.

 

Your concerns were the following:

• What’s going to happen with the service for defective devices, even for very old systems?
• Is there a successor device for the Sunny WebBox in the pipeline?
• What’s going to happen with RS485 communication?
• Basic criticism that the Sunny WebBox is not compatible with the Sunny Home Manager and does not contain any sensor technology, and that the SMA Cluster Controller is too expensive for private residential PV systems.

SMA will continue to supply the Sunny WebBox to wholesalers until the end of October 2015.

SMA will continue to supply the Sunny WebBox to wholesalers until the end of October 2015.

SMA will continue to supply the Sunny WebBox to wholesalers until the end of October 2015.

Our answers:

Basically, the introduction of SMA Webconnect and Speedwire communication has led to a slump in demand for monitoring devices that communicate with inverters via RS485. Every new Sunny Boy is fitted with a Webconnect interface as standard, enabling a simple and cost-effective connection to Sunny Places and Sunny Portal without the need for any additional devices. This means that new systems are equipped with all the basic monitoring functions.
For systems that focus on self-consumption, with the Sunny Home Manager, SMA offers a comprehensive energy management system. The SMA Cluster Controller assumes advanced monitoring tasks, particularly in commercial applications, with a local display and the option to connect commercially available sensors and a direct marketer interface. In addition, the SMALL version, which has been available since spring 2015, offers a cost-efficient alternative specially designed for commercial or residential PV systems.
For existing systems with a Sunny WebBox, all warranty services will of course be honored during the factory warranty period, and additionally we will also be offering repair service.
Customers who are already operating a system with SMA inverters without monitoring, but who want to purchase a monitoring solution with Sunny WebBox in the near future will still be able to do so through wholesalers.
In addition, SMA is also examining the possibility of combining existing systems using RS485 communication with current and new communication solutions that include advanced functions and services. As soon as we have a decision on this, we will notify customers here on the blog page.
We hope we’ve been able to respond to some of your key issues in this document. If you have any further questions, feel free to use the comments function.

 

Questions and Answers on Discontinuation of the Sunny WebBox
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23 Comments
  1. Kris says:

    Do the new inverters with integrated Webconnect have FTP Functionality? If not, how do we get this? FTP Functionality has been been a staple for us in buying WebBoxes. Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Julia Stunz says:

      Hi Kris,

      The new inverters of the classes 1.5/2.5 and the 5.0/6.0 US with the new web interface haven`t FTP/FTP push neither they aren`t compatible with the webBox.
      The data can be only collected by the sunny portal or modbus.

      Kind regards,
      Julia

      Reply
      • Chandler Heath says:

        Hi Julia,

        So to confirm, the Sunny Boy 5000TL-US-22 will support Modbus with Webconnect and will no longer require a WebBox? I have a PV Supervisor right now.

        Cheers,

        Chandler

      • Carolin Rost
        Carolin Rost says:

        Hello Chandler,
        Please contact our Service Team in America by email (Service@SMA-America.com) or telephone (+1 877-697-6283). Our colleagues will help you.
        Kind regards,
        Carolin

  2. Jonathan Gleich says:

    Hi there, I just has a sunpower 12.4kw system installed with two SB 6000TL-US-22’s (us80) manufactured:09/2015 with a white sunpower cover.

    They have the older RS485 connector on them, is there a way to get a fastwire/Webconnect/bluetooth
    device to replace the older tech?

    My dealer has been unable to give me an answer

    Thanks!
    Jonathan

    Reply
    • Justin Dyke
      Justin Dyke says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      I am sorry that your local SunPower dealer hasn’t contact you about this, but that is the only way to determine the type of equipment upgrades are possible. SunPower-branded Sunny Boy inverters use a slightly different communication protocol than the normal Sunny Boys and as such, the communication equipment that goes with it is specific to those systems and not sold by SMA.

      All the best,
      Justin

      Reply
  3. Travis says:

    Is there a solution for older Sunny Boys without the newer communications protocol? We have a client with a Webbox that hasn’t been working properly and they would like a replacement. Are there compatible non-SMA communications products that can be used with the old RS 485 Sunny Boys?

    Reply
  4. David S Martin says:

    We have a system with 15 SMA inverters (5 each Sunny Boy 9kw, 10kw and 11kw) which have only RS485 connectivity. Our original monitoring system from Locus Energy has failed. What are our options?

    Reply
    • Viktoria Mai
      Viktoria Mai says:

      Dear David,

      we have basically two options, you can use RS485 interfaces with an Gateway from SMA to Speedwire and as Datalogger an Cluster Controller. On the other hand, you can directly use Speedwire interfaces with a Cluster Controller.
      Please contact your local SMA provider, tell him the serial number and look for the best solution of your plant.

      Warm Regards
      Viktoria

      Reply
  5. David S Martin says:

    I understand that SMA plans to introduce a new product to facilitate communication between inverters with the RS485 card and the Webconnect box. Can you share any information?

    Reply
  6. earl leo says:

    Is there a difference between the RS485 and Speedwire/webconnect in terms of reliability ? or which is whih

    Reply
  7. Steve says:

    I have a SB 7000-US inverter in my PV system with RS 485 and would like to have remote monitoring / logging. What are my options now the WebBox has been discontinued ?

    Reply
    • Jennifer Rößler
      Jennifer Rößler says:

      Hello Steve,
      As mentioned in the article, the alternative for the Sunny Webbox would be either the SMA Cluster Controller or the Sunny Home Manager. You can find more information on http://www.SMA.de
      Kind regards, Jennifer

      Reply
  8. Grace Robertson says:

    Here at LightWave Solar, we have not yet installed a cluster controller. But we might need to for an upcoming installation at a museum where they would like to display their monitoring site. Can you provide a screenshot of the “public kiosk” view?

    Reply
    • Carolin Rost
      Carolin Rost says:

      Hello Grace,
      Unfortunately, we can not answer your question because we do not exactly know what you mean. Can you describe your request more detaily, please?
      Kind regards,
      Carolin

      Reply
    • Rob Lamendola says:

      Hi all, Install inverters, Cluster Controller, and setup your ‘Plant’ on Sunny Portal. Once logged into SMA Sunny Portal, all available screens and views (i.e. PV System Overview, Power output, Energy, etc.) have, at the bottom of the page, a section titled “URL of the Page:”. Therefore, if the client wants a KIOSK in lobby area, you can just have the KIOSK (with a standard web browser) default to only show the unique URL address for the view they’d like displayed on the KIOSK. This URL can also be nested in client’s website to showcase the solar system. We did this on a couple public school projects. Shine On, Rob~

      Reply
  9. Bob Bracalente says:

    So I just had a new solar system installed last month featuring three Sunny Boy inverters. The installer is waiting on RS-485 cards to connect these to a Sunny WebBox which they are also providing.

    My question is…this blog post is circa-2015. For a brand-new installation, why am I apparently getting 2+ year-old equipment, as well as the (apparently) obsolete Sunny WebBox??

    Reply
    • Rhea Terlinden
      Rhea Terlinden says:

      Hey Bob,
      we can´t answer this question, therefore you have to ask your installer for more information.

      Best regards
      Rhea

      Reply
  10. Lynly Gilman says:

    Hi,
    I have 2 sunny boy SB6000U inverters with the RS485 cards installed. I was told I need the sunny webbox and purchased a new old stock. Confirmed it with a representative that its correct. Apparently he overlooked that it was a Bluetooth BT-20. The RS485 cards are wired not Bluetooth. I need a data logging system for my inverters. What’s available for me? Can I used an aftermarket bluetooth adapter with dip switches instead? If so will the Sunny Webbox BT-20 work with my inverters?
    Thanks
    Lynly G.

    Reply
    • Carolyn Schlosser
      Carolyn Schlosser says:

      Hi Lynly,

      Please contact your installer. He is able to tell you if your inverter has a bluetooth slot.

      Sunny regards,
      Carolyn

      Reply
  11. Scott Fellhoelter says:

    I have the 8000US and need to monitor the system via Sunny Portal, Is the WebBox 485 Blue tooth the solution which is best? If not, What is? The Suntrol system they originally installed has Suntrol software which is no longer supported to monitor my Plant. How Can I best and what least expensive options do I have now?

    Reply

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