Service Tip: How to change grid parameters for SMA inverters in Sunny Explorer

This post was originally published in 2016. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

by Simon Wang (guest post), , 37 Comments

One of the most important steps during the commissioning process is connecting the inverter to the grid.  For the inverter to be suitable for the local grid, the correct country standards must be selected. However, in some areas, customized grid settings of the inverter need to be configured to meet the special requirements of the local utility grid. Wrong grid settings can cause inverters to frequently cut off or affect the stability of the local grid. SMA inverters have flexible grid settings which can easily be changed via Sunny Explorer. Your SMA inverter can easily meet the requirements from local grid providers and have a stable grid connection at the same time.

 

What is Sunny Explorer?

Sunny Explorer is a free software from SMA which enables local monitoring of SMA inverters via Bluetooth or Speedwire. With Sunny Explorer, you can easily monitor the performance of your inverter and detect any unusual behaviour.

With Sunny Explorer, the operating parameters of your inverter can easily be changed to meet any special requirements on-site. In a lot of countries or special areas, you will need to re-configure the grid parameters of your SMA inverter to meet the grid requirements. All that’s required is a Windows laptop which has Sunny Explorer installed. You can then use Sunny Explorer to connect your inverter via Bluetooth or Speedwire to change the grid parameters of your inverter.

 

SMA Grid Guard Code

To have a customized grid setting for your inverter, you will need to apply for a grid guard code from SMA before you visit the site. You can simply download the grid guard code via this link. Alternatively, the grid guard application form can also be found by searching “grid guard code “on the SMA website (http://www.sma.de/en/). Please fill in your details and send the form to ServiceLine@SMA.de.  SMA will provide you a grid guard code within 2 weeks after receiving the completed application form. Once you’ve received the grid guard code, simply input your grid guard code in the grid guard code section in Sunny Explorer. From there, you will be able to change the grid parameters in Sunny Explorer.

 

How to change the grid parameters in Sunny Explorer

Before you visit the site, please download Sunny Explorer on your Windows laptop. The program can be downloaded via this link. Please also make sure your laptop has Bluetooth as well, or alternatively a Speedwire cable can be used to connect directly to the inverter’s Webconnect.

  1. Login to Sunny Explorer as an installer. Simple instructions on how to do so can be found in the Tech Tip video, ‘Tech Tip: Connecting Bluetooth® to SMA Inverters.’ (Default Password for installer is 1111). Watch the video here>>
  2. When you are on the page of Sunny Explorer, click “Option“- “Grid guard code” on the top side of the window to enter your grid guard code. Then navigate to the “Grid Monitoring” settings. Under the “Grid monitoring” setting, please adjust the grid parameters (Grid voltage, Frequency, tripping time etc.) according to the requirements from the grid provider. Please make sure to save the settings before exiting.

Examples adjusting grid parameters using Sunny Explorer

Below are some examples of how to use Sunny Explorer to adjust the grid parameters of the inverter to meet the requirements from a local grid provider.

 

Example 1:
Two-stage overvoltage tripping requirements (similar to what is required by Ergon Energy)

 

Vnom-max = 255V (10 minute rolling average)

Overvoltage 1 = 260V, trip time < 2 seconds

Overvoltage 2 = 265V, trip time < 0.2 seconds

 

The following adjustments need to be made in Sunny Explorer to meet the requirements:

 

 

Example 2: 
Modified Frequency Limit trip points (similar to what is required by Ausgrid for >30kVA installs)

 

Frequency upper limit = 52hz, trip time < 2 seconds

 

Frequency lower limit = 47hz, trip time < 2 seconds

 

The following adjustments need to be made in Sunny Explorer to meet the requirements:

 

 

Example 3
Implement a Power-Voltage response curve (similar to what is required by Western Power for >30kVA installs)

 

The following response curve from AS/NZS4777.2:2015 needs to be implemented:

Example of a Power Voltage Response Curve

Example of a Power Voltage Response Curve

 

The following adjustments need to be made in Sunny Explorer to meet the requirements:

 

Step 1:

 

Step 2:

 

Conclusion

A clear understanding about the requirements from the grid provider is the first and most important step in the inverter grid connection process. With the flexible grid setting of SMA inverters in Sunny Explorer, customers and installers can easily adjust the relevant grid parameters of the inverters to meet the requirements from the grid provider. Correct grid settings of the inverters will help the system avoid cut-offs due to grid voltage and frequency issues and guarantee a stable performance of your solar system.

 

37 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Aluísio says:

    Hello!
    I’m Aluísio from Brazil. I have set a FLEXIBLE STORAGE SYSTEM WITH BATTERY BACKUP FUNCTION. Every thing is great BUT there is a problem. Just one. When the utility grid faults the SUNNY ISLAND is establishing a 50Hz backup grid. I need that it establishes a 60Hz backup grid. I don’t get to change. How must i do to change? To set the inverter to 60Hz?

    Thanks so much.
    Aluísio

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Mark Lao says:

    Good day guys i would like to request your company for Philippine Grid settings maybe you can give me the data. thank you

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Lucas Unbehaun says:

      Hi Mark,

      please contact SMA Australia in this case. You can reach them via phone: +61 2 9491 4200

      Regards, Lucas

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Ivor says:

    Hi guys I already have a grid guard code but I’m still seeing a lock symbol on the sunny explorer page. However the inverter say Grid guard code valid. ..help please

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Lucas Unbehaun says:

      Hi Ivor,

      If you see a lock symbol right next to the inverter, it indicates that the wrong installer password has been entered.
      Please enter the correct installer password to be able to access inverter parameters again. Once the correct password has been entered,
      the lock symbol should disappear and you should be able to enter the Grid Guard Code again to adjust parameters.

      If the installer password is unknown, we kindly recommend you to contact the Service Line directly.

      Regards, Lucas

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Monika says:

    These are change grid parameters for sma inverters in your sunny explore on their conversation in this topic so presenting many important blog.

    Reply
    • Carolyn Schlosser
      Carolyn Schlosser says:

      Hello Mr. Bin Omar,

      I’m not sure wether I`ve got your inquiry right. Which system are you talking about?
      Please provide more information about your System-/Wiring arrangement.
      Type of inverter, type of battery, ongrid-/offgrid system.

      Thank you!

      Kind regards,
      Carolyn

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Aundrea Cambridge says:

    Hello SMA,

    How can I extend the frequency range of the SB10000TL-US-12 to 61Hz?

    Regards,
    Aundrea Cambridge

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Rafael Larios says:

    Hi there!

    I am trying to clear “Permanent Disable Mode” from an SB 8000 inverter per the following link:

    https://www.sma-service.com/en/faq-support/wok/Diagnosis/show.html?no_cache=1&tx_lwsmawok_pi1%5BsymptomId%5D=%3Csg%3Asymptom%3A769%3E&tx_lwsmawok_pi1%5Bsearchword%5D=Permanent%20Disable%20Mode&tx_lwsmawok_pi1%5Bproduct%5D=0&cHash=a29ba5c27

    However, Sunny Explorer never displays the “Reset Operation inhibition” option after clicking on the “Reset Operating Data” button. I have read “Sunny Explorer” manual and nothing is remotely mentioned about that. I have checked many places whether I need “Power Grid Code” to do that to no avail.

    Can anybody please tell me if I need the “Power Grid Code”? Also, the link that says where to obtain it sends one to a 404 page.

    Thanks in advance

    Rafael

    Reply
    • Carolyn Schlosser
      Carolyn Schlosser says:

      Hi Rafael,

      I unfortunately don`t know which inverter you actually own (Serialnumber is missing).
      I`d like to confirm that a complete blockage in operation actually means, that the inverter turned from operation Mode “Mpp” into operation Mode “Stopp”. It mostly happens in case that the inverters internal flash memory is running full due to frequently occurring faults. You can try to reset these “DBH, permanent blockage” (I will send you a picture which describes the process via e-mail), but if there is still a serious hardware conflict for example, its memory is running full immediately again, it won`t be successful at all. There`s no need to have a SMA Grid Guard Code.
      I`m interesting to know how you find out that inverter turned from Mpp into STopp (Display, Data Logger, Communication?)

      Sunny regards,
      Carolyn

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Rafael Larios says:

        Hi Carolyn,

        I have three inverters that had not been used in a relatively long time. One inverter may be bad, and as this bad inverter was already in place, it was used to test the “boards” of the other two inverters which were not installed (you know how heavy they are).

        As it seems a hardware problem exists in inverter S/N: 2002194047, (K1-Open error) the control boards of the other two also got locked with same error after testing and now we have three “bad” inverters.

        The purpose of clearing this “Permanent Disable Mode” condition is to be able to use the other two inverters: S/N: 2007312851 and 2007305416. All three are SB 8000US-12.

        Also, I already sent multiple screenshots of Sunny Solar to your return email address. Thanks for sharing the screenshot, by the way. Good to hear that Power Grid Guard code is not necessary.

        I wonder if inverters’ firmware is not compatible with Sunny Explorer. According to the documentation, the Bluetooth adapter is 100% compliant with Sunny Explorer.

        Thanks again for your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

        Sincerely

        Rafael

  7. Avatar
    Sevak says:

    Hi SMA,
    I want to set STP 25000TL-30 in accordance with our grid parameters. The grid parameters are: phase voltage 220 V, frequency 50 Hz, language – English. What position should I set for Rotary Switches A and B?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Carolyn Schlosser
      Carolyn Schlosser says:

      Hi Sevak,

      Please contact your installer. He knows your system and the local conditions the best.

      Sunny regrads,
      Carolyn

      Reply
  8. Avatar
    Bertrand Michaut says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    I have a SB 5.0 from last géneration and would like to drive the delivery power of my SMA by the frequency.
    It’s installed in a off grid mode .
    I mean when my ref frequency is 50Hz it’s full power, 51 Hz mid power and 52 Hz power is zero.
    Thank’s a lot for your informations…
    Best regards

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Muhire Herve says:

    Hi, i live in Rwanda, i actually have a Sunny Boy Inverter SB5000 TL-21.
    I Would like to get a GridGuard Code as i want to configure the inverter grid settings according to our local power grid settings.
    The inverter keep showing restarting in 560 seconds, then later it shows restarting in 120 seconds…
    And it does it again.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    SIVANANTHAM says:

    Hi,
    A company installed Sunny boy 5000 TL in Sri Lanka. They did not change the country setting using the Rotary switches.

    They commissioned it and it is now facing export issues.

    Now they are required a password to change the country setting.

    They have sent an request. Kindly Respond to them.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Seitan Alkufrini says:

    Thank you very much, I think SMA inverters need a specialized engineer to adjusted correctly, it’s a good quality, but it’s completed unlike any other inverters in market they are so simple to adjust within minutes you can do your job.

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Rafael Ciungu says:

    Dear SMA. I have an off-grid project with 2 x SB 1.5 ; 2 x SB 2.5 ; 2 x SB 3.0 and 2 Sunny Island 6.0 connected to a battery pack 48V/480Ah Pb. After I did the set up of the parameters in Sunny Island mode 50Hz all of the inverters are working less SB 3.0. I will need your help in configure the right parameters. Thank you very much in advance.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      mcsherman says:

      hie did you get the the off-grid parameters for the SB3.0

      im looking for them also ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Reply
      • Anke Baars
        Anke Baars says:

        Hi,
        For the stand-alone mode you need to select a country data set valid for the stand-alone mode or a valid set country standard (see the PV inverter documentation). Please note that you need installer rights for these settings.
        Kind regards,
        Anke

  13. Avatar
    Ron Phillips says:

    I have 3kW of solar panels and a SB 3000TL 21 grid inverter from a decommisioned job.
    I want to run these in conjunction with batteries a charge controller and possibly a Sunny Island or similar.
    This system will be offgrid and I want to change parameters of the SB3000 to prevent grid detection shutdown.
    How is this achieved.
    I have Gridgaurd code and I am licenced CEC installer.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    jim says:

    Hello, i am getting an error code on the sunny island that says ” no valid grid” and its on standby mode

    Reply
    • Anke Baars
      Anke Baars says:

      Hi Jim,
      Please check the trouble shooting part in the operation manual, and then follow the instructions, or ask your installer to check the parameters. Hope, you´ll get help soon.
      Kind regards, Anke

      Reply
  15. Avatar
    hamed says:

    hello dear
    I would like to change my inverters power factor to 0.8 lead but i cant? is there any way please help me?

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    David says:

    Good day i need a help if im using the sma pv inverter working with a generatoron the rotayt switch what setting should i choose

    Reply
  17. Avatar
    Kaido Rohtmaa says:

    Hello,

    I kindly ask some help regarding grid monitoring, about configuration setting’s meaning eg is there any manual available which explains thoroughly how to understand the meaning of configurable parameters in STP inverters. For example:
    Frequency monitoring / Lower maximum threshold
    Frequency monitoring / Upper minimum threshold
    Voltage monitoring / Median maximum threshold
    Voltage monitoring / Voltage increase protection

    Generally these and the rest of inverter parameters are understandable but SMA manuals doesn’t include thorough explanation of these. I wonder do you have a specific guide for instaaler’s use available?

    Kind regards
    Kaido

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    Avinash Ramphul says:

    Hello,
    I’m from Mauritius and is currently installing a Sunny Boy 5000TL.
    I have 2 strings of panels each 2520W.
    I would like to know If I can use only one DC Entry?

    Reply
    • Carolyn Schlosser
      Carolyn Schlosser says:

      Hi Avinash,

      5 kWp can be connected to one MPPT input, if the voltage is below specification of the SB 5000.

      Sunny regards,
      Carolyn

      Reply
  19. Avatar
    Jim says:

    Dear SMA Team, we have a System with S4 Sunny Islands and a Tesvolt LiIon Battery installed at a house that is connected to the grid. Also we got 4 SUnny Boys of 6 Kw and As per recommendatino of a service technican at SMA we then put the configuration in Off grid mode during the instlation assistan process configuration. However i think this is the wrong configuration as we also want to feed in the grid. Where can I find detailed information about those configurations and what they mean?

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    Mcsherman says:

    in need of Grid Guard Code for sunny boy 3000TL-20 for off-grid/stand alone
    installation in Zimbabwe

    Reply

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