Residential Solar Has Changed Forever: Now Taking Orders for the Newest Sunny Boy TL-US!

This post was originally published in 2013. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

The Sunny Boy TL-US: Forever Changing Residential Solar

SMA America has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm within the solar industry for the new Sunny Boy TL-US inverter and we are delighted to announce that we’ve officially begun taking orders for this revolutionary inverter! 

Watch this short video and learn about all of the superior benefits of the Sunny Boy TL-US, which includes:

>          Maximum power production

>          Flexible design and simple installation

>          Secure Power Supply

>          Innovative communications tools

Installers can place orders for the new Sunny Boy TL-US through their local dealers and distributors. Click here to find an SMA distributor in your area.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let us know which new feature you are most excited about! 

 

101 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Andy Clemans says:

    We just installed our first two TL’s this past Friday.

    The initial feedback is that although the inverters are what we want in a TL inverters as far as performance, at first glance the physical design of the inverter leaves much to be desired. Because of the disconnect offset from the wall and the two separate input locations for DC and AC, the conduit situation becomes and unsightly mess when you have multiple inverters. I would love to see a picture of a TL install with multiple inverters to see where we missed the boat.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Joel Parks says:

    no problems with our SMA 2500U installed in 2004, but if it ever fails I’ll be back to look into the 3000TL/US. Glad to see the “Secure Power” feature, it would be nice if you supplied a little more technical info. Looks like I just run an extension cord from the “dedicated” outlet to the input on my transfer switch, then at night fire up the Honda EU2000i, or the Converdant Plug-out Island if the Prius is in the driveway (see http://www.converdant.biz/plug-out/plug-out-island-kit-prius-2kva-120v-60hz-psw/ ).

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    richard says:

    Very good.–Can’t wait to get started. but then by next spring when I’m hoping to break ground you’ll probably have even better inverters. One can only hope.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Jeremiah Rohr says:

    What happens on a partly cloudy/sunny day when the grid is down? Will this source keep cutting in and out if there is not enough irradiation to keep the inverter going and would I have to keep turning the switch “on” each time it reset?

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Bob says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Is the Secure Power feature available on any TL inverters larger than 5k? I’m just in the bid process for solar system on my home which will probably be 7 or 8.

    Thanks,
    Bob

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    jim says:

    I just had my us 5000tl installed. Really like it. How can i see the performance online? what steps do I need to create graphs or to check its daily production? What are all my options to track its performance.I see the display reading production but how do I log that on a spreadsheet.

    Thanks
    Jim

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Ralph says:

    I’ve had the SB 2500U since 2003. Great product and although it failed a few years ago SMA was great about shipping me a replacement for a few hundred bucks. So I’m a big SMA fan and I’m planning to expand my system and add the 5000TL. I really like the idea of the secure power supply feature but I’m wondering if it has the capacity to handle start-up loads like that from a refrigerator? I’ve used a small 1600W ‘running’ / 2000W ‘peak’ DC generator Invertor to power both my refrig and my freezer during a power outage as it had the capacity to handle the startup draw from both (staggered) with no problem. Can the sunny boy handle something like this as well? If so, I’m SOLD!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Alfred Kirsch says:

    I need to know if I can connect two equal sets of 6 panels each inseries directly to the Sonny Boy 3800US Inverter without a combiner ? Do I need a red, black, white wire disconnect at the main service disconnect of the PV system

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Greg F says:

    Hi, how far from the inverter can you install the dedicated outlet? I assume the closer to the inverter the better, but what is the recommended maximum distance?

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Rick Noden says:

    I am comparing a 5.4KW 2- Sunnyboy 3000TL 20pc 270 Watt /panel system with a 5.4KW 20DC SEoptimizer, same 20pc 270 Watt/panel, SE6KW inverter system on a 19 degree uniform no shade roof. The optimizer mfrs say I will get up to 25% more energy with the optimizers. What do you”SMA” say? I cannot make a direct comparison using data on each system. I know I will get the most per panel if cloudy or some get dirty etc. but what about sunup/down and marginal days I know the optimizers will go very low and keep each panel to their max where string cant.
    I love the idea of 1500 watts of sunny backup power…esp with using the 2 SB3000TLs…I get 2.
    Also I assume I can compare the monitoring side by side to know if I have problems with one group of 10 or the other. Since their is no individual panel tracking. Or is there more tracking than I think.
    Will be committing to one or the other soon.
    Thanks

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Kris says:

    Hey Mellisa,

    I am sourcing inversters for 100kW commercial flat roof pv project. Its in North Africa with 240V 50hz AC. Any recommendations on which sunny boy setup works best for this project?

    thx in advance
    K

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Peter says:

    1.Do the string sizes need to have the same characteristics on the dual input 5000TL?

    2.Will 13 LG 280watt panels with 39Voc push the limit of 600volt max of the 5000TL?

    ie… 13panels x 39Voc= 507volts ….507volts x 1.18 low temp correction= 598.26 volts?

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Rick Kapur says:

    Hi there,

    My installer has been trying to find a SMA Sunny Boy 3800 TL-US for me, and is coming up empty.

    Can you pls guide us where we can get one asap; we need it in San Jose California

    Thanks

    Rick Kapur
    503 475 4564

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Don Boccio says:

    I have a question about your display, I notice that the icon for the square panels toggle from left to right. On one side the panel displays a Voltage (around 450V), the other side is always zero amps, volts and watts. My green light stays on during sunlight and seems to show a constant output about 2.5 kw. Is this normal? or should I have my installer Solar Alliance of San Diego check it?

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Mark Claussen says:

    Reference post of 7/20/14 that was answered by Justin Dyke of SMA
    Justin; I was able to test the SPS on my 4000 TL-US this weekend using my Club Car golf cart charger with the following results;
    1. The location is South Central Texas on a mostly sunny day. The time was 1:30 PM CST. My ~4000 watt system (14 – Solar World 280 mono panels) was outputting 3100 – 3300 watts max, dropping to ~1200 under clouds.
    2. The 48 volt charger kicked on with no problems – under full sun. The inverter wattage read around 600 watts with the charger showing around 10 amps. It continued to operate for about an hour (I had to leave). The charger “kicked off” once – but only for a second or so – don’t know if the SPS actually reset or not – seemed much to quick!
    3. An interesting observation was that 10 amps (48 volts) is quite low for the initial charge on my batteries – in fact when I plugged the charger into a regular outlet – immediately after this “test” – the amps jumped to the normal 13+ and stayed there. The SPS amperage continued to drop during the “test” to around 8 amps – with a inverter reading of 560 watts.

    It certainly appears that the SPS will adequately charge my 4 – 155 AH batteries on a sunny day with no problems – and the initial surge current does not seem to be a problem. I’d be interested if you can explain why the cart charger runs at lower amperages on the SPS as compared to a regular 120 volt outlet (grid of course). This cart does have a computer control system that regulates the charge.

    Mark

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Michael says:

    I never use even strings of 7. If you look at the efficiency curve the higher range of voltage is best but make sure you temperature correct. For my designs I always string between 10 to 14 for 60 cell modules and 8 to 12 72 cell modules. Also note that the max recommended dc input power is only 106% of the rated ac output. Again, refer to the efficiency curve.

    Reply
  17. Avatar
    Lloyd says:

    Was looking for the quote that was referenced in my email. . . . I am really slow at this email / internet stuff but could not find a reference to the estimate.

    Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    lloyd says:

    Found the quote, sorry to bother you . . . I am not very bright . ..

    Thanks, What kind of storage do you suggest if I wanted to go to a 10 kw system, and how much roof space would the panel take up?

    Have been considering this for years and am still just looking at the cost/vs benefit of installing a sun powered system that can run some of the house while power is out. Am on well and septic so when we are without power we are without water.

    Thanks
    Lloyd

    Reply
  19. Avatar
    chris says:

    after looking at some of the documentation of this family of inverter, i wish there was an installation video, especially regarding the electrical connections, is there 1 possible

    Reply
  20. Avatar
    Terry says:

    My Sunny Boy shuts down (is off) at night (dark), then restarts (is on) in the morning (daylight). I don’t recall it doing that before. It acts like it doesn’t have power to maintain during the night, I would think it would take that power from the grid?

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    Terry says:

    Hi Justin,
    First of all I would like to preface my reply by thanking SMA for this blog and their customer service. I’m very disappointed in the company that designed and installed my system. Not only did they charge me an exorbitant amount to install, they left me with many important parameters on the Sunny Island, which I also have, setup very wrong causing battery overheating, equalization problems, and etc. When I questioned them about it I was told to call SMA which I did. Now I have, I think, Sunny Island working properly. This is the first issue I have had with Sunny Boy.

    Yes I have Sunny Boy SB4000US and knew about tapping on the case to light up the back light for the display. Nothing happens until daylight when the solar panels start producing a little power, then all seems fine.

    I will call customer service

    Terry

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    Terry says:

    Hi Justin,

    Indeed, I called customer service and talked with I think his name was John. He informed my with the model of Sunny Boy that I have it does shut down the display with no panel power. He also cleared up a few more questions that I had. Good job SMA, all is well.

    Terry

    Reply
  23. Avatar
    Bob says:

    I’m designing an unbalanced system (315 W modules) with 6 modules on one string and 11 modules on another string (due to shading on the 6 module string). Will use the SB 5000TL-US-22 (240V) inverter with both A and B channels active (6 on A, 11 on B). Two questions: (1) Do I need to install a blocking (isolation) diode on each string? (I don’t think so) and (2) Do I need at least 200 V on both channels A and B to turn on the SPS feature, or will the SPS work with at least 200 V on just one channel? Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Avatar
    Omar says:

    Hi
    1- are you produce 50Hz models ?
    2- what if I need to use SPS all the time for off grid applications and need to operate my load only during the day ?
    3-what if I need more than 1500w ?
    4- we need to be your distributor in Iraq , what is your requirments.

    Reply
  25. Avatar
    Globalbob says:

    If I put panels on the east and west side of my house do I need to enable optitrac? There are no trees to shade the panels on either side. The panels on the west wlll be shaded when the sun come up and the panels on the east will be shaded when the sun goes down.

    Reply
  26. Avatar
    Daniel says:

    Most conventional mono- crystalline PV modules have outputs that degrade minimally over time, usually less than .7 of a single percent per year, thus quality PV module makers have a power output warranty that supports this module lifecycle limitation. part of this degradation is due to degradation of the optical quality pottant between the glass and cells and the other major part is what happens at the boundary between the silicon cell and the optical quality pottant. So about .0035 or.35 % of the string voltage is lost (or less) per year. I have a question (for an example), employing 16 conventional 60 cell – 275 watt module(s) with a rated Vmp voltage of 31.0 each, On a TL inverter using 16 modules, with a 11 module string on MPPT channel (1) and 5 modules on MPPT channel (2), I have 2 questions regarding this set-up.
    The use of SunnyDesign Web says, no problem, but on the 5 module string, I arrive at a working voltage of 155vdc on a roof on a spring or fall day. Although from the SMA x000TL-US-22 spec sheet, I am informed that the start voltage is 125vdc, I know the lower end of the MPPT voltage window is 175vdc. I was told that the MPPT channels function independently. With 5 modules on the 2nd MPPT channel, I am well below this value, which leads me to believe this MPPT channel of 5 modules is successfully “PASSING” current, but I do not see how it could be impedance matching or max power tracking?
    What say you?
    Using a 16 module PV investment (limited available roof space) I would think that a 9+7 module configuration – would be better, because now on the lower voltage string, 7 x 31.0vdc = 217 volts and that is well above 175vdc, (the lower end of the MPPT voltage window being 175vdc). On a hot roof in the Summer in New Mexico, I have personally seen module temps on a metal roof @ 130+F, and the Vmp voltage of hot module near this temp would be around 28.3 volts, 7 of these would still be about 198 vdc (still above 175vdc), but only a 5 module string would be 141.7 well below the 175 min . voltage window limit for MPPT tracking,

    These two different scenarios (employed within SunnyDesign Web), that is (9+7) or (11+5) show very little difference in annual production? What’s the news that’s fit to print, what’s going on here?

    Question 2,
    As PV voltage does degrade over time, with a 5 module wired in series string voltage (mpp) of 5 x 31 = 155vdc, each year we’ll lose approx. .46 to .54 volts(oc) per string/year. After some number of years this will also drop the 5 module string operating voltage even lower and more hours of each and every subsequent year, it will be further and further away from the 175vdc lower limit on MPP tracking that 5 module string?
    granted this mechanism might take over 38 years to drop the string voltage below the inverters “Turn-on” voltage.
    I have never understood the puzzling, but granted “wonderful new string sizing modularity” that the 2 channel TL-22’s have given us, & can find nothing in print. Thanks

    Reply
  27. Avatar
    Mark Jenkins says:

    Question about the 1500W SPS system. What is the minimum amount of Solar Power required to generate the 1500W ? Is it 100% efficient? On a cloudy day, what is the minimum power the SPS will allow before it shuts off, maybe 1000, or 500 W ?? I live in POrtland, OR and in the winter, we have mostly cloudy days and I’m not to sure if the SPS will work here in the winter.

    thanks

    Mark Jenkins

    Reply
  28. Avatar
    Terry says:

    I have a Sunny Island as well as Sunny Boy. My system has never been tested with a generator charging batteries as well as running the critical loads. My backup generator is a bit short in power so I lowered the Max Charge current to 25A, at 48V that would make it 1200W? I think my generator can handle that extra load as long as everything doesn’t try to start all at once, I have 5 refrigeration units all on backup?
    I understand I should not let my lead acid batteries get below SOC of 50%? What should I expect the actual charge current should be at various SOC? It might be wise for me to not let the SOC go as low as 50%?
    Your thoughts
    Terry

    Reply
  29. Avatar
    james rudolph says:

    Aloha,
    How far can the SPS outlet be away from the SMA 3000w TL inverter?
    Doe it have to be under or right next to it? Any limitations or code restrictions?

    Reply
  30. Avatar
    Manny says:

    Hello I live in the US But I am looking for a 5 to 10 KW grid tied inverter that is either 50hz or 50/60hz. I am also interested in looking at the unit that is combined with the battery.
    Can you please let me know where to go to buy a 50hz or 50/60hz unit here in the States. Thanks you.

    Reply
  31. Avatar
    Terry says:

    Reply to Mike, 6/7/2017

    Hi Mike, to answer your question on why Sunny Island is being operated manually is that’s the way the company I hired to do the system designed and installed it! In hindsight it’s obvious they didn’t understand how Sunny Island worked. Not only did they charge me a fortune to install it they left many of the parameters setup wrong. For instance they set max charge current to 231A when my batteries have a max of 50A. You guessed it, when Sunny Island tried to recharge the batteries after a power outage the batteries over heated and Sunny Island shut everything down to protect the batteries. When contacted the solar guys said to contact SMA which I did. Your service techs helped me get everything setup right. Yah I know, the solar co. should have fixed it but I no longer trusted them to do it right.

    I don’t mind being able to go directly to the grid with my critical loads in case of a Sunny Island failure but you answered my question. I should leave my critical loads connected to Sunny Island.

    As for the generator, its only 3500W and not able to power all critical loads and the well pump at the same time. It also isn’t setup for auto start. It does work fine for the critical loads and well pump separately so I’ll leave it manually setup, that way I can decide when to run the generator.

    Thanks for your help, question answered
    Terry

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Now Taking Orders for the Sunny Boy TL-US | SMA … – Recently finished install of a 3900 watt PV system using the Sunny Boy 4000TL-US. I’m currently working to maximize the potential for off-grid use during our …… […]

  2. […] Now Taking Orders for the Sunny Boy TL-US | SMA … – SMA America has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm within the solar industry for the new Sunny Boy 3000TL-US/4000TL-US/5000TL-US inverter and …… […]

  3. […] Now Taking Orders for the Sunny Boy TL-US | SMA … – SMA America has been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm within the solar industry for the new Sunny Boy 3000TL-US/4000TL-US/5000TL-US inverter and …… […]

  4. […] We offer SMA products for the residential, commercial, and off-grid segments of the solar industry. Sunny Boy TL-US This revolutionary home energy solution delivers unique features that are not available from any other inverter brand. It produces more power, it features superior monitoring and it can even keep the power on when the electrical grid goes down. SMA has pioneered the first and only Secure Power Supply (SPS), which will continue to deliver power from your solar system to your home when the sun is shining, even when the power goes out. High performance solar power systems for home, business, government, utility, commerical property, and large-scale solar projects | SolarWorld. Now Taking Orders for the Sunny Boy TL-US | SMA Inverted. […]

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