Technical InformationTemperature Deratingfor SUNNY BOY, SUNNY MINI CENTRAL, SUNNY TRIPOWERContentDuring temperature derating, the inverter reduces its power to protect components from overheating. Thisdocument explains how temperature is regulated in the inverter, what can cause temperature derating andwhat measures can be taken to prevent it.TempDerating-UEN103910Version 1.01/8

Technical InformationWhat is Temperature Derating?1 What is Temperature Derating?"Derating" describes the controlled reduction of the power. During normal operation, inverters work at the socalled Maximum Power Point (MPP). At this operating point, the relation between PV voltage and PV current isadjusted to provide maximum power. The actual Maximum Power Point changes constantly depending on thelevel of solar irradiation and the ambient temperature of the PV modules.Temperature-dependent derating protects sensitive semiconductor inverter components from overheating.When the monitored components reach the maximum admissible temperature, the device shifts it operatingpoint to a lower power. During this process, power is reduced step-by-step. In the extreme case, the inverterswitches off completely. As soon as the temperature of the threatened components falls below the critical value,the inverter returns to the optimal operating point.Figure 1: Example of the power curve during temperature deratingTemperature derating can occur for various reasons, e.g. when the PV generator and inverter are not wellsynchronized or when installation conditions interfere with the inverter's heat dissipation.Derating does not have a negative effect on the inverter. This operating condition is first shown by the statusdisplay LEDs and the inverter display. If it lasts longer than a few minutes, the fault message "Derating" isdisplayed. This warning is displayed by the inverter until it switches itself off at dusk.SMA Solar Technology AG2/8

Technical InformationPlant Design and Temperature Derating2 Plant Design and Temperature DeratingThe correct design of a PV plant must not completely exclude derating. PV plants are optimized in regard tototal energy yield. The power available at the inverter output is calculated from the power provided by thePV generator and the efficiency of the inverter. It is therefore crucial that the product of these two factors is aslarge as possible.Figure 2 uses the example of Freiburg in Breisgau to show how much energy is available over the course of ayear in different areas of the power range of the PV generator. The calculation of the frequency with whicheach power level occurs is already included in the bar chart in Figure 2. The low power output of the lowerpartial load ranges contribute significantly to the total system power because they occur very frequently.Figure 2: Energy supply related to the power range of the PV generator (example Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany)The efficiency with which the inverter converts the power provided by the PV generator depends on itsefficiency curve.For a PV plant with optimum orientation towards the sun - in Germany a southern orientation and a PV moduleangle of 30 to 45 - the following applies: The yield is highest when the nominal power of the inverter is 90 %to 100 % of the generator power. With this power ratio, PV generator power peaks above the nominal powerof the inverter trigger derating. On the other hand, the efficiency of the inverter is higher in the partial loadrange during the frequent periods of low power. That means: With this PV plant tuning, the complete powerrange is used optimally, with the exception of small yield losses through rarely occurring derating(compare Figure 3).An inverter with a nominal power greater than 100 % of the generator power can be chosen to preventderating during PV generator peak power. However, in this case a greater portion of the partial load yieldswould lie in a range in which the inverter has a relatively low efficiency. The losses in the partial load rangewould be larger than the gain from completely utilizing periods of peak power (compare Figure 4).SMA Solar Technology AG3/8

Technical InformationPlant Design and Temperature DeratingFigure 3: Efficiency and inverter input and output power when the nominal power of the inverter is 90 % to 100 % of the generatorpowerFigure 4: Inverter efficiency and input and output power when the nominal power of the inverter is more than 100 % of the generatorpowerWith optimal PV plant tuning, derating rarely occurs. Frequent derating shows that the selected inverter poweris too low compared to the power of the PV generator.You can determine the ideal design of your PV plant using the "Sunny Design" software. You can download"Sunny Design" free of charge at Solar Technology AG4/8

Technical InformationInverter Heat Dissipation3 Inverter Heat DissipationSMA inverters have a cooling system adapted to the power and type of the device. Passively cooled invertersdissipate heat to the surrounding air using heat sinks.Actively cooled devices with the OptiCool system are additionally ventilated. As soon as the device producesmore heat than can be dissipated through the enclosure, an internal fan is switched on creating an air flowthrough the cooling ducts of the enclosure. The fan is RPM controlled, i.e. it increases its speed with increasingtemperature. The advantage of active ventilation is that the inverter can continue to feed its maximum powereven with increasing temperature. Derating then only occurs when the cooling is no longer sufficient. Activelycooled inverters therefore have additional power reserves in comparison to passively cooled devices.Ensure sufficient heat dissipation during the installation of inverters to prevent temperature derating. Install inverters in cool locations, e.g. in the cellar rather than on the roof. Choose locations with sufficient air exchange. Ensure additional ventilation, when necessary. Do not expose inverters to direct sunlight. For outdoor installations, use existing shadow or roof over theinverters. Maintain the minimum clearance to neighboring inverters or other objects given in the installation guide.Increase the clearance when it is foreseeable that higher temperatures could occur at the installationlocation. Arrange multiple inverters so that they do not draw in the warm air of other inverters. Offset passivelycooled inverters to allow the heat from the heat sinks to escape upward.Figure 5: Layout of passively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny Boy 1200, Sunny Boy 1700, Sunny Boy 2100TLSMA Solar Technology AG5/8

Technical InformationInverter Heat DissipationFor actively cooled inverters, the optimal layout depends upon the location of the air inlet and air outletopenings. A number of examples are listed below.Figure 6: Layout of actively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny Boy 2000HF, Sunny Boy 2500HF, Sunny Boy 3000HF,Sunny Boy 3000TL, Sunny Boy 4000TL, Sunny Boy 5000TLFigure 7: Layout of actively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny Boy 3300, Sunny Boy 3800SMA Solar Technology AG6/8

Technical InformationInverter Heat DissipationFigure 8: Layout of actively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny Mini CentralFigure 9: Layout of actively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny TripowerAs a result of the sophisticated ventilation concept of inverters of the type Sunny Tripower, there is no specialrecommendation for the layout of multi-row assemblies.SMA Solar Technology AG7/8

Technical InformationHandling Temperature Derating4 Handling Temperature DeratingSMA inverters are built so that the admissible operating temperature will not be exceeded with correct PV plantdesign and under suitable ambient conditions. If temperature-dependent derating nevertheless occurs, this canhave the following causes: The inverter cannot dissipate enough heat to the surrounding air because the heat sink or ventilation gridis dirty or fans have failed. Clean the affected parts as described in the respective inverter's installationguide. The power of the inverter is too low compared to the power of the PV generator. The input power of theinverter should be 90 % to 100 % of the nominal power of the PV generator. Under extreme climaticconditions, e.g. intense solar irradiation in connection with low PV module temperatures, the power of thePV generator can exceed nominal inverter power even with correct plant design. However, frequentderating is an indication of inappropriate plant design (see section 2 "Plant Design and TemperatureDerating" (page 3)). The design of the PV plant should be checked by a specialist. The installation environment of the inverter does not provide the required climatic conditions (see section"Technical Data" in the installation guide of the respective inverter). The inverter should be installed by aspecialist at a more suitable location. Ensure that minimum clearance between multiple devices ismaintained. Increase the clearances in warm installation environments. Install the devices outside the hotair flow of other inverters (see section 3 "Inverter Heat Dissipation" (page 5)). When necessary, provideadditional cooling. Ventilate multiple inverters so that the air flow cools all devices equally.SMA Solar Technology AG8/8

Sunny Boy 3000TL, Sunny Boy 4000TL, Sunny Boy 5000TL Figure 7: Layout of actively cooled inverters to optimize heat dissipation: Sunny Boy 3300, Sunny Boy 3800. Technical Informat