SMA Sunny Boy Inverter Life!

BatikikikBatikikik Solar Expert Posts: 141 ✭✭✭✭✭
Usually all SMA ters come with 10 years warranty . I would like to know what happens after 10 years and how long SMA Inverter can work properly...
And the same with panels , they come usually with 25 year warranty , what happen after that .what s the actually life of panels
Thank you!


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,612 admin
    Re: SMA Sunny Boy Inverter Life!

    SMA is a very good inverter/company...

    From a pure electronic design point of view--Electrolytic Capacitors start to dry out (and stress the electronics). Solder joints fracture from thermal cycling. Sometimes tin whiskers and copper dendrites grow in/on the circuit board. Electro-static discharge (during manufacturing or during maintenance) weakens the IC's/FETS/etc. Let alone the real bugs that get in the warm electronics (cockroaches, etc.) and short things out.

    From what I have seen here and from the computer industry--I tell people to save some money for replacing their power electronics around every ten years (call fifteen years a good life). And at 10+ years, there is a good chance that the vendor is not able to repair the original inverter/computer/chips and IC's, etc. because of the short design cycles and obsolescence of commercial electronics (anybody really want to buy Z80 microprocessors anymore?). So, you are looking at a complete mechanical replacement (hopefully the form factor is close enough that you don't have to rewire your power runs to the inverter).

    For solar panels--Solar Guppy and a few others here have measured ~25+ year old panels that are still pretty close to their original factory performance. I guess that P/N junction migration may hit 40+ year old panels... But the real panel killer is moisture leaks and impact.

    There have been vendors that have had early life failures from manufacturing defects--And those seem to show up at the 2 year to 8 year time frame. Kyocera is the vendor I am typing about--And they took good care of their customers (replacement panels, perhaps even covered R&R costs for some/all ?? people).

    Unfortunately, I am reading all of this from the "outside"... For the most part, failure rates and actual life data is usually highly protected by the vendors and they do not make public the real numbers. Perhaps they have some key distributors/large customers where they will share return data.

    And even that return data is always a bit iffy... I have done some 2nd level (engineering) return evaluation/failure analysis in past lives--And for computer related products--It seemed like about 1/2 of the returns where No Trouble Found... Either the field returned it because they ran out of ideas, or there where software issues, customer satisfaction reasons, etc... The rest were real failures that we could take back and address in the design/manufacturing process.


    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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