Red is the new green

SMA Solar PV Inverters

With SMA, a solar pv system is the greenest is can be. Because it’s not just what a solar pv system does that’s important - it’s how it’s made.

SMA’s Sunny Boy inverters are built in Solar Works 1, a factory in Germany which combines cutting edge energy efficiency measures with renewable energy sources.

Independently Verified

We recently put Solar Works 1’s zero carbon credentials to the test. We asked independent auditors CICS to carry out a detailed assessment of the factory’s energy use. Their report concluded that Solar Works 1 produces zero ‘scope 2‘ carbon emissions. That means within the factory gates our manufacturing processes are zero carbon. While ‘scope 2’ excludes emissions from transport we may look at this in the future.

So what does this mean? It means the SMA Sunny Boy inverter is among the greenest on the market even before it starts producing all that wonderful renewable energy!

Here at SMA we think solar pv systems should do more than generate zero carbon electricity. All elements of the system should have ‘zero carbon’ built into them from manufacture onwards. And with our Solar Works 1 factory in Germany we think we’ve got there.

Solar Works 1

The SMA Sunny Boy inverter is manufactured at an environmentally friendly manufacturing facility in Kassel in Germany. Built in 2009, the 18,000 m2 factory is the largest (scope 2) zero carbon solar PV inverter manufacturing facility in the world.

It’s about as energy efficient as a building gets and is designed to the rigorous German Low Energy Building Standard. Natural lighting reduces the need for electric lights and smart ventilation systems keep the building cool in summer.

Renewable energy is at the heart of the factory’s operations with power provided by an onsite 1MW solar pv system. Heating is sourced from two regional bio gas fired combined heat and power plants alongside a nearby renewable waste incineration plant.

Facts and Figures

18,000 m2 of Efficiency

Sets new standars: The largest inverter factory worldwide 

  • As large as 2.5 soccer fields: 280m long, 75 m wide, 12 m high
  • Floor space: 26,000 m2
  • Production area: 18,000 m2

Printed Circuit Board Assembly
Faster than the eyes can see: Precision in record speed

  • SMD production (Surface Mounted Device): Assembly of approx. 230,000 components per hour, approx.. 60 components per second
  • Assembly of approx. 14,000 different components on over 1,300 different products
  • 1,700 components on one printed circuit board
  • Ten AOI systems (Automatic Optical Inspection), per control inspection: Up to 80 photos and inspection of over 1,600 characteristics

Inverter Assembly
Without walls and on wheels: Flexible production

  • 12 assembly lines
  • Production total*: Approx. 4,000 inverters per day
  • Approx. every 30 seconds an inverter leaves the factory*
  • Maximum production capacity: Approx. four gigawatts of inverter capacity per year

*At full capacity