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SMA Tripower CORE1 Inverter: Complete Review

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SMA Tripower CORE1

SMA America is a leading global specialist for solar inverter system technology, providing solutions for commercial and residential systems alike. Residential owners may be familiar with SMA’s Sunny Boy and Sunny Boy Storage series, a popular string inverter option for home energy systems in which the owners benefit from SMA’s low cost and high quality. Here we will take a closer look at the new SMA Tripower CORE1 commercial inverter for large kW installs.

SMA has always offered high-quality and reliable commercial inverter solution, now with their third-generation commercial inverter, the Tripower CORE1, business owners can benefit from a number of cost-saving solutions from fire safety to installation and more.

In this complete review of the SMA Tripower CORE1 commercial inverters, we will cover:
  • CORE1 Technology
  • Tripower CORE1 Options
  • Installation and Monitoring
  • Safety and Compliance
  • And Solaris Takeaways

Technology and Inverter Options

The CORE1 inverters offer scalability to ensure maximum energy yields up to the megawatt range. With six independent MPP trackers, the units ensure optimal energy production and enables over dimensioning of the array up to 150%. The units are efficient and economical, often requiring no additional mounting hardware and optimized installation, which we will cover shortly.

The inverters are equipped with SunSpec and Modbus option which offers Powerful PV system monitoring and control functions and smooth grid integration. The units active cooling system ensures reliable operation and maximum energy yield. This leads to further savings through reduced maintenance costs due to the efficiency of the high performing technology.

In addition, the inverters are compatible with SMA’s new Smartmodule technology, including rapid shutdown, optimization, and fire safety options. By utilizing a tight-knit, integrated system, owners can both monitor their system, meet NEC2017 requirements and optimize the energy output of their system for a fraction of the cost of current solutions.

The Tripower CORE1 inverters come with three sizes, 33kW, 50kW and 62kW. For large-scale commercial systems, the high input and output wattages enable you to get the most out of your system with a low bill of materials. To gain a better understanding of the inverters see our specifications outline below, or click on the provided link to go to the product page.

STP33-US-41

STP33-US-41

STP50-US-41

STP50-US-41

STP62-US-41

STP62-US-41

Maximum Array Power: 50000 Wp STC 75000 Wp STC 93750 Wp STC
Maximum System Voltage: 1000 Volts 1000 Volts 1000 Volts
Rated MPP Voltage Range: 330V to 800V 500V to 800V 550V to 800V
AC Nominal Power: 33300 Watts 50000 Watts 62500 Watts
Maximum Apparent Power: 33300 Va 53000 Va 66000 Va
Maximum Output Current: 40 Amps 64 Amps 80 Amps
Maximum Efficiency: 97.5% 98% 98%
Cost: See Price See Price See Price


No matter your installation site conditions, SMA has you covered through offering high-watt, high efficiency string inverters.

See Here: Tripower CORE1 Specifications Sheet

Installation and Monitoring

The SMA Tripower CORE1 is the first commercial inverter unit to offer a free-standing unit for decentralized rooftop, ground based and covered parking spacing, and boasts up to 60% faster installation of commercial PV systems. Traditional wall or fixed structure mounting can be easily accomplished with the SMA’s Universal Mounting System.

This decreases the both the cost and time of installation and delivers a consistently integrated solution. This ensures lower balance of system costs, simpler cost structures, and lower material expenses. The units integrate 12 direct string inputs, a DC disconnection and optional DC and AC overvoltage protection. These optional AC and DC protection kits may be added or replaced at any time during the lifetime of the PV array service life to reduce costly downtime.

To see how easy it is to install the CORE1 inverter, see the video below.


The CORE1 comes equipped with integrated Wi-Fi that enables the user to view system performance locally in a web browser with any mobile device. Additionally, the inverter can join a WLAN network for viewing of system performance locally or data transmission to Sunny Portal. The external WLAN antenna accessory increases the WLAN range to overcome site conditions that inhibit wireless signals, and further ensures reliable wireless communications with your network router.

For commercial installs that plan to utilize Ethernet, two Ethernet ports are included in the unit and work in tandem with the SMA Modbus - which supports industry standard protocol for communications between electronic devices. In addition to the Modbus, SMA’s Data Manager M combines the power of the Sunny Portal and optimizes communication, monitoring and control of the PV system with up to 50 SMA devices.  

See Here: SMA Sunny Portal

In addition to the ModbUs, SMA’s Data Manager M combines the power of the Sunny Portal and optimizes communication, monitoring and control of the PV system with up to 50 SMA devices. This in depth monitoring allows for better troubleshooting, system performance, monitoring and maintenance, ensuring that you will get the most out of your system.

Safety and Compliance

Fire Safety Smart Module

When combined with the SMA Smartmodule TS4-R-F, the Tripower CORE1 inverter enables system to meet and exceed new fire-safety standards for commercial arrays on a modular level. Based on current industry standards, the combination is the most reliable and cost-effective solution on the market to achieve complete compliance.

Learn More: SMA TS4-F Specifications

Compliance is achieved through three primary functions. First, the CORE1 inverter transmits the SunSpec PLC signal over connected PV string conductors to the TS4-R-F smart modules. Second, TS4-R-F listens for the signal from the inverter and reduces the output voltage to a safe level when the signal is absent.
 

 Second, TS4-R-F listens for the signal from the inverter and reduces the output voltage to a safe level. The Smartmodule installs quickly and easily without the use of tools and operate immediately without any additional commissioning efforts.

Tripower CORE1 NEC Setup

Finally, the user or emergency first responder shuts down the system at the main AC disconnect, this effectively shuts down the entire system within 30 seconds, in accordance with 2017 NEC690.12 standards. The AC disconnection under these connection conditions ensures the AC disconnect is what serves as the rapid shutdown initiator.

In addition to meeting fire safety standards, the CORE1 comes equipped with advanced AFCI compliance. The advanced technology allows for uninterrupted operation, reduced nuisance tripping, and higher reliability in detecting and interrupting PV wiring faults. Furthermore, the system is able to better identify potential fire hazards and put the PV array into a safe state before faults escalate. Intelligent detection algorithms distinguish arc-fault frequency patterns from other common signal noise on PV DC lines – including SunSpec PCL signal, on-site equipment, monitor noise emissions and radio transmission noise.

Solaris Takeaways

The CORE1 inverters offer an enticing solution for commercial PV owners to meet current day fire safety standards, the cost of their cutting-edge integration promises installers higher ROI with a number of incentives ranging from overall cost to system monitoring and safety. The functionality of the system is impressive overall, with few to no additional components needed to get the most out of your inverter(s) and overall system.

By offering commercial property owners a solution that meets budgetary constraints, more businesses can go solar safely and have peace of mind in knowing that their system will protect them in the even of faults, which can lead to costly repairs and damage to both the system and array.

The units are certainly worth consideration for any business owner looking to go solar. To find out more about the inverters or get a system quote, contact us for further details.

Read More: SMA TS-4-R Smart Modules: Complete Review


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