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Technical Information

Zero Export PV Solution


with SMA Power Control Module
SUNNY BOY / SUNNY TRIPOWER

Content
This Technical Information explains how to achieve 100 % self-consumption, creating a situation where no PV
energy is exported to the electricity grid. The rationale for applying such functionality can be derived from
several circumstances. For instance, the regulatory environment can excessively complicate the feed-in of PV
energy to the electricity grid.
This document describes which devices are required to set up a zero export PV solution. It comprises products
manufactured by SMA Solar Technology AG and devices which need to be sourced externally. Additionally,
it provides details of the SMA Power Control Module and some ideas regarding the configuration of such a
solution.
SMA Solar Technology AG strongly recommends that you contact the local network operator before
connecting a PV installation.

ZE-PCM-TI-en-10 | Version 1.0

EN

SMA Solar Technology AG

Required products
The following products or functionalities are required to realize a zero export PV solution:
Product

Manufacturer

Inverters compatible with SMA Power Control


Module (see below)

SMA Solar Technology AG

SMA Power Control Module

SMA Solar Technology AG

Measurement device

To be sourced externally

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)

To be sourced externally

Figure1: Principle of a zero export PV solution

The idea is to reduce the output power of the PV inverters in a situation where a power flow to the electricity
grid is detected. The measurement device constantly measures the power flow towards the electricity grid and
forwards the information to the PLC. According to its settings the PLC then closes one or several of its relays
which activates one or more SMA Power Control Modules, resulting in the reduction of the output power of
the PV system.

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Technical Information

SMA Solar Technology AG

SMA Power Control Module


The SMA Power Control Module can reduce the output power to 0 %, 3 0%, 60 % and 100 % of the rated
output power of the inverter it is connected to. Furthermore it can be daisy chained to 4 additional
SMA Control Modules, so in total 5 inverters can be controlled by the SMA Power Control Module of 1
inverter.
The SMA Power Control Module controls the inverters output power depending on 4 digital inputs as shown
in the following table:
Digital input D1

Digital input D2

Digital input D3

Digital input D4

Function

Open

Open

Open

Open

No active power
limitation: 100 %

Closed

Open

Open

Open

Active power limitation:


0%

Open

Closed

Open

Open

Active power limitation:


30 %

Open

Open

Closed

Open

Active power limitation:


60 %

Open

Open

Open

Closed

No active power
limitation: 100 %

Figure2: SMA Power Control Module - pin assignment

When the signal for 0 % is received it can be decided whether the grid relays should remain closed or if the
inverter should disconnect from the electricity grid. The reduction of the output power to the 4 different values
can be realized within 5 seconds, and disconnection can be performed within 2 seconds.
The respective parameter is called "Grid disconn. at 0 % specif. by feeding management". When this
parameter is activated ("Yes"), the inverter disconnects from the electricity grid if the SMA Power Control
Module specifies 0 %. When this parameter is deactivated ("No"), the inverter continues to feed in with the
minimum power at a power specification of 0 W.

Technical Information

ZE-PCM-TI-en-10

SMA Solar Technology AG

The following SMA inverters can be ordered ex works with the SMA Power Control Module or retrofitted with
the SMA Power Control Module:
Sunny Boy
SB 2500TLST-21

Firmware version must Sunny Tripower


be at least
V 2.50

STP 5000TL-20

SB 3000TLST-21

STP 6000TL-20

SB 3000TL-21

STP 7000TL-20

SB 3600TL-21

STP 8000TL-20

SB 4000TL-21

STP 9000TL-20

SB 5000TL-21

STP 8000TL-10

Firmware version must


be at least
V 2.02

V 2.50

STP 10000TL-10
STP 12000TL-10
STP 15000TL-10
STP 17000TL-10
STP 15000TLHE-10
STP 20000TLHE-10
STP 15000TLEE-10
STP 20000TLEE-10
For more information, refer to the installation manual of the SMA Power Control Module and the Technical
Information "SMA Power Control Module - Multifunction Interface for PV inverters" (see www.SMA-Solar.com).

How to send a signal to the SMA Power Control Module


It is imperative to install an interface between the SMA Power Control Module and the electricity grid that
measures the energy interchanged with the electricity grid and sends a digital signal to the SMA Power Control
Module. There are several possibilities available on the market, such as a measurement device with a
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
The best way to set up the logic of the PLC and the communication infrastructure to the SMA Power Control
Modules depends on the local conditions such as type, size and quantity of loads, possible requirements from
the utility side and other factors. Therefore, no complete instructions can be given. However, the following
considerations can help to configure an efficient system.
If the PV system consists of more than 5 inverters, the PV system could be subdivided into groups of maximum
5 inverters each. One SMA Power Control Module within the group receives signals via the 4 digital inputs
and forwards the signals to a maximum of 4 other SMA Power Control Modules within the group.
Another option can be to talk to each SMA Power Control Module directly. This allows more flexibility, but can
require a significant amount of digital outputs from the PLC. If the output power needs to be reduced to a value
other than 0 % (e.g. 60 % or 30 %), this configuration can be set in a way that one or more inverters are
disconnected instead of reducing all inverters to 60 % or 30 %. Consequently, the operation is completed
within 2 seconds (see above). If it is not necessary to be able to reduce the output power of a particular inverter
or inverter group to 60 % or 30 % but only 0 %, it is sufficient to connect the digital input D1.

ZE-PCM-TI-en-10

Technical Information