Communication Upgrade: Seven Questions and Answers on the new SMA Com Gateway

From on November 4, 2016 in Category Energy Management with 6 Comments
SMA-COMGateway-ClusterController

SMA now offers the SMA Com Gateway for PV system monitoring and control. The name of the device says it all – as a gateway, it provides PV systems featuring RS485 data communication with access to state-of-the-art SMA Speedwire communication. Below, we’ve summarized seven important questions and answers on the new communication device.

 

1. As a PV system operator, when should I purchase the Com Gateway?

The SMA Com Gateway is an attractive option if you want to modernize the functional performance of your system without replacing all of the communication wiring. The gateway enables existing systems to be upgraded with SMA Speedwire devices, for example to allow direct marketing of PV power. For instance, if an RS485 data logger such as the Sunny WebBox fails, you could install an SMA Cluster Controller in combination with the Com Gateway or, in the future, even an SMA Home Manager.

 

2. Can I keep my old WebBox? When should I replace it?

As the RS485 bus is a single master bus, it is not possible to operate Sunny WebBox and SMA Com Gateway at the same time. In larger systems, however, a mixed system solution that combines SMA Com Gateway + SMA Cluster Controller and Sunny WebBox + Power Reducer Box is also possible if, for example, one of several installed Sunny WebBoxes fails. This involves the installation of either a WebBox or a Com Gateway in an RS485 bus.

 

3. What does the future of RS485 communication for PV systems look like? Will this standard soon be a thing of the past?

No. In the future you will, of course, still be able to use the SMA Com Gateway to build new PV systems with RS485 and integrate them into cutting-edge control and monitoring solutions. However, not all functions will be possible with devices in the RS485 bus, particularly if rapid open-loop and closed-loop control is required. SMA therefore recommends always using SMA Speedwire technology for data communication in new PV systems.

 

4. Is it now possible to integrate old Sunny Tripower inverters into Sunny Portal again using the Com Gateway?

Most SMA inverters featuring an RS485 interface can be integrated into Sunny Portal using the combination of SMA Com Gateway + SMA Cluster Controller. The specific inverters in question are described in a technical information sheet, which can be found in the download area as soon as it will be available.

 

COM-GATEWAY_en

System structure with SMA Com Gateway

 

5. When will I be able to integrate systems via the Home Manager?

The SMA Com Gateway is already designed to be integrated, in conjunction with the Home Manager, into the SMA Smart Home. Plans for necessary adjustments to the Home Manager are still in progress.

 

6. In which countries can I already obtain the SMA Com Gateway and use it?

The product is designed for global use and is certified to CE and FCC standards. The SMA Com Gateway including documentation in the corresponding national language is available for Germany, the U.S., Canada, France, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and the Czech Republic. For other countries in which the product can be used, it is recommended that you inquire about any additional certifications that may be required.

 

7. How is the device installed?

The SMA Com Gateway is designed as a top-hat rail or wall-mounted device and is therefore easy to install. Simply connect the device in line with the Cluster Controller (daisy chain) via SMA Speedwire using both the Ethernet and SMA Speedwire connections. In combination with the Cluster Controller, it is possible to supply both devices with one power supply unit. This makes for a convenient solution taking up less room in the switch cabinet. Both of the LEDs on the front of the Com Gateway give you an overview of the current status of the device. This is important when entering the devices into the RS485 bus during commissioning, for instance. You can also conveniently view all of the device functions via the SMA Cluster Controller as well as parameterize and initiate RS485 device detection.

 

The SMA Com Gateway is available for order now with delivery starting the middle to end of December.

 

Additional information:

SMA Com Gateway

SMA Cluster Controller

 

Do you have any further questions?

Dirk Schlote (see picture above) will gladly answer them for you.

 

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6 Comments

  • avatar

    Phil W

    January 22, 2017 at 04:53

    This does sound interesting. We have an off grid SI 5048 powered via SB5000TL, back-up generator, and for heat / hot water solar water and gasificati0n boiler.
    Our generation capacity exceeds use in the summer, not so in the winter, as expected..
    I was hoping we could dump excess summer (and occasional winter) power into the thermal storage say via a 1–3KW water heating element. However I’ve yet to find a simple and cost effective way of doing this.

    Will the SMA Com Controller make this possible, or is there an even simpler way. Having Web access / control is plausible for a manual approach.

    The info is somewhat ambiguous, and seems to assume other components are already in place. Hard wired network/internet is at hand but no RS485 parts??? no SMA Data wiring etc and no Cluster Controller. What components would be required?

    Reply »
  • avatar

    Ken

    December 5, 2016 at 11:02

    Can the system be integrated into Control4 home automation. Is the Rs485 protocol open standard? To integrate we would like to know some of the factors such as power being generated, consumed and battery levels and if the AC mains system has failed.

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Lucas Unbehaun

      December 7, 2016 at 13:07

      Hi Ken,

      The RS485 protocol is Standart Data I.
      The SMA Com Gateway is only for SMA products.
      Please contact our service line directly in case of further questions. You can reach the service colleagues via phone: +27 08600 78669

      Regards, Lucas

      Reply »
  • avatar

    Carol Lestone

    December 1, 2016 at 21:59

    I live in Charters Towers, which is in Queensland, Australia. The postcode is 4820. Is there an agent close to where I live? We have a sunny home manager that is working with my old gateway. It needs to be connected to the nbn. I am trying to locate someone who can do this.

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Lucas Unbehaun

      December 5, 2016 at 09:59

      Hi Carol,

      please contact SMA Australia, they can help you in this case.
      You can reach the via phone: +61 2 9491 4200

      Regards, Lucas

      Reply »
  • avatar

    William

    November 20, 2016 at 07:54

    I am an installer located in Hong Kong. Most of the medium sizes solar systems I installed are educational purpose. The customers require irradiance, module temperature sensor to compare the solar energy output. I notice that your company has been stopped to sell sensor box and its accessories. How do our customers check the performance of the system? I understand that you switching the methodology from RS485 to speedwire. Any plan of that methodology, speedwire, using in new sensor box? I have acquired couple projects that requires sensor box. I need to plan ahead. I will in trouble if i submitted SMA sensorbox to the customers as the device I will use during installation but I cannot get it when I install the system in about 3 months later. Thanks.

    Reply »

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