SMA America expands and updates inverter service center in California

Jul 12, 2019 09:30 AM ET
  • SMA America has unveiled multiple updates to its service center that were designed to facilitate even more efficient technical support. Key expansions include a new, larger central and string inverter laboratory. The service center also features a rooftop PV system that functions as a real-world lab while offsetting energy costs. The new features will improve the ability to simulate issues, troubleshoot calls and provide service training for customers.
The news comes the same week that ABB announced it would exit the solar inverter business. Brad Dore, director of marketing for SMA, said, “While those changes were not completed with one competitor in mind, SMA believes that service is a differentiating factor amongst inverter suppliers and it is a key reason SMA represents the best long-term value in the industry. Relative to any competitor leaving the market, SMA OPTIM provides full plant-wide O&M, including on systems using non-SMA inverters. The company also  provides utility and commercial repowering options. One common repowering use case is supporting plants that have been orphaned by an inverter company who is no longer in business and whose inverters have failed or are underperforming.”

The expanded lab will allow multiple representatives to work on problems simultaneously. The rapid-response troubleshooting keeps customer inquiries advancing quickly, allowing PV professionals in the field to get back to work.

“These changes were conceived to serve our customer base with elevated technical support and to deliver best-in-class service,” said Charles Morrill, VP of customer service with SMA America. “Our representatives are committed to streamlining customer inquiries in every phase of the plant life cycle.”

The improvements to the service center provide expert support and mitigate customer risk for large-scale systems used by utilities, in storage power plants and PV hybrid systems. With the expanded space, SMA can provide enhanced levels of diagnosis and simulation on solutions using the Sunny Central-US, Sunny Central Storage, the Sunny Central UP, medium-voltage transformers and switchgear.

These new offerings also complement the pre-existing service tools, including a simulator that features working Sunny Boy and Sunny Tripower inverters and communication and monitoring systems to help simulate problems described by callers. The lab boasts a full Sunny Island off-grid system, complete with six Sunny Island inverters, multicluster box, generator and battery bank. Representatives can remotely log in to the customer’s SMA systems to diagnose and fix problems directly.

This expansion allows the service center to provide support and mitigate customer risk across the full range of SMA products and solutions for residential, commercial, utility and storage markets.

Located in Rocklin, California, the service center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST and can be reached by calling 1-877-My-SMATech. Technical service representatives can also be reached via email at [email protected].

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