Fronius and SMA are 2 of the top manufacturers of solar power products in the world. They both create top-of-the-line equipment that’s highly efficient, incredibly reliable, and includes compatibility features that make them easy for anyone to use. But which one is better? If you’re building a solar system and want to know if you should purchase Fronius or SMA inverters, keep reading to get a comparison of the 2.


Comparing Inverters for Different Applications

Before we get into a side-by-side comparison of these two brands of inverters, it’s important to be aware that these companies don’t simply produce a single type of inverter. They produce many varieties, each of which can be better suited to different applications. With this in mind, we’ll be comparing several different inverters for differently sized systems to determine the top brand for this equipment. Now, let’s get started.


Residential Applications

Residential solar is the fastest-growing market for solar power, and companies are competing fiercely to be the top brand that homeowners turn to when installing a solar system. The inverter is central to any residential solar setup, so it’s vital to choose the best one. For the average home, the SMA Sunny Boy and Fronius Primo are both excellent options. They’re sleek, lightweight, and offer monitoring options from your smartphone.


In terms of size range, the Primo has a broader range, from 3.8 kW to 15 kW, while the SMA Sunny Boy only offers a range of 3 kW to 7.7 kW. However, inverters can be combined to meet more extensive needs. Efficiency is the area where the Sunny Boy really stands out. It has an average efficiency of 97.33%, while the Primo is only at 95.95%. This may seem small, but that efficiency difference drastically impacts your average cost per watt. With the Sunny Boy, you’ll average about $0.24 per watt of energy from this inverter, while the Primo will cost close to $0.32 per watt.


This puts the SMA Sunny Boy squarely on top.

sma sunny boy inverter

Commercial Applications

Commercial solar applications are much larger and put much higher demand on their inverters. For this size, SMA offers the Tripower Core-1, while Fronius offers both the Symo Lite and Symo Advanced. We’ll compare all 3 of these.


The Tripower has a high power range, from 33 kW to 62 kW. Both Fronius models offer a range of 10 kW to 24 kW. In terms of efficiency, these three inverters are neck and neck. The Tripower averages 97.83% efficiency, while the Symo Lite averages 97.58%, and the Symo Advanced clocks in at 97.25%. But when it comes down to the most important factor—cost per watt—SMA once again seals their victory. The Tripower averages $0.12 per watt, while the Symo Lite averages $0.22, and the Advanced will cost you $0.30.

fronius primo hybrid inverters

Of course, every solar application is unique, and in some cases, a Fronius solar inverter may be the best choice for your system, even if the cost per watt is higher. The only way to really know which inverter to choose is to work with a solar professional on designing your system. Contact us today to get started!