Glad to hear it is all working out for you. I also went through a long period of time trying to nail down which Inverter to buy. SMA was also first on my list but once I started looking at what was needed to get a true 240V Hybrid system installed in an island configuration it became less appealing, not only because of super high price but also because it would require so much more equipment and space to achieve the same thing the Sol-Ark was doing in a single unit.You are correct. I did reach out to the Sol-Ark team and they did mention the dongle for off grid use for $100 and that not having the internet connected will not void the warranty. They did confirm Wi-fi can be disabled by removing the Wi-fi dongle. That is very good news. Wi-fi and networks are a potential security issue for me.
After getting this confirmation, I am much more inclined to choose the Sol Ark than after I read some of the negative assertions about Sol-Ark in this thread. It seems like some of the security issues have been addressed, I don't see any reliability issues so far as they seem to have a good reputation thus far from the solar community, and even the issue about continuous output ratings seems to have been addressed (that they likely will produce 9k continuous under very specific circumstances) just know more like 7-8k real world.
As far as choosing Sol Ark over Dye, I would personally have an ethical issue of knowingly purchasing something that is in violation of trade agreements and using someone else's intellectual property, especially since the parties involved are an American company vs a Communist one. In addition, there are other factors such as the added warranty, support, additional breakers/features as well as the optional EMP protection. Finally, when building a total system that may cost $15-$30k does saving a few grand on inverters make a big difference? Perhaps for some, but factoring in the IRS rebates, I don't think it's worth it financially.
I just wanted to address a few other assertions regarding EMP protection. Some say the EMP doesn't do anything or that it only protects 120v circuits etc. Sol Ark clarified for me that the EMP is MILSPEC tested and they also offer EMP panels and they do protect 240v. This is a value to me since every so often we have severe lighting storms that take out key appliances.
SMA would be my second choice but there is more cost.
The Intellectually property rip off that happens in China is really bad. It's a no win situation for most US companies as they just cannot get PCB's and equipment made anywhere else at a competitive price point but the downside is that your basically handing them the blue prints and firmware for your technology. I think the relationship with DEYE was very typical of what I have witnessed in the industry as an EE.
It starts out as a mutual agreement that yes you can copy our stuff and sell it in mainland China and that is the price you pay if you want to do business in China and your a small company. Unfortunately that agreement soon gets disregarded and they start to export the cloned product to more and more countries and literally tell you that you can either except it or go jump off a cliff. I guess Sol-Ark is not accepting it, as they are building a factory in the USA.