Tell me about SolArk.

Ampster

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Better to try to knock out one of the hurricane windows. Not much easier, but at least you're on the ground. 😊
That is the problem with some national regulations that create hoops for installers to jump through. It added $50 or more per panel to the cost of string inverters and gave Enphase and Solaredge a market advantage. That is why the few panels connected directly to my Skybox are not on my roof.
 

Alfalfameister

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Check out DEYE inverters. I believe they make for Sol-Ark, and Sol-Ark i think may have their own modifications or specifications. They're also known as SunSynk.

I have not seen a Deye that is 12k, though, so perhaps IF Deye is indeed the manufacturer, it must be an exclusive deal for Sol-Ark.

That said, you can parallel their 8k versions.

Not sure what is so special (hardware wise) in the Sol-Arks that sell for over US$6k, when the Deye is only a third of Sol-Ark's price. Could be the split phase and all, but that could just be a setting. Plus, of course, you get the support of Sol-Ark.

They're also available on Alibaba. Check them out - externally, identical to Sol-Ark (or maybe Sol-Ark is identical to Deye).
 

Alfalfameister

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It may be the firmware and the cost of the UL certification. Do they AC couple.

True. Plus, the excellent support of Sol-Ark. Its still a $4k premium.

Aa far as AC Coupling, the Deye (or Sunsync in other markets) should do whatever the Sol-Ark does.

Major differences I see (between the Deye and Sol-Ark 8kW versions) are:

1. Sol-Ark is USA ready (120v split phase). The Deye *can perhaps* be configured that way, I'm not sure;

2. The Sol-Ark is listed as having up to 11kW of PV panels. In some markets, the Deye's data sheet shows max of 8,800W, and in another, 10kW.

3. The Sol-Ark has built in breakers. They also have the option of EMP protection for additional cost. Never seen that in the Deye. Don't know where to EMP protect the Deye, but I can wire external breakers on the cheap for it, so the internal breakers are just a nicety.

4. Local USA support. If I were in the USA, this might be all worth it.

As it is, the Sol-Ark and the Deye are fantastic inverters, and nearly identical, but one is one third the price.

Just like in the battery sections, a 12v battle born is $900 for 100Ah, but a 280Ah 4 cell setup is $330 plus bms and shipping (I'm not from the USA, and 32 of those cells cost me $80+ each and $400 total shipping for all 32 via sea freight including taxes).
 

solardad

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True. Plus, the excellent support of Sol-Ark. Its still a $4k premium.

Aa far as AC Coupling, the Deye (or Sunsync in other markets) should do whatever the Sol-Ark does.

Major differences I see (between the Deye and Sol-Ark 8kW versions) are:

1. Sol-Ark is USA ready (120v split phase). The Deye *can perhaps* be configured that way, I'm not sure;

2. The Sol-Ark is listed as having up to 11kW of PV panels. In some markets, the Deye's data sheet shows max of 8,800W, and in another, 10kW.

3. The Sol-Ark has built in breakers. They also have the option of EMP protection for additional cost. Never seen that in the Deye. Don't know where to EMP protect the Deye, but I can wire external breakers on the cheap for it, so the internal breakers are just a nicety.

4. Local USA support. If I were in the USA, this might be all worth it.

As it is, the Sol-Ark and the Deye are fantastic inverters, and nearly identical, but one is one third the price.

Just like in the battery sections, a 12v battle born is $900 for 100Ah, but a 280Ah 4 cell setup is $330 plus bms and shipping (I'm not from the USA, and 32 of those cells cost me $80+ each and $400 total shipping for all 32 via sea freight including taxes).

I actually tried to purchase a Sunsynk from South Africa but they would not export to the US. The stats are basically identical - down to the UL certification. I believe they are the same inverter but licensed out per country. Here is a link to a post I made a year ago before I bought my Sol-Ark 12k on the info I found at the time.

https://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/355062/sol-ark-8kw-vs-sunsynk-8kw-inverters
 

Ampster

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I am in the USA and want to conform to my local buiding codes so I would never use an inverter that was not UL certified. I have no problem putting together a pack of batteries for one quarter the cost of a Battleborn. It all depends on where you are standing.

Note: Subsequent to my post @solardad clarified that the Sunsynk is UL certified so I stand corrected. Unfortunately it is not available in the USA,
 

solardad

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That is the problem with some national regulations that create hoops for installers to jump through. It added $50 or more per panel to the cost of string inverters and gave Enphase and Solaredge a market advantage. That is why the few panels connected directly to my Skybox are not on my roof.

For us it is the local building codes. There is no standard really across the state, and many times it is up to the interpretation of the code by the hired official and what year of the NEC was adopted by the town, 2011, 2014 or 2017. So some neighboring towns are still on 2011 with most on 2014 and a couple on 2017. Yes... it can be crazy.
 

Alfalfameister

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South Africa might not sell you one, but Hong Kong and China might.

I doubt Alibaba will not want you to part with your money, ha ha.

But, yeah, with all the compliance codes that might be required for the USA, the Sol-Ark might be the [premium] ticket.

Just thought the OP (and others) might not have heard of Deye yet, and just putting it out there.
 

Haugen

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Good information. The team I'm working with should be on top of that. I'll ask.
Getting on my roof during a fire would be futile. Metal is going to be the last entry method that would help. Better to try to knock out one of the hurricane windows. Not much easier, but at least you're on the ground. 😊
I got a response from the contractor. They used Midnite Solar devices for the RSD. Looks like it's a wireless device on the roof controlled by a button labeled for first responders.
 

samkhiltd

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We are distributors of the deye inverter here in jamaica and i have one personally installed at my house totally love it it is the same as sunsynk etc. they do have a UL certification too


Harry
 

Haugen

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We are distributors of the deye inverter here in jamaica and i have one personally installed at my house totally love it it is the same as sunsynk etc. they do have a UL certification too


Harry
As an installer, how much do you generally spend on ancillary items for an install? I'm talking wire, fuses, connectors, to assemble the whole thing from panel to batteries, to grid, not including racking hardware.
 

Omaha42000

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I'm a newbie, so don't take this information as gospel. There are many "pros" with micro inverters and a few "cons". One con is that all inverters have capacitors that will eventually fail, and likely fail halfway through the average life of a panel, but they won't all fail on the same day. If a string inverter fails, then it is easy to replace once and for all, but if micro inverters fail, then there will be multiple trips up on the roof. Another con is that inverters like to be cool, but the back side of a panel isn't nearly as cool as the inside of room in the house, especially in the basement of a house if available.
 

Haugen

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An important question I am facing now is that I want to build my own batteries with a JK BMS and wonder if the CAN bus will communicate with the SolArk.

Does anyone have any insight on how the CAN or RS485 communication is structured in either of these devices?
Does the SolArk request the data using commands?
Is the BMS supposed to transmit the data continuously like the Bluetooth connection?
Is there a specific content or format that the packets need to contain?
I have used CAN before, but I wasn't responsible for engineering the connection and data transfer. Usually one side has custom software specifically for the devices on the bus. Here, I'm trying to figure out how to get 2 devices with their own bus to work together.
 

GXMnow

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I am not an installer at this time. But I may go that way if my pre covid job goes off the deep end. But from the work I have done, you need to budget at least 10% of the equipment cost for all those little things you never think about up front. A spool of 8 gauge wire is not cheap. A Battery based inverter is proving to be a bit more, and I needed a bunch of extra little fittings, but had I spent a normal price on the battery bank, yeah, 10% probably would have covered it.

I have not been able to find any map for the CAN or RS-485 data from the JK BMS. As long as the inverter/charger is set to stay between the high and low voltage cut off, it really does not need to talk. It would be nice to get the more accurate SOC data, but the voltage on my pack is so linear, it is not a problem at all to just use the voltage control on the Schneider. The Sol-Ark and others with manually adjustable voltages should work just fine. I guess LiFePo4 might be a little less linear and stay flatter and have a sharper knee, but unless you are really trying to use that last bit of capacity, it's fine. If the battery goes out of range, the BMS shuts it down. I link into my BMS a couple times a day just to make sure all is well. But that is because it is still new, and I am a little nervous about it, but each day, I check it less.

As for the Pros/Cons of micro inverters.....
After a lot of research, I went with Enphase micros. The Pros are far more than any Con in the system.

I heard all the horror stories about the early ones not living 3 years on a hot roof. Enphase has really stepped up their game. The iQ6's were good, and the iQ7's that I have are near bullet proof with a 25 year warranty. They use high quality components, and the entire assembly is potted in a plastic that helps carry heat out. Also being just 240 watts and 97% efficient, means they only give off 7.2 watts each. They are in the shade with air flow all around them. If one does fail, I still have 15 more making power while I wait for a replacement. Each one is only putting out one amp, so the connectors will last forever. If a wire break, the 240 volt AC will not easily sustain an arc. I have individual panel monitoring and optimization as well as the rapid shutdown. And for the price, they are just $120 or so each. My 16 units total under $2,000 And that is 3800 watts out. Sure, it is a little more than a typical name brand string inverter, but if you have to add RSD units it is not that much more.

If a string inverter fails, you have no solar power. They weigh a lot more so shipping a new one is more expensive and is going to take longer. If an iQ7 fails, it is like a shoebox to ship a new one, while I am out just 1/16th of my power. Some roofs might be a bigger pain, mine is not bad, and if my array was bigger, you might have to move a few panels, but since I just have 2 rows, I can get to any inverter by just lifting one panel.
 

nebulight

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I’m 90% sure I’m going with a sol-ark and a diy lifepo4 bank with the Rec-BMS. The sol-ark will talk with pylon BMS units and here is the mapping for pylon:

 

Haugen

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I am not an installer at this time. But I may go that way if my pre covid job goes off the deep end. But from the work I have done, you need to budget at least 10% of the equipment cost for all those little things you never think about up front. A spool of 8 gauge wire is not cheap. A Battery based inverter is proving to be a bit more, and I needed a bunch of extra little fittings, but had I spent a normal price on the battery bank, yeah, 10% probably would have covered it.

I have not been able to find any map for the CAN or RS-485 data from the JK BMS. As long as the inverter/charger is set to stay between the high and low voltage cut off, it really does not need to talk. It would be nice to get the more accurate SOC data, but the voltage on my pack is so linear, it is not a problem at all to just use the voltage control on the Schneider. The Sol-Ark and others with manually adjustable voltages should work just fine. I guess LiFePo4 might be a little less linear and stay flatter and have a sharper knee, but unless you are really trying to use that last bit of capacity, it's fine. If the battery goes out of range, the BMS shuts it down. I link into my BMS a couple times a day just to make sure all is well. But that is because it is still new, and I am a little nervous about it, but each day, I check it less.

As for the Pros/Cons of micro inverters.....
After a lot of research, I went with Enphase micros. The Pros are far more than any Con in the system.

I heard all the horror stories about the early ones not living 3 years on a hot roof. Enphase has really stepped up their game. The iQ6's were good, and the iQ7's that I have are near bullet proof with a 25 year warranty. They use high quality components, and the entire assembly is potted in a plastic that helps carry heat out. Also being just 240 watts and 97% efficient, means they only give off 7.2 watts each. They are in the shade with air flow all around them. If one does fail, I still have 15 more making power while I wait for a replacement. Each one is only putting out one amp, so the connectors will last forever. If a wire break, the 240 volt AC will not easily sustain an arc. I have individual panel monitoring and optimization as well as the rapid shutdown. And for the price, they are just $120 or so each. My 16 units total under $2,000 And that is 3800 watts out. Sure, it is a little more than a typical name brand string inverter, but if you have to add RSD units it is not that much more.

If a string inverter fails, you have no solar power. They weigh a lot more so shipping a new one is more expensive and is going to take longer. If an iQ7 fails, it is like a shoebox to ship a new one, while I am out just 1/16th of my power. Some roofs might be a bigger pain, mine is not bad, and if my array was bigger, you might have to move a few panels, but since I just have 2 rows, I can get to any inverter by just lifting one panel.
Thanks for the data on the hardware.
The word I'm getting on the SolArk is that it is very modular and serviceable. If a string goes out, it's just a board swap in the panel which is not on the roof. With 20 panels in 3 rows, it could be a pain to replace one.
I'll have 4 strings of 5, that would mean a 25% outage in the event of a failure.

@nebulight your link won't open.
 

Bleedingblue

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I have been pretty set on an Enphase system and completely sold on the concept of microinverters.
After about 6 solar installers, I have been having good deep discussions with a company that is willing to help you get what you really want. After talking about Enphase, Generac, and Tesla systems and how they are restricted to only their battery modules, he introduced me to SolArk.

I'm still a little hesitant about the string inverters, but the fact that I can build my own LiFePO4 batteries for the system is a real bonus. Adding 10kWh of battery for less than $2k would save $10k right there.

I'm hoping that some of our members will be able to give me some feedback about their experience and knowledge about the SolArk system.
Let's hear what you have to say!


I looked hard at SolArk and was gonna buy a 12k. But some things i found out i decided against it.

1. They make it sound like the 12k handles 17kw of solar. It doesnt. It handles 17kw in panels but those panels need to be facing east and west so as not to get full sun because it cant handle the power.

2. From what I was wanting to run (my house) they told me i would need at min 2 of the 12k or even 3 just for the converter power.

3. Cost they are very expensive. Buy 3 of them and your looking at almost 20k.


I ended up buying the Revo II by Sorotec, 5 of the 5.5kw units. Price plus shipping and import tax was around 1000 each . Next time im going to reduce estimated value to reduce the tarriffs.

It is an easy hookup just like the SolArk.

Id rather have nothing but SolArks with the EMP proof built in which is 1500 each additionally but im not rich.
 

Haugen

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I looked hard at SolArk and was gonna buy a 12k. But some things i found out i decided against it.

1. They make it sound like the 12k handles 17kw of solar. It doesnt. It handles 17kw in panels but those panels need to be facing east and west so as not to get full sun because it cant handle the power.

2. From what I was wanting to run (my house) they told me i would need at min 2 of the 12k or even 3 just for the converter power.

3. Cost they are very expensive. Buy 3 of them and your looking at almost 20k.


I ended up buying the Revo II by Sorotec, 5 of the 5.5kw units. Price plus shipping and import tax was around 1000 each . Next time im going to reduce estimated value to reduce the tarriffs.

It is an easy hookup just like the SolArk.

Id rather have nothing but SolArks with the EMP proof built in which is 1500 each additionally but im not rich.
That's interesting.
I'm wondering what kind of loads you are running if you need over 24kW of solar. You must have a pool and lots of other power hungry items like electric cars or something. That certainly sounds rich to me! 😁😉

I originally wanted to go with 10kW of panels, but the math worked out that I can generate all my power and sell some back with less than 8kW. That's an 1800sf home in Florida with the A/C running almost all year. That's not even replacing the 18 year old A/C, or water heater.

I have a plan to convert an old Austin Healey Sprite in my garage to electric. When that happens, I will need to add more panels. I'll have to do the math, but if another 4kW doesn't support it, then I will add some panels with microinverters on the AC side to leave more power on the DC side for charging batteries.

I'm told that the SolArk works fine this way. Unless I start running a battery build business on the property, I don't see how I get to those levels. If I do, there will be a separate system that is paid for by the business.
 

Ampster

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They make it sound like the 12k handles 17kw of solar. It doesnt. It handles 17kw in panels but those panels need to be facing east and west so as not to get full sun because it cant handle the power.
That is one way to look at it. That would be a DC to AC ratio of 1.41 to 1. I have a Solaredge inverter that has a DC to AC ratio of 1.50 to 1 and while I do have some clipping that makes my production curve look like a Fez hat I also like the faster ramp up and the longer production period that a ratio like that gets me. East west would be even better because then I would not have the clipping but would get more production in the morning and later in the day. That would translate into more kWhrs per day.

I guess it all depends on where you are standing whether that is good or not so good.
 

Ampster

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I have a plan to convert an old Austin Healey Sprite in my garage to electric.
If I was younger I would love a project like that. I always wanted a Bug Eye Sprite. The closest I came to that was a Morris Minor woody that my brother had with a blown engine. We found a wrecked Sprite and put that engine the the Morris Minor. That was fun but the suspension on the Morris Minor left something to be desired.
I did convert a VW convertible to electric about eight years ago. That was when I first experienced the EV Grin. The 0 to 60 time were phenomenal. I am talking 0 to 60 feet. I was always the first across the intersection and laughed all the way to the next signal when these big V8s couldn't believe what had just happened. I even took a Harley once. :ROFLMAO:
 
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