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sonopsolar.co.za


Gnome
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Hi guys

Has anyone used these guys before: https://www.sonopsolar.co.za/

If yes, tell me more.

PS: I put this in the Inverter forum because it gets more traffic than others and I actually want to buy an inverter from them. So basically before handing them a bundle of money I want figure out how someone else's experience with that went

Edited by Gnome
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2 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

knows the owner. 

Not personally, we have conversed via email once or twice. Their prices are better than sustainable and they have a good variety of products. Website seems well-maintained. I ordered a vedirect cable from them once, which hardly constitutes a big order, but they don't come across as a GWStore-type place, they seem quite trustworthy.

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Well I sent an email, if they can ship it to Cape Town and the price is reasonable (ie> they don't suddenly change their minds about the price on the web-site and/or stock issues), I'll likely get one.

Hopefully we can get some pics and I'll hook it up to my oscilloscope to get an idea of the output regulation.

I also have a Variac so I'm curious to see what happens if I hook it up to that and turn the voltage down/up. It'll answer the question of, is it double conversion.

Lastly I'm hoping the current software commands still work!

Quite excited for a new project :)

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5 hours ago, Gnome said:

It'll answer the question of, is it double conversion.

Spec sheet lists a 93% efficiency in line mode and 0ms transfer time. That practically shouts double-conversion.

So I went back to Voltronic's site and noticed that though they look similar, the "King" and the VMIII is not the same thing. The King model takes the usual 115V on the MPPT, the VMIII goes higher. I suspect the King model is probably a 5048 with a separate charger (which I believe the 3KVA model has always had anyway).

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14 hours ago, plonkster said:

Spec sheet lists a 93% efficiency in line mode and 0ms transfer time. That practically shouts double-conversion.

Indeed all signs point to that, still I'd like to see what they are doing

14 hours ago, plonkster said:

So I went back to Voltronic's site and noticed that though they look similar, the "King" and the VMIII is not the same thing. The King model takes the usual 115V on the MPPT, the VMIII goes higher. I suspect the King model is probably a 5048 with a separate charger (which I believe the 3KVA model has always had anyway).

Interesting. But was the 3kVA model double conversion?

I don't think adding an extra charger really makes double conversion. In fact the opposite is probably true. You keep a single charger topology and add 5kW rectifier that can feed your high voltage DC bus (which feeds the inverter stage). Then when your AC falls away the DC bus is fed from the boost controller as usual.

This is my thoughts however, I'll see if I get it.

EDIT: ok I see what you are saying. Rectify 5kW to 48v DC, then feed it to your 5kW boost stage and that drives the inverter stage. When the AC falls away you feed the boost stage from DC as per normal.

Additionally add a charger for the batteries.

Guess in my mind because they use the boost converter topology in reverse it gets confusing to think of them as separate.

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3 hours ago, Gnome said:

But was the 3kVA model double conversion?

Nope. There was a big old switch that turned it on when the grid was connected. I mean it differs from the 5kva in that it doesn't run the same pipeline "in reverse" to do the charging, instead it had a separate charging pipeline.

3 hours ago, Gnome said:

I don't think adding an extra charger really makes double conversion

Of course not. At the very least it must be big enough. But in theory you need very little modification to get there if you already use a separate charger.

3 hours ago, Gnome said:

You keep a single charger topology and add 5kW rectifier that can feed your high voltage DC bus (which feeds the inverter stage). Then when your AC falls away the DC bus is fed from the boost controller as usual. 

That might be how they do it. In fact, I think you may be right, I will say why below.

You could do a Buck-Boost converter between the low-voltage DC bus (aka the battery) and the high-voltage DC bus, and then bring your AC input directly onto the high-voltage DC bus using only a rectifier... but what do you do then with low voltage input conditions? You'd need an extra buck/boost between the rectifier and the DC-bus to ensure you have a constant +-340V on there. But I seem to recall they do this anyway: The boost stage has a fixed ratio, so they already have another DC/DC stage in there to get a stable high-voltage DC level.

There is a 3% difference in efficiency between line mode and inverter mode (93% for line mode, 90% for inverter mode). If it was fully double-conversion, line mode must be less efficient than inverter mode. That's why I think you're probably right.

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