Su-Kam Inverters: A Review
Su-Kam inverters are very popular among users and highly reputable among technicians and dealers. It is arguably one of the most widely used inverters in Nigeria. Comparatively, they are affordable and durable hence their ubiquity. Between November 2016 and June 2019, about 60% of all SolarKobo inverter installations were Su-Kam inverters. In a SolarKobo survey
involving hundreds of respondents, Su-Kam inverters were found to be the second-most popular brand among Nigerian users, next only to Luminous (stay tuned for a review).
Su-Kam inverters are pure sine wave so they are relatively noiseless and produce less heat. They come in white, black and grey colors that are meant to complement home designs.
Su-Kam inverters are built with appliance safety and battery protection in mind. They are built on MOSFET switching technology with Pulse-Width-Modulation (PWM) controls which helps automatically regulate output voltage, increase backup time and prevent damage to the batteries. They have a relatively fast mains power sensing unit and quick switchover ensuring that appliances in use will not sense a break in power supply and will remain on. They have Automatic Voltage Switch (AVS) that can detect unsuitable voltages and will automatically switch to backup especially with unstable grid and generator power. They also have an overload protection circuit that shuts down the inverter’s output when an overload occurs, with a continuous buzzing sound. They are able to alert users on low battery and will shut down if no action is taken to reduce the load or if the inverter is not powered off manually which means a shorter battery design life cycle and can further weaken battery cells unexpectedly. The inverters also have overcharge protection technologies.
Distributors promise a full twelve-month warranty.
Su-Kam – SHINY series. The inverters in this series are pure sine wave. They have 250VA to 1500VA. Appliances in up to four rooms including a computer.
Su-Kam – STURDY pure sine wave – 600 VA. For appliances in two bedrooms with a computer.
Su-Kam – FALCON pure sine wave – 800 VA. For loads in three bedrooms and one living room with a computer.
Su-Kam – SMILEY pure sine wave – 1400 VA. For loads for four bedrooms, one living room and a computer.
Su-Kam – FUSION series – pure sine wave – 2.5 – 3.5 KVA. For heavier loads including appliances with induction coils, kitchen appliances, air conditioners, water heaters, microwave ovens, washing machines, plasma TVs/LCD/DVD, refrigerators, tube lights, scanners and printers.
Su-kam COLOSSAL series.
Except the Falcon series, production of all the other models have been discontinued though they can still be found in the market. SolarKobo has most of these models in stock on our online store As at July 2019, the price of Su-Kam inverters range from 50,000NGN to 800,000NGN excluding battery and installation fees.
The manufacturer of Su-Kam inverters was an Indian company, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd. As at April 2019, the company was in the process of being liquidated by authorities in India. Their website has effectively been shut down. This means that it is most likely that Su-Kam inverters may soon exit the market.
The inverters take up to an average of 5-10 hours to charge fully depending on the depth of discharge at/below 50%. Most Su-Kam inverters are compatible with standby generators. However, experience has shown unhealthy charge from standby generators thus, professionals and technicians generally discourage charging with generators.
On NTG, Naija Tech Guide, a reputable tech blog, on user forums on nairaland.com and on upsinverterinfo.com (an online journal for backup power systems) Su-Kam inverters generally received highly favorable reviews from both users and tech writers. Upsinverterinfo.com listed Su-Kam number one on its list of ‘Top Five Pure Sine Wave Inverters in India’. It also listed Su-Kam inverters as the first in its list of ‘Top 3 Square Wave Inverters in India’.
Major Complaints from Users
The absence of displays and readouts for charging currents (source).
Also, users have reported that the inverters have on occasions tripped off and come on intermittently, up to five times, before stabilizing (source).
The displays have also been reported to have gone blank or displayed only bars on multiple occasions (source).
There have also been complaints about the batteries not charging properly or damaging prematurely (source).
In future articles, we will review other solar system components.
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