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PIP-4048MS inverter

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paulvk View Drop Down
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    Posted: 5 hours 23 minutes ago at 6:14pm
Hello Robert welcome.
How old is your 4048 do you know what went wrong it may be repairable.
Also how old are your batteries what are they?
As far as reliability for the PIPs the newer ones should be better they have made a number of changes.
I have found 18 x 250 watt panels to be the minimum on my ones as you very rarely get 250 watts they are normally around 180 watts due to the temperature of the panels reducing output and now as we get into winter even less.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6mdx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 hours 44 minutes ago at 7:53am
Hi all, my name is Robert, new to this forum. Found you guys while searching for info on the pip 4048.


My inverter has died and looking for a replacement, and wondered how you feel about the reliability of the 4048. I have 650 Ah of flooded Pb at 48 volts and 12 x 250 w panels.

The batteries are getting old and so thinking of Li, some time in the future.

comments, suggestions,advice welcome
cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulvk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 7:37pm
Search e-bay for "Wireless Volt Ammeter Power Meter" little units that show volts , amps and count power in and out with an input on screen that you put in battery AH , it has a little bar to show battery capacity all in colour.
It also has under & over volts relay can be wired or wireless, units up to 1500amps
The ones I have also show kW hours in and out

Edited by paulvk - Yesterday at 7:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antiscab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 8:35am
Originally posted by solamahn solamahn wrote:

Does anyone know what meter is used to measure the Ah capacity of Lifepo4 cells. Mine come with data sheets so it is easy to select similar capacity cells to make up a bank but the meter could help Zenonhost make up his battery bank


You need one that does a capacity test (full charge followed by full discharge)

This is the best one I have found to date:
Power Lab 8

I modified it with heavier wire to do 40A continuous

From memory there's a 60A version too, you may have to do some googling for it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote solamahn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 3:00am
Does anyone know what meter is used to measure the Ah capacity of Lifepo4 cells. Mine come with data sheets so it is easy to select similar capacity cells to make up a bank but the meter could help Zenonhost make up his battery bank
Solamahn PNG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2017 at 10:59am
Originally posted by TonyB TonyB wrote:

None of the panel buttons respond to pressing and the inverter will not switch off using the bottom switch. We have to remove to battery (no mains - it's off grid) to force a restart. How do we get past this freeze point, tried it twice now after restarting inverter and laptop?

First of all, Don't Panic!



It's not clear to me whether you successfully started a flash update after this point. You won't get anything on the LCD, but the flash update should still work.

See more information and if you think your inverter is bricked.

Can you confirm that a reflash attempt starts, after you get the "freeze" and restart after disconnecting and reconnecting the battery?
Learning how to repair and re-flash TC/Elcon chargers and PIP-4048 inverter-chargers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2017 at 4:55am
Weber, Thank you for the suggestions. We hadn't tried with the panels off, nor the load disconnected, so will try that next time anyway.
The AGM and laptop batteries were virtually full.
There were no changes to the panel display (showing AC Volts) nor to the reflash software at the time of the clunks. Only after another delay of about 30 seconds did the reflash software complain that it couldn't communicate with the comm port. I assume that was because the inverter had frozen and was no longer responding.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2017 at 9:35pm
Have you tried ensuring that both the laptop battery and the AGM battery have plenty of charge, and removing all loads and charging inputs including solar, from the inverter?

Perhaps you could tell us more details about what messages you see from the reflash software on the laptop, and what you see on the inverter display, before and after each clunk?

Edited by weber - 21 May 2017 at 9:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2017 at 8:18pm
Firstly, thank you to Weber and Coulomb and others for their great contributions. I have been watching for a while now but have run into a problem that I need a little help with. A local friend who I am trying to help with his solar system, has just had to replace his inverter. The new one has come with 72.60 software and, as he has a small 48V AGM battery (110A-Hr) it suffers from going into Float mode very quickly. We tried to upgrade the software to the patched version. However, the upgrade process appears to start - after some 10 seconds the inverter 'clunks' and does so again a few seconds later then just freezes. Shortly after, the upgrade software says can't communicate on comm port. None of the panel buttons respond to pressing and the inverter will not switch off using the bottom switch. We have to remove to battery (no mains - it's off grid) to force a restart. How do we get past this freeze point, tried it twice now after restarting inverter and laptop?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2017 at 8:36am
Originally posted by andys andys wrote:

I noticed there's now a PIP5048MS on sale

Anyone got any information on this?

There isn't much information; there is this catalogue from MPPSolar.

They are part of a so-called "PF1 series" (at least, so called on MPPSolar). That seems to mean that the battery side DC/DC converter, instead of having 0.8 times the continuous power rating of the AC side inverter, now has 1.0 times the rating. The AC side (400+ volt DC to 230 V AC) inverter was always rated at enough current for 5 kVA or 5 kW. But because the battery side DC/DC was only rated for 0.8 times that value (4 kW), you could only use the AC side's current to full capacity (5 kVA) with a load that has a power factor of 0.8 (i.e. 5 kVA but only 4 kW of real power). The real power is supplied from the battery terminals, through a combination of battery and SCC current, but the imaginary power circulates from the AC inverter to the load and back again.

The battery side DC/DC converters have 4 MOSFETs in parallel (16 total for a full bridge). To bring them from 4 kW to 5 kW, they would need to use 5 MOSFETs in parallel (20 MOSFETs total). This extra space is quite possibly what displaces the 4 MOSFETs that were previously used for reverse battery connection. There is still protection, but now it seems to be in the form of a big diode anti-connected to the battery terminals. Hence the new marketing dot point about fuse protection of reverse battery connection, or some such. (I can't see it in the linked catalogue). This seems to be embodied by a spare "fuse" (a stamp of plated copper with a narrow neck) provided in the box. The extra 20% of MOSFETs means more switching losses, so the peak efficiency drops from 93% to 90%.

Personally, I think I prefer the MOSFET reverse protection, and living with a 4 kW limit. There will always be some part of the load that has a non-zero power factor (fridges, freezers, motors of any kind), so you'll likely never need the full power of the DC/DC converter. But it's nice to have the choice (if they retain the older models; I suspect from the Voltronics web site that they won't.)

Quote It looks like the same as the 4048 but with an upgraded AC inverter? Very annoying as I just purchased a bunch of 4048s :)

As noted above, it's actually the DC/DC part that is upgraded, and there are consequences. So maybe it's not so bad that you snapped up some 4048s.
Learning how to repair and re-flash TC/Elcon chargers and PIP-4048 inverter-chargers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2017 at 7:24am
I noticed there's now a PIP5048MS on sale

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/142343699895

Anyone got any information on this? It looks like the same as the 4048 but with an upgraded AC inverter? Very annoying as I just purchased a bunch of 4048s :)

[ Edited Coulomb: clickable link ]

Edited by coulomb - 17 May 2017 at 8:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulvk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2017 at 6:38pm
You selectronic inverter charger is a low frequency large transformer based inverter the pip is a high frequency one that uses synchronous rectification with mosfets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_rectification very different devices.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2017 at 8:57pm
The generator was two years old when we purchased the home 6 years ago. The generator has been run about 1hr pr year over that 6 years just to spash oil around it. So it's like new. I did pull the brush set out and inspect it and yes I did see the capacitor when doing so.

Im not concerned with power factor as it's 8kw at pf of 1 is is almost capable of running the litte 3000w pip charger load three times over.

To be honest I think the PIP is the issue not the genset as it behaves perfect at any load when feeding it to the selectronic inverter charger



Edited by offgridQLD - 15 May 2017 at 9:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulvk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2017 at 6:27pm
You also need to look at what the power factor is with the generator
How old is the generator?
Also if you can get to it without too much trouble test the capacitor in the generator they have a habit of slowly dying.
Having an oscilloscope across the output it would be good to see the waveform.

Edited by paulvk - 15 May 2017 at 6:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2017 at 8:11pm
One thing to note​ is just before the pip disconnects the gen the last few seconds that the pip is charging as it aproches 40A it gets a harmonic noise that sounds loader and lower frequency Than It's typical fiant high frequency noise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2017 at 8:02pm
Thanks Weber,
              I spent some time with the generator this weekend and using the fluke87v I was able to set the output to spot on 50hz with 246v. With very little fluctuation between 25-75% load.

One thing I did notice was the 20+ pages in the selectronic manual referring to a number of generator based settings that can be tweeked to ensure transitional loading, frequency balancing and so on work with a variaty of generators. I also noticed the accepted input specs were resonbly relaxed for the selectronic just like the PIP.

So with the gens output fine tuned a gave it another go on the pip without success.



Edited by offgridQLD - 14 May 2017 at 8:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote weber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2017 at 4:57pm
Kurt,

There are some interesting specs on generator inputs, from Giant Power here:
http://www.giantpower.com.au/technical-faq
Pretty much the only one it could be violating, with the APL setting, is the frequency slew rate, although we certainly didn't see that on the display.

Edited by weber - 14 May 2017 at 4:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 7:43pm
Will test it on mains power if it's happy to charge at more than 30a from that then I will move on to tweaking generator settings to get closer to 240v and 50hz.




Edited by offgridQLD - 14 May 2017 at 7:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulvk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 6:57pm
I watched your video 54 hertz is a bit too high and it appeared to drop the load on the generator when the frequency dropped, with the grid a 1 hertz drop would be a big problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulvk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 6:44pm
With watch power you have to set the charge on each PIP individually.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 10:50am
Similar behaviour to mine, but yours is triggering quickly at 30A, mine can go up to 40A and sit there for 5-10 minutes (less if I'm running loads too).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 10:02am
Originally posted by andys andys wrote:

I should add that the exact same thing happens to me when charging on mains (grid). Due to high cable length and poor quality, the voltage drops to 220V and below, and the pip cuts out at around the same point.

I always assumed it was just a low voltage cut-out but maybe something else is going on.


I don't think its low voltage with my issue as my generator input voltage to the PIP never dropped below 248v. Though hz always was just over 50hz (my guess is it would be lower hz under say a 75% generator max capacity load like 110A..6000w

Edit: I will check my generators RPM (as i have a feeling it could be a tad over 3000rpm and that's why the HZ and voltage is a tad high.

I made a small youtube video of my PIP charging via the generator. PIP set at 60A and showing the drop out issue + showing the PIP happy charging at 30A..link to video below.


Youtube video of PIP charging issue
https://youtu.be/pDvkEumI28U

Pic of generator and spec sticker.




Edited by offgridQLD - 12 May 2017 at 10:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 8:06am
Originally posted by xenonhost xenonhost wrote:

Quick question: I have 5 pip4048 connected in parallel; when I put 10A charging current in watchpower, each PIP will charge with 10 amps, or the total charging will be 10A?

I don't use Watchpower, but my guess is that it will send a 10 A command to the PIP it is connected to, which will immediately broadcast the message to the 4 slaves, so they will all contribute 10 A.

The master seems to be aware of what the slaves are doing, so I suspect that if you have 10 A per PIP and say two of them have no panels connected, the others will contribute more to make the total 50 A. So effectively, what you put into Watchpower will be "per inverter/charger".

This means that you will have coarse control over the total charge current (e.g. 50 A steps of total charge current), but with 5 paralleled units, you'll need a quite large battery anyway, capable of a large charge and discharge currents, so it evens out somewhat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 7:46am
I should add that the exact same thing happens to me when charging on mains (grid). Due to high cable length and poor quality, the voltage drops to 220V and below, and the pip cuts out at around the same point.

I always assumed it was just a low voltage cut-out but maybe something else is going on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote offgridQLD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2017 at 7:42am
Originally posted by solamahn solamahn wrote:

The only other thing I can think of is the quality of the generator AC output which might have something to do with the length and size of the cable between the generator and pip


I have about 15m total length underground of 10mm2...(could even be 16mm2) 3 core cable so no voltage drop worth worrying about.
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