PIP-4048MS inverter

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 26 Jul 2017, 01:01

lopez wrote:I would get one from an Australian supplier along as it meets all requirements for use in Australia. Like the one from www.giantpower.com.au. Having a warranty service in Australia is an advantage.

Unfortunately, Giant Power no longer sell the inverter separately. They only sell it as part of their battery system.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by 6mdx » Wed, 26 Jul 2017, 23:36

thanks for the replies guys, looks like ebay is the option that is easiest.

cheers Robert

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 20:44

coulomb wrote: The primary of the high frequency transformer is the output of the MOSFET full bridge. The drains of the low side MOSFETs, the sources of the high side MOSFETs, and the inputs of the high frequency transformer are connected by a flat bar between the main PCB and the heatsink for the MOSFETs. Tabs from these two flat bars bend down at 90° to the bar, and poke through the PCB like thick square component leads:

Image


The above is my guess of where the "shorting bars" would go (as seen from below the board), based on Weber's theory. Weber and I were working on a PIP repair today, and had to remove the battery side heatsink to clean away the soot (it can conduct rather well and cause big problems).

So now we can compare my guess with the reality:

Image

I think I did OK, except I wasn't generous enough with area of the metal.

[ Edit: Fixed a muck-up where I ended up with just a complete quote of the original post. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 10:53, edited 1 time in total.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 00:26

After Weber removed the dead battery-side MOSFETs and cleaned the soot off the PCB, we were ready to try testing the gate drivers. We've been trying to devise a way of testing the gate drivers, other than reassembling the main board in a case, attaching a 48 V battery, and powering up. After all, that's what we did last time, and the MOSFETs blew up. There has to be a way to check the gate drivers without having things blow up.

Having traced some schematics lately, I had a plan. It involves testing the drivers after the old battery-side MOSFETs are removed, and before they are reinstalled. Firstly, we use a current limited power supply. Weber's is limited to 31 V, but it seems to be good enough. We set the current limit to one amp (half an amp would be plenty). Secondly, there needs to be power for the driver electronics, which means powering up the main power supply. Shorting the wires that lead to the main power switch does that. There is a capacitor, C7, that will charge up and cause Q9 and hence Q10 to stop conducting, but once Q36 and TX9 are generating pulses, there are power from diodes D57 and D49 to keep U10 powered.

Thirdly, something needs to enable the PWM chip that generates the square waves for the DC-DC gates, both the MOSFETs on the battery-side, and the IGBTs on the high voltage (~400-450 V) side. Usually the processor would do that, but we'd prefer not to plug in the processor daughter board at this stage. Shorting pins 3 and 4 of opto U19 would do this.

Image

The red oval shows the two pins to be shorted. Using a long pigtail as shown enables a DSO earth lead to be clipped to it, should the need arise to debug the PWM chip. You may wish to use a clip lead instead of soldering to the pins.

[ Edit: U9 is near the middle of the board, near the end with the battery terminals. ]

We didn't want to remove any IGBTs, since they seem to be working fine, and we'd prefer that we didn't have hazardous voltages running about, not to mention IGBTs that could blow up if not driven correctly. But the transformer won't be providing energy with the battery-side MOSFETs not yet installed. We know now that the bus soft start circuit is usually enabled by the processor, so with the processor removed, that won't be charging the big bus capacitors either. So the IGBTs will have no voltage across them, so turning them on, with good signals or bad, won't hurt anything.

So we powered it up, and attached the DSO leads to the gate and source of the four sets of battery-side MOSFET holes. The result:

Image

I don't know the reason for the step change part way through the square wave to the gates, but it looks pretty good to me. These two waveforms are from diagonally opposite pairs, hence the difference in phase. Note the ~1.7 uS dead time when neither diagonal of the full bridge (i.e. none of the MOSFETs) is turned on. The frequency of the gate drive is about 37 kHz.

We also checked the drive to the IGBTs on the high voltage side of the DC-DC converter. These are the four TO-247 devices that are nearest U9. The signals were similar, except for some overshoot at the start of the square wave drive.

It all looks good, so we may be able to get this PIP working again. And nothing blew up! [ Edit: so far... ]

If you try this, make sure you remember to unsolder the short on opto U19 when finished, if you used solder to short the pins.

[ Edit: clarified "neither diagonal of the full bridge" with "(i.e. none of the MOSFETs). ]
[ Edit: "battery side MOSFETs" -> "battery-side MOSFETs". ]
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 15:33, edited 1 time in total.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 00:37

If you are going to bench test the board before replacing into case and have access to a CRO would be good to see the ripple on the caps.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by andys » Thu, 17 Aug 2017, 14:49

Just tried a new generator - its a Honda 13HP petrol with 8kW alternator. Reading a strong 240VAC while maintaining 50 amps PIP charge rate, for quite some time before dropping out. Then it gets worse and worse, shorter periods until the next drop out.

I tried removing all other AC loads and it just seemed to make it worse - now only making it up to 40A charge rate before dropping out.

So, still not sure what is going on.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sat, 19 Aug 2017, 07:27

The description sounds like something shutting down due to heat.
Now I know that the heat sinks get to over 50c and this caused me to install external 120mm fans to keep them below 43c
and I also think the capacitor failure is due to this heating them.
So do you have any way of getting more air through the unit to test this theory?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Revlac » Mon, 21 Aug 2017, 20:41

Well overheating would be a possibility if you were charging on a really hot day? I have measured 60c air temp coming of the fans last summer.
However i think there may be something els going on.
It looks as if it just shuts off without regulating properly

We use a PIP4048HS and PCM60X MPPT charge controller, so far and have never used the generator input to charge the batteries so i don't know if the HS model will suffer from the same charging issues.
Now i had a similar problem with the PCM60X when charging a set of lead acid batteries that where to small, it would often charge up to set voltage or a little higher and the cut out (large voltage swing) and start again. this happened many times a day (it may be switching between float and absorb mode, After I changed to customized charge settings no more problems.
I now have better batteries.

Some of the PIP4048MS models did the same thing, often referred to as cloud edge affect, I think that was fixed with a firmware upgrade.

What I'm talking about is check the voltage that the charge drops out at when charging from the geny?
Then try adjusting the voltage between Bulk Charge, Absorb and Float (if that can be done?) See if the behavior changes?
I don't know anything about the settings for the MS model as i don't have one
could be some small software glitch

I could be barking up the wrong tree.

Note: I had a busted IGBT on another HS main board it had a common mode choke (L3) on the geny input, The replacement main board did not have this choke for some reason!

Cheers
Aaron

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Revlac » Fri, 25 Aug 2017, 20:56

Hi All
Today we fired up the new PIP-5048, working good the fans run all the time unlike the earlier version's
And they have finally put the fans in the other way round, now they draw the cool air in through the bottom and the heat comes out the top, As it should.
The IGBT's on the High Voltage side, STGW80H65DFB

Note on another post.
Loads that affect voltage stability:
LG front load washing Machine on the wash cycle, made the lights flicker in the house and the old battery charger I had running, the old volt/amp meter would bounce noticeably.

Now I fitted a ferrite Round cable suppression sleeve around the cord of the appliance, tried a few sizes best results form the small one that fits snug around the cord. less noticeable flicker on the house lights and no bounce on the battery charger volt/amp meter. All Good
Just thought someone may find that helpful.

Cheers
Aaron

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Fri, 25 Aug 2017, 21:11

Revlac wrote:
Fri, 25 Aug 2017, 20:56
Now I fitted a ferrite Round cable suppression sleeve around the cord of the appliance, tried a few sizes best results form the small one that fits snug around the cord. less noticeable flicker on the house lights...
So that's around the active and neutral leads together? Interesting that it works. I'd guess it would work even better with two small, separate beads around the active and neutral separately.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Revlac » Sat, 26 Aug 2017, 21:30

Yes around the active and neutral leads together, there may be other ways to do it but that was quick and simple for me at the time, I think its to do with spikes from PWM controlled devices. (affects other types of inverters as well)
Anyway I have to say thanks Coulomb, Weber and others for the info on the PIP Repair.
I will have a go at fixing my busted main board at some stage when I have more time.

Cheers
Aaron

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by hennejg » Wed, 30 Aug 2017, 06:15

Now that I've read through most of the pages, I am still wondering about the 24V model. I am currently using a PIP-2424MSX (sold in Germany under the Effekta brand) and am in the process of switching from lead-acid to LiFePo4 (GBS cells with an EMUS BMS).

I do realize that the patched firmwares for the PIP-4048MS do not apply to the 24V models and I could not find anyone else working on them. However, I hope that you guys around here, being most likely only second to the Voltronic/MPP engineers when it comes to knowledge about those devices, know one or two things about the 24V devices as well. Specifically, I'm wondering

* Will it even work with LeFePo4 cells which I naively just assumed to be the case?
* Is the bug present on the 24V models as well?
* Do you know of any resources (similar to this forum) dedicated to the 24V models?
* Right now, I could probably make the switch to 48V and sell my 24V box on eBay, but after I've got the battery that makes no sense anymore, so the questioin is: is it worth it?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Jörg

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by hennejg » Wed, 30 Aug 2017, 23:03

*sigh*
I just realized that THE BUG is only part of the problem. The insufficient range of parameter 29 (low battery cut off) is the other.

Which raises another question: is there an elegant way of disabling a) the charger and b) the inverter in response to demands from the BMS (a just as another level of safety, b as a matter of necessity) without using a contactor or a beefy SSR?
For b) a relay can be connected in serial to the inverter power switch, but for a) my best idea for now is to interrupt the PV inputs.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Thu, 31 Aug 2017, 08:29

hennejg wrote:
Wed, 30 Aug 2017, 06:15
* Will it even work with LiFePO4 cells which I naively just assumed to be the case?
Don't know.
* Is the bug present on the 24V models as well?
Don't know.
* Do you know of any resources (similar to this forum) dedicated to the 24V models?
No.
* Right now, I could probably make the switch to 48V and sell my 24V box on eBay, but after I've got the battery that makes no sense anymore, so the question is: is it worth it?
We can help you with the 48 V model. We can't help you with the 24 V model. I understand the 24 V model is very different. I think it even uses a different microprocessor architecture.
just realized that THE BUG is only part of the problem. The insufficient range of parameter 29 (low battery cut off) is the other.
Right. Also the fact that the unpatched code requires the voltage to go 4 volts below the float setting (in the 48 V case) before it will start another bulk/absorb charge cycle.
Which raises another question: is there an elegant way of disabling a) the charger and b) the inverter in response to demands from the BMS (a just as another level of safety, b as a matter of necessity) without using a contactor or a beefy SSR? For b) a relay can be connected in serial to the inverter power switch, but for a) my best idea for now is to interrupt the PV inputs.
It depends what you consider elegant. But surely patching the code gives the most elegant solution.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Thu, 31 Aug 2017, 08:44

hennejg wrote:
Wed, 30 Aug 2017, 06:15
* Is the bug present on the 24V models as well?
It's hard to guess. Most likely, the two models share some common code, so the likelihood is that the bug exists in the 24 V models.

But surely you could tell us that. I would think that Weber's test would apply to the 24 V model, or at least could be adapted. [ Edit: perhaps I misread your post, and you don't have the battery yet. It will still be good to know. ]
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by hennejg » Fri, 01 Sep 2017, 02:43

Thanks a lot @weber, @coulomb for your responses!

I've decided to switch to 48V and ordered a PIP-4048MS and the battery accordingly. Now I can only hope that your patches still work with the recent models.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 04 Sep 2017, 13:14

hennejg wrote:
Fri, 01 Sep 2017, 02:43
Now I can only hope that your patches still work with the recent models.
Yes, that's something we'd like to know as well. If your machine comes with firmware version 73.00, then you're definitely safe. We have successfully downgraded PIPs from 73.00 to 72.70b patched firmware. If it's 73.XX, you are probably still safe. If its 74.XX or later, then it's unclear whether the downgrade will work, and what new features you might be throwing away. There is presently no way of going back to factory firmware other than asking nicely for it. I think in a situation where you tried to correct a defect that they created, and in the process bricked or severely limited your machine, then presumably they would provide the firmware file. But it is a risk.

Of course, there is the chance that the charging bug will be fixed in 73.XX where XX > 00, or in 74.YY. But it seems unlikely to me that they will also have fixed the other issues affecting lithium batteries, such as needing to see a 4.0 V drop in battery voltage before re-starting a charge cycle (we patched that to 1.0 V).
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 04 Sep 2017, 13:32

Weber and I are working on another PIP-4048 this project day. This one had blown MOSFETs that we had recently replaced. We were interested in how many MOSFETs we would have to replace, given that the replacements would have the exact same part number (but they'd almost certainly be from different manufacturing batches). The service manual says "if one or more of them were damaged, please replace all of them".

This was a definite short circuit situation (there was a flash visible from the side of the cabinet). But it seems to us this implies that two sets of MOSFETs (one high set and one low set) must have short circuited, but this short would have protected the other set from damage. Only one set of MOSFETs showed obvious damage, one of the high-side sets. These showed a short circuit drain to source, and source to most gates. So we removed those first. Some of the measurements of the remaining MOSFETs were being affected by large capacitors. In the end, we decided to follow the advice :idea: of the service manual. One should see 11.7 kΩ from gate to source (basically, the four 47 kΩ gate to source resistors in parallel), and the reverse voltage (using diode range on the multimeter now, not resistance) from drain to source should be 0.43 V. In one case, it was zero, indicating a shorted set of MOSFETs. The last MOSFET out seemed to measure OK, but we figured that it would have received a share of the short circuit current, and was worth replacing anyway. With those bad MOSFETs removed, the gate to source resistance and reverse drain to source voltage measured OK. So we feel that it should be OK to retain the other 8 MOSFETs.

So that seems to be the best way to find the bad MOSFETs. We still need to come up with a way of better testing the gate driver circuit, since this is presumably the reason for the immediate failure of the new MOSFETs.

Edit: be aware that when removing the MOSFETs, solder will tend to be sucked away from the 47 kΩ and the 22 Ω resistors connected to the MOSFET gates. It's probably a good idea to check for the 11.7 kΩ across any of the 47 kΩ resistors after installing the replacement MOSFETs. If any of the 47 kΩ or 22 Ω resistors are open circuit, you'll read something quite different from 11.7 kΩ.

Edit: This technique of measuring the gate resistors can't really be used on the IGBTs on the high side of the DC-DC converter, since the pulse transformers have very low output resistance. However, a reading of 22-23 ohms gate to emitter would be a good indication. If all 4 of these IGBTs are good, there should be a high resistance from collector to emitter on all 4 devices.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Brandt66 » Mon, 04 Sep 2017, 20:06

Hello

I am running a solar system from 12KW with 3 PIP-4048MS Inverters in parallel the battery is an 48V 1300AH Batterie. After I found this website I update the firmware to the “dsp_Pb1_72.70b” and install the monitoring software ICC. Now I get aware that during the system run on Batterie the Inverters take for a sort time High currents peaks up to 500A without that there is an equivalent load.

https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ai20LeuVVwNVltg6C__5BnayuoAwjg

Is here in this forum somebody that could give me the advice this is normal for this type of Inverter or what can I do to stop this behavior ?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 05 Sep 2017, 09:56

Brandt66 wrote:
Mon, 04 Sep 2017, 20:06
Hello
Hi, welcome to the forum.
Is here in this forum somebody that could give me the advice this is normal for this type of Inverter or what can I do to stop this behavior ?
That sure doesn't look right to me. My guess is that somehow, the monitoring software is sometimes getting garbled responses. There are probably not all that many three-inverter systems running ICC, and maybe the timing needs to be changed a bit to cope with the delays caused by three inverters (if that's the case).

But first, it would be really good to rule out that those current spikes are really happening.

You can probably find this out from the instantaneous battery voltage. Do you see the battery voltage sag in time with the purported surges in battery load? A 250+ amp drain will cause a noticeable voltage sag on pretty much any battery.

The other things is you could watch the battery current on one of the LCD displays. Some of those apparent surges are about 10 second in duration, so you should be able to see them on the display if they are real. Almost certainly, they are not, so this is a result of the monitoring software not working with your setup.

You probably need to work with the author to get this resolved. I'm pretty sure that you will get good results asking questions or sending private messages on the following forum: http://powerforum.co.za/forum/94-axpert ... -software/ .
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Wed, 06 Sep 2017, 18:12

I have been running the Pb version of the patched software on my two parallel PIPs for a couple of months.
They still tend to go back to float a bit early.
I have just installed the 130v version of I-Panda 40a MPPT charger on the battery so now I have the two PIP 60A chargers and the I-Panda 40A
The 40A unit is doing a much better job of bulk charging, its working very well with the PIPs so those with a 60A PIP could use it to get to 100A MPPT and fix the bug in the PIPs .
The 40A unit is a esmart series 3 $160 AU on e-bay.
I have 9 x 250w panels on it , one PIP has 12 x 240w the other 15 x 240w.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 18:09

Revlac wrote:
Fri, 25 Aug 2017, 20:56
Now I fitted a ferrite Round cable suppression sleeve around the cord of the appliance, tried a few sizes best results form the small one that fits snug around the cord. less noticeable flicker on the house lights and no bounce on the battery charger volt/amp meter. All Good
Just thought someone may find that helpful.
I remembered your post about the ferrites when I was called to a charger that was making a terrible audible racket some of the time. It was a very harsh sound, most unpleasant. So I tried adding ferrite cores around the thick cables from the charger to the battery. (There were some already installed in the bowels of the boat where the battery and charger were located.) This was a 6 kW 24 V charger, so these were 35 mm² cables (quite thick). The sound changed; it was lower in frequency and not so harsh. The customer had more ferrites, so we clamped a few more on. Each time the frequency changed, going lower and lower with more and more ferrites. Finally, we removed all the ferrites from the battery cables, and the acoustic noise stopped. I think that the added inductance, instead of smoothing the electrical switching noise as I expected, seemed to induce some sort of instability. I'm not saying that what you did is bad, far from it. But under some circumstances, ferrites might not be the best idea. Fortunately, they are usually designed to be easy to add and remove with clips, so you can just try them and see what happens.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Revlac » Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 22:00

HI Coulomb
I had an idea there would be many different factors involved on different applications, anyway I'm still learning these things.

The other night I had a look at the IGBT gate drive on the PIP4048 main board using a microscope and found either a crack or short across the resistor (R139) that drives QA1 if that was a short then i guess the AT350 opto could be shot, i will check that later.
As the manual said check for obvious damage i didn't see this.
(picture didn't post)


I'm familiar with H-Bridge drive as i have had some success and some failure building my own inverter, it really didn't like the bad signal from a dry joint, end result was short circuit drain to source, Just something els to fix when I find the time. :)

Cheers
Aaron

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 17:35

Weber and I have disassembled and reassembled PIP inverters many times. Eventually, we wrote down some notes on what order to do things. It's now settled down enough that perhaps it will be useful to someone else.

Disassembly
  • Remove the cable cover.
  • Remove the front cover; unplug the two cables from the board on the inside of the cover.
  • Unscrew the 6 screws from the AC transfer board.
  • Unplug the AC transfer board's cable from the main board.
  • Remove the red and black wires from the SCC board.
  • Remove the 3 white plastic plugs holding the clear plastic shroud. Remove the shroud.
  • Unscrew the SCC connection to the PV input connector, and the 5 M3 screws holding the SCC board. You don't need to remove the two screws attaching the SCC board to the SCC top panel. Don't unscrew the 4 screws holding the heat-sink to the SCC board.
  • Remove the 4 countersunk screws from the SCC top panel. Unplug the 4-pin plug from the SCC board.
  • Remove the SCC board and top panel while unplugging its 2 wire cable from the main board.
  • Remove the blank piece of PCB material.
  • Undo the two screws holding the processor daughter board. Remove the daughter board; no need to disconnect its cables.
  • Remove the two countersunk screws holding the fan panel, from the two sides of the case.
    Note: Now seems like it would be a good time to remove the 4 quick connect terminals to the AC input and output, so as to remove the fan panel. But the quick connects are extremely tight. The one time we removed them we found (a) this required extreme force with pliers, which damaged the insulation, and (b) it made them loose when replaced, such that we don't think they would take 40 A without overheating. So leave the quick connects alone and instead take the fan panel out with the main board when you remove it (below).
  • Remove the nuts, washers and lugs from the earth stud.
  • Unplug all 4 plugs along the bottom of the main board, and the AC start switch plug in the top right corner.
  • Remove the 9 M3 screws holding the main board, and the two screws holding the battery terminal tongue. (One is under a date sticker.)
  • Undo the nut holding the circuit breaker to the chassis.
  • You should now be able to remove the main board.
Reassembly
  • Insert the main board and fan panel into place. Ensure that there are no cables trapped under the board: fan cables, power cables to the comms and parallel boards, and the AC start switch cable. Plug in all these cables to the main board.
  • Guide the circuit breaker back into place, and replace its nut.
  • Replace the 9 screws into the main board, and the two into the battery terminal tongue. The tongue uses a chrome plated hex head and a black countersunk screw (the latter in the date label).
  • Insert the processor daughter board and its two screws.
  • Screw the fan panel into place with 2 countersunk screws. Replace the items on the earth stud, in the order: lug, washer, nut, lug, washer, nut. Tighten the first nut before installing the second one.
  • Plug the SCC cable (the 4-wire cable furthest from the edge of the processor board) into CN4 of the SCC. Plug the 2-pin cable from the SCC onto the main board, beside the AC start switch socket.
  • Screw in the SCC top panel; it uses 4 countersunk screws.
  • Place the small piece of blank PCB with the side that has three holes under the SCC board. One way up works better than the other.
  • Screw the SCC board in place, using 5 M3 screws and two larger screws into the PV input connector.
  • Replace the clear plastic shroud. Fix it in place with the 3 plastic plugs. Use the three holes furthest from the blank PCB.
  • Screw in the red and black wires to the SCC board. The colour is indicated in words on the SCC board ("RED", "BLACK").
  • Plug the 8-pin plug from the AC transfer board into the main board. Screw in the AC transfer board with 6 M3 screws.
  • Plug the LCD and LED cables into the board on the inside of the front cover, and tuck the bottom of the front cover behind the lip in the case. Replace the countersunk screws holding the front cover.
  • Remember to replace the cable cover once the cables are re-connected.
[ Edit: moved the copy from page 73 to here. ]
[ Edit: many improvements suggested by Weber. ]
[ Edit: Remove and replace the nut holding the circuit breaker. ]
[ Edit: replace items on the earth stud. ]
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

ghatikar
Noobie
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu, 28 Sep 2017, 23:31
Real Name: Anil Ghatikar

Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by ghatikar » Fri, 29 Sep 2017, 00:13

andys wrote:
Thu, 17 Aug 2017, 14:49
Just tried a new generator - its a Honda 13HP petrol with 8kW alternator. Reading a strong 240VAC while maintaining 50 amps PIP charge rate, for quite some time before dropping out. Then it gets worse and worse, shorter periods until the next drop out.

I tried removing all other AC loads and it just seemed to make it worse - now only making it up to 40A charge rate before dropping out.

So, still not sure what is going on.
Greetings from Abuja Nigeria - Found the forum through Power forum South africa when I was looking for tips on integrating LIfepo4 with my MPP _Solar PIP MS4048
I have used the PIP-HS/.MS and different variations since 2013 when they first came out. They have a peculiar habit when working with most of the generators. The reasons is the High-frequency switching of the Generator results into waveform distortion. In some cases, it is so bad that you can see the flickering if you connect a light bulb.

See the attached waveform where a PIP MS 4048 is connected to KIPOR ( UK) 7.5 KVA 3 phase generator with charging current set to 30 Amps ( 1.5 KW). The issues are not with the Generator per say but the excitation system /AVR used in the generators which do not cope well with the rapid changes resulting from the unpredictable behavior.
You cannot see this behavior in normal meters designed to capture RMS currents and voltages ( as rms values by nature are average over a period of 20 ms)

The simplest solution at a fraction of cost is to add steady resistive load ( at least 25 % to 35 %) of the charger load - Bulbs or room heaters
e.g. PIP set as 50 Amps then 50 amps x 54 V /0.9 = 3KW so the resistive load will be at least 1 KW and the generator should have 70 % load means generator will be 3 KW +1 KW/0.7/0.8 (PF)= 7.14 KVA . Note that MPP solar recommends 1.5 times the rated capacity of inverter at least because of the same reason

In borderline cases, You will notice that as the terminal voltage of the battery increases over time the Inverter may stop charging and resume charging starting from zero - Easily distinguishable by a sudden increase in Generator sound and again slowing down as PIP increases the current. Can be solved by reducing the charging current

In one case of Hyundai 5 KVA generator, I have a peculiar issue where the AVR was blowing off till I put meters on it. Turns out during switching on of charging stage due to capacitors being added the terminal voltage raises as much as 15 V for few seconds.

In short for those of you having problem


1. Start at max 30 % load of your generator and see if it runs stable if not step 2
2. Add resistive load _ I normally use 100-watt bulbs as needed - Bulbs should come on earlier or together with inverter
3. If runs stable increase the charge current ( max load limit 70% of Gneretaor nameplate rating in KVA) till you come across the hunting phenomena. Set value to next lowest and you are good to go.

4. If the above steps do not solve your issue then you have no option but to buy a low-frequency charger as used to charge traction batteries.

In any case, note that running PIP MS on small generators is not recommended a long-term solution as it overheats the rotor on long-term use and will cause the premature death of the generator you are better off bypassing the load directly to the generator ( BYPASS mode). This can be easily achieved using OSO ( Solar only) as charge setting.
Use generator only in emergencies when batteries are totally flat or a very cloudy day

p.s. By profession, I am a consulting electrical Engineer for High voltage electrical networks but I have self-installed a PIP- MS in 3 phase configuration in my home and have helped may friends install one for their houses over the years. For their price, there is nothing out there which can match the options of settings and convenience. Just keep one spare around or connect the bypass switch for emergencies :D
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