PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 12:29

Patched Firmware 72.20a for PF1 models with 64V option

[Edit: This has been superceded. Please see the Firmware section of the index post to find the latest patched firmware for your machine.]

What's this? Has Coulomb gone mad? Probably :P , but has he gone even more mad? We've seen 72.70 for over a year now, and 72.90 has been sighted. Well, Voltronic have chosen these numbers, and for whatever reason they're using 72.00 to 72.20 as the firmware versions for these models, which are more recent than 72.70. But note that while this firmware is more recent, it does not replace the firmware for any PF0.8 models, or any without the 64 V option. It's in its own parallel compatibility group as well, meaning it won't parallel with any other models (so far) either.

This patched firmware fixes the premature-float bugs in the manufacturer's firmware for the PIP-5048MS (with 64V option), Axpert MKS 5K-48 (PF1, with 64V option), and equivalents. It does not contain the patches for our dynamic current control (DCC) or AussieView™ additions, and we have not provided a version with our voltage and current threshold changes for LFP cells. This is primarily due to the fact that we don't have a suitable inverter to test them on.

Here are the zip files with all the software you need, to reflash your PIP-5048MS with PF1 and 64 V option or Axpert MKS 5K-48 (PF1 with 64 V option), and to revert to factory 72.20 firmware if required. See these installation instructions.

Note: This firmware is only suitable for the 48 V models with 5kW/5kVA (PF1.0), and the 64 V maximum battery voltage option, which I believe is a special order. It is not suitable for the more ordinary models with a 4 kW/5 kVA rating, or others (including the 5 kW models) that don't have the 64 V hardware.

For lead acid (24S), lithium cobalt-blends (LCO, NMC, NCM, NCA) (14S) and lithium titanate (LTO) (21S)
dsp_BC1_72.20a pf1 64V.zip
(1.89 MiB) Downloaded 26 times

It should go without saying, that you use this at your own risk. The original unpatched 72.20 firmware is included in the above zip-file, in case there's a problem with the patched version.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 00:28

Hi guys what's up.? Hey weber
My pip 4048 units have been working great until a few days ago a lightning storm now has one of my units working funny the LCD screen went out and solar would only charge with inverter on, voltage was all over the place?? so disconnected it from parallel and shut it off for a few days turned it back on today and now it seems to be working fine????? Even the LCD is working again and I put it back in parallel all is working...
what the heck any ideas?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 06:47

Hi @Solar Junky,

That's crazy stuff. Thanks for sharing. My only guess is that you were very lucky that the induced voltages from the nearby lightning were not great enough to do permanent damage, but they did put some of the peripheral interface chips (for control and sensing) into unusual states, possibly just resetting them to the state they are in when first powered up, before the microprocessor sets them up for normal operation. You probably only needed to completely power it down (isolate if from PV, AC and battery) briefly, in order to restore normal operation. But you should be on the lookout for problems that still remain, due to permanent damage of some device. It's also possible that some devices, while operating correctly now, have had their lives shortened.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 11:07

Yes Weber I'm scared that the problem will pop back up. I tried shutting everything off and powering it down a few times, still got error code (voltage difference) and crazy voltage differences between the two units... the hated blinking red light!. (Maybe I didn't wait long enough?)
I thought unit was fried.

Where is the best place to buy a 4048ms? mpp solar does not sell them any more. Found some on alibaba that look the same with same specs. thinking it will parellel with my unit?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 11:14

Weber since I got your help my units have been working flawlessly till that bad lightning storm recently. I think it's worth investing in another unit as a backup my system was not the same minus the two thousand Plus watts of solar when the one unit stoped charging????

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 11:24

Replacing a failed 4048 in a parallel set is a problem people will increasingly be facing. I do not have a solution.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by bigjsl » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 13:53

I bought one of these clones.

It came with a parallel kit installed.

Parallel mode was enabled.

So far, I haven't been able to install Coulomb's firmware but I haven't tried since I turned parallel mode off.

It is however working quite well and I will probably buy a second and possibly third one to run in parallel.

The firmware update process starts, the inverter stops making AC so it's clearly talking but the actual update process doesn't get to reporting any further progress.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5KVA-Pu ... 26839.html

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by DanoP » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 18:17

weber wrote:
Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 06:19
Hi @DanoP. Thanks for reporting this. Can you please tell us what battery current is shown on the LCD when you get the false reading from QPIGS? Do you get the same false reading on the LCD?
Hello, on LCD is shown battery current 1A, but real current measured on battery wire is 0A (oscilating +- 20 mA). PIP is in bypas mode (L). QPIGS response is 235.1 49.9 235.1 49.9 0564 0525 013 412 51.00 001 028 0038 0001 060.4 50.99 00000 01110110 00 00 00086 010

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 20:09

weber wrote:
Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 11:24
Replacing a failed 4048 in a parallel set is a problem people will increasingly be facing. I do not have a solution.
My solution was to have a spare infact I have two, one for each location.
When you consider the difference in cost compared to say a victron unit a full set of spares is still cheaper!

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 00:53

bigjsl wrote:
Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 13:53
I bought one of these clones.

It came with a parallel kit installed.

Parallel mode was enabled.

So far, I haven't been able to install Coulomb's firmware but I haven't tried since I turned parallel mode off.

It is however working quite well and I will probably buy a second and possibly third one to run in parallel.

The firmware update process starts, the inverter stops making AC so it's clearly talking but the actual update process doesn't get to reporting any further progress.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5KVA-Pu ... 26839.html
Thanks for the post! Looks like my first unit.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 01:01

Thanks everyone for the awesome input. Always hated that my two units didn't match I bought them at different times.

Link to my system https://youtu.be/K7OaZ3tzMxk

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Solar Junky » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 01:05

bigjsl wrote:
Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 13:53
I bought one of these clones.

It came with a parallel kit installed.

Parallel mode was enabled.

So far, I haven't been able to install Coulomb's firmware but I haven't tried since I turned parallel mode off.

It is however working quite well and I will probably buy a second and possibly third one to run in parallel.

The firmware update process starts, the inverter stops making AC so it's clearly talking but the actual update process doesn't get to reporting any further progress.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5KVA-Pu ... 26839.html
Like this older 4048 style build with the big heat sink.... seems more heavy duty. Think they change them to save on Manufacturing & shipping cost??

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 14:05

DanoP wrote:
Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 18:17
Hello, on LCD is shown battery current 1A, but real current measured on battery wire is 0A (oscilating +- 20 mA). PIP is in bypas mode (L). QPIGS response is 235.1 49.9 235.1 49.9 0564 0525 013 412 51.00 001 028 0038 0001 060.4 50.99 00000 01110110 00 00 00086 010

Your QPIGS response shows 86 watts of SCC output power (2nd-last field, "00086"). With a 51.0 V battery, that's 1.7 A. That appears, truncated, as 1 A of SCC output current (13th field, "0001"). When in line mode with AC charging off, our code subtracts 0.7 A of losses and then rounds to the nearest whole amp. That's why it shows 1 A going into the battery (10th field, "001"). So our code is behaving as we expect it to.

But you measure 0 A (± 0.2 A) and tell us that the battery voltage is falling.
Do you have any other DC loads, apart from the PIP-4048?
Where are you measuring the current?
How are you measuring the current?

Assuming you're correctly measuring the current at the inverter's battery terminals, there are two possibilities. Either:
1. The losses in your inverter when in line mode with AC charging off, are far higher than we have measured on our own PIP-4048's, being about 1.7 A compared to our 0.7 A.
or
2. Your SCC is overestimating its output current by about 1 A.

The second option seems far more likely than the first. We don't patch the SCC code, but we do sometimes have to lie to the SCC about AC charge current, when we want a max total charge current below 10 A or above 60 A (or above 80 A depending on SCC version).

What is the firmware version of your SCC (the "U2" version)?
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 18:56

coulomb wrote:
Mon, 13 Aug 2018, 22:19
I note that the MSE series, being "economy" models, aren't parallelable. So they should not have the major charge bug, which is in a function associated with parallel operation.
Weber goaded me into doing the hard work to test this theory by analysing a firmware I have; that firmware is for a model that can't be paralleled.

While I stand by my claim that these MSE firmwares *should* not have the major charge bug, it turns out that they do :x This time, it can't be blamed on a typographical error like less than where greater than is intended, in this firmware they explicitly check the battery voltage with the float voltage setting, and there is no comparison with the absorb voltage setting (misnamed as the CV setting) at all. I can't explain how they keep getting it wrong.

Or at least, I believe that they are still getting it wrong in the MSE models. If anyone has one of these models, please check for the bug presence, using the method Weber described here, and post the results. Perhaps I'm misreading the firmware, and something else will ensure that the battery voltage reaches the absorb voltage setting before the absorb stage is terminated.

Edit: Another possibility is that I'm looking at old firmware and they've corrected the bug by the relatively modern MSE series.

I note that Weber's post re the way to test for the charge bug was back in December 2015. That's well over 2½ years ago!

[ Edit: tried to smooth out the mouthful in the first sentence. ]
[ Edit: Made it clear which firmwares should not have the major charge bug. ]
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by reecho » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 20:15

Handy that I have just completed a MSE PIP setup with AVASS cells...

Before we test I would suggest it does have the float bug... on initial monitoring...

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by DanoP » Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 22:36

weber wrote:
Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 14:05
DanoP wrote:
Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 18:17
Hello, on LCD is shown battery current 1A, but real current measured on battery wire is 0A (oscilating +- 20 mA). PIP is in bypas mode (L). QPIGS response is 235.1 49.9 235.1 49.9 0564 0525 013 412 51.00 001 028 0038 0001 060.4 50.99 00000 01110110 00 00 00086 010
Your QPIGS response shows 86 watts of SCC output power (2nd-last field, "00086"). With a 51.0 V battery, that's 1.7 A. That appears, truncated, as 1 A of SCC output current (13th field, "0001"). When in line mode with AC charging off, our code subtracts 0.7 A of losses and then rounds to the nearest whole amp. That's why it shows 1 A going into the battery (10th field, "001"). So our code is behaving as we expect it to.

What is the firmware version of your SCC (the "U2" version)?
SCC firmware is U2 04 10. I did some more measurement today morning, and problem looks that my SCC is laying for low powers.
SCC reports 60W (on LCD and on QPIGS) but from PV there goes only 24W (69V 0.35A). So yes, your battery current calculation is correct, problem is in my SCC.
I measure battery current on battery terminal with clamp meter, and there is no additional DC load.
My PIP takes about 0.7A when running from battery, with no load and AC is present. When AC is not present it consumes little bit less.
Why was falling battery voltage after SCC starts is mystery for me. It did not appears today.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Vissie » Wed, 05 Sep 2018, 22:33

Inverter/charger blowing Dc Dc converter and buck IGBTs
Good day
My name is Vissie and I am new here
I read through most of the posts and think some of you guys would be able to help me with this one
Model: SOL-I-AX-5M
This is a new type. Manufactured Nov 2017
They use a new type of IGBT so they claim a power factor of 1
Rated power 5000VA/5000W and it does not have the heat sink on the backside

The IGBTS on the dc-dc converter and the only one on buck converter were blown and blows again after replacing.
We used this inverter as a demo on a show and there was a problem with the grid supply and the inverter blew up after a short while
BUCK MOS Q31
IGBT Q27/Q28/Q29/Q30
One of the small caps (C142 to C145) 101j between gate and C of one of the IGBTs was also faulty
I tried to scope the signal from U9 Driver IC UC3525 by removing the 2 small drive transformers TX10 and 11 but by doing so I get no pulses on the primary side of transformer. I think the control circuit does not allow the ic to generate signals or the Ic is faulty. Everything on the Ic measures ok according to the service manual. All the driver resistors and transistors between IC and pulse transformers measures ok
How can I check the pulses? Should I remove all the IGBTs and then check on the gates after switch on?
I want to try and build it together without the casing on the workbench to enable me to measure the bus voltage and see if all is ok there
This unit also has a complete new board for solar charger that fits on top of the main board
I found the post from Coulomb on how to check the drive signal on the battery side mosfets and want to know if there is any method to test the signal on the dc dc side
Any help will be apreciated
Attachments
IMG_2478.JPG
pulse transformers
IMG_2478.JPG (109.53 KiB) Viewed 1183 times
IMG_2479.JPG
U9
IMG_2479.JPG (101.44 KiB) Viewed 1183 times

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Thu, 06 Sep 2018, 07:01

Vissie wrote:
Wed, 05 Sep 2018, 22:33
My name is Vissie and I am new here
Hi, Vissie, and welcome.
This is a new type. Manufactured Nov 2017
They use a new type of IGBT so they claim a power factor of 1
Rated power 5000VA/5000W
I note that upgrading from power factor 0.8 to 1.0 does not affect the inverter IGBTs. Are you saying that the high-side full bridge now uses higher power IGBTs? I guess that's part of how they get the extra power.
and it does not have the heat sink on the backside
Do you mean it doesn't have the black heatsink on the top of the unit, for the SCC? The top heatsink has been gone for years.
We used this inverter as a demo on a show and there was a problem with the grid supply and the inverter blew up after a short while
Not a great demonstration, then :(
One of the small caps (C142 to C145) 101j between gate and C of one of the IGBTs was also faulty
Do you mean between emitter and collector of one of the IGBTs? Collector to gate sounds unusual, but I may have traced the schematic incorrectly.
I tried to scope the signal from U9 Driver IC UC3525 by removing the 2 small drive transformers TX10 and 11 but by doing so I get no pulses on the primary side of transformer. I think the control circuit does not allow the ic to generate signals or the Ic is faulty.

I presume you've enabled the chip by shorting the output of opto U19, as described in a post.
This unit also has a complete new board for solar charger that fits on top of the main board
Is it significantly different to the one pictured in this post?
I found the post from Coulomb on how to check the drive signal on the battery side mosfets and want to know if there is any method to test the signal on the dc dc side
At least on the PF0.8 models, and I assume it would be the same on the PF1.0 models, U9 drives both the battery-side and the high-side (bus-side) full bridge gates. So the same technique we described for the battery-side MOSFETs applies to the high-side IGBTs.

As a point of interest, are there more than 16 MOSFETs on the battery side in the PF1.0 model you have? If there are still 16 of them, are they higher current models?
Last edited by rhills on Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 10:28, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed broken quote end-tag
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Vissie » Thu, 06 Sep 2018, 18:38

coulomb wrote:
Thu, 06 Sep 2018, 07:01
Vissie wrote:
Wed, 05 Sep 2018, 22:33
My name is Vissie and I am new here
Hi, Vissie, and welcome.

Thank you
This is a new type. Manufactured Nov 2017
They use a new type of IGBT so they claim a power factor of 1
Rated power 5000VA/5000W
I note that upgrading from power factor 0.8 to 1.0 does not affect the inverter IGBTs. Are you saying that the high-side full bridge now uses higher power IGBTs? I guess that's part of how they get the extra power.

They use a new IGBT STGW80H65DFB. https://www.st.com/resource/en/datashee ... h65dfb.pdf
These devices are IGBTs developed using an advanced proprietary trench gate field-stop structure

and it does not have the heat sink on the backside
Do you mean it doesn't have the black heatsink on the top of the unit, for the SCC? The top heatsink has been gone for years.

There is no external heatsink on the back as in older units
We used this inverter as a demo on a show and there was a problem with the grid supply and the inverter blew up after a short while
Not a great demonstration, then :(

Luckily we had other repaired ones to use
One of the small caps (C142 to C145) 101j between gate and C of one of the IGBTs was also faulty
Do you mean between emitter and collector of one of the IGBTs? Collector to gate sounds unusual, but I may have traced the schematic incorrectly.

Correction. Yes cap between C and E
I tried to scope the signal from U9 Driver IC UC3525 by removing the 2 small drive transformers TX10 and 11 but by doing so I get no pulses on the primary side of transformer. I think the control circuit does not allow the ic to generate signals or the Ic is faulty.

I presume you've enabled the chip by shorting the output of opto U19, as described in a post.

I did not but will. I thought it was only for the battery side. Im not to sure where to connect the dc voltage. Must I remove all that IGBTs before I do it?
I ordered new Driver IC UC3525
This unit also has a complete new board for solar charger that fits on top of the main board
Is it significantly different to the one pictured in this post?

It stretches over the whole length of the inverter and sits on top of the main board
For some reason I cannot paste a photo of it
Last edited by rhills on Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 10:41, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed broken formatting tags

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Vissie » Thu, 06 Sep 2018, 21:43

So it looks like I have to use the main board only with no processor board or solar charger board connected and then connect an external current limited supply of at least 31V to the battery contacts of the main board. I will also remove all IGBTs on the dc-dc converter and the one on buck converter. Then I short pins 3 and 4 of opto U19 and scope the gates of the IGBTs

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by andys » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 08:54

Somehow I missed this until now. The newest range of PIPs is advertised as "PF1" models:

> “PF1” inverter standards for Power Factor 1.0 version of the PIP-HS and PIP-MS inverter family. All features on the PF1 series are nearly identical to the original PF0.8

This exactly matches the issue I found, that AC charging on my classic 4048MS is happening at a very dirty 0.8 power factor. So I'm guessing the newer models are much nicer for charging off generators and they've pretty much solved that problem moving forward.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by offgridQLD » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 12:11

I have a few questions regarding two PIP5048ms units in parallel mode.

Generator input or AC Utility charge and the corresponding DC output charging rate of two pips running in parallel. Is this double the rate (120A) of a single PIP5048ms 60A utility charge rating ?

Has anyone used a PIP5048 with a generator and charged at the full 60A rating ? I had issues with the older PIP4048 not wanting to charge at higher rates than around 20- 30A even from a quality large 8kw Japanese generator. Apparently a few others had the same issue.

Would be nice the few times a year its needed with two pip5048 to hit the battery's with 120A - 6kw charge rate for just 1hr and replenish 25% of my house battery.

Im contemplating using two PIP5048ms units in parallel mode for a new offgrid house build. Though a little reluctant based on a few quirks / limitations of my older pip4048 unit. The price it so tempting $1,800 over the $8,000 alternative Selectronic SPpro.


Coulomb & Weber great job on the new firmware updates (AussieView) :D

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 18:57

Yes with two you get double everything so you could charge at 120amps.
Note both units charge amps are set interdependently solar and grid/generator.
Yes the price of the other brands is eye watering even after buying spare inverters (which is what I did) you still have change.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 20:54

andys wrote:
Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 08:54
This exactly matches the issue I found, that AC charging on my classic 4048MS is happening at a very dirty 0.8 power factor. So I'm guessing the newer models are much nicer for charging off generators and they've pretty much solved that problem moving forward.
The PF1.0 refers to the maximum inverter load, not the AC charging. They seem to have beefed up the battery-side and high-side full bridges to 5 kW, so now the limits are 5 kVA (as before) and 5 kW (up from 4 kW).

I suspect that the newer models will be just as picky with generators as the older models.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by offgridQLD » Sun, 09 Sep 2018, 13:02

The efficacy of 91% at 5kw output is a lot of heat to extract. I wonder how the 5kw versions will go running 80A scc and 5kw load at the same time or even 80% of that combination for any length of time.

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