PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by dRdoS7 »

Hi,

If the MG doesn't have "double conversion", and "generates slightly higher AC voltage to inject AC power", how does it manage getting the voltage down to the 240V setpoint?

My MG regularly has 244V (night) to 248V (day) input, but only outputs ~ 240V (except when the battery bank get low). Those are reading from the LCD, never actually tested with a meter.

I'll add that since I turned on Utility Charging (set a 10A), I haven't had an "08" fault. Probably will tonight. Last was mid February. It's been running in Line mode a lot lately, still waiting for replacement NiFe cells. :roll: Almost ready to go Li.

What I have been getting a lot of is swap to bypass mode for 10 minutes. No error or fault message. Seems mainly when bank is low. Sometimes I see the voltage had dropped to < 240V in the data log. I had it set at 44V for change to Utility. Yesterday I set it at 46V, at least until I get some more good cells. It has also happened when the bank isn't low, occasionally.

Thanks,

dRdoS7
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by DanielArdelian »

coulomb wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 08:31 That makes them "even more illegal" for use in Australia and I assume most other countries
Thanks, that was my main concern: the "legal" aspect. I'm not allowed to have any grid injection and I don't want to get in trouble.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by weber »

DanielArdelian wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 15:10
coulomb wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 08:31 That makes them "even more illegal" for use in Australia and I assume most other countries
Thanks, that was my main concern: the "legal" aspect. I'm not allowed to have any grid injection and I don't want to get in trouble.
I suspect Coulomb may be mistaken here. :o    I can't find any evidence that any of the PIPs/Axperts do any kind of grid injection/grid interactivity/grid feed. I suspect that the PIP-5048GK does double conversion (like the PIP-5048MK). And I can't find any evidence that the PIP-5048MG or PIP-5048GE can power the loads with a combination of solar and utility at all. And so they don't need to have double conversion or grid interactivity.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by DanielArdelian »

Well, the icons from the user manuals do seem to indicate
  • "grid-interactive" for GK
    double-conversion for MK
But how much can we trust these to be accurate depictions of what happens under the hood?
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by weber »

OK. Well that is some evidence that the GK does undeclared grid interactivity. Enough not to take the risk, but not enough to find them guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Is there someone out there with a PIP-GK or an Axpert VM III who can tell us whether the output voltage is 230 V, or is the same as the grid voltage, when in that mode, as indicated in the manual, above left, where the load is supplied from both solar and utility at the same time?

Or maybe Coulomb can point us to a post, maybe on the South African forum, where someone has already done that.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

dRdoS7 wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 12:04 If the MG doesn't have "double conversion", and "generates slightly higher AC voltage to inject AC power", how does it manage getting the voltage down to the 240V setpoint?
It's my understanding that when the output is supplied by the inverter only (so nice round 220/230/240 V output, not the same as the AC-in voltage), then this blending isn't happening. Are you saying that you observe blending of AC-in and PV power when the output voltage is different from the AC-in voltage? If so, that would indeed be evidence that models other than the PIP-5048MK (Axpert King) have double conversion. But since the MK/King is the only model that claims zero transfer time, I'm sceptical.

In battery mode, where the AC-in isn't connected to anything, then there is obviously no surprise that it can output a clean 240 V (or 230 V or 220 V) output.
My MG regularly has 244V (night) to 248V (day) input, but only outputs ~ 240V (except when the battery bank get low). Those are reading from the LCD, never actually tested with a meter.
That's consistent with battery mode. Except when your battery gets low; then the AC-in connects to AC-out to provide, or possibly just support, the load.
What I have been getting a lot of is swap to bypass mode for 10 minutes. No error or fault message. Seems mainly when bank is low.
I used to get that a lot too before KettleKomp™ (battery current compensation of battery voltage readings for the purposes of mode changes, such as battery to line mode). They still happen, but not as often. Typically it will be the fridge or freezer starting up; that puts a brief, sudden ~1 kW load on the inverter, which can pull the battery voltage down when the battery state of charge is low. With fully patched firmware (not available for the GE/GK/MG models), the errant switch to bypass mode only lasts 2 minutes, which is not so annoying.
Sometimes I see the voltage had dropped to < 240V in the data log. I had it set at 44V for change to Utility.
I believe that most of these GE/GK/MG models are 64 V models, i.e. they have the 1:7 turns ratio transformer, and start clipping the output waveform at around 48 V at the battery (assuming that the boost converter is off). If you are using 240 V output with a 1:7 transformer, you will be seeing more frequent and severe clipping. Moderate clipping doesn't seem to affect the output voltage very much; sine waves are pretty flat near the peaks. I believe that these inverters do true RMS voltage measurements (summing the square of measurements, and taking the square root of that sum. But as the distortion worsens, you can see the effect on the output voltage reading.
It has also happened when the bank isn't low, occasionally.
Perhaps it was utility charging at the time. When that is happening, the buck converter is operating, separating the bus voltage from the battery voltage times the turns ratio. That will allow for less distortion, but then the bus voltage is at the mercy of PV power, load power, and charge power. There could be brief times when the bus voltage undershoots, causing brief output distortion, and consequently lower output voltage.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

weber wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 21:17 Or maybe Coulomb can point us to a post, maybe on the South African forum, where someone has already done that.
This post shows the AC-in and AC-out voltages the same, claiming to be an Axpert MKS II (PIP-5048MG), with no battery connected. [ Edit: the firmware version of 20.47 is strongly suggestive of a VM II, however. ]

This post (same topic, next page) seems to say that on an Axpert VM III (PIP-5048GK), blending of PV and AC-in power happens with the battery connected, when in SUB mode. Indeed when I look at the GK manual, I find that it shows this happening with SUB output source priority, when in line mode. So it seems that MG/VM IIIs have been doing this for some time.

I have no evidence of PV and AC-in blending in battery mode.

Edit: I used to think that output priority modes such as USB and SUB were merely renamings of UtI and SOL modes respectively, but now I believe that they are intended to show that they are subtly different.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by aim120 »

Here is the manual of GE/VMII model with high voltage MPPT vs a regular low voltage MPPT inverter, notice on the high voltage model the Bypass display is gone when its blending.
Image

You can watch this video sound off, unless you undestand them but the display is self explanatory. Skip to 2min mark of the video.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

aim120 wrote: Tue, 05 May 2020, 23:23... notice on the high voltage model the Bypass display is gone when its blending.
Yet, in the latest PIP-5048GK manual that I'm aware of (Feb 2019), the BYPASS indicator is on when blending (two arrows leading to the load):

VM III blend with bypass.png
VM III blend with bypass.png (49.76 KiB) Viewed 1670 times
[ Edit: as already shown by DanielArdelian above. ]

Perhaps they ran out of LC Display segments, and had to have the two come on together. Or just designed by different engineers.

[ Edit: PIP-5048MG -> PIP-5048GK; I get these model names so mixed up. Sigh. ]
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by weber »

The Watchpower image here
https://www.solar-shop.co.za/content/11 ... -power-use
certainly shows an inverter doing solar+utility->loads, with no battery. It claims to be of an MG/MKS II (PIP/Axpert). Is there anything in the image itself that confirms it is that model? e.g. the serial number 92931808103116, or the 20.47 firmware version? @coulomb
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by DanielArdelian »

Just a hunch:
Parallel operation seems to be available only on the models that we suspect to be doing double-conversion for "blending" PV + grid.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

weber wrote: Wed, 06 May 2020, 16:41 It claims to be of an MG/MKS II (PIP/Axpert). Is there anything in the image itself that confirms it is that model? e.g. the serial number 92931808103116, or the 20.47 firmware version?
Alas, the first 4 digits, which could so easily be used to pinpoint the exact model, covers a wide range of inverters, from 3200 W PIP MS to dual and triple MPPT models, MG, and GE.

But good pickup on the firmware version. It is highly suggestive of a PIP-5048GE (Axpert VM II, not the same as an Axpert MKS II). I have a firmware version 20.44 for VM II, a recent post mentioned 20.45. I have photos of the insides of a VM II, and there is no sign of a PFC inductor. [ Edit: There are fairly extensive schematics in this service manual, and no mention of a large AC-DC converter, or PFC stage. ]

VM II internals.jpg
VM II internals.jpg (159.1 KiB) Viewed 1630 times
If you're wondering about the dual transformers, it's just two transformers in series:

VM II dual transformers.jpg
VM II dual transformers.jpg (167.33 KiB) Viewed 1630 times
This model does have an AC to DC converter, but it's a smallish power supply. It might possibly be big enough for battery charging, but not for powering 5 kW loads:

VM II AC SPS schem.jpg
VM II AC SPS schem.jpg (80.49 KiB) Viewed 1630 times
VM II AC SPS.jpg
VM II AC SPS.jpg (194.69 KiB) Viewed 1630 times
[ Edit: "exact number" → "exact model" ; removed "definitely" before "no sign"; added "possibly" before "be big enough" ]
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by aim120 »

This guys another video shows the SOL setting in action, this time he uses a clamp meter. I think he shows that in SOL mode, the AC input of the inverter drops vs in bypass mode. Anyone here knows what he is saying.
But then again its a Inverex, not a axpert from voltronics.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

aim120 wrote: Thu, 07 May 2020, 01:03 But then again its a Inverex, not a axpert from voltronics.
I believe that Voltronic Power manufacture the Inverexes. Some Inverexes seem to have different specifications and firmware as Axperts, but this one is running main firmware version 20.44, the same as is available from the South African Powerforum. The display is also standard Axpert/PIP, some Inverexes have a custom display.

So this would be the same behaviour as any Axpert VM II, or PIP-3048GE, or indeed PIP-5048GE. The same 20.44 firmware runs both 3 kW and 5 kW models, it detects the power of the model at start-up.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by weber »

I concede defeat on one aspect at least. Clearly coulomb was right that all 3 high-voltage-SCC models can do solar+utility->loads. It's still not entirely clear how they do it. Or why some of them can only do it when there is no battery.

I note that merely blending solar+utility is not what's at issue here. All the low-voltage-SCC models can do that, but only as solar+utility->battery, not solar+utility->loads.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by rthorntn »

Hi Everyone,

I'm using ICC and looking for alternatives (https://github.com/jblance/mpp-solar) brought me here. Should I be worried about what I'm reading here?

I have (perhaps unfortunately) purchased two paralleled MPP 5048MG inverters, long story, I don't want to get into it.

Last weekend I had them professionally installed and connected to Zenaji Aeon batteries, 4.2KW of solar in two strings and the grid.

At the moment (in Sydney) the batteries are powering the house until about 4am when they hit 44V and then I flip to the grid, about 10am the solar starts to ramp up and the charge the batteries at a decent rate but the weird thing is (I assume) the inverter is helping the batteries (by using the grid) to get to the 48v "back to discharge voltage" and I mean really helping right now I'm at 46v, 3.5KW load, 2.6KW solar but the system is pulling 3.1KW from the grid???

Basically 50A going into the battery...it seems these KW's of grid "compensation" increase with the load until it gets to 48v.

I have the system setup to only take 2A grid from each inverter, so that should be 200W, so why is the system pulling 3100W from the grid, I don't want it to do this because in summer I could envisage me wasting grid power to get the system to 48V and then having to dump excess solar?

Thanks for looking.

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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

rthorntn wrote: Sat, 06 Jun 2020, 09:22 Hi Everyone
Welcome to the forum.
At the moment (in Sydney) the batteries are powering the house until about 4am when they hit 44V and then I flip to the grid,
Yikes! That's really low. I assume that you have a lead acid battery; it won't last long discharging to 11 V per nominally 12 V module. It should be switching back to the grid way before that battery voltage.
about 10am the solar starts to ramp up and the charge the batteries at a decent rate but the weird thing is (I assume) the inverter is helping the batteries (by using the grid) to get to the 48v "back to discharge voltage" and I mean really helping right now I'm at 46v, 3.5KW load, 2.6KW solar but the system is pulling 3.1KW from the grid???
Most of that is to supply the loads. You don't have enough solar at that point, so you need to use grid power. It looks like some 400 W of solar is supporting the load (these high SCC voltage models are weird), leaving some 2.2 kW to charge the battery. That's some 2200/46 ~= 48 A.

Perhaps post your battery related settings (01 02 11 12 13 16 26 27 and 29) so we can save your battery.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by rthorntn »

Thanks coulomb, I wish I had found this forum 3 months ago!

My batteries are LTO, Aeon's from Zenaji (Melbourne), 8 units, each unit is 1.92KWH. I added a signature.

The system is doing it even when I have less load than solar...

A few minutes ago I was 47.6V, 300W load, 2.9KW solar, 0W grid

To test I just put on the coffee machine

47.6V, 1300W load, 2.9KW solar, 900W grid

And two minutes later I switch off the coffee machine

47.7V, 300W load, 2.9KW solar, 0W grid

It seems to really like keeping the charge current constant when it's under the back to discharge voltage...
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

rthorntn wrote: Sat, 06 Jun 2020, 12:12 My batteries are LTO, Aeon's from Zenaji (Melbourne), 8 units, each unit is 1.92KWH.
Ah. That sounds like 21S then. I don't know LTO cells at all, and please disregard my comments about lead acid batteries and voltage. I have no idea if 44 V (2.1 VPC) is too low or not. The data sheet mentions 45 V as a "low restart" or "reconnect" voltage. So I believe that setting 12 should be 45 V, and therefore setting 29 should be 43 V (2 volts lower). The BMS itself will disconnect at 42 V.

Edit: 20 year / 22 000 cycle warranty is impressive.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by rthorntn »

Thanks coulomb, great advice!

Has anyone seen these inverters compensating by adding watts from the grid to keep the charging amps constant under changing load (when they are below back to discharge voltage)?
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by ccrisan »

Guys, I'm confused here. I own a PIP-5048-GK (which appears to be genuine) that has been produced in April 2020 and that runs firmware 41.15. Recent firmware versions seem to start with 70.xx. Do I own a new unit that runs very old firmware?

Also, it's not clear to me if the firmware files listed at the beginning of this topic (which refer to models PIP-5048MG / Axpert MKS II 5K-48) are or are not compatible with PIP-5048-GK (which should be similar to Axpert VM III 5000-48).

My problem started from the fact that the inverter's reported voltage of my Li-ion batteries is off by about 0.5V and that the "BAT+01" (and friends) commands won't work - I get "NAKs" responses.

Could anyone here shed some light on these matters?
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

ccrisan wrote: Sat, 06 Jun 2020, 21:44 I own a PIP-5048-GK (which appears to be genuine) that has been produced in April 2020 and that runs firmware 41.15. Recent firmware versions seem to start with 70.xx. Do I own a new unit that runs very old firmware?
No. The firmwares for the various models are usually quite different and not comparable. The first two digits (the major version number) indicate the model it's designed for; major version numbers can't be compared to judge age. Generally, minor version numbers (the last two digits) increase sequentially, by 1 for a minor update, and to the next multiple of ten for a major update. But even these you can't compare with minor version numbers from other models to compare age.
Also, it's not clear to me if the firmware files listed at the beginning of this topic (which refer to models PIP-5048MG / Axpert MKS II 5K-48) are or are not compatible with PIP-5048-GK (which should be similar to Axpert VM III 5000-48).
Generally, we try to list all the models that a firmware is compatible with, both MPPSolar model name and the Axpert model name. There is the "zoo" post to try to make sense of the various model names from the various resellers. Since the GK is not listed as being compatible, you should assume that it is not compatible. The GK/VM III has different hardware compared to the MG/MKS II; for example, the display is completely different (with its own processor in the case of the GK, but not for the MG), the processor is different and runs at a different speed, flash size is different, the MG/VM II is parallelable while the GK/VM III is not, and so on.
My problem started from the fact that the inverter's reported voltage of my Li-ion batteries is off by about 0.5V and that the "BAT+01" (and friends) commands won't work - I get "NAKs" responses.
The only GK firmware I have access to (version 20.59), and every firmware I've examined so far, supports the BTA (BaTtery voltage Adjust) command. Certainly, "BAT+01" will not work, because you have transposed the last two letters. If that was just a typo from this post, check that you are sending the checksum correctly, or use Weber's clever commands that don't require CRCs with the sign bit set (as set out in this post).

[ Edit: fixed my confused attempt at the derivation of the BTA command. ]
[ Edit: "first two letters" → "last two letters" ]
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
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160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by rthorntn »

coulomb wrote: Sat, 06 Jun 2020, 12:23 The data sheet mentions 45 V as a "low restart" or "reconnect" voltage. So I believe that setting 12 should be 45 V
Thanks, I'm just looking at the inverter manual setting 12 is "back to utility source", I have that currently set at 44 (I think that's the lowest value). Setting 13 "back to battery mode" is at 48V (again I think that's the lowest value). Battery cutoff voltage is currently set to 42.5.

Did we figure out if these inverters needed a Bender isoPV425 or a Type-B RCD, can someone describe in layman's terms the dangers here, could this lethal DC electrocute somebody inside the house?
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by JaseZA »

Hi guys, just thought I'd confirm some of your suspicions about the GK/VMiii. I've had a VMiii 3kw/24V for about 3 months now, hooked up to 6x340W panels (in one string) and 200ah of LiFePO4 cells with an Ant-bms.

The VMiii allows blending of solar and grid with or without the battery. It locks to the grid voltage as far as I can see. It will also charge the battery with solar and use excess solar to assist the grid. As stated, when in SBU it will separate from the grid and the voltage is pretty consistent at the set voltage (230V in my case). Without the battery hooked up, I noted my logging recorded some "export" power, usually a few Wh per day. But my prepaid meter has never tripped or given any obvious faults... With the battery hooked up this seems better.

I really can't fault this inverter so far - behaves as expected (once you've figured out some of the tricks in the settings). I've been logging inverter and BMS through a Raspberry Pi and doing my control with Home Assistant. My one complaint is the current measurement with low solar inputs. I can see the load on the battery reducing as solar starts up in the morning, but the inverter only registers any solar when it's at around 80W. A small thing, I know, but it messes with my logging :D
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Re: PIP-5048GE, PIP-5048GK and PIP-5048MG inverters (with unsafe SCC)

Post by coulomb »

rthorntn wrote: Sun, 07 Jun 2020, 11:58 Did we figure out if these inverters needed a Bender isoPV425 or a Type-B RCD...
They can't use the Bender unit for insulation monitoring, because the solar charge controllers aren't isolated. I can't comment on the RCD.

I assume you've read Webber's assessment of these models, available from the index in the first post of this topic.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, 2xPIP-4048MS inverters, 16 kWh battery.
1.4 kW solar with 1.2 kW Latronics inverter and FIT.
160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.
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