PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 18:14

rhills wrote: [ shoe computer ] Hey, this is the Lounge! Do you really think you're going to get away with that little tease?

Well, in a former life, I was interested in the mathematics of gambling. I got started on a newsgroup called rec.gambling (people that know what I'm talking about are showing their age Image ). There was also a book about beating the roulette wheel, "The Eudaemonic Pie" (edit: it might haven been the later and/or British version, called "The Newtonian Casino"):
      
Image          

Here is a short page on it, even mentioning their shoe computer: http://physics.ucsc.edu/people/eudaemons/eudaemons.html

It was a great read. Somehow, a friend of mine got hold of some notes from someone else who attended a seminar by one of the Eudaemons, I think Doyne Farmer. They used a simplification to make the maths easier to solve. We figured out (with the help from some maths geeks from the internet) how to solve the equations without making the simplifying assumption. But it required some moderate calculations, so we built a HC11 processor into the heel of a shoe, and had a microswitch near a toe that could be quietly operated. It buzzed some timing information as the response. This would tell the operator what bet to make, and this bet had to be made at the last possible second or three. I suspect that Weber still has the shoe somewhere; when he heard about it he wouldn't let me throw it out.

Alas, we got cold feet (so to speak), and never used it on a real wheel. However, we progressed very far, even having a full-sized roulette wheel turned on a giant lathe, with optical sensors to gather data. In the end, we found a manual method that was perhaps half as good as the computer method, but much safer. Even that didn't get much use, as we tired of the discipline required. The technique worked only on wheels that happened to be tilted. Casinos are supposed to balance them every few weeks, but they get lazy. The thrill was in in the chase, so to speak. It was a fun time.

Any further discussion on this needs to go to a separate thread, please.

[ Edit: Rejevenated second image. }
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 18:23

offgridQLD wrote: " the SCC has a three stage charge algorithm, with the absorb stage lasting 10 times as long as the bulk stage lasted."

I know that's how the instruction manual list it. Though I always just assumed that was crazy and perhaps a typo with the *.
Oops. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. That's the behaviour of the SCC on its own, not being controlled by the DSP. We changed a branch in the SCC firmware to decouple the two chargers, and saw this behaviour. But under normal circumstances, the DSP overrides this behaviour completely, and you get the combined bulk/absorb behaviour, much like when it's mains charging or combination mains and SCC charging.
If it took 1hr to reach absorb voltage then it would spend 10hrs at absorb voltage. What if it took 3hrs to reach absorb voltage 30hrs in absorb is crazy!
Yes, I always thought that 10x was way too long.
Edit" looking at the instructions again it also mentions max 8hrs.
We never tested it, but the code seemed to imply a maximum of 3 hours. But that's still pretty long to have hydrogen bubbling from lead acid cells. Though I'm no expert with lead acid.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 20:02

This patched firmware is now obsolete. Please see this post for the latest firmware.

Image

Here is the LiFePO4 patch. NOTE: this patched firmware is intended for 48 V PIP-4048MS inverter chargers manufactured 2014 or later. It should work on 2013 models (we tested the patch on a 2013 model) as long as you leave the mains (utility) maximum charge current setting at 30 A or lower. NOTE: if you try this patched firmware on a 2013 model and don't keep the maximum mains charge setting at or under 30 A, you will likely blow it up! Anything very recent (latter half of 2015) may be too new, and you will probably at least lose USB functionality. If you are using a lead acid battery, you should probably be using the other patch here.

To install: you will need a Windows computer and a USB to serial adapter, or an older computer with a real serial port. Use the serial to RJ45 cable that came with your inverter-charger. Some serial adapters (or possibly the combination of serial adapter and Windows version) seem to be more suitable than others; see earlier posts on this.

Power up your PIP inverter charger. You can use a battery or the mains. Use the inverter switch to turn it on, if necessary. Make sure that your computer has power that won't go off during the reflash process.

Find a suitable folder on your computer (perhaps create a new one under your downloads folder) and unzip the attached zip file. The zip file has no folder inside it; it will extract files to the current folder, so best to start with an empty folder. Make sure you are not running any software that could be using the serial port, in particular, exit the WatchPower application. Don't just close the application; it seems you have to use the right mouse button on the WatchPower system tray icon, usually at the bottom right of Windows:

Image

The file name the reflash tool looks for is fixed, it's always "dsp.hex" in the same folder as the reflash tool. So you don't have to tell it what file to read, but you have to make sure that you have the right dsp.hex file. It's best to not trust any file named dsp.hex; make a copy of the relevant file with a meaningful name to dsp.hex just before you run the reflash tool.

Finally, double click on the ReflashTool_Xseries.exe icon. It should bring up the small reflash application. If necessary, change the serial port selection to the one that connects to your PIP. It won't give you the full name of the serial port (e.g. "Prolific USB-to-serial..."), just e.g. "COM4", so if necessary use another application (e.g. TeraTerm) to be sure you choose the right serial port.

Click on the Update button, and answer Yes to "Are you sure". Nothing will appear to happen for 10-20 seconds, so don't panic. Eventually, new text should start appearing in the box under the progress bar, saying that erasing has been successful and so on. It will take some 8 minutes to complete the flash programming. At the end, just click OK and exit the reflash application.

If you get an error to do with the serial port (e.g. invalid serial port, or the serial port doesn't appear in the drop down window), it's probably because you have something running that is keeping the serial port in use. Double check that you have exited WatchPower and any terminal emulation programs like Tera Term. Weber has a netbook with Windows 7 that somehow doesn't see the USB to serial port adapter. So you may have to try another computer.

The standard instructions say you should revert all the settings to standard, then change them to suit your needs. As long as you had been running a recent firmware (52.30 or later), this should not be necessary. But if you were running an earlier firmware, or if the settings seem strange after the update, use WatchPower to reset to default settings, then change them to suit your needs.

The instructions say to turn off the inverter after the firmware update. This doesn't seem to be necessary.

That's it. To check that you have the patched version, scroll through the settings with the up or down button. In place of the U1 setting should be "Li FE PO4".

However, if something goes wrong, the original 72.40 firmware file is now included in the zip file. To replace the patched firmware with this official firmware, first you need to do a little work with Windows. Open a file explorer at the folder where the contents of the zip file was extracted to. Find dsp.hex and rename it to something else, e.g. "dsp.hex.patched" (without the quotes). Then rename "dsp_original_72.40.hex" to "dsp.hex" (this is necessary, because the reflash tool won't let you choose a hex file to load). It may be necessary to restart the inverter by cycling all power (disconnect the battery, mains, and PV power). (This may be why some people have had trouble recovering from a failed firmware update.) Now merely repeat the reflash process; this time it will reflash with the original firmware.

For convenience, I repost here the summary of the changes from the official firmware version 72.40:
1) An additional criterion is added for exiting from bulk/absorb to float. In addition to the charge current staying below the threshold stated in 3) below, for 50 seconds, the battery voltage has to equal or exceed (CV voltage setting minus 0.5 V). This is what fixes the bug where it would go straight to float mode without ever having gone near the absorb voltage.
2) Float to bulk/absorb now happens at float voltage setting - 1.0 V, not float voltage setting minus 4.0 V.
3) The exit bulk/absorb to float transition uses different charge current thresholds now. It was
MAX(5 A, maximum total charge current setting divided by 5)
and is now
MAX(1 A, maximum total charge current setting divided by 30) .
When multiple PIP units are paralleled, the charge current settings are added.
4) All "I" and "R" characters now render as "i" and "r" for arguably better readability.
5) The Battery Under Voltage Cutoff setting voltage range has been changed from 40-48 V to 44 to 52 V (i.e. 4 V has been added to the lower and upper limits). When this limit is crossed (on the low side) for some 20 seconds, the inverter turns itself off to protect the battery from excessive discharge. It seems to take about 15 minutes of exceeding this limit plus 1.0 V (was plus 4.0 V) before the inverter comes on again.
6) BatLowVolt (voltage at which a battery warning indicates) is now at EEBatteryVoltUnder+0.5 V (was +2.0 V).
7) Version number changes to identify itself. Shows as 72.44 on WatchPower or using the QVFW command. Shows "Li FE PO4" on the LCD display (in the "Main CPU version checking" screen).

[ Edit: lopezjm2001 found that WatchPower won't allow you to change the Battery Under Voltage Cutoff setting to more than 48.0 V, so you'll have to use either the LCD or the PSDV command with a terminal program to set this. Anyone handy with a Java decompiler should be able to patch the WatchPower program to allow this. ]

At Weber's suggestion, I'll later attempt to put together a version of this patch suitable for lead acid batteries. In other words, it will only have changes 1) and 4) mentioned above. [ Edit: it's here. ]

dsp_LiFePO4_patch3b.zip
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 21 Oct 2016, 11:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 20:18

Thanks for the patch Weber and Coulomb. Has the patch been tested for a period of time with no problems observed?

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Post by weber » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 22:19

lopezjm2001 wrote: Thanks for the patch Weber and Coulomb. Has the patch been tested for a period of time with no problems observed?
As I wrote above, we completed it yesterday.

All we have done is run a few charge/discharge cycles around the bulk/absorb/float loop via both solar and mains, and a few cycles of low-voltage cut-out and cut-in.

It should go without saying, that you use this at your own risk. We give no guarantees, and you should not be surprised if the inverter manufacturer isn't interested in any warranty claim after you install this firmware.

I note that the firmware updating process is not for the faint of heart, even with known good firmware. If the power goes off or your computer crashes or communications is interrupted in the middle of it. It can leave you with a permanently disabled product. A process described as "bricking it". [Edit: Turns out it's nearly impossible to brick. See Coulomb's post here: viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p59897]

But assuming you pass that hurdle, if our patched version turns out to cause more problems than it fixes, you can always put back the original 72.40 firmware.

However, if your Main CPU firmware is already later than 72.40 we can't help you with restoration, and indeed you may lose some functionality by loading the patched version. So I can't recommend loading our patched version in that case.

By all means, wait until some others have tried it. But we would be very grateful for anyone willing to "beta test" it now.

One thing we are unsure of is whether the 1 volt hysteresis we have chosen, to replace the manufacturer's completely-unworkable-for-LiFePO4 4 volt hysteresis, on both the float-to-bulk transition, and the cut-out to cut-in transition, is optimal. Perhaps it would be better if it was 1.2 or 1.4 volts. It's a pity the manufacturer didn't provide a way to set it via the front panel or via serial comms.

Fortunately the consequence of these hysteresis values being too low or too high is only one of nuisance, not damage.

By the way, when you update to the patched version, all your settings should stay the same, except for the low voltage cut-out, which will jump up by 4 volts. So if you had it set to 48.0 V, it will become 52.0 V. You might want to lower this to 51.5 V or 51.0 V to avoid nuisance cut-outs due to the battery voltage sagging under heavy loads.
Last edited by weber on Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 13:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by solamahn » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 22:24

This is great timing for me. I just ordered 64 400Ah CALB's
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Post by weber » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 22:58

-------------------
Edit: The "premature float bug" is really two bugs for the price of one.

1. If you choose the "Aut" option for parameter 32 (Absorb time), or if you do not have parameter 32:
If the charge current available from the PV array at the beginning of the day does not ramp up to greater than one fifth of the maximum total charge current setting (parameter 2) within 50 seconds, it will prematurely go to float mode and never achieve absorb voltage that day.

2. If you choose a number of minutes for parameter 32:
The inverter will still count time spent well below the absorb voltage setting (parameter 26), e.g. due to heavy loads, as if it was absorb time, after having once been within 0.5 V of the absorb voltage setting.
--------------------

If anyone doubts the existence of this "no absorb" or "premature float" bug, which affects lead-acid charging just as much as it does LiFePO4 charging, or if anyone has a later version of firmware than 73.00 and would like to tell us if it still has this bug, it is very easy to demonstrate the first kind with utilty charging (even though it is usually only a problem for solar charging).

To demonstrate it with utility charging (mains or generator) you just need an unlikely combination of the maximum total charge current setting (parameter 02) and the maximum utility charge current setting (parameter 11).

If your firmware has parameter 32 (absorb time), set it to "Aut". (There is a different bug that affects timed absorb)
Set parameter 02 to 120 A or whatever its maximum value is.
Then set parameter 11 to a value less than one fifth of this value. e.g. 20 A.

When you have done this, an unpatched PIP will never charge your battery to absorb voltage using AC charging alone (assuming absorb is set higher than float).

Before running this test, you may need to pull the battery voltage down to less than 4 volts below the float setting for 20 seconds to guarantee that it has dropped out of float mode and gone back to bulk/absorb mode, to really convince yourself.

Alternatively, leave parameter 11 at 20 A while setting parameter 2 to 90 A and see that it then does achieve absorb voltage.
Last edited by weber on Tue, 28 Nov 2017, 19:26, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 23:32

If you think your inverter is bricked.
weber wrote: I note that the firmware updating process is not for the faint of heart... It can leave you with a permanently disabled product. A process described as "bricking it".
Things are not quite as dire as that. There is a flash segment dedicated to the serial loader, and this never gets changed. It gets control at power-up. If a word near the end of the last flashed segment doesn't have the right value, then the main flash code doesn't get control, but the loader is still active.
  • After a reflash has failed, don't panic. When the boot-loader runs, it will not drive the LCD display. Just cycle the battery power to the inverter, and re-run the ReflashTool as normal.
  • If the above doesn't work, turn off battery power to the inverter. Re-run the ReflashTool. After you click OK to the "…are you sure?" dialog box, wait 12 seconds and then turn on the inverter battery power. Check for progress in the ReflashTool.
  • In the hopefully very rare case that none of this works, you'll probably need to buy a replacement processor daughter board from whoever sold you the inverter.
JTAG devices (the original subject of this post) are no longer useful, as debugging is now password protected.

We're using the same firmware updating process that the manufacturer is, so the same applies to official firmware updates as well as our patched firmware updates.

[ Edit: Trimmed this long post to the essentials. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Tue, 23 May 2017, 05:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by weber » Mon, 14 Dec 2015, 23:49

offgridQLD wrote: So the new firmware enables higher AC/DC charged rate and a higher Mppt solar reg charge rate? Or a higher combined rate?

Was it not 30A PV and 30A AC charging 60a combined on the old firmware?
coulomb wrote: Yes, I think it was 30 A mains (utility) charging, with 60 A total charge current. That would imply 30 A maximum SCC (solar) charge current.

No. New firmware never enabled any increase in any charge current. As far as I know, every model of PIP was delivered with firmware that enabled its full charging capability. I used the Wayback Machine to look at different versions of MPP Solar's PIP-MS page and learnt that the SCC in the PIP-4048MS was always capable of 60 A but the utility charging hardware was only capable of 30 A in the first model and was made capable of 60 A in later models.

So if you put the later firmware (including our patched version) into an earlier model inverter, you had better put a warning label on the front panel telling people to never set parameter 11 higher than 30 A or they will blow up the inverter. We have tested this label (but only for a short time) and found it to work. Image
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Post by weber » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 00:22

Thanks for the kind words, Coulomb. I'll agree there was some very enjoyable teamwork. But really, I only contributed right at the end of the process, after you had painstakingly analysed and commented the code, set up those sniffers, and figured out how to modify the code and get it back into both the SCC and DSP.

And in the early days I even discouraged the whole idea of modifying the firmware as a way of Lifepo4izing the PIP. I assumed it just wasn't feasible, and so preferred to pursue hardware and serial-comms solutions. Right up until I discovered the no-absorb problem in the Black Monolith at Helidon and decided there _was_ no hardware or serial comms solution to that. But fortunately you had ignored me and had been chipping away at the firmware on your own the whole time. Image

And yes. I still have THE SHOE. Image
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Post by edmundp » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 02:29

Hi All,

By means of introduction - I am another South African joining. I run a PIP 4048 on 2250W panels and 340Ah batteries.

Well done on everybody's effort here - read the whole thread and very impressed.

Just a question to those who has the information available:

What is your average heatsink temperature report by the inverter's COMMS?

Mine runs at about 70 degrees Celsius and my thinking is it might be a little high?

Thank you!

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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 15:06

This question relates to heat in the PIP. I noticed and it has been mentioned a little on this thread that the latest line of PIP4048's don't have the large black heat sink on top for the MPPT charge controller. It was mentioned online that the MPPT charge controller now uses a single internal heat sink that's shared with the inverter. Though I am skeptical of this as it wasn't backed up with a pic. I cant get my head around how the layout would be now if it was so.

Image
Image

Can anyone share some pics of the inside of the latest PIP4048/giant power units with no black heat sink on top.Where is the MPPT unit distributing its heat?

I know large heat sinks are expensive and the old units did come with a very nice generous size heat sink. I wonder if it's a cost cutting choice for the new units

As for 70C temps to me that sounds hot for power electronics. Particularly if it's at that temp for long periods not just a spike.

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 04:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by solamahn » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 15:35

I have installed 2 of the new type 4048ms in parallel without the big black heatsink at a site about 200klms from where I am now. The single scc is mounted on top of the main pcb heatsinks. The units have been in operation for a couple of months with 12 x 280w panels connected to each one. They do run hot also because the fans run slow with 72.40 firmware. I have just ordered 4 4048msd and 1 4048mst which will no doubt generate even more heat. I think it would be better if the fans ran a bit faster but not as fast as 52.25. I will take photos on my next visit to that site.
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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 15:46

"The single scc is mounted on top of the main pcb heatsinks"

As in the MPTT controller is physically attached to the main PCB heatsinks. As in the are all sharing the two PCB heat sinks now.

Or just mounted above the Main PCB heat sinks and attached to the top of the case (as it was previously).

If its the first one then having your charge controller heat up your inverters heat sink doesn't sound good.

Pics will be great thanks.

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 16:08

This patched firmware is now obsolete. Please see the Firmware section of the index post to find the latest patched firmware for your machine..


Here is the Lead Acid Patch

Image

[ Update: I'm not sure that the bug shows itself very often when using lead acid batteries. Perhaps this has something to do with lower maximum charge currents for lead acid. So this lead acid patch may not be necessary. ]

Actually, the name isn't great; it's really the patch to fix the premature-float bug without any of the voltage threshold changes for LiFePO4. But these inverter-chargers were obviously designed with lead acid in mind, so I'm happy calling this the lead acid patch.

I'll repeat the instructions here, so readers don't have to refer to other posts too much.

NOTE: this patched firmware is intended for 48 V PIP-4048MS inverter chargers manufactured 2014 or later. If you are using a LiFePO4 battery, you should probably be using the other patch here.
It should work on 2013 models (we tested the patch on a 2013 model) as long as you leave the utility (AC) maximum charge current setting (parameter 11) at 30 A or lower. NOTE: if you try this patched firmware on a 2013 model and don't keep the maximum utility charge setting at or under 30 A, you will likely blow it up! Anything very recent (latter half of 2015) may be too new, and you will probably at least lose USB functionality.

To install: you will need a Windows computer and a USB to serial adapter, or an older computer with a real serial port. Use the serial to RJ45 cable that came with your inverter-charger. Some serial adapters (or possibly the combination of serial adapter and Windows version) seem to be more suitable than others; see earlier posts on this.

Power up your PIP inverter charger. You can use a battery or the mains. Use the inverter switch to turn it on, if necessary. Make sure that your computer has power that won't go off during the reflash process.

Find a suitable folder on your computer (perhaps create a new one under your downloads folder) and unzip the attached zip file. The zip file has no folder inside it; it will extract files to the current folder, so best to start with an empty folder. Make sure you are not running any software that could be using the serial port, in particular, exit the WatchPower application. Don't just close the application; it seems you have to use the right mouse button on the WatchPower system tray icon, usually at the bottom right of Windows:

Image

The file name the reflash tool looks for is fixed, it's always "dsp.hex" in the same folder as the reflash tool. So you don't have to tell it what file to read, but you have to make sure that you have the right dsp.hex file. It's best to not trust any file named dsp.hex; make a copy of the relevant file with a meaningful name to dsp.hex just before you run the reflash tool.

Finally, double click on the ReflashTool_Xseries.exe icon. It should bring up the small reflash application. If necessary, change the serial port selection to the one that connects to your PIP. It won't give you the full name of the serial port (e.g. "Prolific USB-to-serial..."), just e.g. "COM4", so if necessary use another application (e.g. TeraTerm) to be sure you choose the right serial port.

Click on the Update button, and answer Yes to "Are you sure". Nothing will appear to happen for 10-20 seconds, so don't panic. Eventually, new text should start appearing in the box under the progress bar, saying that erasing has been successful and so on. It will take some 7.5 minutes to complete the flash programming. At the end, just click OK and exit the reflash application.

If you get an error to do with the serial port (e.g. invalid serial port, or the serial port doesn't appear in the drop down window), it's probably because you have something running that is keeping the serial port in use. Double check that you have exited WatchPower and any terminal emulation programs like Tera Term.

The standard instructions say you should revert all the settings to standard, then change them to suit your needs. As long as you had been running a recent firmware (52.30 or later), this should not be necessary. But if you were running an earlier firmware, or if the settings seem strange after the update, use WatchPower to reset to default settings, then change them to suit your needs.

The instructions say to turn off the inverter after the firmware update. This doesn't seem to be necessary.

That's it. To check that you have the patched version, scroll through the settings with the up or down button. In place of the U1 setting should be "Pb Cv PCH". It isn't possible to do a good "v" with seven segments, so it will look a bit like Cu (chemical formula for copper).

If something goes wrong, the original 72.40 firmware file is included in the zip file. To replace the patched firmware with this official firmware, first you need to do a little work with Windows. Open a file explorer at the folder where the contents of the zip file was extracted to. Find dsp.hex and rename it to something else, e.g. "dsp.hex.patched" (without the quotes). Then rename "dsp_original_72.40.hex" to "dsp.hex" (this is necessary, because the reflash tool won't let you choose a hex file to load). Now merely repeat the reflash process; this time it will reflash with the original firmware.


For convenience, I repost here the summary of the changes from the official firmware version 72.40:
1) An additional criterion is added for exiting from bulk/absorb to float. In addition to the charge current staying below the manufacturer's threshold for 50 seconds, the battery voltage has to equal or exceed (CV voltage setting minus 0.5 V). The manufacturer's current threshold is MAX(5 A per paralleled machine, maximum total charge current setting divided by 5). This is what fixes the bug where it would go straight to float mode without ever having gone near the absorb voltage.
2) The "R" characters render as lower case "r" now; it's a one byte patch that makes the display look so much better (in my opinion).
3) Version number changes to identify itself. Calls itself 72.42 in WatchPower or with the QVFW command, and shows "Pb Cv PCH" on the LCD display.


dsp_Pb_patch2b.zip
The attachment is about 1.4 MB.
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 21 Oct 2016, 11:12, edited 1 time in total.
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

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lopezjm2001
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by lopezjm2001 » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 19:58

Looks like I am the first guinea pig. I downloaded your patch. I did not take note of which firmware was being used before your patch. I am only using my PIP4048MS as a UPS inverter without using the charger function. For charging I am using a PCM60X instead.ImageImageImage
It seems that for the patch to work properly the Firmware before the patch must be 72.40.Is that correct?
I did the restore to defaults like you instructed. Then I had to set all the parameter values to what I was using previously. I could not change the battery cut-off voltage to above 48V (still 40-48V)using the WatchPower program. Disappointed. Image
Maybe we need to upload the old firmware before starting. Is that possible?
Where to next?
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 09:02, edited 1 time in total.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 20:47

offgridQLD wrote: Where is the MPPT unit distributing its heat?

I've been wondering this too. There is one clue from the size of the case. The MPPSolar web site lists the PIP-4048MS as being 468 x 295 x 140 mm, 11.5 kg, while the new PIP-4048MSD and MST are listed as 455 x 295 x 194 mm, and 16/17 kg. So the new boxes are 13 mm less tall, but 54 mm deeper. Also 4.5-5.5 kg heavier. The difference between the MDT and the MSD should be one MPPT module, but this is only 1 kg?

I wonder if they've beefed up the fans at all. They look pretty similar to what we have now in the MPP Solar MSD/MST catalogue, but it's hard to tell.

The Giant Power web site has pictures of what might be the MSD/MST series, except that it shows only one PV input, and seems to have the specifications and dimensions of the MS series. So it's unclear to me whether or not we can get the MSD or MST through Giant Power yet or not. Maybe there is a new version of the MS in the larger case, but with only one MPPT/SCC installed.
Learning how to patch and repair PIP-4048 inverter-chargers and Elcon chargers.

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Post by weber » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 20:49

lopezjm2001 wrote: Looks like I am the first guinea pig.
Thanks lopezjm!
I downloaded your patch. I did not take note of which firmware was being used before your patch. ... It seems that for the patch to work properly the Firmware before the patch must be 72.40. Is that correct?
No, the firmware before the patch does not need to be 72.40, although there are some conditions on that, that Coulomb mentioned, and it would have been interesting to know what version yours was. But the patch will work just fine with your Jan/2015 hardware.
I did the restore to defaults like you instructed. Then I had to set all the parameter values to what I was using previously.
In your case, you did not need to restore to defaults. I believe Coulomb gave the conditions under which folks can avoid that nuisance. But it certainly doesn't hurt to do so.
I could not change the battery cut-off voltage to above 48V (still 40-48V) using the WatchPower program. Disappointed. Image
Maybe we need to upload the old firmware before starting. Is that possible?
Where to next?

Ah. Thanks for that. Yes I just tried it myself with WatchPower and got the same result.

No, you don't need to upload the old firmware. Please confirm that you can change it up to 52.0 V using the buttons on the front panel (parameter 29). And that when you have completed this, you see the new value in WatchPower.

We have also confirmed that we can change it to 52.0 using the serial protocol, by typing a PSDV command using TeraTerm.

But clearly WatchPower applies its own limits to what it will let you send. To fix this, Coulomb would need to patch WatchPower itself. That could be a lot of work and doesn't seem necessary when we have these other two means to change it. What do you think?
Last edited by weber on Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 12:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 20:55

lopezjm2001 wrote: Looks like I am the first guinea pig.
Congratulations!
It seems that for the patch to work properly the Firmware before the patch must be 72.40.Is that correct?
I must not have been clear on this, and really I should be calling this "patched firmware", rather than "a patch". It's the complete 72.40 firmware with about 100 bytes changed, and it completely replaces whatever was there before. So it doesn't matter what version you had there before, as long as it was "close enough" (which probably means about 52.20 or later).
I could not change the battery cut-off voltage to above 48V (still 40-48V)using the WatchPower program. Disappointed. Image

This is actually a limitation of the WatchPower program; I made a note of this only an hour or two ago. So just use the LCD to enter the value you want. If you have some computer squirting commands through the serial port, this will also work.

Maybe one day I'll patch the WatchPower program as well.
Last edited by coulomb on Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 10:07, edited 1 time in total.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 21:06

" been wondering this too. There is one clue from the size of the case. The MPPSolar web site lists the PIP-4048MS as being 468 x 295 x 140 mm, 11.5 kg, while the new PIP-4048MSD and MST are listed as 455 x 295 x 194 mm, and 16/17 kg. So the new boxes are 13 mm less tall, but 54 mm deeper. Also 4.5-5.5 kg heavier. The difference between the MDT and the MSD should be one MPPT module, but this is only 1 kg?"

I wouldn't take the listed weights to seriously. I remember seeing the several conflicting list weights when I purchased my PIP4048 with several kg variation. From memory the actual weight when I got it didn't match any of them.

Kurt
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by lopezjm2001 » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 21:07

Thanks Weber and Coulomb,

I changed the parameter 29 to 52 using the front panel. Seems to work fine. See photo attached.Image
I should also mention I did the download patch using com8 instead of com1 as com8 was already setup for monitoring software for WatchPower. Why com1?
Also, I used a laptop loaded with Windows 10. Not a problem.
Image
Back to Grid Voltage: 51.0 volts
Battery Cut-off Volts: 50.8 volts

It would be nice to be able to set the back to grid voltage in 0.1 volts steps instead of 1 volt steps.
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Sun, 27 Mar 2016, 09:04, edited 1 time in total.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by edmundp » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 21:43

Hi All,

My inverter is actually the old style with top heatsink. The temp still runs at 70 as said.

My firmware version is also 72.40 and I get the feeling that the fans are now running so slow that there exists a real problem with ventilation.

Also - it has always been odd to me why the fans are blowing down and not up because heat rises. Thus any accumulated heat at the top is now first sucked over the entire inverter before being "exhaled".

In terms of the differences between the old and new style - as we get both here - before the launch of the heatsink-less version we used to still get the PIP in a version were only a PWM charger was fitted. This casing is identical to the one used now for the one including the MPPT charger, but without the heatsink.

What I can add though is that my actual top heatsink never goes above about 40 degrees - so perfect there.

I am actually considering retrofitting 4 Noctua fans. Two at the bottom (but reversing flow) and two at the top sucking out on the sides of the vents. I will thereby blow all air up in the inverter and thus taking the shortest route for hot air to escape?

Any ideas?

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by PlanB » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 22:08

Anyone who can mix code hacking with trips to the hospital is definitely a legend in my book!

While you two are tinkering in the ESS entrails, if you happen to find out why it doesn't put fault codes in the QPGSn response (4th parameter) like it's supposed to I'd be very interested to know.

The fault codes show up with QPIWS but this is no good for multi-box systems where QPGSn is the only way to access the boxes other than the one you're connected to.

All the best for Xmas fellas.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by solamahn » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 22:51

I always turn the fans upside down and treat the soldered fan contacts with lanolin grease. There is a plug at the top of the main board marked fan3
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Post by weber » Tue, 15 Dec 2015, 23:38

Edmundp, I would be very interested in the result of an experiment where you merely flip the two existing fans over, as solamahn suggests, and report the new heatsink temperature.

The Noctua fans are certainly much quieter, but they almost certainly move less air too. I guess that's why you are planning to add two more extracting near the top. Worth a try. I'll be interested in whatever comparisons you can make.
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