PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by solamahn » Fri, 10 Jun 2016, 02:00

Just thinking. I had a faulty parallel board once. Try change each parallel board one at a time. I had a spare one so it was easy for me
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Post by nasha » Fri, 10 Jun 2016, 07:50

Hahahaha.. Maybe no one has ever experienced this error. I think there is some issue with the parallel cards as well. I will order a new one or borrow from a friend to test. Meanwhile I think I will install my Flexmax 80.

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Post by Northland » Fri, 10 Jun 2016, 17:33

Anyone had a fault #20?

Coms working partially. 20 isn't in the manual

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 00:23

I've started a new topic on the Voltronic Power InfiniSolar V series, which may be of interest to those having purchased or considering a PIP-4048.
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 30 Jun 2016, 14:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Northland » Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 13:23

lopezjm2001 wrote:
The parts finally came in from China to reduce the 3 x contactors' coil loading current from 1 amp to 200mA.

Image


You know what's better than 200ma? Zero. Check this out
latching relay 100A

And yes, I know the specs say AC. I have bought 4 including shipping for A$45. I will open one up and see how it operates, then put 100A DC through it checking for arcing / heat etc. But since contactors are really not that different between AC and DC I don't expect it to derate much if at all.

He has a few left but be quick. I've been watching eBay for weeks looking for latching relays and very few came up. They were either very expensive or had low current rating

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Post by paulvk » Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 15:10

The problem is arcing because the ac goes through zero the arc stops but with DC it keeps going so the voltage and or current rating is decreased for DC operation.
Last edited by paulvk on Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 05:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 16:08

Northland wrote: I will open one up and see how it operates, then put 100A DC through it checking for arcing / heat etc.
I hope you will use a HRC fuse or suitably DC rated switch in addition, so when the AC-rated switch fails to open, you have some way of stopping the arc. I suppose that asbestos gloves, a welding helmet and an axe might do if you're cheap about it. Don't wear your Sunday best when doing this. Your test will have to be using at least 24 V, of course, since an arc doesn't sustain below that.
But since contactors are really not that different between AC and DC I don't expect it to derate much if at all.

I think you've expressed this sentiment before, and have been corrected before. In fact, in my welcome post to you, back in January:

viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p60385

Interrupting DC is *much* harder than interrupting AC. As Paulvk mentioned, AC current passes through zero around 100 times per second, making arc quenching much easier. Common household breakers rated for some 300 VAC usually have a 60 V DC rating (per pole), if they have one at all. When you interrupt a current of at least tens of amps, at a voltage above some 20 V, the air ionises and becomes a pretty decent conductor. Assuming that the energy source has the capability, this results in an arc that continues to conduct until the separation is some 1 mm per volt. Note that this is a much larger distance than the distance an arc will initiate (some 1/3000th of a millimetre per volt). I hope I got those figures correct; I'll fix them soon if not.

Even AC is no piece of cake if the short circuit current is large. Common AC breakers can only break around 6 kA (6000 amps); there are 10 kA versions available at a higher price. That's AC amps, of course.

Finding fuses even for a 48 V battery based solar electric system, where the short circuit current can be of the order of 18 kA, can be quite a challenge, and the fuses are large and expensive as a result. You need special high rupture current (HRC) types to do it.

That's why an EV contactor commonly uses vacuum and often magnetic blowouts to handle the sorts of DC voltage and current required. Even then, you arrange the contactor not to open under load except in the case of emergency, since they are typically rated at only a few such interruptions in their life. Sometimes a single time.
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Post by Northland » Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 18:57

Overly dramatic and misleading. 1mm per volt is utter nonsense. If that were the case, one time when I forgot to switch off the pip before disconnecting the battery terminal it should have arced 56mm. But it didn't. In fact I recall very little light and sound when it happened. The speed of separation and current are other factors. 0.1mm per volt I might believe and only if held in that position and only with a large current.

That discussion was about circuit breakers, not contactors. A protection device is very different to a control device. Sure at 400A 400v things get dangerous. But down at lower currents and lower voltages the fact is, relays for DC are physically no different. Sure the ratings might be a bit lower on DC. Also don't forget that AC (and DC EV) high current switch devices are designed to cope with inductive loads ie motors which are more likely to arc than resistive loads.

A valid argument may be : at what point do they become different?

Like I said, the first step is visual inspection. To be 100A AC rated I'm expecting big ass contacts and a big clearance gap. Looking at the photos it seems to be quite wide where the coils sit, but this is probably more to do with latching mechanism than clearance.
These were after all designed for frequent on off switching of consumer mains so should be over engineered.
If I find that the clearance distance is not enough I won't bother going further than 24v (modification to increase distance may be possible). I will attempt to monitor temperature of the stationary contact. Obviously I'm not going to run 100A through off the bat, I would work my way up from 5A or so. Otherwise it's impossible to know what the maximum current is. And I will start with 12v working up to 100v (ie a string of panels). That's 4 voltages and say 10 different currents. So up to 40 tests. Any signs of distress and I go no higher. Obviously. It's hardly rocket surgery. Always protected by a DC rated breaker and controlled at a distance. But it is not credible to me that jumping one level in current is going to go from safe to catastrophic. And even if it did, who cares? I switch the breaker and check for damage. I intend to test till destruction but don't expect much.   

Also don't dismiss the device based on switching as it could be used as maintain contacts, ie another switch device does the actual making and breaking until this device is safely engaged /disengaged.
Still less complicated than reducing current with resistors and timers. And infinitely more efficient.

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sat, 02 Jul 2016, 00:49

Thanks Northland. If it had a DC volts and amps rating. I would not gamble my Lifepo4 battery pack on them. Anyhow let us know how your testing goes.
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Post by Northland » Sat, 02 Jul 2016, 03:36

Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 11:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by paulvk » Sat, 02 Jul 2016, 03:57

I have found a similar relay at element14 part no K100A-10-024B024-R and it has 2800 watts DC switching so about 50 amps

part No 1905022 is just what you want for your EV 400A switching 2500A break current which is about the price in $ interesting part is hydrogen for dielectric.
Last edited by paulvk on Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 18:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Northland » Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 18:25

So I tried using one of the relays I showed earlier to disconnect a KW of panels. Voltage was 77v, 14A. There was a small quick spark but that's it. Image Such an anticlimax. Repeat 30x to be sure. Separation was initially 4mm but I bent the restraining bar, at 6mm the coil polled so I settled on 5mm. I scoured my electronic draws for a capacitor but the highest voltage I had was 63v 100uf. I thought it would pop first time but it went about 20x before popping. At a guess I would say it reduced spark by 20%.

Now if we think about it, the pip switches DC at this voltage or higher and with much more current. But is there anything special about its relays? Not that I could see. Logic suggests that using 2 poles shares the arc between 4 points. Thus in effect doubling both the speed of separation and the distance. So 4x harder to maintain an arc. That's also true of contactors as opposed to relays. Next test is using 2 relays, possibly increasing to 2kw then 3.

So after experimenting with a latching relay I will retest (if required) using 2 of them. If necessary add capacitors (I've ordered 250v 3300uf) . The pip doesn't have capacitors and it has smaller relays.

I wonder if 2 poles in series on the positive is the same as 1 pos and 1 negative?   

The amount of spark is subjective so I wonder if putting the fluke across the contacts to record the maximum voltage would be scientific enough. I won't bother testing low voltage and low current since clearly it takes more than a KW before the action begins
Last edited by Northland on Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 08:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 20:55

Northland wrote: Overly dramatic and misleading. 1mm per volt is utter nonsense.
Well, you seem to be talking about smaller currents than I was thinking, so we were to some degree talking about different things. The 1 mm per volt comes from consideration of arcs in Mexy, the high voltage (720 V) electric MX-5. The 1 mm per volt is an extremely simplistic rule of thumb, that pertains to arcs of at least 90 A, and it refers to voltage in excess of 28 V (the 28 V is negligible compared to 720 V, but it's over half of a 50 V solar energy system's battery).
If that were the case, one time when I forgot to switch off the pip before disconnecting the battery terminal it should have arced 56mm.
Arcs depend on many things, e.g. whether the arc is horizontal or vertical, the material of the "electrodes", speed of separation, any reaction from the load, and so on.
But it didn't. In fact I recall very little light and sound when it happened.
In your case, I think that the electronics would have quenched the current quite quickly as the voltage at the PIP reduced, but that's a wild guess. I'm also guessing that the current would have been well under 90 A.
Sure at 400A 400v things get dangerous.
Right. So that's a point of agreement.
But down at lower currents and lower voltages the fact is, relays for DC are physically no different. Sure the ratings might be a bit lower on DC.
A bit lower? I happen to be familiar with these Omron relays; they are used in Elcon / TCCH EV chargers. They are used to switch up to 417 V DC, but they are very careful to only open and close them with little to no voltage across the relay:

Image

[ Edit: From http://media.digikey.com/pdf/Data%20She ... G8P[1].pdf ; sorry, the square brackets seem to preclude readily making the link live. ] I just did a quick search. That one can't be the exact one used in the chargers; those are marked as 20 A 250 VAC. But that sort of low DC rating seems extremely common, at least in the printed circuit mountable relays with maximum dimensions around 30 mm. That tells me that if you don't go to any trouble to make your contacts DC rated, you are often limited to around 30 VDC. My impression is that you are considering using a device with no DC rating, and arguing "what's the big difference anyway, at these voltage and current levels?".
A valid argument may be : at what point do they become different?
I suggest that they are dramatically different at the tens of ampere region, which is pretty much where all but the tiniest of relays begin.
... But it is not credible to me that jumping one level in current is going to go from safe to catastrophic.
Arcs are highly non-linear and somewhat non-intuitive things.

[ Edit: "ends of ampere region" -> "tens of ampere region". That guy who invented autocorrect died recently; may be restaurant in piece Image ]
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 04:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Fotosettore » Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 23:03

hi all,
first, sorry for my english...
I'm italian and i'm an owner of a 4048.
I'm a maker and i developed a program called LUCIBUS, that allows to see data and graph of inverter. The program is vb6 developed.
Due lucibus is a beta version, i'm looking for some few no italian beta tester, to try the software on foreign machines and english language.
The software is free and you can read info here :

LUCIBUS
[ Edit Coulomb: this seems to be a better URL: https://www.lucibus.com/web/en/ ]

Avaialable version on my site is 123 and it has not english language inside.
The 123 is working fine on many italian machines (xp - seven - win10).
The beta 124 is almost ready and has english language inside. The 124 must be requested directly to me, because it is a beta.

feel free to contact me if you are interested to test 124beta

regards

peppe
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Post by Northland » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 01:24

coulomb wrote: My impression is that you are considering using a device with no DC rating, and arguing "what's the big difference anyway, at these voltage and current levels?"


You are trying to theorize your way through a debate, while discouraging real world testing. I on the other hand have demonstrated by way of practical experiment that your end of days scenario is entirely theoretical (for the 100A relay scenario at least) and provided evidence that the issue is easily solved using a capacitor. But I offer to go further, not simply taking the video at face value but testing it for myself to verify and replicate the results.

You imply that I have no intention of taking all reasonable measures to ensure safety and are irresponsible. Despite the fact I have provided detailed testing procedures to be completed prior to commissioning (40 different tests) complete with 2 additional means of evaluation (measuring arc voltage (fluke 1503) as well as contact temperature via DS18B20). Current through an ACS758 150A hall effect sensor.

The lack of a DC rating is not conclusive evidence that DC is dangerous. It simply means nobody bothered to test on DC. Yet.

Once I have completed testing, the device will effectively have DC ratings. Should I wish to (I don't) market the device as a DC device, Energy Safety NZ accept test reports that are NOT from a certified accredited test laboratory. I would probably need to find a test report and use the same format. It's written in plain English on their website. Whether that transfers to Australian certification I don't know. But since components are usually exempt from standards it's probably more a courtesy.

I have paid for more than 30 test reports done by accredited labs so I am more familiar than most with test procedures, documentation, standards and certification, shoving them under the authorities nose when requested.
That's 30 products that had not been tested to AS/NZS standards. But now they are. Imagine that.    

"speed of separation".

Ya. I know. I already stated that.
So it's 28v now, not 24. Surface area of the contacts is probably the biggest factor of all. You didn't mention that one.

"but they are very careful to only open and close them with little to no voltage across the relay"

OK. So why is it OK for them to do it, far beyond the rated current and rated voltage, but when I suggest using the latching relay as maintain only contacts it's dangerous and irresponsible? At least mine is rated to carry 100A!. 60A carrying through a relay rated for 30A. Perfectly acceptable to you. But 100A carrying through a relay rated for 100A - that man is reckless!

Did you watch the youtube? Arcing is easily solved so this whole debate is secondary.

I've offered to do a great deal of testing for the benefit of others.
I've provided multiple solutions to multiple problems.
And now I have learned my lesson.

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Post by T1 Terry » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 02:53

Try not to take it too personally, some have a style that would not rate at all as far as bed side manner if they were a medical doctor :lol: If you are willing to test equipment at your own expense to see if it is suitable for a job it was not originally intended for then more power to you and a full thumbs up. There was a time when the world was flat and heavier than air machines were an impossibility, it required those who went outside the knowledge square to test the realities of what is fact and what is an assumption

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 05:53

Northland wrote: You are trying to theorize your way through a debate, while discouraging real world testing.
Actually, I'm quite a fan of the scientific method, which of course requires experimental validation. But of course you have to do this real world testing properly.
I on the other hand have demonstrated by way of practical experiment that your end of days scenario is entirely theoretical (for the 100A relay scenario at least) and provided evidence that the issue is easily solved using a capacitor.
Unfortunately, a capacitor, especially a large electrolytic capacitor, removes the main reason for using a relay or contactor: galvanic isolation. As the gentleman in the video notes, there are applications for putting small, non-polarised capacitors across contacts (switches, like the points in old cars), [ edit: but he failed to mention that ] rarely if ever [ edit: should one be used ] across relay or contactor contacts.
I have paid for more than 30 test reports done by accredited labs so I am more familiar than most with test procedures, documentation, standards and certification, shoving them under the authorities nose when requested.
That's 30 products that had not been tested to AS/NZS standards. But now they are. Imagine that.
Good for you. I certainly can't claim that level of familiarity with lab tests.
   
OK. So why is it OK for them to do it, far beyond the rated current and rated voltage, but when I suggest using the latching relay as maintain only contacts it's dangerous and irresponsible?
They are staying within the ratings. The few chargers that output more than 20 A actually use two relays in parallel. For higher power chargers (over 2.5 kW) they parallel entire charger units (so a 4 kW charger is really two 2 kW chargers in one box). By switching at nearly zero volts across the relay contacts, they are staying within the 28 V DC rating of the relay. Sorry, I should have come up with a simpler example.
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 03 Jul 2016, 19:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Northland » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 14:37

coulomb wrote:I happen to be familiar with these Omron relays; they are used in Elcon / TCCH EV chargers


I mentioned the pip relays and when you said "these relays" it was safe to assume that we were still discussing the pip relays. But now it appears you have not addressed my point at all and used a different example. Or are you trying to tell us the pip relays (pv input) don't carry 60A at up to 115v? What are their ratings?

"of course you have to do this real world testing properly"

Did I not ask for methods of validation? Perhaps you should offer helpful suggestions instead of implying my test methods are amateur and inadequate.

"Sorry, I should have come up with a simpler example"

More sarcastic condescending arrogance like we saw in your earlier post.

I looked up Galvanic isolation:
"a principle of isolating functional sections of electrical systems to prevent current flow; no direct conduction path is permitted"

My understanding is that capacitors do not have a current flowing THROUGH them. Current flows to and from them. Once the contacts are separated no current can flow to the capacitor. So how does it "removes the main reason for using a relay"? In the video he uses a resistive load and it does in fact work as intended. Why then, would it not work switching for example pv panels? I could understand if you argued that the capacitor would have some harmful effect on the pip, or cause other problems...but you didn't. You imply that it simply doesn't work and your evidence of such is throwing jargon at me, stating the capacitor will do something it simply cannot do.

One of the things I intend to do with relays is move sets of panels from the pip to an external scc (would require 4 latching relays since they are N.O only). Real world current will be ~8A and ~80v. That's 640w. Much lower than my experiment.
Another is separating banks of batteries from parallel banks. Real world current will be max 20A and max 56v. About a KW max, equal to my experiment.

If I have overlooked some safety or functional issue I want to know about it. As far as safety goes, yeah I can see how voltage might technically be present on a contact that has just been turned off. But only a small discharge current accompanies it. And these connections should already be inaccessible to fingers anyway so I can't see a new safety issue. The capacitor will self discharge. Add a resistor if required. Now it's a snubber circuit (extremely common for relays among other things. But you already know that).   

weber wrote: everyone on this list is always very helpful


I beg to differ

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Post by weber » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 15:01

Northland wrote:More sarcastic condescending arrogance like we saw in your earlier post.
I'm writing as a moderator here. There is no place for personal attacks on this forum.

For some strange reason, you are reading us all wrong. Coulomb is one of the least condescending, least arrogant, most patient explainers on this and several other forums.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 16:59

Northland wrote:
coulomb wrote:I happen to be familiar with these Omron relays; they are used in Elcon / TCCH EV chargers


I mentioned the pip relays and when you said "these relays" it was safe to assume that we were still discussing the pip relays.

I've now realised that a lot of confusion has resulted from my unfortunate wording. When I said "these relays" I actually meant "the following relays, that I happen to know the specs for". The relays in the PIPs are not the Omron ones in the Elcon / TCCH chargers, and I never intended to infer that they were.

My apologies for the confusion. I might have a look at what the PIP's SCC relays actually are. Bear in mind that the SCC (Solar Charge Controller) can turn off its MOSFETs before disconnecting its relays, thereby avoiding arcing.
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 04 Jul 2016, 18:33

Here is a photo of an SCC in a post July 2015 model PIP-4048:

Image

You can see the two relays below the yellow transformer. A closeup:

Image

It turns out that these are *automotive* relays. Although the case of the relay mentions 14 V, the datasheet says that they are rated for 40 A at 27 V. There is no AC rating given for these automotive relays.

So these are presumably relying on switching (on and off) at near zero volts across the contacts.

A look at the back of the PCB shows that the relay contacts are in parallel, switching the output to BAT+:

Image

The yellow rectangles indicate approximately where the relays are located on the other side of the board.

So these relays don't disconnect the PV array from the SCC; they disconnect the output of the SCC from the battery. So these won't help if your array voltage is a little too high (above 145 V) on a cold morning.
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 09:34, edited 1 time in total.
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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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Post by eliafino » Thu, 14 Jul 2016, 05:45

enviroweb1 wrote: Hi i have written some code to communicate with the mppsolar inv
with a website displaying info & graphs, and can send commands
if anyone is interested.


cheers
John Image
Hi,
can you share your code?

I'm very interested...

For now this is my site

My friend use two PIP-4048MS and I write some code in python, but I prefer your solution ^_^

Thanks,
eliafino
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 14 Jul 2016, 16:14

Private message sent.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by E.U.A » Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 16:17

Hi everyone on the thread.

I read all thread from page 1 to 49 plus the datasheet and want to ask a question:

What happened when the unit switched into bypess/Line mode, due overload?

As I understand from drawing at viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p60561
the Line in directly connect to output via safety relays and output relay. As I understand, units power rating became irrelevant at this point and sky is limited with relay ratings.

But what happens later?

For example if we need to use more than 4kw for some minutes, let's say 8kw, unit will switched into line mode after some seconds. Than will return to battery / PV mode back again automatically?
Or do we need switch that mode manually?
I believe the setting 06 : "Auto restart when overload occurs" is related with that but I wanted to be sure from the operation.

If units work with that principle, I am more interested to buy PIP-2424HSE modal. My home power consumtion does not even close to 2400w. Barely pass 2.1Kw on normal usage. So I am OK with dropping into line mode once a month.

Thanks for answer.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 19:08

E.U.A wrote: Hi everyone on the thread.
Welcome!
I read all thread from page 1 to 49 plus the datasheet ...
Impressive.
What happens when the unit switched into bypass/Line mode, due to overload?
I've wondered that myself.
But what happens later?

For example if we need to use more than 4kw for some minutes, let's say 8kw, unit will switched into line mode after some seconds. Than will return to battery / PV mode back again automatically?
I believe so. Others who have used these units for some time (mine isn't yet installed) can confirm or deny.

In function OPPowerBatPercentMaxCal(), an adjusted power level is calculated. I think what they are doing is scaling the present load carried by the mains, and calculating what percentage of full load this would be if the inverter (which always produces 230 V) were to carry it. I believe that they assume a resistive load, though I could easily be muddled by the maths (I have to read it in DSP assembler). This power is compared with 110% and 85%, with a function that wants to see the value consistently above or below these limits respectively for 5 checks in a row (I think that means for a sixth of a second total; these things tend to be checked 30 times per second). If the load is over 110% for this time, LoadAbnormalFlag is set. If under 85% for 5 checks in a row, LoadAbnormalFlg is cleared.

I haven't checked all the uses of this flag; it gets complicated by consideration of paralleled machines. But I'd say it's pretty safe to say that these limits are used to switch the unit back to battery operation (if that's appropriate, considering other settings and conditions) when the load has been under 85% of rated power for a short while. 85% of 4000 W is 3,400 W. It might work on VA if that works out worse for the inverter, so it might not always be exactly 3,400 W. It might switch back at 85% of rated VA, so for the PIP-4048 this would be 0.85 * 5000 VA = 4250 VA.

So if you have a load that alternates between say 4600 W and 3600 W, then it would stay in bypass mode. But if it alternated between 5000 W and 3000 W, then it would switch back to battery mode soon after the load was low (3000 W), and bypass mode soon after the load was high (5000 W).

For smaller units, I'd imagine that the same thing applies, but just at lower limits.
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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