PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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SparkyNZ
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by SparkyNZ » Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 12:05

Hi guys,

I've been following for a while, especially interested in the Float/Absorption fixes. Glad the Dual-MPPT unit is almost there with an official update.

One question I had from previous pages was in regards to the apparent glitch when charging from a generator. Setting [11] to 30A works fine, but upping it any higher (40A/50A etc.) results in a constant cycle where the charge current will ramp up to somewhere between 35A & 40A before resetting itself back down to 0A and repeat.
Was any further progress made on this about the cause/whether it's the same for grid inputs?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 13:13

SparkyNZ wrote:
Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 12:05
One question I had from previous pages was in regards to the apparent glitch when charging from a generator. Setting [11] to 30A works fine, but upping it any higher (40A/50A etc.) results in a constant cycle...

Sorry, no progress as yet. I've still not seen this happen, but I have now seen a generator that would not work with the inverter at all, not even with the charge limit set at 2 A. That generator was a cheap, non inverter model that audibly stuttered, and the frequency was about 2.5 Hz high, so I'm not surprised that the inverter refused to synchronise with it.

So I'm thinking that these inverter chargers are quite picky. But there does seem to be something odd about which generators they accept, and I still hope to find out what's at the root of this. It may be patchable.

[ Edit (again) : With grid input, I don't expect to see this cycling behaviour ever.]
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 19:40

al76 wrote:
Mon, 29 Jan 2018, 19:15
Thanks for this response. This sure does make a lot of sense and takes a load of my mind.
Will I need to consider cable size with more amps?
Yes. You should ensure that your array cable can carry the short circuit current of all 3 strings continuously. You should also ensure that your array cable does not drop more than 3% of the maximimum-power voltage, at the maximum-power current.
http://www.voltagedropcalculator.com.au
So 4 mm² will be OK if your most distant panel is no more than 8 metres by cable length, from your inverter. 6 mm² will be good for 12 metres. If it's further than that, you could run each string to the inverter in a separate 4 mm² pair. That would be good for 25 metres.

You never need string fuses when paralleling two strings, but when paralleling 3 strings you need string fuses if the short circuit current from two strings in parallel is greater than the maximum fuse rating given in the panel datasheet.
Is the constant relay clicking having any significant impact on lifespan of relay?
Probably not, as it should not be carrying any current at the times when it opens or closes.
Its Summer now, will changing string length affect winter situation?
Thanks again for you response
No. There will be no problem in winter with strings of 2 x 72-cell panels, no matter how cold it gets. But if you leave it with strings of 3, the problem will only get worse as the weather gets colder.

The consideration with strings of 2 x 72-cells is whether, in the middle of the hottest summer day, their maximum power point voltage will fall below the absorb voltage setting [26] plus 1.5 volts. This is very unlikely. And even if it does occur, it only means that you will not be getting the maximum power from your panels at that time. These are times when excessive voltage drop in the array cable can have a significant impact.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 10:31

Thanks again for your response
weber wrote:
Tue, 30 Jan 2018, 19:40

No. There will be no problem in winter with strings of 2 x 72-cell panels, no matter how cold it gets. But if you leave it with strings of 3, the problem will only get worse as the weather gets colder.

The consideration with strings of 2 x 72-cells is whether, in the middle of the hottest summer day, their maximum power point voltage will fall below the absorb voltage setting [26] plus 1.5 volts. This is very unlikely. And even if it does occur, it only means that you will not be getting the maximum power from your panels at that time. These are times when excessive voltage drop in the array cable can have a significant impact.
I have had this setup running for 12+ months and didn't see this behaviour last summer. I'm hoping to get on the roof today and disconnect 1 panel from each string.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 10:48

al76 wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 10:31
Thanks again for your response.
I have had this setup running for 12+ months and didn't see this behaviour last summer.
Of course you didn't have too low voltage near mid-day last summer, because you have 3 panels in series. Instead you have too high voltage near dawn in winter.
If you had 2 x 60-cell panels in series you would have too low voltage near mid-day in summer (unless they were 60-cell panels with an unusually high voltage, or your summers are very cool).
With 2 x 72-cell panels in series you should not have any of these problems.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 11:41

weber wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 10:48
al76 wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 10:31
Thanks again for your response.
I have had this setup running for 12+ months and didn't see this behaviour last summer.
Of course you didn't have too low voltage near mid-day last summer, because you have 3 panels in series. Instead you have too high voltage near dawn in winter.
If you had 2 x 60-cell panels in series you would have too low voltage near mid-day in summer (unless they were 60-cell panels with an unusually high voltage, or your summers are very cool).
With 2 x 72-cell panels in series you should not have any of these problems.
The solar volts readout on the PIP, Is that OC or the MPPT value? Its not obvious to me from reading the manual. Thanks again.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 12:15

If the inverter is not drawing any current from the PV array, then it will be the OC voltage. If the inverter is doing maximum power point tracking, then it will be the MPPT voltage. You can tell what state it is in by looking at the PV power readout. If it's zero, it's open circuit.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 13:57

weber wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 12:15
If the inverter is not drawing any current from the PV array, then it will be the OC voltage. If the inverter is doing maximum power point tracking, then it will be the MPPT voltage. You can tell what state it is in by looking at the PV power readout. If it's zero, it's open circuit.
The OC voltage reported by the Pip is about 130v Once mppt kicks in with charging it drops to about 110v
Image
From this graph you can see that Volts sits about 130v until about 10am the mppt/charging kicked in.
I turned off the solar about 4pm ( on graph you can see Volts drop to zero) to try and change the string but I had a connector issue then it it started raining :(
I turned the solr back on and as you can see the V went back to about 125v and the relay just clicks away again.
A graph same time period but showing watts
Image
and amps graph
Image
Anyway some more info. Given the OC volts is well below max of 145v is it possible there is some issue with the pip?
I'll be adding some more panels soon so I may have to wait to do the string mod test.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 15:19

al76 wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 13:57
The OC voltage reported by the Pip is about 130v Once mppt kicks in with charging it drops to about 110v
From this graph you can see that Volts sits about 130v until about 10am the mppt/charging kicked in.
...
I turned off the solar about 4pm ( on graph you can see Volts drop to zero) to try and change the string but I had a connector issue then it it started raining :(
Hi Alan, If your connector issue was difficulty in getting MC4 connectors apart, I note that a 16 mm (or 5/8") open-end spanner works well to compress the barbs and allow them to come apart. Much better than fingers (too fat to fit in the notches), and much better than pointy nose pliers (jaws not parallel). But even with the spanner compressing the barbs, it can take a lot of pulling and wiggling to get them apart.
I turned the solr back on and as you can see the V went back to about 125v and the relay just clicks away again.
Given the OC volts is well below max of 145v is it possible there is some issue with the pip?
I'll be adding some more panels soon so I may have to wait to do the string mod test.
It does seem that your PIP is more sensitive to high voltage than is claimed in the manual, but for all I know, they may all be like that. What are your U1 and U2 firmware version numbers?

But no matter whether the PIP is out of spec or not, there is no doubt that the optimum number of 72-cell panels in series, for a PIP-4048MS, is 2. Please just do the experiment.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 19:09

weber wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 15:19

It does seem that your PIP is more sensitive to high voltage than is claimed in the manual, but for all I know, they may all be like that. What are your U1 and U2 firmware version numbers?
Firmware versions 72.70 and 04.12
weber wrote:
Wed, 31 Jan 2018, 15:19
But no matter whether the PIP is out of spec or not, there is no doubt that the optimum number of 72-cell panels in series, for a PIP-4048MS, is 2. Please just do the experiment.
Will have another attempt tomorrow.
Thanks again

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by vulcanescu35 » Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 05:29

hi guys,

own a pip 4048 msd, with MAIN CPU Vers: 75.20
SCC1CPU :1.02
SCC2CPU: 1.02

now, i have a problem with the absorption voltage that does not take more than 1 min, and i wanted to know if the firmware released by you for MSD / MST can solve and it is suitable for my inverter?

best regards,

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 06:45

vulcanescu35 wrote:
Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 05:29
hi guys,

Welcome.
...
i wanted to know if the firmware released by you for MSD / MST can solve and it is suitable for my inverter?
Yes. The 75.31a patched firmware fixes just the problem of exiting absorb stage to float stage too early, and nothing else, other than identifying itself on what was the U1 display page (main firmware version). So that should fix your problem.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 13:26

Wanted: 74.xx firmware update file

It appears, based on this South African thread, and this Voltronic Power web page (in the Specifications tab), that the single-MPPT 4 kW 5 kVA model (e.g. PIP-4048MS) will not be available in future, being replaced by the single-MPPT 5 kW 5 kVA model (e.g. PIP-5048MS). Part of the evidence for this is that the Voltronic model number for these two devices is exactly the same, namely "Axpert MKS 5K", and in the South African thread we can see the model number "SOL-I-AX-5M" on labels for both 5000VA/4000W (2015) and 5000VA/5000W (late 2017) models.

The worst thing about this is that we are fairly certain the 5 kW 5 kVA model still has the premature-float bug in its firmware, which is version 74.10, and we do not have a firmware update file for it. Nor can it be extracted from the inverter.

It is astounding that despite several attempts on our part, and others, both via MPP Solar and direct to Voltronic, and all our posts in public forums, we still have not managed to get through to them that this bug exists, and how simple it is for them to fix it.

So we'd appreciate if anyone can send us a firmware update file for any 74.xx version (by Private Message if you prefer), so we can fix this bug yet again.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by vulcanescu35 » Fri, 02 Feb 2018, 15:12

coulomb wrote:
Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 06:45
vulcanescu35 wrote:
Thu, 01 Feb 2018, 05:29
hi guys,

Welcome.
...
i wanted to know if the firmware released by you for MSD / MST can solve and it is suitable for my inverter?
Yes. The 75.31a patched firmware fixes just the problem of exiting absorb stage to float stage too early, and nothing else, other than identifying itself on what was the U1 display page (main firmware version). So that should fix your problem.
thank you for the huge support provided on this forum!
  With particular respect,
Cristian

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 13:21

Good afternoon all,

First off I have learnt a great deal from this forum, thanks. At xmas I bought a second 4048ms, been running one for a year no issues. Connected the second one up today. Paralleled the batteries and the output, no pv's connected. Set up the master no issues, as soon as I turned on the slave it alarmed and the fault light came on. Is there any fault codes you can access?
Triple checked all the parallel connections and they are correct to drawing.
Any ideas. I have emailed my solar.
Thanks

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 14:17

Kurnol wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 13:21
Good afternoon all,

First off I have learnt a great deal from this forum, thanks. At xmas I bought a second 4048ms, been running one for a year no issues. Connected the second one up today. Paralleled the batteries and the output, no pv's connected. Set up the master no issues, as soon as I turned on the slave it alarmed and the fault light came on. Is there any fault codes you can access?
Triple checked all the parallel connections and they are correct to drawing.
Any ideas. I have emailed my solar.
Thanks
Update, after sitting down and having a beer, i decided to go check for a fault code and it worked fine this time! Only thing i did different was switch off the breakers on my ac outlet side.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:31

Kurnol wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 13:21
Good afternoon all,
Welcome.
Set up the master no issues, as soon as I turned on the slave it alarmed and the fault light came on.
So both are independently set to PAL mode (setting 28)?
Is there any fault codes you can access?
When the fault light is on, and the "ERROR" indicator is on to the right of the middle two digits, the two digits in the middle are the fault code. For example, in the attached, it is indicating error/fault code 71, which you look up in the Parallel Installation Guide because it's an error specific to paralleling machines.

Can you quote that number please? Or are you saying that the LCD doesn't come on?

[ Edit: Error 71 means "Firmware version inconsistent". You have to have the same or "compatible" firmware revisions in the master and all slaves. See the Parallel Compatibility post for details. ]

[ Edited the edit to point to the parallel compatibility post; 72.70 and 72.70a are actually not always compatible. ]
Attachments
Error 71.png
Error 71.png (6.02 KiB) Viewed 1293 times
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:41

Kurnol wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 13:21
... At xmas I bought a second 4048ms, been running one for a year no issues. Connected the second one up today. Paralleled the batteries and the output, no pv's connected. Set up the master no issues, as soon as I turned on the slave it alarmed and the fault light came on. Is there any fault codes you can access?
Triple checked all the parallel connections and they are correct to drawing.
Any ideas. I have emailed my solar. Thanks
Hi Kurnol. Are you saying you have a fault light (red), but no fault number?
If you have a fault number, and are looking for the explanation of what the number means, some are listed in the main manual (page 28) and others in the parallel manual (page 14).

What happens if you disconnect the master from the battery and start up only the slave? Does it still have a fault?
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:51

coulomb wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:31
Kurnol wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 13:21
Good afternoon all,
Welcome.
Set up the master no issues, as soon as I turned on the slave it alarmed and the fault light came on.
So both are independently set to PAL mode (setting 28)?
Is there any fault codes you can access?
When the fault light is on, and the "ERROR" indicator is on to the right of the middle two digits, the two digits in the middle are the fault code. Fpr example, in the attached, it is indicating error/fault code 71, which you look up in the Parallel Installation Guide because it's an error specific to paralleling machines.

Can you quote that number please? Or are you saying that the LCD doesn't come on?

[ Edit: Error 71 means "Firmware version inconsistent". You have to have the same or "compatible" firmware revisions in the master and all slaves. If the version numbers are identical in the first four digits (e.g. 72.70 on one and 72.70A on the other), then they are definitely compatible. It seems that otherwise if the are in this set, they also should be parallel-compatible: { 52.30, 72.40, 72.60 [ edit: and 73.00 ] }. What are your main (U1) firmware versions? ]
Hi Coulomb, when i went to look for the error codes 71 did come up but only after i pushed the up arrow a couple of times. While doing this the error light went off and i was able to set up the slave unit, all good now i will check the firmware versions, about a year between when i bought them.

[ Edit reverted by Coulomb: should have edited the original, not this quote of my original, as I have now. ]

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:53

:idea:
weber wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:41
What happens if you disconnect the master from the battery and start up only the slave? Does it still have a fault?
Hi Weber,
I tried that and it didnt work, but for whatever reason it is working now.
Last edited by Kurnol on Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:54

I can make toast and a coffee at the same time now!!! 😁

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Kurnol » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 16:11

coulomb wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 15:31
[ Edit: Error 71 means "Firmware version inconsistent". You have to have the same or "compatible" firmware revisions in the master and all slaves. If the version numbers are identical in the first four digits (e.g. 72.70 on one and 72.70A on the other), then they are definitely compatible. It seems that if the are of this set, they also should be parallel-compatible: 52.30, 72.40, 72.60. What are your main (U1) firmware versions? ]
Master is 72.60 and slave is 73.00

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Bellinus » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 20:37

Hello, im alessandro from italy, i ve a problem with my pip4048.. It fail to switch to grid, i hear te "TAC" but it remains on battery and it keeps trying to swich 10-20-50 times until it works.. If not works after a x number of times it give up and leave the battery discharging!
Last week i found my poor battery at 33v!!! And today my 200ah battery pack was discharging at 80A because pip 4048 failed to bypas to grid!!!!
I dont know what to do, how can i fix this issue?
Thank you!

PS:sorry for my "english"

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 21:38

Bellinus wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 20:37
Hello, im alessandro from italy, i ve a problem with my pip4048.. It fail to switch to grid, i hear te "TAC"
Hi, Alessandro. I assume by "TAC" you mean the clicking sound of a relay turning on or off.
but it remains on battery and it keeps trying to switch 10-20-50 times until it works.. If not works after a x number of times it give up and leave the battery discharging!
When it fails, does it give a warning at all? A warning will show up on the LCD (display) as a warning icon beside the central group of two digits, an exclamation mark ("!") inside a triangle. The digits and warning icon will be flashing.

Also, are you seeing the "AC present" icon? It looks a bit like a tennis ball; a dark sine wave inside a light circle.

Does the AC present icon go away briefly after a failed attempt to switch to line mode?

Is it possible that you have poor mains somehow? Perhaps the voltage is very high or low?

Could there be excessive resistance in the AC cables?

Are you perhaps using a generator as the AC source? These inverters are very fussy about the quality of the AC input, since they have to synchronise with them.
Last week i found my poor battery at 33v!!! And today my 200ah battery pack was discharging at 80A because pip 4048 failed to bypass to grid!!!!
That's not good for lead acid, and the 33 volts is bad for any kind of battery. My guess is that as soon as the inverter changes from battery to line mode, the AC source under load is measured to be bad in some way (perhaps low or high voltage or frequency, or perhaps noisy zero crossings) and the machine immediately switches back to battery mode to keep the loads powered. But the inverter should be disconnecting way before the battery reaches 33 volts. Check setting 29 (low DC cut-off voltage).

It may somehow be a battery issue. Is the battery old? How much does its voltage sag under say a 2400 W load?

[ Edit: had light and dark reversed on the "tennis ball". ]
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Bellinus » Sun, 04 Feb 2018, 01:36

thank you for the answer coulomb! :)
coulomb wrote:
Sat, 03 Feb 2018, 21:38
Hi, Alessandro. I assume by "TAC" you mean the clicking sound of a relay turning on or off.
right :P
When it fails, does it give a warning at all? A warning will show up on the LCD (display) as a warning icon beside the central group of two digits, an exclamation mark ("!") inside a triangle. The digits and warning icon will be flashing.

Also, are you seeing the "AC present" icon? It looks a bit like a tennis ball; a light sine wave inside a dark circle.

Does the AC present icon go away briefly after a failed attempt to switch to line mode?

Is it possible that you have poor mains somehow? Perhaps the voltage is very high or low?

Could there be excessive resistance in the AC cables?

Are you perhaps using a generator as the AC source? These inverters are very fussy about the quality of the AC input, since they have to synchronise with them.
- no warnings, no triangles, nothing..
- AC is present and it is always between 200-245v in worst cases, most of the time is about 235-240v, 200v only with 3kw+ loads only in some rare cases.
- i dont now, i think not.... cables are for 6kw and not too long
- no generator

That's not good for lead acid, and the 33 volts is bad for any kind of battery. My guess is that as soon as the inverter changes from battery to line mode, the AC source under load is measured to be bad in some way (perhaps low or high voltage or frequency, or perhaps noisy zero crossings) and the machine immediately switches back to battery mode to keep the loads powered. But the inverter should be disconnecting way before the battery reaches 33 volts. Check setting 29 (low DC cut-off voltage).
i have 8 100ah AGM batteries 1 year olds, i set cut-off to 42,5v and machine seems to fail the switch, not switching to grid and then switching back to batteries..... i hear the rele but on the lcd nothing happen, also batteries discharge current doesnt go to 0. so is not switching at all!
maybe im wrong, but AC input is good and no warnings shows up.
It may somehow be a battery issue. Is the battery old? How much does its voltage sag under say a 2400 W load?
i dont knows what you mean for "voltage sag", also google translator doesnt know :(
maybe you mean how much the voltage drop when you put the battery under load?

edit: ok you mean that.... i tried and from 48.3v with 400w load, batteries drops to 45.9v if i apply a load of 2,3kw

edit2: now it works properly... tested 2-3 times and it switch at the first try. since when the issue happen i have heavy loads connected, maybe is right what you say.... with 3kw+ AC input drops immediatly to 200v or even less and the machine switch back to batteries. i have to set appliance voltage range instead of UPS.
remains the problem that it ignored the cut-off voltage and discharged the batteries to 33v, that is the worst problem.

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