PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 14:56

Release Version of Patched Firmware 73.00b

[Edit: This post was originally for the beta version of 73.00a, but after being in use for 6 weeks, and being downloaded 38 times for LFP and 55 times for other chemistries, we updated the zip files to "release" status. Then a few days later we learned about a problem where 73.00 (both original and patched) would stop working after 60 days (with fault code 90) when run on older hardware. 73.00b fixes that problem. It was a one-word change, so we didn't bother with a beta.]

Weber and I have finally finished testing our patched firmware based on factory firmware version 73.00. Hardware that comes with factory firmware 73.00 has a neutral to earth relay, which is active only when the inverter is in battery mode. 73.00 also modifies the behaviour of the fans, spinning the fans even at no load, and more vigorously during heavy solar charging. There may be other improvements as well. 73.00 is parallel compatible with some older firmwares: 52.30, 72.40, and 72.6X, but not 72.70.

This patched firmware has all the same patches as 72.70c and earlier patched firmwares, including Dynamic Current Control and AussieView™. Naturally, this includes fixing the infamous premature float bugs.

As before, there is an LFP (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate) version, and the "all other chemistries" version (LC for Lead aCid, Lithium Cobalt blends, and lithium titanate).


Note: This firmware is only suitable for the 48 V models with a single low-voltage MPPT and a power factor of 0.8 (4 kW / 5 kVA), not those with dual or triple MPPTs or a power factor of 1.0 (5 kW / 5 kVA), and not those with a maximum PV array open circuit voltage greater than 145 V DC.

For lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) (16S or 15S)
dsp_LF1_73.00b.zip
(1.53 MiB) Downloaded 239 times

For lead acid (24S), lithium cobalt-blends (LCO, NMC, NCM, NCA) (14S), and lithium titanate (LTO) (21S)
dsp_LC1_73.00b.zip
(1.53 MiB) Downloaded 332 times

Note: Lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) is the same as lithium iron phosphate or LiFePO₄. The name "lithium ferrous phosphate" is preferred, as it avoids the confusion between "iron" and "ion".

For details on reflashing, and what hardware this firmware will and won't run on, see the 72.70b reflashing instructions, but ignore the files there.

[ Edit: Links to text files for DCC and AussieView™ ]
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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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 18:01

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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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 10:25

weber wrote:
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.
I finally changed the strings this morning to 2 strings of 2 panels was 2 strings of 3. The problem persisted with the relay clicking away. After approx an hr the charging started.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 12:13

Have a problem with 72.70 the Max. Charging Current setting has become a max current setting for solar charger so if you set it at 30amps that is all the solar charger will put out instead of being max charge to battery.
Only found this out because I loaded them up to 4500watts and was getting a battery discharge then saw that only 30amps of total PV was there.
Two pips in parra with 225ah of LA flooded.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 13:47

al76 wrote:
Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 10:25
I finally changed the strings this morning to 2 strings of 2 panels was 2 strings of 3. The problem persisted with the relay clicking away. After approx an hr the charging started.
OK. So now we know there is definitely something wrong with your machine. This is definitely not expected behaviour. My next suspect is the relays in the SCC. Maybe their contacts are badly burned and making intermittent contact?
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 13:56

paulvk wrote:
Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 12:13
Have a problem with 72.70 the Max. Charging Current setting has become a max current setting for solar charger so if you set it at 30amps that is all the solar charger will put out instead of being max charge to battery.
Only found this out because I loaded them up to 4500watts and was getting a battery discharge then saw that only 30amps of total PV was there.
Two pips in parra with 225ah of LA flooded.
It sounds like you have the Solar Balance parameter [31] set to Sbd. If so, you need to set it to SbE (the default).
See the bAL [31] section of the AussieView manual or page 23 of the manufacturer's manual.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by al76 » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 19:17

weber wrote:
Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 13:47
al76 wrote:
Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 10:25
I finally changed the strings this morning to 2 strings of 2 panels was 2 strings of 3. The problem persisted with the relay clicking away. After approx an hr the charging started.
OK. So now we know there is definitely something wrong with your machine. This is definitely not expected behaviour. My next suspect is the relays in the SCC. Maybe their contacts are badly burned and making intermittent contact?
Is it worth following this up with mpp solar or move fwd with buying another unit and have this unit repaired in Aus? I was planning on a parallel system plus I will be needing a second independent system soon anyway.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 19:39

al76 wrote:
Wed, 14 Feb 2018, 19:17
Is it worth following this up with mpp solar or move fwd with buying another unit and have this unit repaired in Aus? I was planning on a parallel system plus I will be needing a second independent system soon anyway.
I can't really advise you on such decisions. Except to say that I don't see that you have anything to lose by raising the problem with MPP Solar.

How long has the PIP-4048MS been in use? Could there be a fault in the isolation device between your PV array and the PIP?
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by simat » Thu, 15 Feb 2018, 22:19

Hi,
I am really impressed by the amount of excellent information in this thread and especially at all the work done by Coulomb and Weber. This is forums at their best! Thank you!

I have been asked by a friend of a friend who I designed and installed an LFP based off grid system for in 2013 if I would help him get an off grid system up and running.

This thread has made me think that it might be worth considering using the PIP4048MS or maybe the 5048 rather than a separate charge controller and inverter from more mainstream manufacturers. I am considering the Victron Phoenix inverters and EPSolar charge controllers.

The price of the PIP4048MS makes it worthwhile buying a spare and all the information in this thread will make it easier to interface my BMS to the SCC and inverter in the PIP and fix it if there are any problems.

My plan would be buy two units, run one for 3-5 years or until it blows up (hopefully not!) and then swap it with the spare. I would replace the main caps as detailed in this thread in the unit that I had swapped out.

I was thinking of configuring the LFP battery as 15s rather than the normal 16s to drop the voltage a bit. Only issue I can see with this is that it will increase the current. Which is preferable, decreasing the voltage stress or increasing the ripple currents and component temperatures due to the increased current?

I wanted to shut down the SCC via a signal from my BMS. Am I right in thinking that I can do this by sending a command to the PIP to raise the bulk and float voltages, or is there another way to do this?

I also wanted to be able to shut down the inverter. After reading the thread a few times! I am not sure if this can be done by sending a command but is possible by simulating the On/Off switch on the PIP being turned off, am I right?

Simon
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32x90Ah Winston cells 4p8s (24V), 4kW Latronics Inverter, 1160W of Solar Panels
Homemade MPPT controller, BMS https://github.com/simat/BatteryMonitor

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by T1 Terry » Fri, 16 Feb 2018, 12:33

Hi Simon, I've had success with the 15 cell arrangement charging via a PWM controller using nom. 12v panels (18v Vmp) in series. The 24v units come in 5000va (4kW) models and they don't seem to have current rated issues so I can't see the 48v model having issues. The days of needing high voltage battery packs to reduce the current requirements really date back to the lead acid battery days, using LYP cells where high current draw is not an issue the days of requiring the use of a 48v battery pack and charging components might really be a carry over rather than a necessity.
I recently installed a 32 x 200Ah cell battery (4p8s 24v) with a 4kW PiP inverter and 5.6kW of solar and the system is out performing any and all expectations with none of the herding feral cats using Dingoes type problems the 48v systems seem to enjoy.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by lopezjm2001 » Thu, 01 Mar 2018, 13:24

coulomb wrote:
Mon, 12 Feb 2018, 14:56
Beta Version of Patched Firmware 73.00a
Thanks for the great work you guys do, Coulomb and Weber. I updated my PIP4048MS to your latest beta firmware a couple of days ago. Not sure whether I needed it or not as I was running the latter version.
You can see a graph of your beta 73.00a firmware at work at https://drive.google.com/open?id=1U7GgT ... pzOlgMBowp, it works well. Can also view my PIP4048MS at https://emoncms.org/dashboard/view?id=33822 as is setup for public viewing. You can see how it goes into float mode at the right time. Does bulk charge followed by float mode even on cloudy days. No problem.
I like how my PIP4048MS LCD screen now shows the temperature of the unit... nice. 8-)
You guys should try to get crowd funding for this..
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sun, 04 Mar 2018, 09:46

Thanks for that, lopezjm2001. As we don't ask for money, it is kind words like yours that keep us going. I'm glad you like the "AussieView" LCD improvements. I'm surprised at how little feedback we've had about those. But we try to assume: "No news is good news". :)
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 20:12

I have 72.70 running on the systems and the battery performance appears to be much better but note I also have the 9 panels with the e-smart3 as well.
The battery is staying at a higher voltage for much longer while under discharge at night, the balance of the current from/to the banks is much better.
As a companion to the PIP the E-smart3 is a good match giving the extra 40amps to take solar to 100amps which gives the system enough to run the loads and charge the battery properly.
As far as the now usable LCD goes I have not had enough time to do a lot with it but it is nice to be seeing batt volts , solar current and batt current on two PIPs
Note I have VRLA

I am going to try and find time to finish the remote display I started on which uses a dotmatrix LCD to display most of the parameters all at once from the QPIGS command.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by curasun » Thu, 08 Mar 2018, 06:03

Hello guys I'm from Curacao, a small Island in the carribean sea.
I've Learned a lot on this forum.
After a lot of reading,Youtube and other forums. Ive decided to to order the PIP 4048ms Inverter charger. Ive got the 12-2017 model firmware 73.0.
It Arrived yesterday and it is installed and doing its job.
Ive 2kw of panels and a 400ah battery Lead acid connected to it, my only load for now is the AC of my room. 1kw of panel thru another charge controller and 1kw thru the 4048.

2 questions can someone explain to me the setting # 1 and #31 please,
Ive settings # 32 and so on, but cann't find what this mean in manual, please help.

thanks in advance
R.G.Specht
Dutch Carribean Curacao.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Thu, 08 Mar 2018, 06:11

Hi curasun,

See page 23 of the online manual via the first link in our index post. Also see the link "Weber's table about parameter 1, Output Source Priority", in the index section headed "Parameters (LCD settings)".
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sun, 11 Mar 2018, 09:04

I have a number of AC voltage protection varistors here I am thinking I might put a bunch on the AC downstream of the inverters.
I think we need to keep the semiconductors and capacitors cool in the pips so fitting 120mm fans to the grills at the sides and inserting the temperature probe of one of the cheap on line digital controllers into the top of the 240v side heatsink (after putting heatshrink around it) is the way to go.
I have done it and set the fans to come on at 42c then go off at 36c the highest I have seen on the 240v heatsink was 46c with the ambient temp about 10c below.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sun, 11 Mar 2018, 10:47

Progress with the remote LCD display have most of the parameters of the pip displayed on the 64x128 Graphic LCD.

display1.png
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Mon, 12 Mar 2018, 18:00

Now the display of the second parallel inverter with the QPGSn command
Image


So that is two of the commands now to get the rest working and to enable changes to settings with infrared remote control.

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Tue, 13 Mar 2018, 06:24

paulvk wrote:
Sun, 11 Mar 2018, 09:04
I think we need to keep the semiconductors and capacitors cool in the pips so fitting 120mm fans...
I note that firmware 73.00 runs the existing fans much more aggressively (by a factor of 5/3) when solar charging, though no different when running a large load in battery mode. I believe that this is another change we can thank you for suggesting to the manufacturer; thanks, @Paulvk!

I was initially puzzled at why the fans don't also work harder with a high inverter load. But then I realised that this way, the extra noise would mostly be during the day, when solar charging. The exception to this would be AC charging at night to take advantage of an off-peak power tariff. So most of the extra noise will be during the day when people are usually not sleeping, and when ambient temperature would be highest. I haven't checked to see if the maximum temperature is higher at night than during the day. They do now run the fans at a minimum of 30% speed all the time in 73.00; this is quite quiet and should help keep the night time internal temperatures low. Overall, the new fan control code seems like a good compromise between electronics lifetime and fan noise.
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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Re: PIP-4048MS

Post by coulomb » Tue, 13 Mar 2018, 06:41

Tejota wrote:
Sun, 11 Mar 2018, 01:35
CONG = freezer 2HP
REF: fridge 1HP

I think problem was when stopped freezer = Overvoltage in AC back to inverters.
Well, 2 HP is nearly 1500 W, so that's quite a large freezer, perhaps ten times the size of a domestic freezer, if I'm not confused. An induction motor draws roughly 7x its continuous power for a fraction of a second when starting up; that's of the order of 10 kW. So starting one or both motors at the same time will be a significant load.

Such a large motor might have a kick like a mule when it turns off, so yes, it could well be due to inductive kickback when the freezer stops. The PIPs do have several surge protectors, but larger ones nearer the loads might be a good idea for this type of load.

I wonder if perhaps one was starting when the other was switching off; this would be a voltage spike while the inverters' IGBTs would be working quite hard. Such a coincidence would be quite rare, of course, but after years of continuous running, it's bound to happen occasionally. [ Edit: it doesn't look like the fridge was "due" to come on in this case, but perhaps the fridge was opened and came on "early". ]
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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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by rinaldoparaipan » Sat, 17 Mar 2018, 03:17

I have discovered a strange think at Effekta AXM 4048:When the inverter is working in by-pass mode, with the AC OUT fuse disconnected(so is no output consumption) the inverter takes 1.2-1.5 Amps from the grid.
I checked with different measuring instruments (AC clapmeter, Am meter in series with live AC input wire, a noninvasive ACS sensor with Arduino board) and the result is the same.
There is no battery charging current (cheked with clapmeter)-the inverter is set on Only SOlar charging mode.
The result of measurements was confirmed by two friends of mine, at an MPP Solar inverter and another Effekta.
When the relay switch to battery mode, there is no more grid consumption.
Would you please check your inverters if they have the same behavior?

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by weber » Sat, 17 Mar 2018, 07:03

Hi rinaldoparaipan,

I know that seems like there is about 300 watts going to waste. But if so, the 300 watts of heat would be hard to hide. This is almost certainly mostly reactive power (measured in volt-amps not watts) that is simply charging and discharging a capacitor 100 times a second. Although I'm guessing that maybe 50 watts is actually being wasted as heat.

To find out what is really going on, you need to use a true-RMS power meter that simultaneously samples both voltage and current many times per cycle, or some other instrument like an oscilloscope, that allows you to take into account the relative phase of the voltage and current waveforms. Simply measuring the voltage and current separately, and multiplying them together, does not give the true power.
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by rinaldoparaipan » Sat, 17 Mar 2018, 15:40

Yes, I supposed is reactive power and I know that 300W transformed in heat inside inverter's volume should give a high temperature.
The problem is that a lot of electronic power meters installed in Romania are measuring a part of reactive power, even in single-phase grid connection.
You confirmed my assumption.Thanks

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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by sinux » Tue, 20 Mar 2018, 18:39

Hi @@weber
I've installed the firmware 73.00a on my inverter. Works great! Thanks for all the time spent on this!
I installed it because my batteries were never fully charged with the old firmware (early exit of absorb stage).

I'd like to report a bug/regression :
From version 72.70c beta, you've "improved the accuracy of the battery charge and discharge current readings, particularly for low currents, as displayed on the LCD, and as given in response to the QPIGS and QPGS serial commands"

I've built a small data logger / coulomb counter that runs on raspberry pi. And since the upgrade, my "total wh in" don't match "total wh out" any more (within reasonable margins).

It looks like you've reduced the amount of amps reported by the inverter for battery charging current by 1 amp?

At first glance it seems reasonable to do that because the new figure becomes finally the real battery current, in most cases (see below).

The previous battery current reported (before the upgrade) was actually "battery charge or discharge current" + "self consumption".
This is why the inverter would always report 1 amp even when the battery was in float and full.

I don't know exactly why, but there's an exception to this case, when in bypass mode and charging with AC.
In this state, the battery charging current doesn't include self consumption (or maybe more logically the self consumption is much less than the average 50W in solar charging mode with inverter on).

This has two unintended consequences with the new firmware :
1. The charging/discharging current reported is wrong (which is why my raspberry pi program is wrong)
2. The charger quits charging way too early when charging with 2amps, and quits slightly too early when charging with 10amps.

You should be able to replicate the problem by putting the inverter in bypass mode, AC charging at 2 amps, absorb time 180min. It never stays in absorb mode that long. (see attached picture - last night charging at 10 amps, absorb should be 180min - top red is AC charging)

As I've got a small system (4x 100Ah gel batteries) this is a bit of a problem for me.
Any advice?
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Re: PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sat, 24 Mar 2018, 16:36

I have two 1Hp pumps running off my inverter but they do not have start capacitors only run capacitors more than a year 4 times a day no problems.

Now an update on LCD remote control:
I have the infrared remote working and any old remote can be used it learns the buttons.
regards Paul

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