PIP-4048MS inverter

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Wed, 17 May 2017, 02:38

You selectronic inverter charger is a low frequency large transformer based inverter the pip is a high frequency one that uses synchronous rectification with mosfets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_rectification very different devices.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by andys » Wed, 17 May 2017, 15:24

I noticed there's now a PIP5048MS on sale

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/142343699895

Anyone got any information on this? It looks like the same as the 4048 but with an upgraded AC inverter? Very annoying as I just purchased a bunch of 4048s :)

[ Edited Coulomb: clickable link ]
Last edited by coulomb on Wed, 17 May 2017, 06:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 17 May 2017, 16:36

andys wrote: I noticed there's now a PIP5048MS on sale

Anyone got any information on this?
There isn't much information; there is this catalogue from MPPSolar.

They are part of a so-called "PF1 series" (at least, so called on MPPSolar). That seems to mean that the battery side DC/DC converter, instead of having 0.8 times the continuous power rating of the AC side inverter, now has 1.0 times the rating. The AC side (400+ volt DC to 230 V AC) inverter was always rated at enough current for 5 kVA or 5 kW. But because the battery side DC/DC was only rated for 0.8 times that value (4 kW), you could only use the AC side's current to full capacity (5 kVA) with a load that has a power factor of 0.8 (i.e. 5 kVA but only 4 kW of real power). The real power is supplied from the battery terminals, through a combination of battery and SCC current, but the imaginary power circulates from the AC inverter to the load and back again.

The battery side DC/DC converters have 4 MOSFETs in parallel (16 total for a full bridge). To bring them from 4 kW to 5 kW, they would need to use 5 MOSFETs in parallel (20 MOSFETs total). This extra space is quite possibly what displaces the 4 MOSFETs that were previously used for reverse battery connection. There is still protection, but now it seems to be in the form of a big diode anti-connected to the battery terminals. Hence the new marketing dot point about fuse protection of reverse battery connection, or some such. (I can't see it in the linked catalogue). This seems to be embodied by a spare "fuse" (a stamp of plated copper with a narrow neck) provided in the box. The extra 20% of MOSFETs means more switching losses, so the peak efficiency drops from 93% to 90%.

Personally, I think I prefer the MOSFET reverse protection, and living with a 4 kW limit. There will always be some part of the load that has a non-zero power factor (fridges, freezers, motors of any kind), so you'll likely never need the full power of the DC/DC converter. But it's nice to have the choice (if they retain the older models; I suspect from the Voltronics web site that they won't.)
It looks like the same as the 4048 but with an upgraded AC inverter? Very annoying as I just purchased a bunch of 4048s :)

As noted above, it's actually the DC/DC part that is upgraded, and there are consequences. So maybe it's not so bad that you snapped up some 4048s.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by TonyB » Mon, 22 May 2017, 04:18

Firstly, thank you to Weber and Coulomb and others for their great contributions. I have been watching for a while now but have run into a problem that I need a little help with. A local friend who I am trying to help with his solar system, has just had to replace his inverter. The new one has come with 72.60 software and, as he has a small 48V AGM battery (110A-Hr) it suffers from going into Float mode very quickly. We tried to upgrade the software to the patched version. However, the upgrade process appears to start - after some 10 seconds the inverter 'clunks' and does so again a few seconds later then just freezes. Shortly after, the upgrade software says can't communicate on comm port. None of the panel buttons respond to pressing and the inverter will not switch off using the bottom switch. We have to remove to battery (no mains - it's off grid) to force a restart. How do we get past this freeze point, tried it twice now after restarting inverter and laptop?

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Post by weber » Mon, 22 May 2017, 05:35

Have you tried ensuring that both the laptop battery and the AGM battery have plenty of charge, and removing all loads and charging inputs including solar, from the inverter?

Perhaps you could tell us more details about what messages you see from the reflash software on the laptop, and what you see on the inverter display, before and after each clunk?
Last edited by weber on Sun, 21 May 2017, 19:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by TonyB » Mon, 22 May 2017, 12:55

Weber, Thank you for the suggestions. We hadn't tried with the panels off, nor the load disconnected, so will try that next time anyway.
The AGM and laptop batteries were virtually full.
There were no changes to the panel display (showing AC Volts) nor to the reflash software at the time of the clunks. Only after another delay of about 30 seconds did the reflash software complain that it couldn't communicate with the comm port. I assume that was because the inverter had frozen and was no longer responding.

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 22 May 2017, 18:59

TonyB wrote: None of the panel buttons respond to pressing and the inverter will not switch off using the bottom switch. We have to remove to battery (no mains - it's off grid) to force a restart. How do we get past this freeze point, tried it twice now after restarting inverter and laptop?

First of all, Don't Panic!

Image

It's not clear to me whether you successfully started a flash update after this point. You won't get anything on the LCD, but the flash update should still work.

See more information and if you think your inverter is bricked.

Can you confirm that a reflash attempt starts, after you get the "freeze" and restart after disconnecting and reconnecting the battery?
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Post by solamahn » Tue, 23 May 2017, 11:00

Does anyone know what meter is used to measure the Ah capacity of Lifepo4 cells. Mine come with data sheets so it is easy to select similar capacity cells to make up a bank but the meter could help Zenonhost make up his battery bank
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Post by antiscab » Tue, 23 May 2017, 16:35

solamahn wrote: Does anyone know what meter is used to measure the Ah capacity of Lifepo4 cells. Mine come with data sheets so it is easy to select similar capacity cells to make up a bank but the meter could help Zenonhost make up his battery bank
You need one that does a capacity test (full charge followed by full discharge)

This is the best one I have found to date:
Power Lab 8

I modified it with heavier wire to do 40A continuous

From memory there's a 60A version too, you may have to do some googling for it
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Post by paulvk » Wed, 24 May 2017, 03:37

Search e-bay for "Wireless Volt Ammeter Power Meter" little units that show volts , amps and count power in and out with an input on screen that you put in battery AH , it has a little bar to show battery capacity all in colour.
It also has under & over volts relay can be wired or wireless, units up to 1500amps
The ones I have also show kW hours in and out
Last edited by paulvk on Tue, 23 May 2017, 17:41, edited 1 time in total.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by 6mdx » Wed, 24 May 2017, 15:53

Hi all, my name is Robert, new to this forum. Found you guys while searching for info on the pip 4048.


My inverter has died and looking for a replacement, and wondered how you feel about the reliability of the 4048. I have 650 Ah of flooded Pb at 48 volts and 12 x 250 w panels.

The batteries are getting old and so thinking of Li, some time in the future.

comments, suggestions,advice welcome
cheers

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Post by paulvk » Thu, 25 May 2017, 02:14

Hello Robert welcome.
How old is your 4048 do you know what went wrong it may be repairable.
Also how old are your batteries what are they?
As far as reliability for the PIPs the newer ones should be better they have made a number of changes.
I have found 18 x 250 watt panels to be the minimum on my ones as you very rarely get 250 watts they are normally around 180 watts due to the temperature of the panels reducing output and now as we get into winter even less.

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Post by 6mdx » Thu, 25 May 2017, 18:50

I should have been more clear, I don't have a PIP4048.

I am currently using a 1500 w 24 volt inverter, after re configuring the batteries.

Previously I had a 6kw W7 Chinese inverter charger 48v. The ac charger is not working on that, hence the change. The inverter is still working fine but this sucker weighs about 35 kg and hums a bit. be great for another location further from the bedroom LOL

So ATM, I am charging batteries thru a GSL MPPT60 amp controller.

Batteries are Yuasa 650 AH tubular plate, ex fork lift pack. I have had them for 10 years at least.

So I am planning on integrating the the system with something like the 4048. I have two strings of panels at 3KW each, and like the idea of the models that have two separate MPPT controllers included.

I realise that I will be up for new batteries in the near future too.

But sick of the grid and ever increasing costs (especially now the 60 feed in tariff has dropped to 6 cents).

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Post by solamahn » Thu, 25 May 2017, 19:51

4048msd would suit your purpose. I have connected 24 x 300w panels to this model and no problems.
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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 26 May 2017, 00:54

Just thinking if your concerned about noise and I know some of the heavy low frequency transformer inverters can have a real pesky hum to them...no way I would want my low frequency transformer inverter in my house.

The 4048's inverter is quiet though the stock cooling fans are not quiet. When it's just ticking over running low base loads on the house the fans are very quiet. When a sustained higher load is on the inverter The fans really crank up(could be a issue in a bedroom) That said overnight your loads are typically very small base loads so could be fine.

Daytime with the solar charge controller working hard analog with some big loads the fans will be noisy. Quieter aftermarket fans can be fitted to replace the stock fans.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 26 May 2017, 01:39

solamahn wrote: 4048msd would suit your purpose.

Though I note that the MSD (Dual MPPT model) has a different firmware to the single MPPT models, and as far as I know it's not possible to use our patched firmware with these models.

I've written to Voltronic Power about the charge bug, but so far they don't seem to have fixed it. Perhaps I chose the wrong email address. Surely others would have complained about this issue by now too.

PaulVK suggested that the newer models are more reliable. I suspect that the capacitors that they are using now are actually less suitable than earlier models; the 80 V rating is good, but they are not using low ESR types any more, and are still using 2000 hour rated parts. This is not a problem if you are prepared to replace the MOSFETs and capacitors, but this is a monumental amount of work that could be fixed by roughly twenty dollars (retail) more spent on parts.
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Post by 6mdx » Fri, 26 May 2017, 14:18

Hi Guys, appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Are all current models of the 4048 fitted with the higher ESR caps?

I am thinking maybe, better off with 2 4048s in parallel, rather than all the eggs in one basket, know that cost a bit more, but in the long run...

As mentioned previously, I am looking at battery replacement, and considering possibilities. Has anyone had success with the secondhand telstra batteries that appear occasionally?

Those of you using Li, what cells?
cheers Robert

ps how long will I be "moderated"?

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Post by 6mdx » Fri, 26 May 2017, 14:50

ok I read the admin...10 posts

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 26 May 2017, 15:42

6mdx wrote: Are all current models of the 4048 fitted with the higher ESR caps?
It's hard to say of course. I should qualify, after re-reading my own post on this, that the ESR ratings are not actually all that bad for the new capacitors, but they are not models designed for low ESR.
Those of you using Li, what cells?
I believe that a lot are running 180 Ah CALB cells (single cells or buddy pairs) from EV Power. There was talk of them not importing them any more, but they seem to still be advertised; just moved to an obscure part of the web site (right at the bottom of this page on NCM cells.

[ Edit: made the obscure web location less obscure ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 26 May 2017, 07:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by 6mdx » Fri, 26 May 2017, 18:06

Thanks coulomb, I had a look at the Calb 180 Ah, does seem nice, no prices though.Then add BMS etc.

I was thinking with the greater DOD allowed with Li cell vs Pb, maybe one can get away with less Ah of batteries.

The other thing with Li, using a good BMS allows addition of more cells in parallel at a later date.

Another thing, seeing as how I am 70yo, how long do I want my batteries to last? LOL

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Post by 6mdx » Fri, 26 May 2017, 18:07

Re batteries , has anyone used the cells (blades) from Prius for home use.

The ones I have are NiCd, at about 7.2 volts per blade

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 26 May 2017, 18:16

6mdx wrote: I was thinking with the greater DOD allowed with Li cell vs Pb, maybe one can get away with less Ah of batteries.
Certainly. By a factor of perhaps 2x or even 4x (comparing 20% DOD for lead to 80% DOD for LiFePO₄).
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Post by coulomb » Fri, 26 May 2017, 18:26

6mdx wrote: Re batteries , has anyone used the cells (blades) from Prius for home use.

The ones I have are NiCd, at about 7.2 volts per blade

I thought that all the prismatic cells were NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride). These are particularly difficult to charge safely, so I believe that they are rarely used in DIY projects (EVs or solar energy systems). At least one G2 Prius that was converted to plug-in caused a fire. (It's not certain what caused the fire, but it shows how dangerous this chemistry can be, if not handled very carefully.)

[ Edit: Nickle -> Nickel ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 26 May 2017, 08:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by solamahn » Fri, 26 May 2017, 20:01

I use CALB CA400's. Trick is to choose very similar Ah rated cells to make up the bank. I am balancing 8 cells now to connect to a 2424mse. The 8 cells range from 430.0Ah to 430.7
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Post by offgridQLD » Sat, 27 May 2017, 01:55

Interesting Solarmahn. 430ah is a healthy head start. Like you say as long as they are consistent. And stay consistent for that matter.

I use the same 400ah cells but 16 of them. I didn't do a full DOD capacity test when new. Though I did carefully top balance them and now 2 1/2 years on they are still well balanced with manual top balancing every few months.

Typical overnight discharge has me at around 25 - 30% DOD overnight. (basing it on 400AH nominal capacity) Though in real bad weather or the odd time we have needed our Ev charged overnight or I forgot to turn off the irrigation pump all night...oops!) we have seen 60 - 70% DOD a few times worst case but uncommon.

Who knows how long the cells will last I hope for 10 years and they are getting a easy life, refrigerated conditions conservative charge settings and for there size modest discharge demands.

Perhaps not the best economics to oversize the pack and not ring every ah from the lithium cells but I still like the idea that as the cells capacity shrinks. lets say by 30% at the 8 year mark (made up number) the reserve capacity is still within my average overnight consumption scope.

That said I would want any bigger than 400ah 16 cells. They replaced 1330ah of lead acid so three times smaller.

6MDX,
     I do see your point as you get older at some point almost everything has a life time warranty Image
Last edited by offgridQLD on Fri, 26 May 2017, 15:59, edited 1 time in total.

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