PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by PlanB » Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 04:36

Poor man's Victron?

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 05:05

Unless the Victron or the substitutes can reset every time you trigger float . I see them having issues with drift over time. Another thing missing on the inexpensive meters is charge efficiency offset. I think I have mine set at 98% for the Calb lithium cells. lead acid it's much more critical as the losses are greater.
Edit: there is even a temperature offset adjustment for SOC meter to though I have that at zero due to lithium cells in temp controlled room.again more critical with lead cells.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 16:51

coulomb wrote: Giant Power have an updated manual: http://www.giantpower.com.au/assets/fil ... manual.pdf . It clearly shows the "switch in" cable connecting to C and NO of the dry contacts.

I'm a bit confused. The manual shows the remote on/off input connected to NC and NO of the dry contacts as shown below.
Image
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 05:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 19:46

lopezjm2001 wrote: I'm a bit confused.
Sigh. I fear it is I that was confused.
The manual shows the remote on/off input connected to NC and NO of the dry contacts as shown below.
I had it in my mind that the "obvious" terminals to use would be C and NO, and used confirmation bias to convince myself that I was right. Image

Thanks for the correction. I've updated the post.

Edit: BTW that bottom right part of the diagram with the connection detail is completely missing from the only remote panel installation manual I can find outside of Giant Power (which is the one at MPP Solar).
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 08:49, edited 1 time in total.
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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Post by Northland » Fri, 05 Feb 2016, 21:18

weber wrote:So what does the battery manufacturer say the maximum short circuit current of your batteries is? And what is the maximum DC breaking current of your circuit breaker?


3644A
Breaker: 6000A

So if I believe the mcb ratings, it's safe.

But then I watched this

https://youtu.be/Cup5fMGaE2g

Which was scary so I think I'm gonna add fuses anyway
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Post by Monkeytom » Sat, 06 Feb 2016, 03:54

coulomb wrote:
So the "dry contact" can either be a generator start output, or a remote on/off input. [ Edit: but not at the same time; it's either/or. ]
Thanks Weber and Coulomb for your input

So in a Paralleled set of inverters not using a generator, In the Master JP1 and JP2 were left standard for remote gen start and in the Slave the JP1 and JP2 were changed for remote inverter on/off switching.
So when the load on the Master increases to the set point where the Gen start feature operates and If I was to use the gen start contacts on the Master to switch a latching relay with a delay timer ON and a set of contacts in the latching relay that are wired to the remote on/off switch in the slave inverter. It would turn the slave ON and share the load, This would half the current on the Master and that's why I would have a delay for say 1/2 hour or 1 hour (peak load is usually dinner time)to hold the slave on for a period if the load was still there after it switched off it would just switch on again for another period.
and hopefully save most of the daily idle current in the second inverter. I believe the scc would still function as normal.
What problems do you foresee?
2 x PIP4048HS
15S2Px3 45x90Ah TS and
45x100Ah CALB
With 6Kw Solar Offgrid
6x175W BP 1Kw Si Offgrid
28x60W Thin film Offgrid
18x185W 2Kw Si Offgrid
72x82W gridtied CMS2000 2kw north,2Kw East,2Kw west.

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Post by weber » Sat, 06 Feb 2016, 04:49

Coulomb, In regard to Monkeytom's concern about double standby power, (soon to be my concern), I seem to have a vague memory that you once suggested paralleled PIPs automatically shut all but one inverter off, when there was no load.

But surely there are some out there already running parallel PIPs who can tell us if this is so. PlanB?
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 06 Feb 2016, 05:20

Monkeytom wrote: What problems do you foresee?

The problem with the generator start signal is that it depends only on the battery voltage. It may be that the second inverter is needed when the SOC of the battery is still high. In fact, this would be common: after a full day's solar charging, the battery is full, just in time for the evening peak.

I don't know for sure, but I think if the first inverter overloads, it will switch to grid (go into bypass mode). There is no mention in the manual that this will turn on the generator start relay, though you'd think that would make sense. Hopefully I'll find the appropriate part of the firmware soon to know for sure, or perhaps others have experience with this.

What would be great is if the generator start signal came on a few seconds before the inverter goes to bypass. Then the other inverter could take over half the load and you wouldn't have to have a switch to utility for a few seconds, then another switch back to inverter mode. That might get hard on the relays, and some appliances might get upset.

But the first inverter can only handle 5 seconds at high overload, I think I saw somewhere that it can handle 10 seconds or so at ~125% of rated power. So I don't know that it is possible to give more than a few seconds of "notice" (generator start to mains bypass), and the second inverter may take 10 seconds or so to get started.

I think you need something that senses load current, and operates according to that. It still might take too long for the second inverter to come up to speed. I guess some experimentation is needed here.

It is possible that the slave inverters will turn themselves off as required automatically, so none of this may be needed.
I believe the scc would still function as normal.
I think that's right; the switch is supposed to be only about turning on the inverter (enabling battery mode).
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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Post by solamahn » Sat, 06 Feb 2016, 11:18

I have more than 10 sites running parallel pips 3248ms and 4048ms and 1 site with 3 4048 in parallel. My one at home has 2 4048ms in single phase parallel. Mine is connected to the mains also.
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 06 Feb 2016, 12:51

solamahn wrote: I have more than 10 sites running parallel pips

Impressive. So presumably you're well placed to answer the question of whether at low loads one or more PIPs shuts its inverter down to save idle current draw. This would be most apparent at night, when the load would be low, there is no solar charging, and if the solar day was reasonable, there would be no mains charging.

I imagine that if they do automatically shut off slave inverters at low load, either the slave LCD(s) would go blank, or the line from the inverter to the load would disappear. Or at least, you could get them to display battery discharge current, and see some go to zero or one amps, while the master is drawing a few amps for the night time load.
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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Post by Monkeytom » Sun, 07 Feb 2016, 02:07

coulomb wrote:
Monkeytom wrote: What problems do you foresee?

The problem with the generator start signal is that it depends only on the battery voltage.

I think you need something that senses load current, and operates according to that. It still might take too long for the second inverter to come up to speed. I guess some experimentation is needed here.
Thanks Coloumb, I was thinking the Gen start feature would start on load but low SOC sounds more like it.

I have a Digital current switch that has an adjustable set point 0-135 amps could be worth a try. I will have a play when I get my Parallel boards, Thanks for your thoughts Tom
2 x PIP4048HS
15S2Px3 45x90Ah TS and
45x100Ah CALB
With 6Kw Solar Offgrid
6x175W BP 1Kw Si Offgrid
28x60W Thin film Offgrid
18x185W 2Kw Si Offgrid
72x82W gridtied CMS2000 2kw north,2Kw East,2Kw west.

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Post by solamahn » Sun, 07 Feb 2016, 11:38

The slave inverter does not shut down at low load. Also overload bypass does not work. I have also had a problem with generator connection. If the output from the pips is separated, 28 set to 51G, the generator connection works. If outputs are joined and 28 set to PAL, then generator will not connect. MPP suggest using 72.40 firmware so will try that
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Post by PlanB » Mon, 08 Feb 2016, 23:45

coulomb wrote:
Impressive. So presumably you're well placed to answer the question of whether at low loads one or more PIPs shuts its inverter down to save idle current draw. This would be most apparent at night, when the load would be low, there is no solar charging, and if the solar day was reasonable, there would be no mains charging.

I imagine that if they do automatically shut off slave inverters at low load, either the slave LCD(s) would go blank, or the line from the inverter to the load would disappear. Or at least, you could get them to display battery discharge current, and see some go to zero or one amps, while the master is drawing a few amps for the night time load.


I did a bit of testing with 2 boxes in parallel onto a 60w globe a year or so back Coulomb, they hunted wildly with one poll showing most of the load on one box then the next poll showing it mostly on the other. Posting believable results on idle was a bit of a challenge.
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Post by Monkeytom » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 01:55

would you see a problem if I was to switch the slave off and on as required, how long does the slave take to come online from being turned on? The other thought would I have to isolate the output of the slave inverter from the master when it was switched off?
2 x PIP4048HS
15S2Px3 45x90Ah TS and
45x100Ah CALB
With 6Kw Solar Offgrid
6x175W BP 1Kw Si Offgrid
28x60W Thin film Offgrid
18x185W 2Kw Si Offgrid
72x82W gridtied CMS2000 2kw north,2Kw East,2Kw west.

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Post by solamahn » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 02:00

No problem switching the master or the slave off whenever you feel like it.
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Post by parscheese » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 04:38

G'day all.

I'm considering going off grid using one of these units and a large number of Sky Energy LiFePO4 cells from an unfinished EV project.

How noisy are these units when not working hard?
I'm considering installing one in the bedroom wardrobe, along with batteries etc.
Is that a crazy idea or are they quiet enough?

Other option may be under the house but I worry about rodents, ants, spiders etc.

Where have you guys installed your off grid gear?

Cheers.

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 05:58

parscheese wrote: How noisy are these units when not working hard?
The latest models are quite quiet at low to medium loads. Earlier models can be quietened with a firmware update (standard 72.40 will do).
I'm considering installing one in the bedroom wardrobe, along with batteries etc.
Is that a crazy idea or are they quiet enough?
They're quiet enough at night, but I'd worry about ventilation. Also there are a lot of cables to wire up, and that would be awkward in a wardrobe. You will need AC in and AC out cables to penetrate the wardrobe, and will need to be stout cables to the meter box.
Other option may be under the house but I worry about rodents, ants, spiders etc.
It's hard to stop the ants, and they can be a problem (e.g. wanting to chew silicone of all things).
Where have you guys installed your off grid gear?
I'm planning on outside the house, if I can get the cabinet suitably waterproofed. It will be under eaves, but rain and stray gardening water could get to it from certain angles. It will be in a metal box with door, along with the batteries. That will add ~ $1000 to the cost, though.

An alternative is inside my garage. But there are hassles with double brick up to half a metre high, and single brick from there up.
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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Post by Northland » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 09:42

parscheese wrote: I'm considering installing one in the bedroom wardrobe, along with batteries etc.

It's against the regulations, both electrical and fire I think

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 13:59

The way I see it is batterys are a large vessel of stored energy. Just like a gas bottle. Although both are very safe when treated with respect, rules and mantanance are followed. I still feel more comfortable with both outside of the home.

Lithium batterys don't have installation burden of requiring large amounts of ventilation (though I wouldn't seal one up in a airtight box) They also don't need the separation from power electronics like flooded lead acid cells.

At the very least I would want the power electronics and batterys in the garage, carport or on the outside wall of the house. Steel and fiber cement sheet are inexpensive materials to work with to create a enclosure that wouldn't go up in flames and can be made weather tight, durable and aesthetically pleasing.

A few additional thoughts.

Don't underestimate how much heat can build up in small enclosed spaces with power electronics in them. As mentioned working on components located in cabinets is a terrible experience. I had this situation with my own system when I first inherited it with the house. So had to remove all the components from the industrial cabinet and reconfigure them on a bench and backboard setup. So much better to work on, visualize-trace and maintain. The system can breath now to. You want to be working with your components spread out from about wast to head level where ever you can. Think working on things under the dash of your car laying on your back on the footwell twisted up like a contortionist. Not fun and not what you want if avoidable.

Consider the local conditions of the location you pick to install your components. North side of the house will bake all day in the sun. Is there a location that always gets the driving rain at times? Distance to the all ready installed switchboard and access to it for cables. Is there concrete driveways, trench depth limiting issues or other difficulty for running cables. The distance to all ready installed PV or future pv from the power electronics needs to be considered to.

Kurt





Last edited by offgridQLD on Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 03:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 10 Feb 2016, 14:10

"An alternative is inside my garage. But there are hassles with double brick up to half a metre high, and single brick from there up."

Coulomb, I have a large core drill that can handle up to 150mm core drill bits.(large diamond coated hole saw about 600mm long) The largest drill bit I have for it is 100mm. I also have a 50ish mm drill bit to for it.

It will go through double brick like a hot knife through butter. The hole will be smooth and clean just like a hole saw through timber. Other size drill bits are surprisingly inexpensive. $20 - $50 depending on size.

Looks a similar to this.
Image


Let me know your welcome to borrow it and the drill bits I have if you like.

Kurt

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Post by PlanB » Thu, 11 Feb 2016, 20:05

I've seen 2-3 pips in with the batteries in a standard 19" rackmount cabinet or similar enclosure. It makes for a tidy, transportable product & removable side panels address access issues but I wonder about the wisdom of heat sources in with the batteries? Having said that there are some intriguing cooling options around.
Last edited by PlanB on Thu, 11 Feb 2016, 09:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 12 Feb 2016, 14:22

I should explain why I didn't like the cabinet I had to deal with. Was because it was narrow and deep. About 750mm deep. All components mounted to the back wall of it. SO working on it had you more or less inside the cabinet. The other issue was the steel separation shelves blocked airflow bottom to top and most of the components were mounted on the lower section near floor level. So basically the cabinet from hell.

I think a wider cabinet that's not very deep like the Black Monolith works well.

The batterys in the same cabinet at the bottom below the power electronics wouldn't be effected by the heat from the power electronics that would flow up woods. As long as there was good air flow bottom to top. Access to components and wiring is good on the Black Monolith design. So I'm not completely against all in one cabinets if it's well designed from the ground up as a power electronics/battery enclosure.

Kurt

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Post by parscheese » Fri, 12 Feb 2016, 16:40

Thanks for your replies guys. I think the best location for my situation will be where my existing grid tied inverter lives. It's under a carport and eves of the house. East side, away from prevailing winds and rain. It gets little to no sun and the carport has a concrete base but cables can follow the same path as the existing solar setup which is up to the roof space. It's also a good location as it is close to existing solar and switchbox.
I guess I was just trying to avoid the need to buy/build an outside cabinet.
However I like the idea of using a standard rack mount cabinet to make something like the monolith.

I'll be ordering my inverter from Giant Power today via their ebay listing to save myself 10% (current storewide promotion). Also get 2% cashack via shopandmint. So I'm looking at only about $1375 once all is said and done :)

The adventure starts now...

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Post by weber » Fri, 12 Feb 2016, 17:13

I think you are wise parscheese, and Northland is right, and all the other advice has been good. Although there is no Australian standard specifically for Lithium-ion batteries in buildings yet (the only one I can find worldwide is from Brazil and is written in Portuguese) there are general battery standards AS 4086, AS 3011 and AS 2676, and these require ventilation and do not allow batteries to be near combustible materials.

It's true that Li-ion do not evolve hydrogen gas like batteries that have water-based electrolytes (lead-acid and nickel-alkaline). But under fault conditions they will evolve electrolyte solvent vapours (mostly dimethyl carbonate and related ether-like or ester-like organic compounds) that have similar flammability percentages in air to that of hydrogen. And although the vapours are heavier than air at normal temperatures unlike hydrogen, they will tend to be ejected hot under a fault condition and so will rise just like hydrogen. So most of the existing requirements for _sealed_ lead-acid batteries still make good sense for Li-ion batteries, with the additional requirement to not allow the build-up of heavier-than-air vapours as well as lighter-than-air, because many Li-ion cells slowly leak solvent vapours even during normal operation, which you can smell if the cells have been enclosed.

Some other suggestions for safety are: Use only LiFePO4 chemistry as this requires a much higher temperature than the other chemistries before the cathode begins acting as an oxidising agent and contributes to the intensity of any fire. And use a BMS that will disconnect the battery if any cell goes over or under voltage or over or under temperature, and ensure the BMS will not be a source of ignition of the flammable vapours under any fault condition.

That brings me to another point. Existing standards do not allow electrical equipment above the battery because it might be a source of ignition of hydrogen. Exactly the same thing applies to hot solvent vapours from a Li-ion cell and so we will be placing a barrier between the battery and the inverter etc in Black Monoliths in future, and ventilating the two compartments separately.

[Edit: Spelling and punctuation.]
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Post by weber » Fri, 12 Feb 2016, 18:26

This recent CSIRO document is good, except where they say not to use water on lithium-ion battery fires.
http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/fp ... study.html
IMHO that's complete nonsense (apart from the usual electric-shock hazard) and I suspect they have been confused by the literature on fires involving disposable (primary, non-rechargeable) lithium batteries, which contain significant amounts of metallic lithium, as opposed to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which contain no metallic lithium when new and typically have only small amounts even when old or abused.

Of course the first thing to do is hit the emergency-stop button or follow the shutdown procedure which must by law be posted on a notice nearby.

One can at least use water to ensure that the battery's surroundings do not catch fire, and wait for it to burn itself out. But I believe the advantages of keeping the cells cool enough to prevent cell-to-cell propagation, and cathode thermal runaway, outweigh any disadvantages, and so I would have no hesitation in playing water directly onto a 48 volt Li-ion battery. Higher voltages may be another matter.

This sentence from the CSIRO paper is a complete non-sequitur: "Do not use water on lithium battery storage systems, because they contain their own oxygen source and will go on burning until that oxygen is exhausted."

That it has its own oxygen source, only becomes true if the very high temperature has been reached at which LiFePO4 cathode breakdown occurs. But even then, so what? Water will still tend to cool it and prevent it spreading.

Dry sand is great for stopping electrical arcs, but those aren't usually a problem with a 48 volt battery, and the venting flammable vapours will go straight through sand. I'd go straight to water.

And yes, it's important to know that combustion products may be toxic and corrosive to your lungs. So stay upwind.

They also say, "In the context of lithium battery fires, water should not be used as a firefighting medium because it can react with chemical compounds being formed during the battery fire and can worsen the
situation."

I don't believe it can worsen the severity of the fire itself (except in the case of the aforementioned disposable lithium batteries), but it can certainly produce more of the toxic byproducts. So this would certainly be an issue in a closed space. But household batteries should be outdoors, and so provided you're up-wind...
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