PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Monkeytom » Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 19:55

I have seen my 4048 switch to bypass only on low battery voltage and only when using one unit, With both units on in parallel this does not work.
I have my pair set up so one runs all the time and the output is run thru a digital current switch as the first units output gets up to about 70% the second pip gets switched on and comes online for about 30 minutes thru a timer before switching off. Each time the current switch reaches its set point the timer is reset, this works well with the likes of the oven thermostat and is simple. Most days the second pip is on less than an hour or two for a good standby power saving.
2 x PIP4048HS
15S2Px3 45x90Ah TS and
45x100Ah CALB
With 6Kw Solar Offgrid
6x175W BP 1Kw Si Offgrid
28x60W Thin film Offgrid
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by coulomb » Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 20:14

Monkeytom wrote: With both units on in parallel this does not work.
It's just dawned on me why they don't allow bypass on overload with paralleled units. They would never switch at exactly the same instant, so the second inverter to switch would be attempting to apply power to the mains. It would not be synchronised in voltage or frequency, so this would be considered harmful.
[ Edit: I don't understand the reasoning for my own comment above. The second inverter would still be synchronised. ]

I like your solution, though it may not suit everyone.
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 11 Dec 2016, 04:49, 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 weber » Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 20:59

Monkeytom wrote:I have seen my 4048 switch to bypass only on low battery voltage and only when using one unit, With both units on in parallel this does not work.
Are you saying that, when units are operating in parallel, bypass will never occur for any reason, including low battery voltage? Even when all units have parameter 23 set to enable bypass on overload and parameter 1 is set to enable bypass on low voltage?

So what do they do when either of these events occur? Do they just shut down and leave the loads without power, despite there being mains available?
coulomb wrote:It's just dawned on me why they don't allow bypass on overload with paralleled units. They would never switch at exactly the same instant, so the second inverter to switch would be attempting to apply power to the mains. It would not be synchronised in voltage or frequency, so this would be considered harmful.

I don't understand why they can't switch simultaneously, either when any one of them is overloaded, or when the designated master is overloaded. How is this different from switching on low battery? They have some cables connected between them on which they could communicate this.

When we say "simultaneously" all that is required is that both relays are in the break-before-make state at the same time. Within a millisecond of each other should be sufficient.

And why would they not be synchronised to the mains frequency? This is important even in single unit operation since some loads such as transformers and induction motors may draw large current spikes when switching between unmatched sine-waves.
Last edited by weber on Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 11:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 22:28

coulomb wrote: It's just dawned on me why they don't allow bypass on overload with paralleled units.

Upon reflection, I've decided I must have been thinking of something else. I now can't find anywhere that says you can't bypass on overload with paralleled units.
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 Monkeytom » Fri, 29 Jul 2016, 02:06

Mine went into fault and dropped the load when it was in parallel with low battery . I can't tell you what it would do on overload haven't been there yet.
I feel if AC mains is connected the pip will be in phase with the mains shortly after coming on line. I have found switching between pip and grid and grid and pip is no problem providing the pip has AC mains connected. Otherwise the two light bulbs works well.
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 coulomb » Sun, 31 Jul 2016, 14:36

I've had a request from someone on the South African PowerForum to ask users here how long we've been using our PIP invertets. He says he believes that they have only been in use there for 18 months to perhaps 2 years.
I've certainly seen PIP-4048 inverters from 2013. Back then, they may have been using parts (MOSFETs specifically, but perhaps also capacitors) whose specifications were very close to their real-life usage, especially when used with a flooded lead-acid battery. They seem to use slightly higher-spec parts since about 2014, which seems to have improved reliability.
Have I got this about right? Has anyone used an inverter made 2012 or earlier? Any comments about the reliability of the earlier models?
Last edited by coulomb on Sun, 31 Jul 2016, 04:39, 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 solamahn » Sun, 31 Jul 2016, 14:59

I had lots of failures with early 2013/2014 4048's. MOSFET failures and fan failures. Fan failures caused overheating and 12v regulator failure. The fan problems stemmed from corrosion of the fan soldered terminals. There are 4 terminals. 2 for power in to run the fan and 2 for the run signal sent to the CPU. Shorting of the power in terminals could lead to failure of the 12v regulator which also supplies power to run the inverter control. Later model fans have the soldered terminals coated plus I apply lanolin grease. I would have had 30 4048 failures at least but now not many at all.
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Post by solamahn » Sun, 31 Jul 2016, 15:06

Another problem with 4048's can be caused by having the lvd set too low. Factory 42v is too low. I think the lower setting could have contributed to MOSFET failure. I use 47v now which I think is helping. Also earlier 4048's did not have USE option for program 05
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Tue, 02 Aug 2016, 20:30

Hello E.U.A

Having worked in 48V systems all my career and having a 48V system in place I went for the 48V PIPs
If you even think you will be needing 1000 watts or more from a battery system you need to go to 48V drawing high current from batteries always means you drop voltage.
Compared to other systems on the market the MPP solar products are cheap enough to buy almost 3 for the cost of the others.
I have seen great improvements in them and they have appeared to fix many of the earlier problems.

There are more improvements that could be done with the firmware and the addition of a battery backed clock in hardware would be a huge enhancement.

I have 6 PIP units 4 operating in two locations and 2 spares now approaching 2 years of operation

The units have performed well and have nearly paid for themselves in power bill savings I estimate 6 to 7 years for whole system to be paid off.

I hope my experience with them helps in your decision making.

Note I have recently read a post in another forum which seemed to explain the 63 volt capacitor failures it was noted that the older solar MPPT unit software was going above 63 volts on some occasions eg cloud edge
Last edited by paulvk on Tue, 02 Aug 2016, 10:38, edited 1 time in total.

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by andys » Thu, 25 Aug 2016, 01:04

Hi there!

I'm setting up an off-grid system with a LiFePO4 battery bank, and I just got a PIP-4048MS a few weeks ago.

I fired it up off a 48V PSU to take a quick look. The software version (U1) shows as 72.60. However I noticed there's an additional option which is not mentioned in the manual:

Option 30 is set to "ONE" but can be changed to "ALL". While I wait for a reply from MPP Solar, just wondering if anyone knew what it is?


EDIT: Just got a reply, turns out its for Parallel Unit operation, so I can ignore it.
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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Fotosettore » Sun, 28 Aug 2016, 21:10

hi there!
does anyone know how to handle USB on 4048?
Have you ever done tests to understand the working of the dll and its calls so can work directly (under vb6 - vs - c# - arduino - raspberry etc.) as you do with the RS232.

many thanks

peppe
Last edited by Fotosettore on Sun, 28 Aug 2016, 11:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ChrisHobson » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 09:12

Fotosettore wrote: hi there!
does anyone know how to handle USB on 4048?
Hi Peppe contact Edmundp or Manie on the South African Powerforum. Both of them have independently conquered the PIP USB.

Chris
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Post by Northland » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 12:03

Fotosettore wrote:....raspberry etc.) as you do with the RS232.


Search AICC on YouTube

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Post by Northland » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 14:11

So I was installing my lifepo4 cells, decided to measure the idle current for my PIP802HS (12v 800w). And got 2.8A at 13.4v. Didn't think much of it at first. Then I did the math in my head and alarm bells rang. The whole point of me having a separate 12v system was to reduce the draw on the batteries at night by using a smaller inverter with a manufacturer rating of <15w vs the PIP4048MS rating of <50w.

So having confirmed the actual idle draw of 37.5w on the smaller inverter proves the manufacturer rating of 15w to be a lie, I wonder if the rating on the bigger one is also a lie? Has anyone checked this? Mine is suffering from fault code 9 if anyone has any info? Manual says internal component failed. This occurred when my float voltage was set at maximum 58.4v. It's not a capacitor, I've inspected visually. No pop, no fizz, no smoke.

And an update on what I have been doing lately:
1. Installed lifepo4 cells in 16S and 4S
2. Used 10pc latching relay for control. Bought some other types (60A from another manufacturer) and found the 100A ones had much bigger contacts and a much bigger gap.
3. Built and tested an arduino BMS monitoring 20 cells with a TFT screen. Though I am scrapping the TFT screen and mega and replacing with a nano with port expanders and a Bluetooth module once the parts arrive. This is for power conservation. The nano can be run on micro amps using power saving functions. For display of the data I am using an android app called 'Bluetooth electronics' which is super easy to build graphs and indicators of the data on a tablet or smart phone
4. Connected a 12/24/48 charge controller to 12v AND 48v banks. When the 48v bank is full relays will swap it to a 12v system. It's not finished but manually (Electrically as opposed to arduino control) proves it works as it should. On the 48v and 100v side I'm using 2 latching relay poles on 48v (pulse only, remember these have a 24v rated coil). My research suggests this is safe and results in faster switching. There is minimal spark on the PV side at peak current of 30A (the rest goes into the PIP4048MS). Have not installed capacitors to see if can reduce further. Visual inspection of the contacts after 20 switchings don't show any damage.
5. Installed a water Heat Pump. Reducing my kwh on water heating by 75%. Thus I get a better soc every day. Also it has a timer, thermostat and lcd display. By starting it 4hrs before shower time it reaches max temperature when it's actually used. It doesn't run after shower time, heating the water then cooling over the next 16 hrs. That's inefficient.
6. Replaced the wife's desktop with a raspberry pi. From 140w down to 4w pi + 20w monitor. It runs most of the day.

Considering putting the dishwasher water intake on to the hot water tap. Currently it expends a huge amount of power heating the water from cold. The heat pump can do that work using 75% less power.

Going back to the idle current for the small inverter, this got me thinking. If I'm not using the PIP802HS scc, and not connecting it to the grid, why not ditch the inverter (/charger/scc/grid tie) entirely and instead install an efficient small sine wave inverter for night loads? I came across victron Phoenix which has an idle draw of 6w and is 48v, ie no need for a 12v system anymore. So some of my innovative trickery may be for nothing. But for now I've ordered a cheaper Chinese inverter claiming to have low idle draw. I will test that. If it can't run the fridge, TV and lights I will go for the Phoenix.

My goal is to build the most efficient off grid setup in.the.world. 90% of systems use lead acid so they are already out. Anything using a contactor to protect lifepo4 24/7 is out. Anything not using arduino BMS is out. So I may have already won the race before installing the low idle inverter. It bothers me that so many systems waste power willy nilly. For example Justin Case on YouTube who runs a laptop 24/7 just for monitoring, then wonders why he is on his 3rd set of batteries in 4 years! And is frequently running a generator.

I'm also toying with the idea of increasing batteries and decreasing pv panels. I will need to do some measuring and some math. I imported 64 200ah cells and currently have 16 on the 48v bank. I planned to sell the rest to cover the cost of the 16+4 I'm using. But maybe I install all 64 in 16S4P and sell off my east and west 250w panels. You might say more cells requires more panels, not less. But you might be wrong. I know my average consumption overnight is 80ah (4.1kwh). On a 800ah bank that's 10% dod. And that's using the pip. I will get much better on the victron.
So theoretically I should be able to survive 8-9 rainy days in a row (ignoring daytime intake and consumption and assuming 100% starting soc). I have 41kwh stored. One sunny day will yield around 18kwh if I reduce my pv panels to 3kw (currently 4.5kw). Assuming only 6 hrs sun. So that's a ratio of 4.4:1, rainy days to sunny days. I'm ignoring any losses but also ignoring semi overcast days, and based on winter hours, so overall I think this ratio will increase with more accurate data. If I'm wrong? I switch to grid once in a blue moon. Maybe I buy more panels if it happens often.....

Last edited by Northland on Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 04:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 14:39

Yes I have measured it and it's actually slightly less than advertised. How where you measuring the 12v inverters idle consumption. (with a shunt or DMM would be best)

offgridQLD wrote: I just ran the PIP4048 through a shunt meter and for kicks my clamp meter at the same time.

Numbers are in on idle consumption.

43.9W though after it was on for 5 min or so it settled down to 41-42W fluctuating.
Image

clamp meter surprisingly agrees with the shunt at 0.93A.
Image

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Post by Northland » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 14:43

That is interesting.

I used a fluke to measure. Confirmed it with another dmm. Puzzling. Has anyone tested power consumption with scc, comms board and display disconnected? I found on the PIP802HS current fell to 2.5A

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Post by andys » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 15:06

I measured my brand new PIP-4048MS at almost 50 watts when idle.   Even worse, it drew 100 watts when powering a 50W 240V lamp. That is some terrible efficiency.


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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 15:06

When you think about it. The 45w or so the PIP4048 consumes. Is only a issue from say 6pm - 6am, 12hrs 540whrs wasted as it's running from just the battery's. How expensive is an extra 540whrs roughly 10ah of battery capacity at 48v?

Actually your savings would be less than that when you included the small inverters consumption. As even the most efficient little 48v inverter would used 5 -10w idle. So really only a 38w or so comparison saving. Just 450whrs pr night or just 8.5ah at 48v.

Then you have to consider the inconvenience. When do you switch to the little inverter 10:00pm? You have to make a choice when you don't want to run large loads anymore. I am sure it wouldn't be until later in the evening. So perhaps your savings are only from 10pm until 6am. Just 8hrs at 38w. Starts to get a bit silly saving you 304whrs 5.7ah with the two inverters running on timers.


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Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 05:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by andys » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 15:10

I think the "eco" mode of the PIP-4048 could work well with big appliances if the continuous small loads (clocks, USB chargers, soft powered off computers, etc etc) were taken by something like that Victron.

That would work well for me, as I have a ~70W UV water sterilizer running most of the time which is already using alot of power.

I think you're better off adding a couple of $k of batteries instead of buying a more efficient big inverter.

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Post by Northland » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 15:34

In our case dinner is done by 6pm. Breakfast 8am. So that's 14hrs.
Over a 20 year period that's 3883kwh. At say 25c per kwh (actual cost of panels/inverter/battery) that's $970.90. Will buy you a new inverter. Or $48.55 per year.

People here were discussing reducing the contactor current by 100ma. That's 115wh per day. I'm proposing something 5x better. I've already reduced it from 300ma to zero, ie 345wh by using latching relays. Add in the inverter savings of 532wh and you get 877. $80.03 per year, $1600.53 over 20 years

I wouldn't switch between inverters. I would leave them as separate circuits. Switching the pip on manually will be as easy as pushing a button the arduino reads, then waiting 10 seconds or so
Last edited by Northland on Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 05:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 17:18

$1600 over 20 years .....well if we are just talking money.

How about if you invested that $500 or so you for the additional small inverter and accessory's needed to hook it up at say 5% interest compounding for 20 years.

about $1350

Then will the initial small inverter last 20 years Perhaps only 10 years and you need to purchase two of that time.

We all like efficiency and why not go for it if possible. Yes some product or system designs result in a blatant wast of energy. Though small savings at the pointy end start to get difficult. Particularly when trying to justify them on a cost basis.

Yes I can see it working out ok if you can switch the PIP4048 on remotely from the house with little inconvenience. That way if you feel like toast at 11pm or a late night expresso or what have you you can.

I have a PIP4048 that just powers my workshop. A larger Selectronic inverter powers the house. I have considered some way of having the PIP 4048 switch off overnight though in the end i didn't.

I did try switching the PIP off and just turning it on when I went to the shed in the day time for a little while.

Then one night I arrived home at about 11:30 in the pitch dark and went to drive the ute into the garage and the remote door wouldn't open.

Tripping over snakes and fumbling around in the power room at that time of night wasn't fun just to turn the PIP4048 back on......lets just say it's stayed switched on 24/7 from that night on LOL.

Though if you only have the one inverter having a 2nd (if your 100% off grid) can be a smart idea if one is down the fridge can still be powered. So the little inverter has some extra value then.







Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 07:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by andys » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 18:09

Questions for anyone with experience of PIP-4048 units in parallel:

Are you supposed to have separate strings of panels connected to each or do you parallel those too?

What about batteries? Are you supposed to have them sharing one big battery bank or can you put each PIP on its own battery bank?

Wondering what is permissible vs recommended.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 29 Aug 2016, 21:31

I would say 100% they share the one battery bank and 99% sure the PV would be two separate strings one for each pips SCC.


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Post by solamahn » Wed, 31 Aug 2016, 02:06

You have to use a common battery bank. Seperate same length leads from each inverter to the battery bank plus join the battery + and - from each inverter. Also seperate scc feeds.
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Post by paulvk » Sat, 03 Sep 2016, 18:23

Yes you need a set of panels for each inverter they are not connected to each other in any way.

As far as battery connection I used a buss bar for my positive (this is my earthed side as I have an ex telco enclosure and power systems) most would have a common negative.
I went for short cables from the PIPs to the buss bars below.
I had some copper bars from an old switch board that when doubled up
came to 100mm2
Note that the positive (common) of the batteries is spread along this buss bar.
Due to circumstances (cheap price) I have 11 banks of 100 Ah

Here is some interesting reading
https://www.princeton.edu/~spikelab/papers/101.pdf
Last edited by paulvk on Sat, 03 Sep 2016, 08:40, edited 1 time in total.

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