Can I Update My Firmware?
And If So, To What?
This is becoming an increasingly vexed question, especially with the various resellers naming their products in confusing ways, the profusion of models available, and the fact that in certain circumstances, including an increasingly common one, it is possible to brick
your inverter if you get it wrong.
First, I need to eliminate models that won't be covered in this post.
- Any model with a rated apparent power other than 5 kVA.
- Any model whose maximum PV voltage is greater than 145 V. Check the label on the side of your inverter.
- Any model with a PWM Solar Charge Controller (SCC). See the zoo post for clues on whether you have a machine with a PWM SCC.
- Any Economy/Value model, such as a PIP-xxxxMSE, or any of the Axpert VM series.
- Any non-genuine clone or work-alike. Some clones don't seem to be firmware updateable, some are. See Do I Own a Clone?
The above has the wrong SCC maximum voltage to qualify for this post; it should state "145VDC".
The starting point is the existing firmware version. Find it by pressing the up button on your front panel, till you get to a screen like this:
There is an implied decimal point
between the middle and right groups of digits, so the above represents main (DSP) firmware version 74.10. The number before the implied decimal point (the digits in the middle group) I'll call the major version number
. The right group I'll call the minor version number
(even if it includes a letter). If you've installed patched firmware, the minor version number will in fact end in a letter (e.g. 73.00d
Now you can follow the decision tree below.
In what follows, the XX
represents a pair of digits, and the ℓ
represents a letter.
The "64 V option"
refers to models that allow the float and absorb/bulk settings to be set as high as 64.0 V, and the battery-side circuitry is upgraded to allow this to happen safely. Do not assume that because you have the latest model, you'll automatically have this feature. It's up to the supplier whether they provide it or not, and whether they indicate this capability in their model numbering. As a special case, MPP Solar
will only offer models with the 64 V option, if
that model is manufactured at all.
If your current firmware has a major version number of:
- You are running early hardware, rated at 4 kW (PF0.8). NOTE: some 4 kVA / 3200 W models have major version numbers equal to 52, but those are not similar, and they should have been rejected by one of the exclusions above. Despite being an early model, you can update to the latest patched firmware 72.70ℓ or 73.00ℓ.
- This usually means you have a model with higher voltage SCCs, such as the PIP-4048MG, which should already be excluded above. However, Weber received a replacement control card with 71.20, and it worked fine in a PIP-5048MS with 145 V SCC. He was able to reflash this to 72.20c, and it charged his battery from his 100 V panels just fine.
If your SCC's maximum DC voltage is 145 V then
- If setting 26 (Absorb/Bulk voltage) allows you to go to 64.0 V (not just 58.4 V) then
- You should be able to update to the latest patched firmware 72.20ℓ.
- Else (setting 26 goes to 58.4 V)
- There is no firmware update available at this time.
If you're currently running firmware in the range:
- You are running a 5 kW (PF1) model with the 64 V option. You can update to the latest patched firmware 72.20ℓ.
- You are running a 5 kW (PF1) model with the 64 V option. You're running the latest factory firmware I know of. You could update to the latest patched firmware 72.20ℓ.
- You are presumably running a 5 kW (PF1) model with the 64 V option. This is a firmware I've never seen. If you want the features of our patched firmware, you can downgrade to the latest patched firmware version 72.20ℓ, but you will miss out on whatever improvements are in your version, compared to 72.20.
- You are running older hardware, rated at 4 kW (PF0.8). You can update to the latest patched firmware 72.70ℓ or 73.00ℓ.
- You may well have a clone, though it's possible that this is a legitimate firmware version that's rarely seen. Either way, you can (try to) update it to the latest patched firmware 73.00ℓ.
- You can update to the latest patched firmware 72.20ℓ.
- These are quite old and are not fixing one of the premature float bugs, so you should update to the latest 73.00ℓ.
- You can update to the latest patched firmware 72.70ℓ or 73.00ℓ.
You are running a 4 kW model (PF0.8).
If you're currently running firmware in the range:
- You can update to the latest patched firmware 73.00ℓ. There is no later factory firmware for your inverter that I know of.
- You can update to the latest patched firmware 73.00ℓ.
- You are running a 5 kW model (PF1), with the usual 58.4 V battery voltage limit (no 64 V option). There is no patched or downloadable factory firmware for your inverter that I know of.
For that reason, the 5 kW model with the 64 V option (firmware 72.00-72.39) is a better choice, e.g. the PIP-5048MS(64V) from MPP Solar on eBay.
- You are running a dual- or triple-MPPT model. These are not parallelable with single MPPT models, and the firmware is not interchangeable. You can update to patched firmware 75.31a, which only has the premature float bugs fixed, there are no other features, not even the LiFePO₄ voltage threshold changes. Even though this patched firmware has the highest major version number, it only applies to these less popular models, and has the fewest features.
other major version number (e.g. 20.XX), this post does not apply, and there is no patched firmware available for your model.
Where you have the choice of updating to 72.70ℓ or 73.00ℓ, the only reason I know of to consider 72.70ℓ
is if you need to parallel a PF0.8 model with a PF1 model. See the asterisked note near the end of the parallel compatibility
If for some reason you don't trust our patched firmware, you could upgrade to the corresponding factory version (just drop the letter off the end of the version number), but you're guaranteed to get the premature float bugs
and in the case of loading a factory 73.XX
onto a model that didn't come with a 73.XX
you are guaranteed to get error 90
after 60 days run time.
When you're ready to install your firmware, use the firmware section of the first post of this topic
to find the appropriate update files, update instructions, and so on. Most versions come in two flavours: LF1 for lithium ferrous phosphate batteries, and LC1 for lead acid and all other chemistries.
If you find problems with the above guide, and the inverter-charger model concerned is relevant to this topic, please post a question about it in this topic.
[ Edit: Major formatting edit; should look better on phones too. ]
[ Edit: Added sentence about custom labels with container loads. ]
[ A big thanks to Weber, for proof-reading this, and offering many great suggestions, and even adding a new feature (the indent tag) to the forum software. ]
[ Edit: Replaced most of the clone related text with a link to the Do I Own a Clone? post. ]
[ Edit: 52.XX now has its own "You are running older hardware" section. ]
[ Edit June 2019: Implemented many great suggestions from Weber; thanks for those. ]
[ Edit August 2019: exclude Economy/Value models. ]
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.