PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 15 Sep 2016, 01:50

any chance someone here can help HBPowerwall

he is from Brizzy and has a PiP

[tube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46OkkUBVqlQ[/tube]
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Post by paulvk » Thu, 15 Sep 2016, 04:10

I can not help with the software but I use a single phase KW hour meter on the input and output of the PIPs so the difference is the power generated and used.

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Post by Northland » Fri, 16 Sep 2016, 12:34

I'm about to receive a new main board. I assume it will have later firmware and will already have lifepo4 as an option? So I just need to update the scc firmware? Can I do that without the main board?

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Post by solamahn » Fri, 16 Sep 2016, 13:24

No
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 01:16

The slightly longer answer is: No, not without a lot of bother. The new main firmware likely won't have a LiFEPO4 option. You should pair 72.60 with SCC 4.10:

http://powerforum.co.za/topic/793-axper ... -for-cpu2/.
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Post by Northland » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 01:37

Well that's a pain. Haven't powered up yet so don't know what it has.

So I noticed some changes in the new board. Let's play: what's been removed and why?
Image
Both appear to have been filtering of the 230v, one on the input and other on the output. Have software changes made these redundant?

Capacitors still 63v. FETs are different though
Image
Last edited by Northland on Fri, 16 Sep 2016, 15:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Northland » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 01:59

Even though they state:

Image

?

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Post by coulomb » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 06:18

Northland wrote: Both appear to have been filtering of the 230v, one on the input and other on the output. Have software changes made these redundant?
Spike filtering and protection are not things that you can move from hardware to software. Those capacitors seem to have been removed after the goo was applied, or more likely the machine hasn't been programmed not to goo there, or the assembler forgot to not goo them any more.

I see a common mode choke replaced with links, and some movistors (protection devices) missing. It also appears that they changed relay brands. Perhaps this one is just as good and the others were out of stock, or perhaps another company tendered with the lowest price.
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 16:22

weber wrote: I can't make any sense of that response, except that it appears that you have missed some characters from the start of the response and have captured only the CRC and the carriage return. Why there is anything _after_ the carriage return I don't know. The expected response begins with "PI" followed by two ASCII digits then the two bytes of CRC and a carriage return.

Actually, I believe that the QPI command is one of the few that does not send a CRC, contrary to what the protocol document says. For all the PIP-4048-like machines, the response is "(PI30" followed immediately by a carriage return. So all those non-text bytes in the response make no sense. It seems likely that you (Ankit, to whom Weber was responding above) have a problem with timing or other communications problem.
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 16:32

Northland wrote: Even though they state: ... Support lead acid and LiFePo4 batteries ...

Yes, even though. They have claimed this since the "User" battery type was available (setting USE in parameter 05 Battery Type, and settings 26,27, and 29 which set some battery parameters).

Ok, I was being too picky; they have limited support for LiFePO₄ batteries. I claim that if they truly supported LiFePO₄ batteries, then they would have more suitable ranges for things like low battery disconnect voltage. There is also the too-early exit from bulk charging bug that seems to affect LiFePO₄ batteries more frequently than lead acid.

Edit: Your post seemed to suggest that setting 5 would have a fourth setting (other than AGm/FLd/USE), where LiFePO₄ is an explicit option that is fully supported. That's what I was saying I don't expect to see any time soon, certainly not in firmware version 74.60 which I believe your new control board is likely to be loaded with.
Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 06:36, 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 andys » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 16:52

I have 72.60 and there's definitely no LiFePO4 option.

This unit desperately needs working (non-buggy) "bulk charge voltage" and a new setting "charge termination current", before it can be considered to actually support LiFePO4, unless you're happy to finish some days with only 70% charge, despite ample PV input.

I'm ending overnight drain at 30% SoC, so I can't afford not to be fully charged by the end of a sunny day.

I'm setting up my system to automatically set (via RS-232) high float voltage in the morning, so it charges at max rate all day, and the reduce float voltage to 54.0 once the data from the BMS indicates full charge.

(edit: The above is the conclusion I came to based on my own testing, as well as the excellent work done + helpful sharing of knowledge by members of this forum) :)
Last edited by andys on Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 07:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 17:17

coulomb wrote:Ok, I was being too picky; they have limited support for LiFePO₄ batteries.
What is this "limited support" of which you speak? I see nothing more than an allowance for different types of lead-acid battery.
I claim that if they truly supported LiFePO₄ batteries, then they would have more suitable ranges for things like low battery disconnect voltage.

Indeed. But raising the low voltage cutoff range, and fixing the no-absorb bug, are not the only things we had to change to prevent PIP-4048s from mistreating 16-cell LiFePO4 batteries.

We also fixed the problem where it would not stay at the absorb voltage long enough to let the BMS balance the cells, because it only stayed until the charge current dropped below 1/5th of the maximum charge current setting or 5 amps which ever is greater. We changed it to 1/30th of the max charge current setting or 1 amp.

We also fixed the problem where the battery had to be nearly empty (4 volts below float) before it would go back to bulk/absorb. We changed that to 1 volt below float.

This patched firmware has been working fine for over a year now.
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Post by paulvk » Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 04:51

CSD19505KCS 80 V N-Channel NexFET™ Power MOSFET 150AMP

This would be the one to replace it with

CSD19536KCS 100 V N-Channel NexFET™ Power MOSFET 150AMP
Last edited by paulvk on Sat, 17 Sep 2016, 19:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 20:59

weber wrote:Once you load Coulomb's patched firmware, it will take it up to absorb voltage before falling back to float, as it should. In that case, you can expect the current to fall to zero immediately when it goes to float stage, because its state of charge will have already been taken up to 100% (or close enough) during the absorb stage.
I have been using the LiFEPO4 patched firmware and I am not sure I am seeing the inverter go into float mode. As emoncms does not seem to monitor inverter current, just inverter loading in watts.

Image

Image

Constant Voltage setting: 54.7 volts

Float voltage setting: 53.8 volts.

I am using a Victron Energy BMV302 to monitor the inverter's load current and it is uploading to MY EMONCMS DASHBOARD. It is open to public. At this time of year the charging time is limited being first month of spring. Solar generation is facing north and generation finishes at about 2:30pm due to tree shading.



Thanks,

John
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Tue, 20 Sep 2016, 17:42

Lopezjm2001 has an unusually high parasitic load on his battery. Weber determined that he needs a slightly different charge terminating condition, and sent him a modified LiFePO4 patched firmware (a patch on a patch, if you like).

Alas, this firmware update was interrupted, and now his machine doesn't seem to respond to the firmware reflash program. It happens that this is the second "bricking" that I'm aware on in the last week. One thing that John (Lopezjm2001) mentioned was the fact that after turning on his machine again after some failed reflashes, it does not even turn on the LCD backlight. This has the effect of making the machine appear "extra dead", not even doing the very basic task of turning on the LCD backlight. I imagine that this is likely to make the user, already dreading what has happened to his inverter, to feel even more dread.

It turns out that turning on the LCD backlight is a non trivial thing; it's not just flipping one IO bit as you might expect. The LCD backlight seems to be one of several things allocated to some sort of "IO expander", which involves an IIC (Inter Integrated Circuit protocol) port. The boot code doesn't seem to call this code, although interestingly the code to turn the light on or off seems to be in the same flash segment as the bootloader code.

At startup, the firmware does a simple sanity check on the firmware; if it doesn't appear to be complete, it won't attempt to run the firmware at all. This is a good thing, because if it did, it would completely crash, and you'd have no way of recovering from the firmware crashing every time it started. Instead, it runs a program called the bootloader, which attempts to "pull the inverter up by its bootstraps" by loading new firmware over the serial port. Of course, it needs a PC with all the right software waiting to send that firmware. This bootstrap loader is small and not at all fancy; the reason for this is that this part of the flash program area (one eighth, one "flash segment") doesn't get erased or updated by the normal reflash (firmware update) process. So they don't put anything fancy in there, because anything fancy will have bugs in it that need updating.

So the message here is: if only the bootloader is running, then don't expect the LCD backlight to come on, or anything to display on the LCD at all. Don't panic; just ignore the fact that you're "running blind" and keep trying to re-flash the firmware. As soon as you succeed, the full firmware should take over, which should give you full operation, including LCD and backlights.

[ Edit: in fact, not seeing the backlight come on is a good thing. It means that the bootloader is running, not the failed firmware. If you get the backlight on and it won't respond to firmware updates, then you have crashed firmware, and need to time your inverter time-on; see if you think your inverter is bricked. ]

Unfortunately, it's difficult to distinguish having just the bootloader running from a machine that has completely crashed. The sign of a healthy bootloader would be bytes coming back from the serial port, responding to bytes sent to it from the reflash program. You could see this with an oscilloscope or with a gadget that displays serial data on LEDs. Most people won't have either of these, so just trust that the bootloader is running, and retry the firmware update. If after several attempts it's obvious that it's not going to work, then the inverter really is bricked (not fatally though), and you'll need to read about JTAGing or replacing your control board (this is a small, easily replaced board that has the now-failed processor on it). JTAGing will almost certainly bring back the processor, but it's very technical and you need some hardware that isn't completely off-the-shelf.

Edit: more discussion on the reflash process immediately after the image in the LiFePO4 firmware post, and here (If you think your inverter is bricked).

[ Edit: rewrote to make it clearer that you don't need an oscilloscope or LED box if the backlight doesn't come on; just retry the flashing process. I also had an inadvertant word "not" in there that made it very confusing; sorry! ]
Last edited by coulomb on Wed, 21 Sep 2016, 05:10, 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 andys » Wed, 21 Sep 2016, 14:15

Hi PIPsters,

I received this from MPP Solar support, regarding PIP charging logic.

Image

- Andrew

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 21 Sep 2016, 14:51

andys wrote: I received this from MPP Solar support, regarding PIP charging logic.

That's really interesting, thanks for posting.

I've been trying to reconcile what it says above with what Weber and I observed last year, and what I read in the firmware. I'm unable to do so.

I think what happens is that they get some query about how the PIPs charge batteries, do a quick search among the manufacture supplied documentation, and find nothing. Snap! Oh but wait, the PIPs have the same SCC as these stand alone units, and these have charge algorithm documentation; surely they must operate the same. So we'll send the info we have on those.

The only problem is that the "surely" part of the logic is wrong, at least as far as I can tell.

I note that the above refers to a 12 V battery. You could say "oh they mean each 12 V module, just multiply the numbers by 4 for 48 V nominal". (Or divide by 4 for per-cell LiFePO4.) But I think it shows that this is documentation for a 12 V stand alone MPPT charger, which has similar hardware (scaled up for 48 V operation), and similar firmware. But one of the differences in the firmware says in essence "except if the DSP overrides, disregard all this other logic and do what the DSP says". In a PIP-4048, we do have a DSP overriding, and the above documents the "other logic" that is being disregarded.
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160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by andys » Wed, 21 Sep 2016, 14:58

Yeah, it makes no sense to me either (based on what you found, and what I observed in my own unit).

I think its become too complex for them to make changes easily.

It would be much simpler to wipe the slate clean, and only cater to Lithium packs..   we don't need all this complexity, just a normal 3 stage charger?

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sat, 24 Sep 2016, 00:57

coulomb wrote: Lopezjm2001 has an unusually high parasitic load on his battery. Weber determined that he needs a slightly different charge terminating condition, and sent him a modified LiFePO4 patched firmware (a patch on a patch, if you like).

Alas, this firmware update was interrupted, and now his machine doesn't seem to respond to the firmware reflash program. It happens that this is the second "bricking" that I'm aware on in the last week. One think that John (Lopezjm2001) mentioned was the fact that after turning on his machine again after some failed reflashes, it does not even turn on the LCD backlight. This has the effect of making the machine appear "extra dead", not even doing the very basic task of turning on the LCD backlight. I imagine that this is likely to make the user, already dreading what has happened to his inverter, to feel even more dread.

It turns out that turning on the LCD backlight is a non trivial thing; it's not just flipping one IO bit as you might expect. The LCD backlight seems to be one of several things allocated to some sort of "IO expander", which involves an IIC (Inter Integrated Circuit protocol) port. The boot code doesn't seem to call this code, although interestingly the code to turn the light on or off seems to be in the same flash segment as the bootloader code.

At startup, the firmware does a simple sanity check on the firmware; if it doesn't appear to be complete, it won't attempt to run the firmware at all. This is a good thing, because if it did, it would completely crash, and you'd have no way of recovering from the firmware crashing every time it started. Instead, it runs a program called the bootloader, which attempts to "pull the inverter up by its bootstraps" by loading new firmware over the serial port. Of course, it needs a PC with all the right software waiting to send that firmware. This bootstrap loader is small and not at all fancy; the reason for this is that this part of the flash program area (one eighth, one "flash segment") doesn't get erased or updated by the normal reflash (firmware update) process. So they don't put anything fancy in there, because anything fancy will have bugs in it that need updating.

So the message here is: if only the bootloader is running, then don't expect the LCD backlight to come on, or anything to display on the LCD at all. Don't panic; just ignore the fact that you're "running blind" and keep trying to re-flash the firmware. As soon as you succeed, the full firmware should take over, which should give you full operation, including LCD and backlights.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to distinguish having just the bootloader running from a machine that has completely crashed. The sign of a healthy bootloader would be bytes coming back from the serial port, responding to bytes sent to it from the reflash program. You could see this with an oscilloscope or with a gadget that displays serial data on LEDs. Most people won't have either of these, so just trust that the bootloader is running, and retry the firmware update. If after several attempts it's obvious that it's not going to work, then the inverter really is bricked (not fatally though), and you'll need to read about JTAGing or replacing your control board (this is a small, easily replaced board that has the now-failed processor on it). JTAGing will almost certainly bring back the processor, but it's very technical and you need some hardware that isn't completely off-the-shelf.
Thanks for the info. At the moment when I power it up I just hear one click. Probably the sound of a mini relay switching on. And that's it, no lights, nothing. Just like if it was dead.
I tried to re-flash program again but it did not work. The program only went as far as "COM OPEN" and that's it. So I guess it must be bricked. Anyhow I have removed the inverter processor board and taken a few photos for the benefit of others.

Image

Image

Image

I would love to do the Jtag thing but it sounds like it is way over my head for an electrician. Anyhow I have asked mppsolar for a price for a new board already flashed and working. Needed to take the processor board out so I can send the photo to mppsolar for replacement.
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Fri, 23 Sep 2016, 15:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sat, 24 Sep 2016, 01:40

It's downloading. LCD has come back to life. I have put the original processor board back in and applied 240v to ac input only. Nothing else except Ethernet plug for comms. Beauty.. Image
Now I will try out Webers new Lifepo4 Patch div24
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Fri, 23 Sep 2016, 16:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Sat, 24 Sep 2016, 22:17

That's great news, John. I look forward to hearing how the modified version goes.

Do you have any suggestions for improving the "What to do when you think you've bricked it" post?
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sun, 25 Sep 2016, 02:10

I don't know. Maybe Coulomb can make sense out of my experience. He seems to have it all covered.

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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sun, 25 Sep 2016, 05:08

weber wrote: That's great news, John. I look forward to hearing how the modified version goes.

I have started using a Goodwe GW2500-BP dc-dc converter to charge the battery pack so I will no longer be using the patch. On the GW2500-BP all charge parameters are configurable without having to communicate with a BMS. I'm still using the PIP4048MS but without PV connected. Thanks.

EDITED:26 September 2016 : I have gone back to using the PIP4048MS for charging so I am now using the new lifepo4 div 24 patch.
Last edited by lopezjm2001 on Mon, 26 Sep 2016, 04:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Northland » Sun, 25 Sep 2016, 17:31

I have several of these, cheap and very good quality clone. Plus it has serial out, no crc requests required
http://s.aliexpress.com/vuUV7fyQ

[ Edited Coulomb: removed spaces from URL (prevents it from working) ]
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 26 Sep 2016, 04:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by lopezjm2001 » Sun, 25 Sep 2016, 17:50

Thanks. But your shortcut does not work. The BP series only came out recently.

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