PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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coulomb
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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by coulomb » Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 21:29

Wulfee wrote:
Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 18:47
It's definitely Lithium Ion (not Lithium Iron Phosphate) so 3.7v per cell.
Ah. Actually, lithium ion is the umbrella term; LFP is a form of lithium ion battery, with an LiFePO₄ cathode. Other lithium ion batteries have cobalt or NMC or other cathode materials. Hence my confusion over what you are using.
So does the LC flavour give a more realistic battery % indicator for Lithium Ion batteries on the front display?
[ Edit: As Weber points out in the post after next, I had quite forgotten an improvement that I suspect he suggested and largely implemented in the fully patched firmwares. So the following paragraph and short answer are quite wrong. ]

Marginally, in that the wild guess is a load compensated wild guess. The guessed SOC in percent is still basically the number of tenths of a volt above the DC low cutoff setting (setting 29) minus 2%. You might be able to find a value for setting 29 that provides an acceptable indication. Non-LFP lithium ion batteries tend to range in cell voltage from about 3.6 to nearly 4.2 VPC, so that's about 0.6 VPC. For a typical 14S battery, that's about an 8.4 V range. The firmware assumes about 9.5 V (for 0% to 95%), so that's about a 10% scale error, or just over.

Short answer: not really.
Great. I may never connect solar panels to it as I already have 3 other grid connected inverters for that.
Heh. You'd think that would be enough... :)
So would I set the utility charging value to max (30A) and then control the actual utility charge level with the MNCHGC command?
Yes, though I think you'll find that the maximum is 60 A, and the default is 30 A. But yes, that is the idea.
How risky is it to update the firmware? I understand you can completely brick the inverter if it goes wrong?
99% of the risk is choosing the wrong firmware to update to. The inverter firmware design eliminates some bad combinations (by helpfully refusing to update, and not display anything to indicate this), but there are combinations that are not checked for, that can in fact end up with a bricked machine.

About 10% of the time (really wild guess), some machines (I have no idea what proportion) will appear to be bricked when they are not, due to a communications failure during the updating. The problem with a bad update is, you are only running the bootstrap loader, which doesn't bother talking to the LC Display or even the LEDs. Maybe they could have turned all the LEDs on or something simple, but they haven't bothered. That can be scary, because your machine appear to be so very dead. However, calmly starting another upload will fix the problem, at least all the times it has happened to myself or people I know. It seems that some of the communications boards are a touch marginal under certain conditions.

In the very worst case, you have to buy another control board from your supplier, and that could take some weeks to arrive, as well as cost some 10% of the inverter's purchase price. Then you try it again :mrgreen:

Short answer: the risk is slight.

[ Edit: "plus 2%" → "minus 2%". Sigh. Also adjusted the maths slightly to suit. ]
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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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by derBastler » Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 21:56

Hey coulomb,

I work for a company in the field of Li-Ion battery technology. We have tons of Li-Ion-Batteries (NMC and NCA, so 3,7V per cell).

we have VW E-Golf Batteries, VW Passat GTE, VW E-Up, BMW i3 and all other manufacturer batteries. A very typical batterie nominal voltage is 44,4V. Upper limit 50,2V, Lower Limit 38,4V

It would be great to change the PIP-5048MS to this values to bring a hugh mass of batteries into second use applications.

Do you think this is possible?
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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 06:42

coulomb wrote:
Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 21:29
Wulfee wrote:
Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 18:47
So does the LC flavour [of the patched firmware] give a more realistic battery % indicator for Lithium Ion batteries on the front display?
Marginally, in that the wild guess is a load compensated wild guess. The guessed SOC in percent is still basically the number of tenths of a volt above the DC low cutoff setting (setting 29) minus 2%. You might be able to find a value for setting 29 that provides an acceptable indication. Non-LFP lithium ion batteries tend to range in cell voltage from about 3.6 to nearly 4.2 VPC, so that's about 0.6 VPC. For a typical 14S battery, that's about an 8.4 V range. The firmware assumes about 9.5 V (for 0% to 95%), so that's about a 10% scale error, or just over.

Short answer: not really.
Coulomb is quite mistaken here. Our patched firmware gives a much more realistic battery SoC indicator on the front display, for cobalt-blend lithium ion batteries. Our SoC figure is not calculated in the way that Coulomb claims. Instead it treats the Float voltage setting as 100% and the Low Voltage Cutoff setting as 0% and scales the SoC proportionally in between, based on the load-compensated battery voltage.

Estimated_SoC = 100% × (Vbat_comp - Vcutoff) / (Vfloat - Vcutoff)

Of course it's nowhere near as good as a coulomb counter. It's maybe ±10%, assuming you have set the float and cutoff voltages correctly, and you have set the strength of load compensation ("kettle" compensation) correctly, as described in the AussieView™ and KettleKomp™ manual.
How risky is it to update the firmware? I understand you can completely brick the inverter if it goes wrong?
See Coulomb's post: If you think your inverter is bricked.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by coulomb » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 07:14

derBastler wrote:
Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 21:56
A very typical batterie nominal voltage is 44,4V. Upper limit 50,2V, Lower Limit 38,4V

It would be great to change the PIP-5048MS to this values to bring a hugh mass of batteries into second use applications.

Do you think this is possible?
It would be possible, but I think you would not be able to reach full specifications. For example, maximum power output might be around 4500 W, reflecting the ~10% lower battery voltage.

It would be a huge job. At a wild guess, it would only be possible if some company was to sponsor the development cost. It might make more sense to approach the manufacturers about a custom model. I have no idea what this would cost, but I'd say it would be way more than could be justified for hobbyist use.

If you had a commercial source of second life batteries and needed a cost effective inverter-charger to complete the business plan, and were expecting considerable volumes, it might be viable.

Short answer: not really, unfortunately.
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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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 09:12

derBastler wrote:
Sat, 02 Nov 2019, 21:56
I work for a company in the field of Li-Ion battery technology. We have tons of Li-Ion-Batteries (NMC and NCA, so 3,7V per cell).

we have VW E-Golf Batteries, VW Passat GTE, VW E-Up, BMW i3 and all other manufacturer batteries. A very typical batterie nominal voltage is 44,4V. Upper limit 50,2V, Lower Limit 38,4V

It would be great to change the PIP-5048MS to this values to bring a hugh mass of batteries into second use applications.

Do you think this is possible?
So this is 12 cells in series (12S) where normally folks would use 13S or 14S (of NMC or NCA) with the PIP inverters.

I think that our load compensation (KettleKomp™) in our patched firmware, if correctly set up, would make it possible to just barely operate with 12S of NMC or NCA cells. You would set the cutoff voltage to its lowest value of 40 V and you would set the float voltage to its lowest value of 48 V. Absorb voltage could be 50 V.

There's no harm in trying it.

It might benefit from also setting the AC output voltage down to 220 V (instead of the standard 230 V) to reduce clipping of the output sine wave when the battery voltage is low, which can create radio interference and is bad for motors. Or it may be that the PIP handles that automatically.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by coulomb » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 10:13

weber wrote:
Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 09:12
... would make it possible to just barely operate with 12S of NMC or NCA cells. You would set the cutoff voltage to its lowest value of 40 V...
I think the biggest hassle would be that the firmware will treat the battery as "weak" (with several implications, including a low battery warning and switching to bypass mode if possible) when the battery voltage drops to below 42.0 V (2.0 V above the low DC cutoff voltage, setting 29). It won't become non-weak until 4.0 V above that setting, so 44.0 V. That's nearly its nominal voltage (@derBastler mentioned 44.4 V). We do know how to change those values (the 2.0 and 4.0 V thresholds), but that would mean yet another patched firmware version or flavour to maintain.

But yes, worth a try.
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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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 11:51

coulomb wrote:
Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 10:13
I think the biggest hassle would be that the firmware will treat the battery as "weak" (with several implications, including a low battery warning and switching to bypass mode if possible) when the battery voltage drops to below 42.0 V (2.0 V above the low DC cutoff voltage, setting 29). It won't become non-weak until 4.0 V above that setting, so 44.0 V. That's nearly its nominal voltage (@derBastler mentioned 44.4 V).
But in our patched firmware, all those comparisons use the estimated open-circuit voltage of the battery, not the actual battery voltage. Figure 1 here shows that for 12S open-circuit, 40 V (3.33 Vpc) is about 1% SoC, 42 V (3.5 Vpc) is about 7% SoC and 44 V (3.67 Vpc) is about 40% SoC. Those are not unreasonable SoC thresholds for the behaviour you describe.

I agree we don't want to maintain yet another version.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by derBastler » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 19:22

weber wrote:
Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 11:51
coulomb wrote:
Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 10:13
I think the biggest hassle would be that the firmware will treat the battery as "weak" (with several implications, including a low battery warning and switching to bypass mode if possible) when the battery voltage drops to below 42.0 V (2.0 V above the low DC cutoff voltage, setting 29). It won't become non-weak until 4.0 V above that setting, so 44.0 V. That's nearly its nominal voltage (@derBastler mentioned 44.4 V).
But in our patched firmware, all those comparisons use the estimated open-circuit voltage of the battery, not the actual battery voltage. Figure 1 here shows that for 12S open-circuit, 40 V (3.33 Vpc) is about 1% SoC, 42 V (3.5 Vpc) is about 7% SoC and 44 V (3.67 Vpc) is about 40% SoC. Those are not unreasonable SoC thresholds for the behaviour you describe.

I agree we don't want to maintain yet another version.

Okay, your open-circuit compensation for the batterie voltage is definitely a big first step.

Why is it so complicated to set the limits other values? I am an electrical engineer with proper skills in microcontroller and communication stuff. I would be willing to learn to deal with this topic and maintain a NMC/NCA firmware for all these applications. Yesterday i disassembled one of the firmware files with IDA and checked what's up inside, but without your knowledge this is a lot of work.

12S NMC/NCA batteries from cars will became common case in future. In europe you can buy them for private use if you want to (exmpl https://ecaraccu.nl/) and I know that there will be more dealers for this batteries in future. 2xTesla Model S Modules(22,2V) in serial are 12S, too. That would be a good deed for the community.

What would be a reason for you to set up a firmware like this? I could send you 34kWh (one BMW i3-94) Li-Ion-Batteries of this type for motivation :D

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by coulomb » Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 20:10

derBastler wrote:
Sun, 03 Nov 2019, 19:22
Why is it so complicated to set the limits other values?
One of the reasons is that the settings are packed into CAN packets and sent from one machine to another, when they are paralleled and/or in three-phase. You have to keep track of the new bit pattern meanings, and make sure that all the uses agree with each other. Once you know where to look, it's not all that bad.
I am an electrical engineer with proper skills in microcontroller and communication stuff. I would be willing to learn to deal with this topic and maintain a NMC/NCA firmware for all these applications. Yesterday i disassembled one of the firmware files with IDA and checked what's up inside, but without your knowledge this is a lot of work.
Check for a PM; we may be able to work together on this.
What would be a reason for you to set up a firmware like this? I could send you 34kWh (one BMW i3-94) Li-Ion-Batteries of this type for motivation :D
That's certainly motivational. Let's see how things go.
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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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by Wulfee » Mon, 04 Nov 2019, 21:25

Once you have updated the firmware in your PIP, is it possible to revert back to the original (does the update create a backup of your existing firmware first) or is this a one way trip?

Will the modified firmware remove any features from the PIP? What I'm trying to say is that my PIP is the 64V version and if I change the firmware will I lose that 64V ability? Any other similar values that could be reduced (say Max charge current or similar)?

Thanks for all the advice :) .

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » Tue, 05 Nov 2019, 06:26

Wulfee wrote:
Mon, 04 Nov 2019, 21:25
Once you have updated the firmware in your PIP, is it possible to revert back to the original (does the update create a backup of your existing firmware first) or is this a one way trip?
No. Unfortunately, the update does not create a backup of your existing firmware. The existing firmware is copy-protected.

The zip file containing our patched 64 V firmware (72.20e) does however also contain the unpatched firmware of the same version (72.20), so you can at least revert to that if it turns out there is some bug in one of our patches that somehow got past testing. But of course this is not the same version that is in your inverter now (72.30). It can be a tough decision when you need to downgrade if you want to benefit from our patches, because we haven't yet obtained a copy of the latest version that is in your machine.
Will the modified firmware remove any features from the PIP? What I'm trying to say is that my PIP is the 64V version and if I change the firmware will I lose that 64V ability? Any other similar values that could be reduced (say Max charge current or similar)?
Since your PIP has the 64 V option, you can't load any non-64 V firmware. You should only load LC1_72.20e if you load anything at all (LC1 since you have lithium cobalt-blend cells, and 72.20e because that's our latest patched firmware for the 64 V PIP-5048MS). This will certainly not remove any features like 64 V ability or max charge current. In fact it only adds features and fixes bugs, relative to a PIP-5048MS(64V) with the factory 72.20 firmware. The only unknown here is what did they change between 72.20 and 72.30?
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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by Wulfee » Tue, 05 Nov 2019, 06:42

The only unknown here is what did they change between 72.20 and 72.30?
OK, I think I'll take the hit and do it. If they have added anything (unless it gives the dynamic charge control that your firmware offers) then it's nothing that I'll miss since I mainly want to tell the unit to charge and at what rate dynamically. I need to get my control software written up and tested first so that I'm ready to utilise it.

Thanks again.

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by Wulfee » Wed, 06 Nov 2019, 05:53

Is it possible to change the AC voltage from the default of 230v to 240v. Some posts on here seem to suggest it is by using POPV2400 command but when I tried this it did nothing?

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » Wed, 06 Nov 2019, 09:46

Wulfee wrote:
Wed, 06 Nov 2019, 05:53
Is it possible to change the AC voltage from the default of 230v to 240v. Some posts on here seem to suggest it is by using POPV2400 command
Yes, that's correct.
but when I tried this it did nothing?
Did you at least get a "(NAKss" in response? If not, how are you communicating with the inverter? What inverter port? What cable? What terminal software?

If so, then did you send the correct CRC characters as described here?
http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php ... 646#p66646
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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by Wulfee » Thu, 07 Nov 2019, 04:35

I'm using a python module and it works fine for all other commands I am sending. Not sure it handles NAKs too well, (seems to crash) I'll look into that but when I do any command that gets ACKed I get the ACK printed to the screen. I'm assuming that cos I don't see an ACK that I got a NAK. I've tried turning the battery switch at the bottom of the unit off before doing the command but it made no difference.

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by paulvk » Thu, 07 Nov 2019, 18:16

Been working with the Nextion display.
Not have it working with inverters yet as I have to write code to go into an atmel AVR
to sit between the display and inverter but getting the graphics together
Note the yellow dots are animated just like watch power but I had to build this screen myself even though it looks the same just looked for icons on web probably as they did!
There is another display by 4D systems similar but might be able to stand alone without a micro in between
may look into them later.
Note this is a touch screen so it will be able to control the inverter not just display parameters.
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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by Mantas » Today, 01:31

Hi All,

My one axpert 5kva/4000W inverter blew and was just replaced through my insurance but the contractor supplied a different branded one but it's still an axpert (Same stickers on the side). This new one however is a 5kva/5000w and the solar charger is rated higher at 80A vs 50A on the old one. The firmware on the new one shows as LC1 72.70. The old one and my parallel unit is on firmware U1 72.60. Can I upgrade the U1 to 72.70 and put them back into parallel? OR do I flash the LC1 72.70 to UI 72.60? I have 4 x 200ah flooded deep cycle batteries, not Lithium.

Currently I have the new one in Single mode and nothing but the batteries connected to the parallel unit just to give it juice.

I appreciate any feedback.

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Re: PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

Post by weber » 26 minutes ago

Hi @Mantas. Welcome to the forum. Thanks for giving all the needed detail up front, to enable us to help you.

The replacement you have been supplied with, is not a rebranded Voltronic Power Axpert MKS 5K but a pirate copy or "clone". See Coulombs post:
Do I Own a Clone? (Oh, moan!).

And I'm guessing its firmware is actually LC1_72.70c. Note the "c" on the end. The pirates are unethically using firmware patched by Coulomb and I!

Even if you had been supplied a proper rebranded Axpert MKS 5K, it would be a 5 kVA/5 kW (PF1) variant, as the 5 kVA/4 kW (PF0.8) variants are obsolete. This causes problems for being able to parallel with the remaining 5 kVA/4 kW variants. See Coulomb's other posts:
Parallel compatibility of various firmware versions
Can I update my firmware, and if so, to what?
The only firmware that will allow 5kW to be paralleled with 4kW, while fixing the premature float bugs, is PB1_72.70b. You should load this into all your parallel machines.

However the clones typically do not allow their firmware to be changed at all! We suspect they do not even contain a bootstrap loader. So that's the first thing to find out. You should attempt to reflash the new one with PB1_72.70b. You may need to ask the contractor to swap it for for a real Voltronic.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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