PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by coulomb » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 00:45

weber wrote: Does anyone know what the conditions are that cause a PIP-4048MS to drop out of float mode...

I suspect that it is a fixed voltage lower than the float voltage parameter. In fact, 4.0 V less. There would be a time required to be at this level, say 10 seconds or so, to avoid temporary load surges from "prematurely" taking it out of float mode.

[ Edit: I now suspect that 52.02 firmware has a fixed return to boost voltage, where it needs to see less than 48.0 V for about 5 seconds. ]

This is in line with the "lead acid thinking" that seems to have shaped the design of this inverter. Unfortunately, this is a bad fit for LiFePO4 batteries. (It may well be fine for other chemistries, such as the NMC (?) used in Nissan Leaf cells.)

For LiFePO4, that means that if the float voltage is set to say 53.8 V (3.36 VPC), then the battery would have to go down to 49.8 V or 3.11 VPC. This is around 5% SOC, and the battery should almost never go that low. So the answer might be to go back to sending commands to change the float voltage, but instead of doing this every few seconds (and this constantly resetting the solar charger's MPPT algorithm), it would only be sent about once a day, when the battery falls to say 52.8 V (3.30 VPC).
Last edited by coulomb on Wed, 04 Nov 2015, 04:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 03:56

weber wrote: Hi T1 Terry. When you quoted my question, I got all excited, thinking maybe you were going to answer it. Image Never mind. Image
T1 Terry wrote:Why a 3.36v float, what was the reasoning behind that?
The lower the float voltage the longer the life. Although in a place like Queensland we shouldn't forget that keeping them cool is way more important. Ideally we wouldn't float them at all but simply stop charging until the estimated open circuit voltage fell below some threshold, say 3.29 Vpc. A number of experiments have shown that the rested voltage of a fully charged LiFePO4 cell will eventually settle around 3.36 V. Also it is just sufficiently above the 3.33 V plateau between 80% and 95% SoC to be sure it is fully charged.

After 4 yrs and 1500 cycles capacity testing as house batteries I can tell you that a 3.45v per cell float voltage when charged from solar does not reduce capacity. However, consistent under charging will require a full cycling charging regime** to get the capacity back up. Basically the same routine as after putting the cells into stored mode or when you first commission them.
Taking the cells to 3.6v and holding them there, now that does shorten their life and increases their internal resistance. The resistance issue isn't much of a problem with house batteries unless you regularly apply a load greater than 1C, you see the sag then and it's all too late.
If the cell voltage drops below 3.4v rested, it was not fully charged, try recharging and measure how much goes in each time till the voltage holds 3.4v or better, that will give you an idea how far below 100% you really were.

T1 Terry

**100% down to 20%, back to 100% continued until the capacity does not improve further
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 12:02

"However, consistent under charging will require a full cycling charging regime** to get the capacity back up. Basically the same routine as after putting the cells into stored mode or when you first commission them."

That all sounds like lead acid talk to me.

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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:00

offgridQLD wrote: "However, consistent under charging will require a full cycling charging regime** to get the capacity back up. Basically the same routine as after putting the cells into stored mode or when you first commission them."

That all sounds like lead acid talk to me.

Kurt

Maybe coincidence, the cycling routine required to get full li cell capacity would kill a lead acid battery though. Have a read through the cell manufacturers hand book, the same information is in there for Winston, Thundersky and Sinolpoly, in Chinglish of course but the gist of the information is the same.
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:06

Floating a cell at 3.45v isn't floating it. It's charging it.

Edit: I don't know of any lifepo4 cell that I have played with that will hold 3.4 v rested for long periods.



Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 09:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by solamahn » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:06

Will be good when these solid state li batteries become readily available. For the 4048 charging, it looks like you just need a break in the charging for it to go back into bulk charging mode.
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:12

offgridQLD wrote: Floating a cell at 3.45v isn't floating it. It's charging it.

Kurt

I'm assuming there is some hidden meaning in that statement, but you will need to be a bit more obvious as cryptic clues are not my strong suite....
If a cell reaches 3.45v and goes no higher is it any different to a cell at 3.36v and goes no higher?

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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:29

If you are floating it beyond its rested 100%soc voltage then current will flow.

Float in the lead acid days was a maintenance voltage to maintain 100% SOC and overcome self discharge.Edit: you would always see some current flow with lead acid and that was ok.

Float with lifepo4 is just a way in stationary storage aplicactions (using charging gear with lead acid labels) to use (float) mode to cover loads and mantan your 100% SOC (or what you like to call 100% SOC) without any net charge flow to the cell from the point that you dropped into float.

I think where we disagree is the rested voltage of a full lifepo4 cell is.

"If the cell voltage drops below 3.4v rested, it was not fully charged, try recharging and measure how much goes in each time till the voltage holds 3.4v or better"

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 09:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:40

Perhaps also you dont get enough time in the day at float to see any negative effects of high float voltage. Considering my bank is often at float by 9:30am thats many hrs to go untill the sun drops and a long hot day of high float voltage and potential over charging if current is flowing (even a small amount)

It's easy to see if your overcharging if you have several shunts on your system all logging data 24/7
Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 09:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:44

There is a new version of the PIP firmware at the MPP Solar web site:
http://www.mppsolar.com/manual/PIP-HS,% ... UPDATE%29/

This is version 72.40; last was 52.30.

I suspect that the differences are very minor, but of course minor changes can have major effects. I read somewhere that the phase locking is improved when in parallel mode, and that the fan speed control takes into account SCC charge current as well as inverter current. So if only the SCC needs cooling, it should get it. Also a minor change to the Q1 command (whatever that is; it's not documented in the protocol manual).

[ Edit: 74.40 -> 72.40. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 09:55, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 19:49

Nice,
     Is there any restriction on what model pip4848 can take the new software I recall a year was mentioned. Unfortunately I have lost the white date stamp sticker over my cover screw. So looking for other indicators of vintage.

Kurt
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Post by solamahn » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 20:06

Has anyone tried loading 01 24 firmware for the scc
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 20:18

offgridQLD wrote: Nice,
     Is there any restriction on what model pip4848 can take the new software I recall a year was mentioned. ]
Since this one is so similar to the last one, the same restriction would apply, that is, don't install if manufactured before 2014.
[ Edit: the readme.txt in that folder applies to both versions, so they both officially require 2014 models. ]
Unfortunately I have lost the white date stamp sticker over my cover screw. So looking for other indicators of vintage.

The PCBs have dates on them in the silkscreen. Unfortunately, some of these are partially hidden under a barcode sticker.

Image

The 03 in the number on the left may also be an indication of a 2014 model.

There is also the serial port that has changed over the years, as in this post of Scott's.

[ Edit: Added "that has changed over the years"; larger image; mention readme.txt . ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:48, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 coulomb » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 20:33

solamahn wrote: Has anyone tried loading 01 24 firmware for the scc

No. Note that there is also new SCC firmware, 4.00 as opposed to 1.24. That sounds like a larger change. I haven't searched to see what changes have been made to that firmware.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 offgridQLD » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 20:51

Thanks for that. I just found a very clear to see white date sticker. With the numbers 1-12 boxed in with the number 7 blacked out along side 2014 . Located In between the two + & - battery bus bars. July 2014 so I guess it's good to go.

Image

Great to see incremental updates. As some issues be it a small change from there end. Can have a big impact on the units functionality.

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by solamahn » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 21:02

Yes but I cant load either 1.24 or 4.00. Keep getting a debug assertion failure message.
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Post by Scott » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 22:09

Someone on mybroadband.co.za was nice enough to take a photo of the back of his 2015 comms board.

Image

The IC is labelled as a SC510070JDME, but after some poking around it seems to be a MC68HC908JB8. I thought it'd be a generic usb-serial chip but it's a small microcontroller.

On the plus side it looks like the pinouts on the RJ45 are the same, with +12V on pin 4. RS232 works as per normal apparently.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:04

solamahn wrote: Yes but I cant load either 1.24 or 4.00. Keep getting a debug assertion failure message.

Did you do the OCX registration process, and did it seem to succeed?
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 coulomb » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:07

Scott wrote: Someone on mybroadband.co.za was nice enough to take a photo of the back of his 2015 comms board.

Neat. I might add that to your post with the 2012/13/14 comms board photos. [ Edit: oops, I see you've already done it. Thanks! ]

So this board has a D9 for serial, a USB socket, and the dry contact terminals, left to right in the photo.

Good to see that RS232 seems to be unaffected.
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 17:10, edited 1 time in total.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 Scott » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:14

coulomb wrote:So this board has a D9 for serial, a USB socket, and the dry contact terminals, left to right in the photo.

It's the same RJ45 connector for serial, and a USB type B connector.
The inverter ships with the same RJ45 to DB9 connector, as well as a USB A-B cable.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:18

Scott wrote: The inverter ships with the same RJ45 to DB9 connector, as well as a USB A-B cable.

So what's the USB port for? Can you run the WatchPower software through USB without a USB dongle? Does it have to be a recent version of WatchPower if so?
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
5650 W solar, PIP-4048MS inverter, 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 Tjadenw » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:23

Voltonicpower revealed the 5KVA version of the updated model I mentioned earlier

http://www.voltronicpower.com/newspage.php?newsid=1075

its got 3 X MPPT trackers 180amp for a total of 9000W pv

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Post by Scott » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 03:25

coulomb wrote:
Scott wrote: The inverter ships with the same RJ45 to DB9 connector, as well as a USB A-B cable.

So what's the USB port for? Can you run the WatchPower software through USB without a USB dongle? Does it have to be a recent version of WatchPower if so?


I don't know, sorry. The guy I was speaking to wasn't able to get the drivers installed on mac, and didn't bother too much with it because serial was easier.

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Post by solamahn » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 07:46

Got it working now. Will try both 1.24 and 4.00
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Post by weber » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 08:04

coulomb wrote:
weber wrote: Does anyone know what the conditions are that cause a PIP-4048MS to drop out of float mode...

I suspect that it is a fixed voltage lower than the float voltage parameter. In fact, 4.0 V less. There would be a time required to be at this level, say 10 seconds or so, ...


Thanks Coulomb. Yes, 1 V below float is more like what we need for LiFePO4. When I get a chance, I'll try having the BMS send a serial command to the PIP, to raise the float voltage setting to more than 4 volts above the actual voltage for 10 seconds or so, when the BMS decides it's time to drop out of float mode.
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