PIP-5048MK inverter

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NuOG
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

Hi all, total newbie on here. I'm an HVAC tech as well as designing and building PLC controlled machines. I moderate on a PLC forum. Enough about me.

I've been perusing this topic on and off for about a year, got 2 x 5048s a while back but circumstances prevented installation. Am now getting around to it in little bursts.

Being tech minded and HVAC, can someone give me a good reason why I could NOT install the units upside down? I agree the fan draw seems strange, but they must have done it for a reason and people have found the locations of sensors etc which appear to rely on flow as designed. So the logical thing is to enable convection to do it's bit, but not change anything except for aiding the desired flow. I haven't yet had one of the units apart to have a good look at things, no doubt I'd pick up NTCs etc in no time.

If upside down, I'd effectively shield the "open" areas of the units against gravity dropping things in, but this is unlikely to be an issue anyway as......

My units are going into a force fed filtered air enclosure, to get around dust and temp issues. I was initially going to use the existing fans drawing from special ducting, but it is much easier to have an EC unit drawing through the filters and supplying the enclosure, with exhaust as necessary, which the standard fans will then use. The main intake is going to be running along a special long duct I'm doing to enable heat transfer from a large sun-shielded concrete slab. This location gets to +45 ambient in the "shed" it is all in, but the shielded slab area is always relatively cool and there's a lot of thermal mass there. I'm envisaging an effective ambient for the MPPs on even the hottest days being about 30°inside their insulated enclosure.

Next left field question. Has anyone interfaced SSRs into the arrays, so that larger arrays can be switched in and out automatically? I have been able to pick up heaps of panels for zip, and it would be great if on bad days I can run them all to keep up good input. My plc abilities would let this happen fairly easily. The only hiccouph I see on this might be the nature of SSRs perhaps affecting MPPT tracking. I could even shift things onto a contactor as the permanent change-over switch, just using the SSR to be the initial & end connector to get around possible arcing issues. The ideal would be running all the panels on a rotating FIFO system, but this is likely not worth the cost and effort. Just have the same ones to be on/off line as needed.

No doubt I'll pop in now and then with further questions I'm stuck on, but it's all going to be taking a while to get up and running, and I'll appreciate any thoughts on the above.

Cheers for now,

TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by coulomb »

NuOG wrote: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 11:35 Being tech minded and HVAC, can someone give me a good reason why I could NOT install the units upside down?
You mean like this?


From this post. @andys, are you still running yours like that, and have you noticed any problems?
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-5048MK inverter

Post by andys »

coulomb wrote: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 13:02 From this post. @andys, are you still running yours like that, and have you noticed any problems?
I haven't noticed any problems. I am also running the fans at full speed (I removed the speed/timing wire)
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

coulomb wrote: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 13:02 You mean like this?
Yes.

Thanks Coulomb and Andy's, hadn't found that one! It helps that you guys have been here for a while. I note the fan speed mod, my EC fan on the main supply is going to be varying it's speed proportional to cabinet temp all the time, so I may let the link stay put for now and see how it goes.

cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by andys »

NuOG wrote: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 13:45 Thanks Coulomb and Andy's, hadn't found that one! It helps that you guys have been here for a while. I note the fan speed mod, my EC fan on the main supply is going to be varying it's speed proportional to cabinet temp all the time, so I may let the link stay put for now and see how it goes.
Not that mine was a previous model (4048MS) but they do all seem similar.

My thinking was that as noise is not an issue for me, why not run fan at full speed? Its only going to cool it down more and lead to a longer service life, especially with the capacitors which are known to run close to their rating.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by paulvk »

NuOG wrote: Mon, 10 Aug 2020, 11:35
Next left field question. Has anyone interfaced SSRs into the arrays, so that larger arrays can be switched in and out automatically? I have been able to pick up heaps of panels for zip, and it would be great if on bad days I can run them all to keep up good input. My plc abilities would let this happen fairly easily. The only hiccouph I see on this might be the nature of SSRs perhaps affecting MPPT tracking. I could even shift things onto a contactor as the permanent change-over switch, just using the SSR to be the initial & end connector to get around possible arcing issues. The ideal would be running all the panels on a rotating FIFO system, but this is likely not worth the cost and effort. Just have the same ones to be on/off line as needed.

No doubt I'll pop in now and then with further questions I'm stuck on, but it's all going to be taking a while to get up and running, and I'll appreciate any thoughts on the above.

Cheers for now,

TJ
I think its simpler and more effective to just have another MPPT unit on more panels I use the Esmart-3 units I have 9 x 250 watt panels on it and the two PIP4048s have 12 x 240 watt panels it all works fine. The Esmart also works better at MPPT than the PIPs , it has output terminals that can be set to on/off for various settings of PV volts , batt volts or time of day (inbuilt RTC) for me it is now disconnecting my nickel iron battery from the lead acid banks when they start to bulk charge and charging the nickel iron to 64 volts it has a mod buss output for control and monitoring.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

Thanks Paul, but that has left me a little confused. My read on your write is that you have both systems charging the same bank, until it switches out to just charge the NIFe.

If this is the correct interpretation, don't 2 charge controllers conflict with each other?

The other associated issue is my primary aim is to directly make maximum use of daylight hours, with minimal draw in the dark, which will be something like 2-3kw/hrs at most. This is all a bit of an experiment to see if a storage idea works. I have roughly 18kW of panels from an upgrade salvage. Hence my wanting to parallel them in to the PV side when suitable. My thinking is that this is preferable to having things essentially drawing from the battery lines, but I do see how that would also work. Just the potential conflict could be an issue.

I have to say at this point that I haven't even got the units hanging yet, and haven't actually played/investigated with all the menus as I felt it would be much easier once able to see and navigate in the flesh.

If there is conflict, can the Esmarts be "ganged" so that they work together? I could perhaps use a few of them and if possible (via menu settings) just have the PIPs only drawing from the bank. I'm using 4 X 12v 330A/hr SLAs for this project, and trying to get no greater than 20% DoD. But I want to have around 8kW during daylight as much as possible, hence the panel question. I know this will not be possible during dawn/ dusk blah blah, but the aim is to use all the panels when desirable.

cheers, and thanks all for input so far,

TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

And a PS to the above. It would seem a bit silly to only have the PIPs drawing, when the primary things they can do includes charging!
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

especially with the capacitors which are known to run close to their rating.
Given that I haven't mounted the units yet, is it worth me changing the caps to better ones beforehand? I'm happy to do this if people think it would be beneficial. I'm not talking going right through the unit, just perhaps changing ones that people think are the main cause for concern.

cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by paulvk »

I have not changed my ones and the units have been going for more than 6 years BUT I do almost no AC charging
relying on the sun for that and just go back to grid when batteries are low. So I think the problem is the AC
charging is what stresses the capacitors and its early units like my ones which are most prone so if you do not
intend to AC charge you may be ok. The other thing maybe is my battery cables are short and very heavy 35mm2.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

Thanks Paul, I am planning on doing no AC charging, just minor boosting if needed. "35mm²" ....my having lots of old but good welding cables is very useful at times! I'm aiming for max length of 2.5m from the ends. Any further comments about my Esmarts' questions to you please?

DC breakers.....do people on the forum have a preferred unit that is both cheap and effective? I'm planning on having both breakers and separate isolation for the batteries. But will happily shift to any better alternative people have generally found that is also good $s savings.

cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by paulvk »

The 35m2 cable is for the batteries.
I use AC/DC DIN circuit breakers but the data sheets must be read as not all AC circuit breakers can be used for DC
my job was working in telecommunications with 48v dc systems the miniature AC breakers were used extensively
as an example the Noark Ex9BP series can be used both for the battery and PV
I used C curve 63 amp for my battery feed to the inverter
Note with C curve it can be five times that current before it trips on short duration overloads
but its there to protect the cables so that is not a problem.
It is good to read about the circuit breakers and what the C and D curves mean
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

Thanks Paul, I know about different curves, my game is this stuff all the time. HVAC and machine design/building.
My 35mm comment was simply saying I have lots of much larger stuff due to the nature of my work, and yes...it's for the the batteries.
Re the protection, as this project is essentially one big experiment I was seeing if there were any favourite "cheaper" versions out there, instead of the likes of Moeller, Schneider, Noark etc.
cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by paulvk »

Larger cable is ok for batteries I simply had 20 meters of blue 35mm2 cable so just purchased a
few meters of 35mm2 orange welding cable for +ve.
I have found the noark low cost been paying $3 to $5 AU for them.
I purchased a cheap $50 hydraulic crimping tool off ebay and crimped all my cables with lugs
You might know the curves but when it is DC it can be 5 times depends on the particular breaker so its specs have to be looked up.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

OK Paul, I've been ahuntin' and I can't find the Noarks anywhere at that price range. I'd love you to tell me your secret supplier! If you can.
cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by paulvk »

https://www.rockby.com.au/Index2012.cfm
The EX9BH are rated for 12V to 48V DC prices vary but as low as AU $1.50
If it is needed for more than 48V DC multi pole units can be used a 3 pole one with poles in series
could be used for 144 volts this is because the distance between contacts is enough to break the ark.
Here on page 5 near the bottom the specs https://www.noark-electric.eu/en/documents-software?

A note about circuit breakers for those reading:
They have a KA rating this is the maximum power they can interrupt you will see commonly 10KA , 6KA , 3KA , 4KA , 4.5KA
you must not put a lower rating before a higher one they preferably should be the same but its fine to have a lower after a higher
but never the other way around. Also you should read the installation instructions electricians twist wires all the time but if
they read the instructions you do not do this for nearly all the circuit breakers as a clamp type connection is used and
when you twist the wires there is space left that allows the twisted wires to move out under the clamp pressure and become loose
this can lead to a hot joint burning the wires and circuit breaker I have seen this more than once.

The job of the circuit breaker is to protect the cables and prevent fires in case of worst case a short circuit
they are not there to protect the devices connected to the circuit.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by weber »

And most importantly, the protection device closest to the battery must have a kA rating (interrupting capacity) that is greater than the maximum short circuit current of the battery. Otherwise, in the event of a short circuit, it will not go open circuit but will continue to arc over and will not prevent a fire.

Typical short circuit currents for non-AGM lead acid batteries are 20C (a current in amps that is 20 times the capacity in amp hours). 40C for AGM. 50C for LFP. So, for example, a 200 Ah LFP battery will typically have a short circuit current of 50 × 200 = 10 kA, while a typical Noark only has an interrupting capacity of 5 kA.

HRC fuses have much higher interrupting capacities than circuit breakers, which is why fuse switch disconnectors are commonly used for battery cable protection and isolation. Coulomb and I use 22x58 size or NH00 size fuses in a matching double-pole (or triple-pole with one pole unused) fuse switch disconnector. e.g. https://www.solamart.com.au/product-tag/battery-fuse/
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

Thanks Paul and Weber,
(Weber.....funny name on an EV forum!! If you don't get this you're not old enough! And I'm not talking about BBQ stuff. Anyway I digress.)

Appreciate the info. I do actually prefer HRCs in high current situations, so may well go for the units Weber and Coulomb use.

In relation to Paul's observation about simply inserting stripped ends into MCCBs etc, anything with a cage is essentially a don't twist the strands item. I have seen many different types of connections cooked, because strands have been twisted and then put into a cage clamp. The one proviso is that comparison b/n cable diam and cage width always needs to be taken into account. Bootlace pins are a different matter, but generally bootlacing is much lower power anyway.

A regular scan with the FLIR, or even a cheap version, easily checks any type of connection when the relevant item has been under full load for a while.

I have the two units mounted now....upside down. The only hiccouph found was the lack of a hole in the mounting "foot" under the pcb expansion area. Best to drill this first! Talk about cost cutting going to extremes...I'm sure that not punching that one hole will save .00005cents per turret run. Now that I have covers off, the build doesn't look too bad at all.

I also note that the 9 pin serial and twisted pairs cables for parallel work run unavoidably close to the AC lines. I think I'll fold a special little cover to protect them a little better.

cheers, TJ
Last edited by NuOG on Sat, 22 Aug 2020, 13:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by NuOG »

And a PS, sorry. Is there a favourite firmware at present? As the units are almost a year old, it is likely worth me updating. But I'll happily go to whatever people have found best if the latest isn't so great.

cheers, TJ
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by coulomb »

NuOG wrote: Sat, 22 Aug 2020, 07:26 Is there a favourite firmware at present?
Alas, there doesn't seem to be a firmware set that everyone is gruntled with. The best so far seems to be main firmware version 71.92, and removable display version 02.49. There is also main firmware version 71.93, but it's not clear if that's ready for public consumption yet. All these are available from the firmware section of this topic's index.
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-5048MK inverter

Post by CocasDaNeve »

Hello, guys, does anyone know if the older machines are compatible with the newer ones hardware-wise?

I have one of the earlier ones, I asked MPP support why on earth the manual has options that my machine lacks, like the Pylontech compatibility, which they say is not compatible with older models like mine, but to be honest their support is only useful if you want to buy something, otherwise they just string you along with question after question until you get tired and give up. I've been sending them (at their request) photos, videos, graphs and logs for over a year regarding one of the most annoying quirks of my firmware, it will always charge from the AC at 2A (sometimes 10A, when it feels like it) regardless of the settings, even if AC charging is specifically disabled. Sometimes it also doesn't discharge the battery to whatever voltage I chose, stops at 48.0V. That new firmware version, "71.93 No AC force charging", got me intrigued, but I'm a bit afraid my machine is actually truly incompatible with newer firmware versions.

Has anyone tried to update one of these:
U1 - 71.50
U2 - 01.12
U3 - 00.21
U4 - 01.10

It's a shame the firmware is so bad, the hardware is actually decent and the double conversion feature is pretty cool for the price point.

Best regards.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by XtractorFan »

CocasDaNeve wrote: Tue, 25 Aug 2020, 04:28 Hello, guys, does anyone know if the older machines are compatible with the newer ones hardware-wise?
Read my (much) earlier post https://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=76514#p76514
Basically I was conned by MppSolar 'support' to buy a new controler board for the upgrade - but it was the same as the original.
I haven't seen any evidence since that newer models are any different.

Mine had v71.50, so I reckon you are in the same boat.

I live with the minimal 2A AC charge, my take is that as ALL the internal electronics run from the 48V battery, it ensures that it gets a trickle charge when grid is available.
The only way to stop it (haven't tried the 71.93 firmware) is to use a contactor before the PIP and disconnect when you don't want it.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by bloubul7 »

XtractorFan wrote: Tue, 25 Aug 2020, 15:47
CocasDaNeve wrote: Tue, 25 Aug 2020, 04:28 Hello, guys, does anyone know if the older machines are compatible with the newer ones hardware-wise?
Read my (much) earlier post https://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=76514#p76514
Basically I was conned by MppSolar 'support' to buy a new controler board for the upgrade - but it was the same as the original.
I haven't seen any evidence since that newer models are any different.

Mine had v71.50, so I reckon you are in the same boat.

I live with the minimal 2A AC charge, my take is that as ALL the internal electronics run from the 48V battery, it ensures that it gets a trickle charge when grid is available.
The only way to stop it (haven't tried the 71.93 firmware) is to use a contactor before the PIP and disconnect when you don't want it.
I can confirm that the new firmware does activate the Pylontech compatability on older models. I have upgrade my unit from v71.40 to 71.93 and it is working.

The latest firmware is however still riddled with bugs. 71.93 works well in stopping the AC charge and keeping the battery from further discharging.
Current bugs experienced in 71.93:

* SUB mode not working, it is not blending the load and pulls the full load from the grid
* The number of connected batteries (pylontech) flucuates the whole time, this causes the battery charging amps to continously change.
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by XtractorFan »

bloubul7 wrote: Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 16:29 I can confirm that the new firmware does activate the Pylontech compatability on older models. I have upgrade my unit from v71.40 to 71.93 and it is working.
Many thanks for your input, nice to see MppSolar are keeping up the standard of their work :?
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Re: PIP-5048MK inverter

Post by CocasDaNeve »

Worse than the 2A charging, what annoys me more is that it actually charges at 10A for 2 hours or so, that's just wear on the battery for no reason that I can understand.
Image

I don't really care about the battery link, to be honest, if it just did everything it was programmed for in the menus I would be 100% satisfied. If the newer firmware releases have newer bugs I guess I'll wait for better firmware releases (unless these are not new bugs and are already present in mine). If I have been complaining over a year about this why didn't they provide me with the option to use the newer firmware? They didn't even offered me the option of buying the new control board to update. They just kept asking for additional logs, photos and videos until I got tired and gave up.

Regarding MPP support cons, I had 2 original 5048MS units bought from MPP a year or 2 ago, then one of the users complained the machine stopped working with error 90, a couple of weeks later the other user complained, the machines stopped working exactly 2 months after turning them on, support acknowledged the problem and was willing to cover the control boards under warranty, but I had to pay a shitload of money for shipping... Found this forum, installed one of the available custom firmwares, working fine ever since.

This is one of the worst devices that I've ever seen firmware-wise, coupled with the worst support.
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