PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

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Tejota
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Re: About comm board bypass

Post by Tejota »

coulomb wrote:
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 10:36
Tejota wrote:
Wed, 17 Jun 2020, 22:11
Is there any possibility to directly attack the UART of the control board without going through the communication board??
...
I am referring to converters of the DT-06 or HC-08 type powering directly from the 5V of the control board. With these converters the isolation is total since it is wifi or bluetooth to TTL level.
That should be fine, though I wonder at the effects of tiny capacitances to earth on Radio Frequency receivers.
Axpert King and VMIII have got built in Bluetooth converter inside. But I dont know if BT converter inject/receive data after o before optocouplers.

coulomb wrote:
Thu, 18 Jun 2020, 10:36
Tejota wrote:
Wed, 17 Jun 2020, 22:11
Even with tcpip-ttl converters like this and powered from the 5V's on the control board I think the digital ground isolation would be respected since the rj45 tcpip connector pins are never grounded.

Image

Any problems using these converters directly to the UART on the control board??
The "UART on the control board" is inside the DSP itself. [ Edit: Therefore, if you cause any problems, it's not going to be an easy chip to replace. ] I assume that CAT-5 cable is non-isolated from both the transmitter and the receiver, but I've never looked into that. Even if they are isolated by a tiny toroidal transformer, it's not clear to me that they can withstand hundreds of volts continuously, or that they will be immune to the presumably somewhat spiky voltages with respect to earth. So these I would not use or even experiment with.
Ground CAT6 wire on RJ45 is in the connector housing but this ground is not digital ground from converter USRIOT.
RJ45 TCPIP conector pinouts havent got any digital ground.

Anyway, I think to incorporate these converters, the most secure procedure is to use optocouplers and power supply from comm board.

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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by manio »

coulomb wrote:
Sun, 26 Jul 2015, 02:21
[...] we discovered a multitude of failed parts:

Image
@coulomb
I can see from the above that you had similar problem soldering out the IGBTs. Even when I use desolder station it was very hard to take it out without small damage. In my case I also took a via from one IGBT's gate on the upper layer of the PCB. But as far as I can see - the QD2 gate is only connected on the bottom layer so I hope I will be ok after soldering the replacement in... what do you think? Did you do some additional track repairing?

One more thing:
coulomb wrote:
Thu, 13 Jul 2017, 21:17
The low side battery MOSFETs are on the outside; the high side battery MOSFETs are in the middle. The primary of the high frequency transformer is the output of the MOSFET full bridge. The drains of the low side MOSFETs, the sources of the high side MOSFETs, and the inputs of the high frequency transformer are connected by a flat bar between the main PCB and the heatsink for the MOSFETs. Tabs from these two flat bars bend down at 90° to the bar, and poke through the PCB like thick square component leads [ edit: see this post for what they really look like ] :

Image
I was measuring resistance between these two flat bars (Flat bar 1 and Flat bar 2 from the transformer inputs) and the meter is showing 0 ohms (MOSFETs soldered in), I hope this is ok, right?

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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by coulomb »

manio wrote:
Thu, 25 Jun 2020, 19:12
But as far as I can see - the QD2 gate is only connected on the bottom layer so I hope I will be ok after soldering the replacement in... what do you think? Did you do some additional track repairing?
Yes, the gate should not need a plated through hole if there are no additional parts on the upper side. From memory, all the gate connections I've ever seen on these inverter-chargers are on the bottom side. So that should be fine.
I was measuring resistance between these two flat bars (Flat bar 1 and Flat bar 2 from the transformer inputs) and the meter is showing 0 ohms (MOSFETs soldered in), I hope this is ok, right?
Yes, the transformer primary winding resistance has to be very low resistance, or the losses would be horrendous. So you won't measure any resistance with a general purpose multimeter.

If you really wanted to measure the resistance, you'd have to pass a known current through the winding (say 3 A from a current limited power supply), and measure the voltage drop on the millivolt scale right at the terminals (those flat bars). Use Ohm's law (R = V/I) to calculate the resistance. I've not heard of transformers failing, but of course it could happen.
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.

manio
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by manio »

Hello!
I only want to let you know that it seems that I've successfully repaired my inverter thanks to you guys!
So far it is working properly with the nominal load :)

My special thanks goes to: @coulomb and @weber for answering my questions and helping me with the order/repair process 8-)
Thank you, I really appreciate this!


ps. here is the complete list of replaced elements:
- 4x 4200uF/35V capacitors, replacement: EKZN500ELL332MM40S
- 16x IRFB3206 MOSFETs, replacement: IRFB3206PBF
- 1x SMD 200 Ohm resistor (in the MOSFET driver), replacement
- 1x SMD 10 Ohm resistor (in the MOSFET driver), replacement
- 2x GP4063D IGBTs, replacement: chinese clone from ebay

Complete story:
https://skyboo.net/2020/07/my-skymax-inverter-died/

regards!

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weber
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by weber »

manio wrote:
Sun, 12 Jul 2020, 23:36
I only want to let you know that it seems that I've successfully repaired my inverter thanks to you guys!
Congratulations, Manio! That's great to hear. :) And thanks for the writeup.
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).

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Vissie
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Growatt SPF5000

Post by Vissie »

Good day . I have a problem on this inverter when charging the battery from AC
This is a lot like the PIP board but it does not have Q32 for charging
I need to know how it does the charging
It starts to charge and than trip my AC input circuit breaker
I cannot find any faulty components on this board
Please see photos of board
Regards
Vissie
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Re: Growatt SPF5000

Post by coulomb »

Vissie wrote:
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 21:06
This is a lot like the PIP board but it does not have Q32 for charging
But presumably it still has Q31; Q31 and Q32 are in parallel. Older boards had the two, newer boards (somewhere around 2015) only have Q31.

This/these form a buck converter with L1 and D31, when utility charging.
I need to know how it does the charging
I works by running the inverter-proper (full bridge, QA1-QD2) in reverse (appropriate phase of the gate signals in comparison to the phase of the AC-out, which is at that point connected to AC-in through the safety relays. So the problem is likely some fault in either the full bridge (but that might be OK if there is no problem until utility charging), or the buck circuit.
It starts to charge and than trip my AC input circuit breaker
Is the input breaker an earth leakage / residual current breaker, or just an overload breaker? I assume that this doesn't trip with a non-faulty board/inverter-charger connected.

If it's an RCD that trips, look for leakage to earth/chassis. Note that an RCD connected to the AC-in is expected to trip due to the EMI suppressing capacitors to earth/chassis, depending on the sensitivity of the RCD and the other leakages to earth in the house/lab.
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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Vissie
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by Vissie »

This one only has the 2 sets of H bridge IGBTs. 2 sets of 4. That Q3.. does not exist. It also has no L1 or D13.
That is why I am confused as to how the charging from AC works.

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coulomb
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by coulomb »

Vissie wrote:
Tue, 28 Jul 2020, 16:11
This one only has the 2 sets of H bridge IGBTs. 2 sets of 4. That Q3.. does not exist.
Ah. Somehow I didn't see your second and third photos. That's a Growatt, not manufactured by Voltronic Power. There are many similarities to PIP inverters, but they are not direct copies. I should have realised by the bus capacitors not being side by side. I assumed it was a 24 V model, hence the unfamiliar proportions of the heatsinks, etc.

Your images are very small, it's hard to read the text or see much detail. That's the opposite problem with many posters; they tend to post images from megapixel phones or cameras directly without resizing them down.

So I can only guess how utility charging might work for this machine. There don't seem to be enough semiconductors for double conversion, as in the PIP-MK / Axpert King.

In many Voltronic models smaller than 5 kVA, there seems to be a separate board to the main board with the AC to DC converter (utility battery charger). Is there such a board? I assume it would be obvious, and if so I assume you would have posted a photo of that board as well.

Growatt may have found a way of eliminating the buck stage. Indeed, I don't see the equivalent of L1 in your first photo. Perhaps they eliminate the buck stage by making the DC-DC converter (48 V battery ⇔ 400 V bus) somehow be variable ratio. The Voltronic Power models are a fixed 1:8 ratio (1:7 ratio for 64 V models), fixed by the turns ratio of the transformer. I don't know enough about power converters to know if this is feasible.

Edit: a final thought: perhaps this Growatt has a very restricted range of battery voltages over which it can operate? That could eliminate the need for the buck converter, at the cost of a lot of flexibility.
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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Vissie
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by Vissie »

Hi
It has a big dual solar charger but it doesn't seem like any AC is going there. Than there is the comms board in front and this little board in the back that looks like a switched power supply, that has thick dc wires going to the battery and all the other wires connecting to it from the main board are thin wires
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Vissie
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Re: PIP inverter repairs and hardware modifications

Post by Vissie »

I came to the conclusion that the control card or firmware is corrupt. And of coarse Growatt say that they cant help with firmware on such old models
I seems like the relays sometimes switch incorrectly. If my old heavy transformer is switched on and this thing stars charging that old inverter goes into a noisy buzz as if this one output unsynched ac onto the input ac line and then it trips the breaker in my db box.
I still have no idea how they do the charging from ac but thats not important anymore as I hardly ever get this things for repair
Without another control card to test with Im lost
At least it can run and charge from solar
Thanks for all the help and ideas on this one
Regards
Vissie

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