PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by ChrisHobson » Mon, 06 Jul 2015, 17:35

I have run into a small problem trying to communicate with the PIP using Tera Term. I have Win 8 installed. It will not allow we to setup a serial connection and Win 8 does not seem to have COM ports anymore.

Secondly how does one update the firmware?

I have finished mounting the 12 panels and done the running of conduit and portion of the rewiring that needs to be done (Bringing 2 phases from the generator into the house - 1 phase for general lights and 2nd phase to the PIP and the PIP's output to a few essential lights and plugs). Had a venomous snake in the loft whilst we were rewiring but fortunately she is slugglish and moved off into the deeper recesses of the loft.

Took delivery of 300 sheep ewes on Thursday so no work on the system Thursday or Friday - busy tagging and sorting the new ewes.

Today finish the battery box and wiring - hopefully.

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 06 Jul 2015, 21:23

ChrisHobson wrote: I have run into a small problem trying to communicate with the PIP using Tera Term. I have Win 8 installed. It will not allow we to setup a serial connection and Win 8 does not seem to have COM ports anymore.
Oh, it does, but some of the older USB to serial adapters don't have Windows 7/8 drivers readily available. I think Weber found some, but I can't find the email now.
Secondly how does one update the firmware?
I've never done it, but I believe everything you need [ edit: software wise ] is provided, and you "just" need to follow the instructions; see this post:
viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p54127

I'm pretty sure you'll need your USB to serial dongle talking properly for this to have any chance of working. Make sure your PIP is of the right age for this firmware update to apply; I believe that there is usually a manufacture date somewhere. Sorry, I have to dash now.
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 06 Jul 2015, 11:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by PlanB » Mon, 06 Jul 2015, 21:39

The sad state of affairs with USB drivers & a nice fix

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Post by ChrisHobson » Thu, 09 Jul 2015, 11:54

Hi I finally got the South African PIP to run this afternoon. I could not get the fans to come on but have not connected up the circuits with heavy appliances on them.My wife's hair-dryer (1200W) did not cause the fans to switch on. I am waiting for a DC CB before connecting the PVs. I initially had it running in UPS mode but running on a generator it did not like this an so I reverted to appliance mode.

The problems I was envisaging was fortunately a typo and one can restrict the charging right down to 10 A.

Thank-you all for your help Solarmahn,Coulomb, Weber, Kurt and Scottie (I think).

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Post by solamahn » Thu, 09 Jul 2015, 12:30

With 52 30 firmware, the fans run much slower on light loads. 1200w should make the fans run. You need to look at them to see them spinning. I turn the fans upside down and apply lanolin grease to their soldered terminals. I notice on late model pips that the fan soldered terminals are now coated so the lanolin grease is probably no longer necessary but I still apply it anyway.
You should use 4 10A DC breakers.
I would leave 02 set at 60A but maybe limit 11 so as not to overload the generator.
Installed another 3248 on Tuesday and doing a 4048 today.
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Post by ChrisHobson » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 00:39

I was only when I switched the PC off last night that I found that the fans were indeed running, but that they are quieter than the PC. Started this morning at 51V.

I have 4x12A solar fuses. Plan to use the DC CB as an isolator if needed. I am really battling to get some components and cannot get an isolator switch big enough. It seems every South African who can afford it is installing solar due to our government's crap power supply.

How does one check what firmware one is using? My PIP was built in June so I presume it has the latest firmware.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 02:05

ChrisHobson wrote: How does one check what firmware one is using?

It's in the lower left quadrant of the Watchpower software. "Main CPU version" is the *firmware* version for the main processor; "Secondary CPU version" is the firmware version for the SCC (Solar Charge Controller). They are different CPUs, and I believe you update the software for them separately.

You could probably also use the QVFW and QVFW2 commands with all the mucking about with CRCs. The details are on a fairly recent post here.
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5650 W solar, 2xPIP-4048MS inverters, 16 kWh battery.
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Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by solamahn » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 02:08

Or just get it from the LCD screen. Yours is probably 52 30.
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Post by ChrisHobson » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 10:21

Firmware 72 40. Probably some regional differences.

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Post by solamahn » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 11:45

Yes. Thats the lastest version. Be good to know what the difference is between the 2. I will load 72.40 and see if I can notice any changes. One difference between 52 25 and 52 30 is the fan speed. What about U2, the scc firmware. What version have you got for that. You would have to expect that 72 40 is better than 52 30. I had a problem with 52 30 when connecting generators. It would worh with 25 but not with 30. I suspect that the test that the inverter applies to the utility/generator feed is more stringent in 30. I tried apl, ups, different voltage and frequency and everything else I could think of but could not get the inverter to switch to the generator. Mains indicator icon just keeps blinking.
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Post by ChrisHobson » Fri, 10 Jul 2015, 23:28

My secondary CPU says "00000.00". I had trouble with the inverter continually switching between AC and batteries whilst running in UPS but is running smoothly in appliance mode.

Will connect the PVs tomorrow and that might be why secondary CPU has not got a value.

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Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 01:30

Yes. The scc is powered from solar power
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Post by Tjadenw » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 01:57

Hi

I've read the PIP-4048 forum back to back and learned alot. Im also a south African that's going solar due to our Unstable Grid.

I've got the Aexpert MKS plus 3k and on my model there's no serial port, its only got a USB port so im not sure how to connect to the inverter using terra term. The Axpert MKS Plus is the PIP2424 with the 60 Amp charge controller I guess.

My model also have the fans spinning at max speed all the time so i replaced with Arctic F8 ball bearing fans.


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Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 02:04

You have the latest model. They have changed from rj45 and nine pin cable to usb because most laptops do not have the nine pin serial port
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Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 02:11

Here that model is pip2424msx. 60A mppt scc. Model 2448ms is good too. As long as you don't need more than 2.4kw out. They use less idle power. 3000w scc. But no parallel function. What configuration did you use to connect the panels. I use 4 x 2 on the 2424msx. 36v 280w panels.
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Post by Tjadenw » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 02:41

One of the reasons I got the 2.4 KW model is the low standby consumption.

I'm still building my setup so only have 2 panels.

Currently I have 2 255W 36v panels in series this will be expanded to 3X2 or 3x3 if the 24 volt model can handle it I think it should be fine.

Getting 340 watt at about 13:00 in the afternoon witch is good for winter I think , pretty close to the Renesola Virtus 255w STC ratings of 189Watt per panel. The Batteries are 4 X 100Ah sealed FLA.

Initially I got the inverter to power all my light circuits and one wall plug circuit that runs my fridge, computers and other light loads during "Loadshedding" wile charging from the grid. Loadshedding is when power gets cut on a rotational bases to certain arias due to energy generation shortages of the country's sole energy suppler.

I then decided to add solar to take parts of my energy consumption off grid, inverter now running in solar priority mode and solar only charge mode.

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Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 03:01

2 x 4 works good so 3 x 3 should be ok. It seems like it is better to have the mppt scc fed with higher voltage. The mppt range for 2424msx is 30 - 115. I have tried 1 x 7 and 2 x 8. With 1 x 7, a lot of the time, the PV voltage is around 30 which is too low. 2 x 4 gives PV around 60 when loaded and works good. I will try 3 x 3 sometime. The scc is very robust. I have never had one fail. It should be able to handle 9 x 280w. I have run 3 x 5 on a 2448ms without problem. I would like to try 3 x 3 facing east and another 3 x 3 facing west on a 2448. Most of my jobs have no grid or generator connection so I like to connect lots of panels and batteries.
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Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Jul 2015, 11:45

Another good setup would be having a 4048ms with 04 set to sen and beside it a 2448ms. Common battery bank. 24 x 280w panels, 3 x 4 to each inverter and have separate ac out feeds. The 2448ms would feed lights, fridge and anything else that is on often and the 4048ms would feed the high power seldom used appliances. Only 20 or so watts idle consumption.
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Post by ChrisHobson » Mon, 13 Jul 2015, 07:31

solamahn wrote: What about U2, the scc firmware. What version have you got for that.


The U2 firmware is 1.24. Connected the panels today but overcast. 104 VDC but no current flowing - tomorrow we will see looks like it is clearing.

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Post by weber » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 06:03

Good News. The Giant Power IPS-4000WM (an Australian distribution of the PIP-4048MS) is now listed on the CEC website as having IEC 62109 approval, as you can see if you go to this web page and type "Giant" into the Manufacturer field and hit the Submit button.
http://www.solaraccreditation.com.au/pr ... rters.html
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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 14:29

So what are the benefits of that Weber?

Is it that you are you now able to apply for rebates when installing it in some offgrid situations?

Or some other benefits?

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Post by weber » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 16:24

offgridQLD wrote: So what are the benefits of that Weber?
Is it that you are you now able to apply for rebates when installing it in some offgrid situations?
Or some other benefits?

That was discussed two and a half months ago here:
viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p56615
and clarified here:
viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter& ... 332#p56655

In short, on 11-July it became illegal to connect a PV array to any Giant Power IPS inverter (or MPP Solar PIP inverter) in Australia (for safety reasons). Now it's legal to connect a PV array to an IPS-4000WM (a possibly modified PIP-4048MS). None of the lower power or lower voltage models are shown as legal on the CEC web site as yet.

I note that Giant Power now offer pre-wired lead-acid off-grid systems based on the IPS-4000WM.
http://www.giantpower.com.au/off-grid-solar/
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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 17:02

Ok, now I remember to meet the requirements to do with earth fault detection on the PV side.

last Friday My PIP4048 has developed a tick...tick...tick noise inside last time I used it. Sounded I bit like a electric fence. Not sure if it was just the stiff clear plastic shroud catching on something or flexing and making a tick as the fans created turbulence. I haven't used it again but will investigate it more and see whats going on.

One thing I can say is the PIP4048 doesn't have a precharge system as mentioned befor. I have tested it several times now (even when I let it sit for a long time befor reconnecting) I always get the spark when connecting the Anderson plug to it from the battery.
Last edited by offgridQLD on Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 07:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by weber » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 19:26

Queensland electricity charges

Those of us living in Qld and considering building load-shifting systems around the PIP inverter should see the details starting on page 2 of this Qld Gazette. All prices are excluding GST.
http://www.qca.org.au/getattachment/ff9 ... -2015.aspx
The tariffs of interest to most of us are T11 Residential, T12 Residential (Time-of-Use), T31 Night Rate (Super Economy), T33 Controlled Supply (Economy).

T31 and T33 are relay controlled, guaranteeing to be on for 8 hours and 18 hours per day respectively. They can only be had in addition to a residential or business tariff like T11 or T12.

I note that both T31 and T33 now say they can be used to supply "Electric Vehicles, at the discretion of the distributor". The distributor is Energex (SE Qld) or Ergon (rest of Qld).

But in the case of the Super Economy T31 it says, "... but not applicable ... if provision has been made to supply such apparatus ... under a different tariff during the restricted period", which sounds impractical for EV charging for most of us.

And I note that the off peak rate of T12 (Time-of-Use) is less than T33 (but greater than T31).

The daily rate is now the same for T11 (flat rate) and T12 (time of use). So you can now reduce your bill if you can use batteries and an inverter/charger to shift your loads from peak (4 pm to 8 pm Monday to Friday) to off peak (10 pm to 7am any day). Of course the amortised cost of the batteries may well outweigh the saving.

But if you were one of those early adopters who did the right thing for the environment back when PV cost $10 a watt, and are being paid 44c to 50c per kWh for your PV exports until 2028 under the Qld Solar Bonus Scheme, then your "peak" time is really during the day, say 8 am to 4 pm, when the sun is shining. That's because any consumption at that time costs you 50c/kWh in missed exports. So you'd want to shift your loads from that time to T12 off-peak (19c/kWh inc GST).

If you want to change from tariff 11 to tariff 12 you will need to phone your retailer (e.g. Origin) and request the change. I've just done it. Don't be surprised if you have to tell them what tariff 12 is. On second thoughts, do be surprised! And if you have an EM1000 meter (they didn't know what that was either),
Image
don't let them tell you that you will need to hire an electrician, or that you will need a new meter, based on some cockamamie theory whereby they get you to look at the back of your bill and if there are less than 3 lines that begin with your meter number, you will need a new meter! Respectfully say that you do not believe them and ask them to please check with your distributor. When they did, they learned that I had an EM1000 meter, which can definitely be reprogrammed for tariff 12. There is however a charge of $85 for the reprogramming, passed through from the distributor. And it may take up to 20 working days. [Edit: They also confirmed that changing to T12 would not affect my Solar Bonus Scheme entitlements.]
Last edited by weber on Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 09:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by weber » Wed, 15 Jul 2015, 20:03

Apparently Energex managed to convince the regulator to let them hit us with some additional charges not listed in the above Gazette. They will come into force on 1-August-2015. See
https://www.energex.com.au/__data/asset ... harges.pdf

I read this as saying that on 1-Aug the cost of having your meter reprogrammed for tariff 12 will go up from $85 to $100 (inc GST).

Note also the daily metering service charge of 10.6c/day which will presumably be on top of the gazetted service charge of 117c/day. And those of us with solar inexplicably get hit with an additional 7.4c/day on top of that, even though there's still only the one meter.

These are new charges from distributor to retailer (e.g. Energex to Origin) which will almost certainly be passed on to consumers.
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