PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 21:31

72.70b Patched Firmware Instructions

[Edit: The following files are no longer recommended or supported. Please see the Firmware section of the index post to find the latest version for your model. But the following reflashing instructions are the only ones available, and are still valid for the newer versions, although we no longer recommend updating the SCC firmware.]

dsp_LF1_72.70b.zip (For lithium ferrous phosphate (LFP) only (16s))
dsp_Pb1_72.70b.zip (For other lithium ion chemistries (14s), and lead-acid (24s))
SCCMPPTReflash_V4.10.zip (if needed; 1.8 MB)

NOTE: the above LFP and Pb patched firmware is for the PIP-4048MS / Axpert MKS 5kVA; it is probably not suitable for use with a PIP-4048HS, Axpert KS (note lack of "M"), or other non-MPPT based inverter. It will also not work on 24 V or 12 V inverter models. While it is possible that the patched firmware might work in a non-MPPT inverter with only minor problems (such as allowing 60 A of solar charge current when the hardware is only capable of 50 A), it is also possible that other hardware incompatibilities could cause the inverter to blow up. Such operation has never been tested and is highly discouraged.

NOTE: the above V4.10 SCC firmware is for the SCC inside a PIP-4048MS / Axpert MKS 5kVA; it is not suitable for use with a PCM60x or other stand alone solar controller. The PCM60x and the SCC seem to have essentially the same hardware, but the PCM60x makes its own decisions about voltage and current, and drives its own display, while the SCC has no display of its own, and relies on messages from the Axpert's DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to tell it what to do.

Image

You will need a Windows computer and a USB to D9 serial adapter, or a very old computer with a real serial port. You can't use the USB port of the inverter if it has one; that's only for monitoring programs. (Exception: some lower power models only have a USB port, in those cases the Windows reflash tool is different and is able to talk to the USB port. For those models, the USB to serial adapter is not used, and a standard USB cord, as you would use for a printer, is used instead.) Use the serial to RJ45 cable that came with your inverter-charger. (Lost it? Pinout here.) Some serial adapters (or possibly the combination of serial adapter and Windows version) seem to be more suitable than others; see earlier posts on this. The known-good USB to serial adapters use a PL2303 chip; see this post.

If, when you plug in your serial adapter, you get a notification similar to "a device is undergoing additional setup", wait until it says something like "update complete".

Power up your inverter charger by connecting the battery, which should not be nearly empty. Turn on the inverter switch. Make sure that your computer has power that won't go off during the reflash process. Disconnect all loads, and disconnect solar panels unless you are updating the SCC firmware.

Download and unzip the appropriate zip file above. Use the Windows File Manager "Extract All..." context menu item (right click menu) and follow the prompts to extract into a new folder. Make sure you are not running any software that could be using the serial port, in particular, exit the WatchPower application. Don't just close the application; use the right mouse button on the WatchPower system tray icon, usually at the bottom right of Windows:

Image

The file name the reflash tool looks for is fixed, it's always "dsp.hex" in the same folder as the reflash tool. In the zip file, dsp.hex is already a copy of the patched firmware.

Finally, double click on the ReflashTool_Xseries.exe icon. If you get a box with something like "The app you're trying to install isn't a verified app from the Store", click Install anyway. This should bring up the small reflash application. If necessary, change the serial port selection to the one that connects to your inverter.

Click on the Update button, and answer Yes to "Are you sure". Nothing will appear to happen for 10-20 seconds, so don't panic. Eventually, new text should start appearing in the box under the progress bar, saying that erasing has been successful and so on. It will take some 8 minutes to complete the flash programming. At the end, just click OK and exit the reflash application.

If you get an error to do with the serial port (e.g. invalid serial port, or the serial port doesn't appear in the drop down list), it's probably because you have something running that is keeping the serial port in use. Double check that you have exited WatchPower and any terminal emulation programs like TeraTerm. You may need to change the com port used by the USB to serial adapter to be named COM1 through COM9 for the reflash tool to see it (Device Manager, Ports, Properties, Advanced). Merely choosing another USB socket on your computer might work. On my laptop, the two most convenient USB ports come up as COM10 (not usable) and COM6 (usable). After changing ports, restart the reflash tool; it doesn't refresh its list of available COM ports.

The standard instructions say you should revert all the settings to standard, then change them to suit your needs. As long as you had been running a recent firmware (52.30 or later), this should not be necessary. But if you were running an earlier firmware, or if the settings seem strange after the update, use WatchPower to reset to default settings, then change them to suit your needs.

The instructions say to turn off the inverter after the firmware update. This doesn't seem to be necessary.

If something goes wrong, see the If you think your inverter is bricked post.

Using Watchpower

WatchPower comes for free and allows basic interaction with the inverter(s). However, many find that it does not meet all their needs. In this case, consider some of the many other monitoring programs available. A few of them are referenced from the index at the start of this thread.

WatchPower is not aware of the changes to the range of the battery low cutoff voltage and the back to utility voltage parameters. You will not be able to change these values with WatchPower outside their original range. Instead, you can use the LCD buttons, or any software that changes these settings via the PSDV or PBCV commands.

SCC updating

[Edit: This is no longer required or recommended, with DSP patched firmware version 72.70c or later.]

It's not essential to update to the latest SCC firmware when updating the DSP firmware, especially if you don't think you'll need more than 60 A of maximum charge current.

There are two reasons why updating the SCC firmware is a little more difficult than updating the DSP firmware.

Firstly, the updating process uses a completely different updating program, and for whatever reason, they insist that the USB to serial adapter has to be on COM1. To do this, run Device Manager, under Ports (COM & LPT) locate your USB to serial adapter, right click to bring up the context menu, and select Properties. Choose the Port Settings tab. Click Advanced... and in the COM Port Number drop down box at the bottom of the dialog select COM1. Restart the computer for this to take effect.

Secondly, there is a .OCX driver that needs to be registered. There are instructions for this in a PDF file with the other upload files. You need to run a command prompt as administrator and enter a command to regsvr32.exe with the name of the .OCX file as its only argument. You can use the tab key to help fill in parts of the path (path completion? A bit like command completion). It's not too hard, and you only need to do this once. If you get an assert failure when you attempt to flash the SCC firmware, it's possible that this OCX registration hasn't happened or didn't succeed (perhaps an incorrect path to the .OCX file was given).

Remember also that the SCC is only powered up from the PV inputs. So make sure that you have PV input. An easy check is to attempt to view the SCC firmware's version number. If you can see that, the SCC is powered up and talking to the DSP.

[ Edit: Added notes to disconnect all loads, and disconnect solar panels unless updating SCC. Also, battery should not be nearly empty. ]
[ Edit: Added sentence (was paragraph briefly) about additional setup. ]
[ Edit: Added comments re app store and trying different USB ports. ]
[ Edit: Removed comment about no folder inside the zip file. ]
[ Edit: "Registration failure hasn't happened" -> "registration hasn't happened". ]
[ Edit: "USB port" -> "USB socket on your computer". ]
Last edited by weber on Tue, 07 Nov 2017, 11:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by weber » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 22:12

andys wrote:Unless I read this wrong, this is great news isn't it? It means it will reset to bulk charging overnight (or if there's not enough PV input for 30 minutes)

Didn't it go back to bulk overnight with previous firmware, based on the existing criterion of going more than 4 volts below the float setting (or 1 V below for our LFP patched versions)?
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Post by andys » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 22:14

weber wrote:
andys wrote:Unless I read this wrong, this is great news isn't it? It means it will reset to bulk charging overnight (or if there's not enough PV input for 30 minutes)

Didn't it go back to bulk overnight with previous firmware, based on the existing criterion of going more than 4 volts below the float setting (or 1 V below for our LFP patched versions)?
Mine doesnt drop 4V overnight. And I don't use patched firmware - I was holding out for an official fix Image

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Post by weber » Sat, 25 Feb 2017, 03:47

Fair enough. So yes, it should let Lithium batteries return to bulk overnight, without requiring our patches.

But they still haven't fixed the bugs that let it go prematurely from bulk to float. Our patched firmware remains the only fix for that, whether for lead-acid or LFP.
Last edited by weber on Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 19:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JvdSpoel » Sat, 25 Feb 2017, 09:12

How do I upload use manual for Axpert version 70.70? I got the original pdf with all relevants comments.

It also gives the complete equalisation procedures.
Last edited by JvdSpoel on Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 22:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Sat, 25 Feb 2017, 14:37

JvdSpoel wrote: How do I upload use manual for Axpert version 70.70?

Just use the Post Reply button Image under the last post of the page, and use the File Upload toolbar button (yellow folder with the G-clamp around it, Image) to start the file upload dialog. Just hit the Choose File or Browse button, locate your file, and follow the prompts. You can add text to the upload as well.

The file size limit is 3 MB. If it's larger than that, or not a usual file format (.pdf, .zip. .rar etc) then you'll have to upload to a third party storage site and post a link.

[ Edit: it seems that new members don't get upload privileges, until they have made a certain number of posts. ]

I'd be interested to know where you obtained the file, if you're willing to say.

[ Edit: added Post Reply button image. Some browsers have a Browse button in place of a Choose File button.]

Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 25 Feb 2017, 15:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Sun, 26 Feb 2017, 02:55

JvdSpoel was kind enough to email me his copy, since he doesn't have upload privileges yet.

You can access it from this Google Drive link. It's viewable from there, but I find it more convenient to download it (3.9 MB) and view locally with a PDF viewer.
Nissan Leaf 2012 with new battery May 2019.
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160 W solar, 2.5 kWh 24 V battery for lights.
Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by JvdSpoel » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 00:36

Hi All,

Error Code 51

I got a couple of Axpert 5MKS inverters which I have replaced with new one's for customers which gave me a Error 51. The inverters still work but will come up with the error intermittently.

I would like to repair these one's so that I can use them for swopout units - anybody who have had these problems and repaired the mainboard who can assist? Which components are the probable cause - the IGBTs or Mosfets. Since they are working I assume that it could be component failure which is busy to happen.

The service manual does not give a lot of information about the error and what needs to be replaced. Like a error 09 I know that the IGBTs and mosfets had gone.

Thanks
Johan

   
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 28 Feb 2017, 05:07

JvdSpoel wrote: Error Code 51

I got a couple of Axpert 5MKS inverters which I have replaced with new one's for customers which gave me a Error 51. The inverters still work but will come up with the error intermittently... Which components are the probable cause
   

Error 51 is only set from the two main interrupt routines. I don't have a lot of detail at this stage, but it seems to be associated with an instantaneous current sample exceeding 192 A. Presumably this is on the battery side. [ Edit: I no longer believe this; see correction in this post. ]

Assuming that there aren't such currents about, even for short periods of time, the fault would seem to be associated with that current measurement. So some current shunt (which may be an area of printed circuit trackwork), or filter components associated with that measurement. Likely there is also an op-amp to amplify the small shunt voltages to the three volts or so that represent full scale on the DSP analogue inputs. Any components around this op-amp could cause such trouble.

This one doesn't seem to involve the MOSFETs or IGBTs.

[ Edit: "during one of the two" -> "from one of the two" (main interrupt routines) ]
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 27 Feb 2017, 18:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by andys » Thu, 02 Mar 2017, 17:36

Does anyone know if the Parallel mode still lets you set all the same parameters as single mode?

eg. User battery mode with custom battery voltages.

The manual has confused me a bit and has me alarmed as I was planning to use parallel mode with a LiFePO4 pack.

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Post by coulomb » Thu, 02 Mar 2017, 19:28

andys wrote: Does anyone know if the Parallel mode still lets you set all the same parameters as single mode?

Yes, certainly user battery type and all that. I think the only setting you lose is the one associated with the low power mode, where it pulses the output when the load is very low.

The manual has confused me a bit...

Weber was joking to me recently in email that we need a patched manual Image
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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Post by andys » Thu, 02 Mar 2017, 21:25

coulomb wrote: I think the only setting you lose is the one associated with the low power mode, where it pulses the output when the load is very low.


OK, thanks. That reminds me - once paralle mode is set up, is it possible to regularly power down a slave (to save on idle power at night) by turning off the switch at bottom, without stuffing up the parallel mode?

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 03 Mar 2017, 22:41

Somehow I didn't take notice of the fact that one of the changes in official firmware 72.70 is that the "qualifying time" for transitioning from absorb stage to float stage has been increased from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. It is possible that they did this in a misguided attempt to fix the original charge bug, which allowed a transition from absorb or even bulk stage to float stage too early. The qualifying time is the time that the voltage must exceed a threshold, and the current stay below a threshold, with no exceptions. When utility charging, this is not much of a problem, but when charging from solar (hopefully the common case), the many overshoots and undershoots of battery voltage and current due to clouds, sun, and load changes, makes it exceedingly difficult to meet both criteria for 10 minutes with no exceptions. User Don from the South African Power Forum, has found that his twin Axperts typically won't go to float, bouncing around most of the day near the absorb voltage setting (setting 26), until he switches to utility charging. After utility charging is started, the absorb stage completes in 20-60 minutes.

At about the time I was reading this, I was also having trouble getting from absorb stage to float stage, running patched firmware 72.70A. I thought that this was due to one cell "running away" to over 3.6 V, causing my LyteFyba Battery Management System to turn off the PV contactors. This protects my cell, but stops the charging altogether, and it has to charge back to where it was, and start the 10 minute timer all over again. It occurred to me that if I had the 30 second qualifying time that was used in official firmware version 72.60 and earlier, I would avoid this problem.

Thus was born patched firmware 72.70b, the same as patched firmware 72.70A except for the 30 second qualifying time to transition from absorb stage to float stage. This only applies when the absorb time setting (setting 32) is set to "Aut" (automatic, the default setting).

See this earlier pair of posts for description and download details (these were the 72.70A posts, now updated for 72.70b).

I've tested this at home, and although available solar power has been poor, today it made float quite soon after the current dropped below my threshold (8 amps). Time will tell if this still happens when much more solar power is available.
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 03 Mar 2017, 11:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Patching PIP-4048/5048 inverter-chargers.

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Post by andys » Sun, 05 Mar 2017, 14:04

Just curious what generator everyone is using with these units.

I have been successfully testing my Honda "tradie" style generator (3.3kVa) at 30A or 40A, but it is not big enough for new system, I'd like to charge at up to 10kW.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 06 Mar 2017, 01:16

I have tested my first PIP4048 with a Kubota J108 8kw diesel generator. Just tested it for a few hrs but only at 3000w or so.

Thanks for the efforts on the new Patch firmware.Today I successfully upgraded the 2nd pip I purchased late last year to the latest patch.
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Post by Monkeytom » Mon, 13 Mar 2017, 20:41

yes you can power down the slave whenever and save your idle current at night and day and switch it back on whenever.
I use a Digital Current switch on the inverter output to turn on the second PIP when my load exceeds 2750 watts it switches a timer relay and holds the slave on for approx. 30 minutes, this works well with the oven thermostat, I have had it working like this for over a year now and its going great, I was thinking I will change the Master and slave inverters around soon so they can each share the working load hours better.
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Post by andys » Sat, 18 Mar 2017, 21:43

Had a brainstorm today and figured out I am happy to just mount the damn units upside down to improve heat transfer, and just flip the display (very easy, only takes seconds) to make it easy to use.

Just wanted to share with anyone thinking of flipping the fans - this seems easier and safer. Sorry if this has been done before :)

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Post by paulvk » Sat, 18 Mar 2017, 22:55

I still think they need more cooling the fans were slowed down too much, my units (the older ones with external black heatsink) get to over 50C on the inverter heatsink inside the units, so I have external temperature controlled fans to keep it below 40C

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Post by weber » Sat, 18 Mar 2017, 23:13

andys wrote: Had a brainstorm today and figured out I am happy to just mount the damn units upside down to improve heat transfer, and just flip the display (very easy, only takes seconds) to make it easy to use.


Ha! Love it! That's brilliant, andys! It made me lean back in my chair and laugh out loud. Image Image
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Post by andys » Mon, 20 Mar 2017, 14:06

paulvk wrote: I still think they need more cooling the fans were slowed down too much, my units (the older ones with external black heatsink) get to over 50C on the inverter heatsink inside the units, so I have external temperature controlled fans to keep it below 40C


I think I found a simple solution for this too: Remove the blue wire to the fans, it causes them to stay at 100% all the time.

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Post by ejb » Thu, 23 Mar 2017, 18:04

coulomb wrote:
Error 51 is only set from the two main interrupt routines. I don't have a lot of detail at this stage, but it seems to be associated with an instantaneous current sample exceeding 192 A. Presumably this is on the battery side.


Not sure if this helps, but...

I have a MPP Solar branded 4048 with an Error 51, for me it must be related to PV input current - as the error doesnt re-occur with PV input switched off, but all other connections active. (and now re-occurs within an hour if PV input is on, even with half the panels disabled)

My setup is 2x 3KW arrays of PV connected to 2x parallel PIP-4048MS into 24x 2v 800AH SLA batteries.

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Post by Tuly » Fri, 24 Mar 2017, 14:17

I have two giant branded IPS 4048 inverters connected in parallel. I am trying to connect to auto start a generator that is a 10 kva. http://www.bluedm.com.au/10-kva-diesel-generator-240v/. This has a comair controller with ATS capability closing a dry contact.

Connecting directly to one of the inverters dry contacts will start the generator but once output is from utility the generator stops.

So I connected a latch relay, the generator starts okay but it will not auto stop.

Thinking of putting in a latch delay timer so it will latch and run for a set time. I was wondering if anybody has set up auto start stop on there inverters and how they achieved it?

I am too experiencing the charging problem with max bulk voltage not being reached. I have reverted back to using my outback charge controller.

Thanks


Tully

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Post by serbat » Wed, 29 Mar 2017, 22:49


Hello to all
Sorry for my bad English ..... (use google)
I wanted to ask Coulomb, information about the firmware "
The Latest Patched Firmware Description - dsp_Pb1_72.70b.zip "

I have three inverters, N°2 Mod PIP4048HS , and N°1 Mod ASK5000 Advance, do not use chargers inverter to charge the batteries, but use N°3 Western WRM30 mounted separately.

I 24 batteries in free acid "Plante" from 2V, (so in total 48V) of handicraft construction, which allow a minimum voltage of 40V to release.

And 'well it is known that the inverters currently use and which you know, unhooked the battery back in utility mode at 44V.

I wanted to understand whether the modified firmware allowed to lower this threshold to 40V everything else as it is now okay to me.

Thanks for your attention dedicated to me.

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Post by coulomb » Thu, 30 Mar 2017, 03:06

serbat wrote:
Hello to all
Welcome to the forum.
I have three inverters, N°2 Mod PIP4048HS ,...
It's not clear to me whether the patched firmware (or the original manufacturer's firmware that they are based on) is suitable for the PIP-4048HS models. These have a maximum of 50 A solar charging (as opposed to 60 A for the PIP-4048MS. There could well be other firmware changes, since the Solar Charge Controller is completely different (PWM versus MPPT).

I strongly discourage use of the patched firmware on the PIP-4048HS models. If you do decide to try it, at minimum, you should have a way of going back to their original firmware, in case the patched firmware doesn't work, and somehow doesn't blow up the hardware.

What firmware version came with the PIP-4048HS inverter?
I 24 batteries in free acid "Plante" from 2V, (so in total 48V) of handicraft construction, which allow a minimum voltage of 40V to release.
You seem to be saying that you have a very unusual lead-acid based battery that somehow is allowed to be discharged down to 1.67 V per 2.0 V nominal cell. I've never heard of such a battery, and everything I've read about lead acid batteries says that for longevity, one has to keep away from low terminal voltages.
And 'well it is known that the inverters currently use and which you know, unhooked the battery back in utility mode at 44V.

I wanted to understand whether the modified firmware allowed to lower this threshold to 40V everything else as it is now okay to me.
So if I understand you correctly, you'd like a custom version of the lead-acid patched firmware that allows setting 12 to go down to 40.0 V instead of 44.0 V, with all other features being the same as the existing lead-acid patched firmware.

It's not obvious to me that it's safe for the inverter to operate at 40.0 VDC. The DC bus seems to operate at a fixed 8x the battery voltage, so when the battery voltage is at 40 VDC, the DC bus would be at 320 VDC, which is not enough to generate 230 VAC (230 x √2 = 325 V, plus MOSFET/IGBT voltage drops). So either it would generate less than 230 VAC, or it might attempt to generate 230 V with the tips of the sine wave clipped, causing poor power factor, possible electromagnetic interference, noise, and other problems.

Even if the patched firmware was safe for the PIP-4048HS model, and even if I was convinced that there are batteries for which it is safe to go down to 40.0 V, and even if I thought it was safe for the inverter to operate at 40 VDC,
I don't think it's a good use of resources to develop and maintain a special version of the firmware for one or a very few users. I have to draw the line somewhere. Sorry.
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.

serbat
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Real Name: paolo
Location: italy

PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by serbat » Thu, 30 Mar 2017, 05:53

Coulomb Thanks for the answer, very polite.

From some tests done, I saw that if I remove the 220V utility power while the drive is switched to "SBU", the inverter stays connected up to 40V before the change in "UTI" then trying to figure out if it was possible to activate this possibility inverter itself without the main switch, these batteries do not suffer from the problem on the voltage to 40V obviously I was advised to charge them within 24 hours.

A presisazione, I do not use internal inverter chargers to charge the batteries but use separate chargers, then the input of the inverter panels are disconnected.

In fact, the batteries which I am using as mentioned earlier is an artisan creation of an Italian boy, are decidedly robust batteries, in fact, both the positive plates and negative are in the lead with a thickness of 10mm and each battery weighs 70kg were formed with discharge School and refills without using any material paste on the plates, the oxides were formed only by the charging and discharging process.

Since they have not craft a technical dossier or a historical reference

The main problem of these batteries is that I should get as charge equalization at least 62V, which do not allow my inverter ...... but that's another problem.

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