PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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Post by KG666 » Mon, 09 Jan 2017, 05:47

coulomb wrote:
KG666 wrote: every panel is VOC : 65v and 6.58A Isc (333wp)

You have not stated what the Vmppt voltage or Imppt current is. I'll guess the Imppt at 6.0 A; in that case the Vmppt is 333/6 = 55.5 V. This is less than the battery voltage at the end of bulk charging. You need at least 1 V more than the battery voltage from the panels. So you'll definitely need at least 2S (two panels in series for each string).

Hopefully your panels when cold (I imagine Belgium gets pretty cold) won't have a combined Voc over 145 V. But you definitely can't go 3S at any temperature.

So your only option is 2S, so 2S4P for each MPPT.



Indeed the Vmp = 54.7 and the Imp = 6.09 (some more, there are panels of 335wp in the pack)

i didnt think that way you did with the 333/6=55.5v , i took the 64.9v

the 2S4P was my first thought... so i will take that one Image



Image

grtz

edit :
an acid battery can go to 80% of the soc (20%left)
but is that via "ah" or via the voltage?

like my battery is 48v ,840ah
Last edited by KG666 on Mon, 09 Jan 2017, 00:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Mon, 09 Jan 2017, 15:28

KG666 wrote: an acid battery can go to 80% of the soc (20%left)
but is that via "ah" or via the voltage?
SOC (State Of Charge) is a measure of remaining energy, which is best measured in Ah (Amp.hours). Lead acid has a thing called the Peukert effect, whereby if you take out the energy quickly, you'll have less overall energy. However, assuming a suitably large battery (840 Ah is getting there), you can largely ignore this effect. Especially as you normally go nowhere near emptying the theoretical capacity of the battery.
like my battery is 48v ,840ah

My understanding is that for maximum life, you should aim for no more than about 20% (some say lower) Depth Of Discharge (DOD), so that's 80% SOC or 80% remaining. So with your 840 Ah nominal battery, you should be aiming to use only about 20% of that, or 168 Ah. At an average voltage of say 50 V when discharging, that's some 8.4 kWh.

This is one of the reasons that Lithium based batteries can be worth the extra money. While they cost more per nominal kWh, the fact that you can use say 80% of that nominal capacity, compared to 20% for lead acid, makes them attractive. In addition, they may last longer, though some of the lead acid batteries are capable of lasting 10 years as well.

Edit: I meant to add that battery voltage can be used as a crude measure of SOC for most chemistries other than LiFePO₄. However, you have to wait hours with no charge and no load for the measurement to be reasonably accurate, and this never happens on a real-life energy system. The PIP-4048 has such a crude SOC measurement. It's very rough for lead-acid batteries, and simply irrelevant for LiFePO₄ batteries. It may be more useful for non-LiFePO₄ lithium based batteries, but the scale is likely not correct (so you'd have to have a "translation table", and there may be areas near full or empty that are far less accurate).
Last edited by coulomb on Tue, 11 Apr 2017, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Northland » Mon, 09 Jan 2017, 16:36

The main benefit of Lithium, is that it's charge efficiency is much higher. This means less solar panels required, less racking for them, less charge controllers etc. Or, it means a faster recharge, giving a fully charged bank at 5pm on a rainy day, compared to a half recovery in lead acid

See this post where I crunch the numbers
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Post by KG666 » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 03:26

What is the meaning of "Back to Battery" on the pip4048 ?

for now there are no solarpanels connected to my installation, so it runs on battery power till "it's out" and than it reloads on gridpower ... till 55v (back to battery), with 60A ( i know it's stupid*, but thats the way till i have installed all my panels Image )

so , it reloads the battery to 55v and than it stops , can or may i put that higher, say 57v (bulk is 57,4v, float is 55v)
or is this function only when there is not enought solar-energie to load the battery and beter left alone?

*this is a test run on my koi-pond


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Post by coulomb » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 04:25

KG666 wrote: What is the meaning of "Back to Battery" on the pip4048 ?
When you are charging from the AC input, setting 13 tells the PIP when to go back to battery mode (i.e. the battery is providing power for the loads). Parameter 12 is the partner parameter; it sets when to start charging from the AC input, i.e. what the battery voltage has to fall to to trigger AC charging.
so , it reloads the battery to 55v and than it stops , can or may i put that higher, say 57v (bulk is 57,4v, float is 55v)
or is this function only when there is not enough solar-energie to load the battery and beter left alone?

Yes, you can set it higher or lower; that's what setting 13 is about. It has the title 'Setting voltage point back to battery mode when selecting “SBU priority” or “Solar first” in program 01' in the manual. Actually, the default value for this setting is 54 V, but the PIP often seems to overshoot by a volt or so. It needs to see at least the indicated voltage for a certain time, by which time the battery might be nearly a volt higher anyway. You can also set the value to "FUL", which means it will perform a normal charge (terminating at the bulk (Constant Voltage) setting, setting 26).
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Post by KG666 » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 04:47

THX Coulomb for the time and the info!!!

i have set "back to battery mode" = full

because if i read it right , when the solarpanels are connected it will not be activated that much (hope not)
full = bulk = 57.4v

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Post by KG666 » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 04:59

btw , some pictures of the installation :

Image
Image
Image

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Post by solamahn » Thu, 12 Jan 2017, 12:49

Has anyone tried the hybrid mpi models. I see 3k, 5.5k and 10k have AS4777. I assume 5k is not included because of 900v max pv input voltage but 10k model is also 900v
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Post by weber » Sat, 14 Jan 2017, 05:56

Software-only AC input power meter

We recently had a request in this thread for a suitable device to measure the AC input power to a PIP/Axpert. The PIP itself measures every other power flow, but not AC input power. This is the power consumed from the utility (or a generator) when the PIP is operating in bypass mode. It is used to both power the AC loads and charge the battery.

Coulomb and I are creating an internet dashboard for our "Monolith" standalone-power-system/UPS, and we want it to display and log _all_ the power flows, including how much we use from the utility.

I realised we could avoid the cost of a power-meter-with-comms if we knew what the efficiency curve was for the PIP's charger. i.e. its efficiency as a function of charge current. We could then take the PIP's measurements of charge current and charge power, subtract the part that was coming from the SCC, and work backwards to calculate the AC input power being used for charging. Then add to that the PIP's measurement of the AC power going to the loads.

So Coulomb and I set about measuring the AC input power with no loads and no solar input, while charging a LiFePO₄ battery at 2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 amps. We used an ATA Power Mate (plug-in true-RMS power-meter) to measure the AC input power. But our attempts to fit sensible curves to the results were hampered by the low resolution of our battery current measurements. We couldn't rely on the PIP's own measurements as these only have a resolution of 1 amp.

Our problems were solved when Coulomb remembered the hidden 4.5 digit mode of our Fluke 87 III multimeters. We had to look up how to do it -- hold the backlight button down for 1 second. Then we got sufficient current resolution by putting the multimeter probes on the kelvin connections of our current shunt.

After much fiddling about in Excel we had a simple equation that fit the measurements to within +- 3 watts. Some more work and we had a zero-hardware AC-input-power gauge on our Monolith internet dashboard. And soon we will be logging it to our daily log files. All this is running on a Beaglebone Black credit-card-size computer, over WiFi, using the Node-RED visual programming tool.
Last edited by weber on Sat, 14 Jan 2017, 06:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mattwrightzen » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 01:01

Hi, a friend has a 5kW and 8.2kW fronius primo inverter with 17kW of panels. When he loses the grid due to blackout can he tie those inverters to the mpp pip4048

The fronius supports a ramp down of its output as grid frequency rises from 51-52.7hz

http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID ... Hs3_GlQaEf

Does anyone know how the mpp 4048 will behave if there is grid feed in on the load side

Ie
1 voltage rises
2 batteries keep charging and then overcharge
3 frequency rises
4 batteries get charged until they reach float then voltage rises
5 batteries get charged until they reach float then frequency rises
6 something else

Appreciate any knowledge on this that can be shared
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Post by coulomb » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 16:03

mattwrightzen wrote: Hi, a friend has a 5kW and 8.2kW fronius primo inverter with 17kW of panels.
Impressive.
When he loses the grid due to blackout can he tie those inverters to the mpp pip4048
So presumably he also has a separate PIP system with batteries that he can switch the loads to.
The fronius supports a ramp down of its output as grid frequency rises from 51-52.7hz
As I indicate below, I don't believe that this will come into play with the PIP.
Does anyone know how the mpp 4048 will behave if there is grid feed in on the load side
I assume you mean what happens if he connects his grid tie inverter(s) to the PIP outputs, which have loads connected, during a blackout only. I don't think that there is a practical and safe way to connect the PIP output to the mains/utility.

My wild guess, expanded below, is
6 something else
Firstly, although I've worked on a research microgrid project, I was not there for the design, and took virtually no part in the design. I did have to think about power flows and AV vector diagrams a bit, so I have a little knowledge in this area.

I'm confident enough that I think we can take as facts:
* The PIP inverter makes no attempt to synchronise with the AC output terminals. In other words, it's not a grid interactive inverter.
* The PIP inverter always seems to be aiming for 230 VAC at the output. I'm assuming "battery mode", where the inverter hardware is configured as an actual inverter (as opposed to being configured as an AC charger, when in "line mode").
* When there is AC present at the AC input terminal, and if and when it passes some quality checks, the inverter synchronises to the AC input terminals. My guess is that this is to make easier the switching of the loads to the AC input (either by going to line mode, using its internal relay, or using an external relay or contactor).

I'm fairly confident of this point:
* When there is no AC present at the AC input terminals, the PIP inverter operates at 50.0 Hz (or 60 Hz if so configured), and makes no attempt to synchronise with anything else.

So now to my guess as to what will happen if a grid interactive inverter is connected to the PIP's output, when powering a load. For the sake of example, let's say the load is 2.0 kW, all supplied by the PIP from a battery. Let's say the grid interactive inverter has 3.0 kW of power to provide, but we'll imagine that it ramps up the power slowly (say 200 W per second), starting at zero power.

While there is less than 2.0 kW from the grid interactive inverter, it seems to me that the phase of the power to the loads will shift slightly (and no-one will notice that unless making very careful measurements), the load AC voltage will remain very close to 230 V, and the PIP will gradually supply less and less power to the loads. It won't find anything unexpected (ignoring the very real possibility of higher frequency spikes mucking up its load voltage and current measurements), it will just look like the load is gradually reducing.

At the point where the grid interactive inverter is providing 2.0 kW, all the power to the load will come from the grid interactive inverter, and the PIP will feel as though it has no load.

Of course, the interesting part is what happens next, as the grid interactive inverter attempts to provide more power to its output terminals.

The PIP is targetting 230 VAC at its output. So it looks like a low impedance 230 VAC source with an inductor (very likely the one we're talking about in other posts recently) between that AC source and its output terminals. With say 2.1 kW coming from the grid interactive inverter, and only 2.0 kW absorbed by the loads, the extra 0.1 kW will have to go somewhere. It seems to me that the load voltage will increase only slightly (due to voltage drop across the inductor), but it will only be a volt or two at most, much less while there is only 0.1 kW of excess power. But the PIP in targeting 230 VAC will experience a rise in the voltage across its output full bridge. In other words, the excess power will tend to charge the capacitor feeding the output full bridge. In other words, the power supply for the output MOSFETs or IGBTs that make up the full bridge making the 50 Hz 230 VAC. I'll refer to this capacitor (there may be more than one, but they would be equivalent to one) as the "output capacitor" for brevity. This is not a capacitor doing output filtering; its filtering the power supply for the full bridge.

The PIP has an unusual architecture, in that there is a battery side full bridge (50 V to 400 V) feeding a buck converter feeding the output full bridge. There is a "bus voltage" as reported by the QPIGS (general status query) command of the PIP likely refers to the voltage at the input to the buck converter. It always seems to be quite close to 8 times the battery voltage, so that means the battery side converter has a transformer with a 1:8 turns ratio.

Here is the important thing: the buck converter is unidirectional. The output full bridge, and the battery side full bridge are both bidirectional; they can push or pull power in either direction (to/from the battery, and in theory, to/from the load terminals). So I think what will happen is that the 100 W of excess power from the grid interactive inverter will very quickly charge up the capacitors at the output of the buck converter, and there will be nowhere else for that energy (over a few cycles) to go. The PIP monitors "bus voltage", but it seems to me that this could be on the input side of the buck converter. So maybe it won't notice, the output capacitor will go to 600 V, destroying the output bridge and the output capacitor. Or maybe it will notice, and will shut down the inverter. If it just stops switching the output full bridge, this won't help, as the free-wheeling diodes of those devices will still pump up the output capacitor. [ Edit: actually, but not very much. ] If it disconnects the output relay, the grid interactive inverter will cause the load AC voltage to rise. Probably the load voltage will quickly exceed a limit and they will trip off. Perhaps the PIP will switch to line mode, which will at least protect the inverter hardware, but in a blackout situation, there will be nothing to power the loads other than the grid interactive inverter. In all these scenarios, the loads get too much voltage or no power at all.

So unfortunately, I can't see a way that this will work, unless there is a "zero export" system in place, so the grid interactive inverter never provides too much power for the load. Those things are always a bit tricky, and tend to under or overshoot with sudden load changes, so the zero export system would have to be very good not to cause overvoltage of the PIP's output capacitor.

Finally, the anti-islanding provisions of the grid interactive inverters would have to regard the PIP's output as being the presence of a grid. I hear rules of thumb like "the grid interactive inverter has to be no higher in rated power than that of the stand alone inverter", but I'm dubious about this.

Edit: When trying to find a diagram to illustrate the topology, I realise I've misremembered how the buck converter works. It seems that it's only active in battery charge mode (line mode). In battery (inverter) mode, it's effectively just an inductor. So that affects my answer; see my next post.

[ Edit: minor rewording, energy -> power, battery side inverter -> battery side converter, etc. ]
[ Edit: integral diode -> free-wheeling diode ]

[Moderator note: Coulomb's follow-up post with topology diagrams has been moved to the PIP repairs and hardware modifications topic.]
Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 14:35, edited 1 time in total.
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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.
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Post by mattwrightzen » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 18:13

I wonder if the hybrid series would be any different as they seem to support AC charging.

http://www.mppsolar.com/v3/mpi-hybrid-series-2/

[ Edited Coulomb: made link clickable ]

Last edited by coulomb on Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 14:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by solamahn » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 19:48

There is a socket marked CN12 (FAN3) at the top of the main PCB in the middle. Having the 2 main fans mounted upside down keeps the scc heat sink a bit cooler. Having the solar panel array working voltage closer to 60 keeps the scc heat sink temperature lower but solar charging using a higher string voltage seems to work better.
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Post by weber » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 19:59

Solamahn, Which direction of air flow are you calling "upside down"? I assume you are talking about the newer models that have the SCC between the two main-board heatsinks. Is that correct?

Paulvk, I assume you are talking about the older models that have the black SCC heatsink on the outside top. Is that correct?
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Post by paulvk » Mon, 16 Jan 2017, 21:02

Yes I have the older PIPs with nice big black heat sink!
I am also going to look for some 18mm x 10mm copper bar to replace the aluminum under the FETs I have found it greatly reduces the package temperature.

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Post by solamahn » Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 12:29

Old type with black heat sink on top. Airflow direction up. You would not think this setup would make much difference because the fans are at the bottom and the heat sink is at the top but if you try it you will see that the heat sink is cooler. Also depends on the firmware revision because some have the fans running faster more often.
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Post by Northland » Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 17:31

63A breaker tripped, but too late I guess. 125A fuse didn't blow.

Seems there is more damage. I ran a wire over but it didn't solve it.

These things die way too easy
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Post by Northland » Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 17:45

Just out of warranty, of course.

Is it possible to use the scc board as a stand alone?

Might get a victron multiplus, can use shore assist mode to boost the output of my small victron Phoenix
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Post by coulomb » Tue, 17 Jan 2017, 20:09

Northland wrote: Is it possible to use the scc board as a stand alone?

In theory yes, it's much the same hardware as some Voltronic stand alone chargers, but you would have to send it commands all the time at 2400 bps, and the commands are not documented.

It's possible you could patch the SCC firmware to not require commands, but that would be a huge amount of work.
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Post by Northland » Wed, 18 Jan 2017, 17:06

coulomb wrote:but you would have to send it commands all the time at 2400 bps, and the commands are not documented.


Is this data only for relay state?
I can't see any other reason for the scc to receive data unless it's error checking.
What if you bypass the relays?

When the main board sh*t itself last time the scc still charged. But not this time
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 19 Jan 2017, 16:31

Northland wrote:
coulomb wrote:but you would have to send it commands all the time at 2400 bps...


Is this data only for relay state?
I can't see any other reason for the scc to receive data unless it's error checking.

No, I think this is mainly to send the target charge current. The SCC processor will send regular QGS commands to the DSP processor, and the DSP processor has to respond with a (GS to the SCC, and the target charge current is one of a handful of values sent as parameters to the (GS command. It doesn't look all that easy.
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Post by coulomb » Fri, 03 Feb 2017, 20:27

A minor update for the Lithium Iron Phosphate patched firmware based on original firmware 72.60.

Image

Update: a newer patched firmware is described in this post.

I've been using the patched firmware version 72.60A for about two months with little trouble. However, Weber and I have both noticed that at times, the PIP takes quite a long time to get to float, when it seems that the conditions have been right for some time (the battery voltage is near the bulk/absorb setpoint, and the charge current is the low single digits of amperes).

I watched data from my PIP-4048 closely yesterday. When the maximum charge current is set to 100 A, the float transition current threshold is 100/24 = 4 A. I believe it needs to be strictly under this threshold, i.e. 3 A or less. Yesterday, it never made it to float, instead disconnecting the charge sources due to overtemperature, which in turn was due to the Celltop Management Units (CMUs) remaining in bypass for such a long time. Plus, it was quite a hot day.

3 A is only 5% of the 60 A SCC rated current, and the SCC has to cope with continuously changing PV conditions as well as varying loads on the battery due to the AC loads. The problem seems to be that with this low threshold, the SCC rarely is able to achieve these conditions without exception for the required 50 seconds or so.

I suggested to Weber that perhaps the float transition current needs to be a larger fraction [ edit: smaller divisor] of the maximum charge current setting to make it easier for all the criteria for switching to float mode to be met. I suggested dividing by 15; in version 72.60A we divide by 24, and in earlier versions we divided by 30. He agreed, and patched firmware version 72.60b was born.

This lower float transition current divisor is the only change from version 72.60A. Please see that post for details of that version, and installation instructions in the post following it.

dsp_Li1_72.60b.zip (1.5 MB)

[ Edit: corrected "smaller fraction" to "larger fraction [ edit: smaller divisor]" ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 10:48, edited 1 time in total.
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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 » Sat, 11 Feb 2017, 19:30

Paulvk, So the 100mm fans at the top are they sucking hot air out

as in you have flipped over the bottom stock fans to pull air in from the bottom and blow it to the top? then assisted by the two external fans pulling the hot air out the top?

Or are the stock bottom fans in the original orientation blowing hot air out the bottom.

I spun the two stock fans over to blow upwards but from what i can tell with my hand(not very technical) it feels like a lot of heat is gathering at the top of the unit now. large black heat sink warm (without Pv connected and top of the case warm. Even with the inverter doing very little work.

Perhaps feeling heat being expelled and radiating from the case is bette than being trapped inside the unit. Though I cant help but feel the unit felt cooler with the bottom fans in the stock orientation.

Not that it really matters as my pip has a air conditioner blasting 22C air at it from 5 feet away.

Energy efficient Solar powered Air conditioners are great. We have 3 going at the moment to. One keeping the power electronics cool at 22c and two keeping us cool in the house at 24c.It's about 38c outside The Pv chargers and inverters are brushing off the piddly little 1200w load with the ubundant sun. Actually one charge controller shut down and went to rest as it was bored with no work to do Image

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Real Name: Paul
Location: Sydney

PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by paulvk » Sat, 11 Feb 2017, 20:27

Yes fans flipped at bottom and the two at the top drawing air out.
Note they are 48v all metal fans drawing 250ma run by a temp control with its probe in the top of the heat sink.
Its 34c here now, 49c showing on temp control it turns them on at 42c and off at 34c.
They are only screwed on over the vent holes at the top but now as warranty is up I am going to make full size holes which will increase air volume, will also block the holes in the back so that the air has to come from the bottom up through the heatsinks.

solamahn
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Real Name: Julian Leach
Location: PNG

PIP-4048MS inverter

Post by solamahn » Sat, 11 Feb 2017, 22:18

I have gone back to leaving fans in factory orientation. I find that having the fans blow upwards can cause condensation to form on the inside of the inverter.
Solamahn PNG

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