PIP-4048MS and PIP-5048MS inverters

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offgridQLD
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Post by offgridQLD » Sat, 11 Feb 2017, 22:27

I always thought condensation formed when warm moisture laden air hits a cold surface.

So warm moist air is getting sucked into the base of the pip yes i can see that happening in a humid environment but it would be hitting a warmer surface with the hot components inside the PIP

am I missing something?

What where the signs of the moisture. water droplets on the charge controller at the top? or just signs of corrosion?

[ Edited Coulomb: corrected trivial spelling mistake. ]







Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 11 Feb 2017, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by solamahn » Sun, 12 Feb 2017, 02:27

I think it is water droplets caused by the pressure difference across the fans in a humid environment.
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Post by coulomb » Sun, 12 Feb 2017, 03:56

Tejota wrote: 32 param is bulk charging time. Options: Automatic (default) or time (5-900 minutes)

Tejota, I'm interested in how parameter/setting 32 is supposed to work.

My reading of the firmware is that it is intended to be a *maximum* absorb time. So if you set 20 minutes, the absorb phase could last for anything from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on if and when the current falls below a threshold for 10 minutes without exception.

Can I ask what is the source of your information? I can't find any manual that mentions setting 32.

In another post, you state that setting 32 could be used for equalisation. I suppose that during equalisation, the current will be high, so it's unlikely that the battery current will fall below the threshold before the time on the absorb setting has expired, but it might. Perhaps that's OK for equalisation, I'm not very experienced with lead acid batteries. Does the documentation mention equalisation? Is this perhaps its primary function?
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 16 Feb 2017, 01:55

Today I had our Imiev in the shed and was charging it (usually I charge it in the garage from the houses selectronic inverter) in the shed today it was charging from the pip 3200w load.

I had the issue again as the imiev started to ramp down it's charge rate near 100% SOC the pip went Into a cycle where the voltage would swing from 215v -240v cycling up and down.

I have charged a few times over the past few years from the pip but it's only been a mid charge top up for a few hrs so didn't encounter the issue.

I think I will avoid using it to charge the imiev for now due to this behaviour.

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 21:48

offgridQLD wrote: I had the issue again as the imiev started to ramp down it's charge rate near 100% SOC the pip went Into a cycle where the voltage would swing from 215v -240v cycling up and down.

Not in the same league, but I have noticed a small number of loads seem to upset the PIP's inverter:
  • Atten 858D hot air gun (variable temperature)
  • Kmart induction cooker
When I say "upset", I just notice the LED lights flickering slightly. Nothing to be concerned about, unless yo are prone to epilepsy I suppose.

Anyone else noticed any other loads that cause the inverter's voltage to fluctuate slightly?

[ Edit: inducxtion heater -> induction cooker ]
Last edited by coulomb on Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 15:13, edited 1 time in total.
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 offgridQLD » Sat, 18 Feb 2017, 01:10

I should add that is wasn't just the voltage swing up and down on the display the load was jumping up and down to.

It's like the pip is controlling the pilot signal to the imievs charger and make it ramp up and down.Though it's only triggered when the charger varies the charge rate.

Not always as every time you start the charge it slowly ramps up and it never gets upset with this ramp up. Its only the ramp down at the end.

That said some times the imiev pauses the charge mid charge for a few mins and then continues to charge (normal behavior) The pip will get upset by this as the charger ramps up again to continue charging.

So it's a bit of a oddball thing.So you cant charge the car untended encase it gets into this cycle.

heat guns and induction cookers upset most inverter a little I have a fixed setting heat gun that's ok but the variable one is no good on the inverter.

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Post by andys » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 18:57

Stumbled on this today, serves as a reminder what nice things you can have when you pay over twice as much:

Very similar specs to PIP4048, but with 35W idle. Even supports Li/LiFePO4 packs. Can't be daisy chained.

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/do ... rol-EN.pdf

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Post by andys » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 19:09

Yes coulumb, I discovered my fridge lights flickering badly at about 10Hz the other day, through a process of elimination found out it was the Sunbeam slow cooker (crock pot).

I thought it was just a simple resistive heating element of around 500 watts. I won't use it on the PIP anymore.

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Post by weber » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 21:29

I suspect the common theme in all these appliances that upset the PIP is that they use phase control and so may have spikey current waveforms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-fired_controllers
Last edited by weber on Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 10:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by paulvk » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 22:04

I have a K-Mart induction unit , I also have some harmonic filters.
I will see if I get the problem and see if the filter fixes it.

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Post by PlanB » Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 22:39

There was a mob in Melbourne (power & interference consultants I think) used to flog a portable ferroresonant line conditioner back in the 90s (couple of hundred bucks from memory). Very effective deglitcher, about he size of a housebrick, weighed 3 times as much! Be interesting to see if the harmonic filters do any good, the ferroresonant was a bit lossy.

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Post by paulvk » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 02:19

I tried the induction unit today-
It is not harmonics causing a problem its the on/off switching of the load the PIP has to try and keep the voltage at 230v with a load that is going on & off so it goes over/under voltage while trying to keep up.
I see the same thing when my fridge starts a drop in voltage for less than a second.
Inverters with big iron transformers would have less problems due to the energy stored in the transformer core.
The only solution would be a big auto transformer!

Note I have voltage , current and Kw Hour meters on the input and output, this has also shown me that the 230v shown by the PIP is 227v , the incoming mains voltage is also high by 3v (calibrated the meters so they are correct) , this is on more than one unit so something is not correct maybe a software fault.

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Post by Tejota » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 11:47

coulomb wrote:
Tejota wrote: 32 param is bulk charging time. Options: Automatic (default) or time (5-900 minutes)

Tejota, I'm interested in how parameter/setting 32 is supposed to work.

My reading of the firmware is that it is intended to be a *maximum* absorb time. So if you set 20 minutes, the absorb phase could last for anything from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, depending on if and when the current falls below a threshold for 10 minutes without exception.

Can I ask what is the source of your information? I can't find any manual that mentions setting 32.

In another post, you state that setting 32 could be used for equalisation. I suppose that during equalisation, the current will be high, so it's unlikely that the battery current will fall below the threshold before the time on the absorb setting has expired, but it might. Perhaps that's OK for equalisation, I'm not very experienced with lead acid batteries. Does the documentation mention equalisation? Is this perhaps its primary function?


Sorry ... I read this post now...
Source is manual PIP 4048MS manual Version 2.1. This manual was in pip4048ms manufactured on 8-2016.
Take a look pag 30 ---> Manual pip4048msversion2.1

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Post by PlanB » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 14:19

Does the problem still occur at sites with 2 or 3 pips running in parallel?

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Post by paulvk » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 14:35

Have to wait till next week when I get back to my 2 PIP system.

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 14:43

"
I suspect the common theme in all these appliances that upset the PIP is that they use phase control and so may have spikey current waveforms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-fired_controllers"

Yes, I agree with that thanks for the link.

"Inverters with big iron transformers would have less problems due to the energy stored in the transformer core.
The only solution would be a big auto transformer!"

I have to inverters to compare with. One is the PIP4048 and the other is the selectronic that has a HUGE transformer and 75kg of heft.Rear cover off in the pic.
Image

along with 17 x 80v 4700uf caps to back it up
Image

Surprisingly I'm finding that the pip is actually very good with large spiky loads. It actually seems to start large motors better than the selectronic. I find Some of my heat guns that most likely have a Triac cause issues on the selectronics (lights flickering) though no issue on the PIP. My Ev charger that isn't a spiky load but is a soft ramping (variable) runs fine on the selectronics but the PIP gets into a loop cycle chasing the voltage up and down.

Our portable induction hotplate has a slight buzz or hum to it at the device when powered from the selectronics but no issue on the PIP.

Its like there are positives and negatives of a higher frequency inverter over the lower frequancy selectronics
Last edited by offgridQLD on Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 03:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by coulomb » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 16:24

Tejota wrote: Source is manual PIP 4048MS manual Version 2.1. This manual was in pip4048ms manufactured on 8-2016... Manual pip4048msversion2.1

Wow, thanks for scanning that. I assumed that there must be a manufacturer provided non-scanned PDF somewhere.
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 paulvk » Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 02:35


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Post by Rusdy » Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 16:54

offgridQLD wrote: "
Its like there are positives and negatives of a higher frequency inverter over the lower frequancy selectronics


Boy oh boy, the more reason I can't wait for the high voltage DC bus standard to come out (in the US 380VDC seems to be proposed). Although in my opinion 325VDC is much more do-able (straight rectification of 230VAC).

Anyhoo, I was trying to do the same experiment with this guy from Indonesia (youtube link), he experimented with several home appliances to run directly on DC.

I myself tried to power up my Ikea induction cooker (boy, they're cheap and work so well, good looking too) to no avail from my 250VDC supply (where as other wide voltage power supply work like a charm).

My guess more and more electronics these days have zero crossing detector in it. Me no happy Image

Would be nice if I can charge my EV straight from DC bus... oh well, I can dream on...

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Post by Richo » Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 20:58

I would have thought its the SCR's that require the negative voltage to turn on/off.
It's the cheapest way to switch(pwm) mains.

So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Richo » Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 21:03

So guess the rangehood may power up but not turn on the fan for the same reason.
Dremel, drills etc etc...
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by JvdSpoel » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 06:07

Hi All,

I have a PCM60x 3KW charge controller - basically the CCC of the PIP inverter.

I have upgraded the inverters CPU 2 to version 4 - and to ensure that the PCM is on the same level - I upgraded it as well.

The problem is I realised that there is a piece of code missing to drive the display unit on the PCM.

Anybody who can help me with the firmware for the PCM unit so that I can restore my unit.

Thanks all - learned a lot on this forum.
Johan



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Post by coulomb » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 19:37

This post describes the external changes in official firmware 72.70, as I see them. There doesn't seem to be official documentation on these, other than the booklets provided with new machines; Tejota has kindly posted a scan of such a manual (8.4 MB).

[ Edit: there is now also a non-scanned version in this post. ]

1a) There is a new setting 32, which is called "bulk charging time (C. V stage). "Bulk" is really the wrong word here, since it applies to the absorb stage. When setting 32 is set to "Aut", the behaviour is as it was before. Transition from absorb stage to float occurs when two criteria are met for ten minutes with no exceptions. The first criterion is that the battery voltage exceeds the float setting less half a volt; this is actually a bug due to a typographical error in the source code. Thus, the charging bug remains, and we will be releasing a patched 72.70 firmware to correct it soon. The other criterion is that the charge current must have fallen below the total charge current setting (setting 02) divided by five. So in effect, "Aut" does not determine a fixed absorb time, but rather when the charge current falls below a threshold, as with earlier firmware.

1b) If not set to "Aut" (automatic), this is essentially the amount of time in minutes that the charger (solar, utility, or both together) will spend in the absorb stage. The absorb stage begins when the battery voltage exceeds the CV setting (setting 26) less half a volt for 10 seconds with no exceptions. (If the battery voltage falls below that threshold during the ten seconds, the counter is cleared and the ten second period starts again from zero.) Once started, the absorb stage ends when the time expires, regardless of what the battery voltage does. For example, you might set 10 minutes of absorb, only to find that eight of the ten minutes are ineffective due to cloud and/or load conditions. This new bug is also fixed in the patched 72.70 firmware.

2) There is a new setting 38, which if enabled, turns on the "dry contact" relay when the inverter is in battery mode, and turns it off otherwise. The intention is to connect the dry contact to an external relay that connects the inverter's neutral output to system earth when in battery mode. When setting 38 is set to "DiS" (disabled), it retains its normal function, which is essentially on when the battery is weak. This is all explained pretty well on page 10 of the new manual, in the section titled "Dry Contact Signal".

3) There is an additional way to exit the float stage and recommence bulk charging. The main way to exit float and start charging again is the same as with earlier firmware versions: the battery voltage has to be more than 4 volts below the float setting (setting 27) for one second without exception.

The other way to exit float stage and re-commence bulk charging is as follows. The battery voltage has to be more than 0.1 volts below the float setting (setting 27) for 30 minutes. During that 30 minutes, if it rises above this threshold, there is a penalty of 2 seconds for every second that it is above that threshold. So for example, the battery could spend a total of 50 minutes below the threshold and a total of 10 minutes above (with the ten minutes scattered throughout the 60 minute period), and the charger would restart bulk charging. It could also spend a total of 60 minutes below and a total of 15 minutes above, and so on (60 - 2x15 = 30 minutes). The penalty ceases when the total time reaches zero; at zero, the whole process starts again.

There are other minor changes to the firmware, mainly to support these new settings, that I hope to detail in a separate post. These three changes seem to be the most visible changes to most users.

[ Edit: added section 1a, mentioned the new bug with fixed absorb times. ]
Last edited by coulomb on Sat, 25 Feb 2017, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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 » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 19:44

coulomb wrote:The battery voltage has to be more than 0.1 volts below the float setting (setting 27) for 30 minutes.


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)

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Post by coulomb » Fri, 24 Feb 2017, 21:29

72.70b Patched Firmware Description

[Edit: Superceded by later versions. See the Firmware section of the index post. But the following is the only description of these bug-fixes and features, which are retained in later versions.]

Image     Image

LiFePO₄ and Lead Acid Patched Firmware

This post describes both the LiFePO₄ (LFP, Lithium Iron Phosphate) and Lead Acid patched firmware for PIP-4048MS, Axpert MKS 5kVA and similar machines with other names. It is based on Voltronic's 72.70 firmware, which is supplied with newer machines that have single (not dual or triple) MPPTs (Solar Charge Controllers) that are capable of solar charging at up to 80 A. We believe that it is safe to use on all single MPPT post-2013 machines. [Edit: We have also used it safely with machines that were originally supplied with firmware version 73.00.]

Warning! and disclaimer. It is possible to set the total charge current to 140 A, which may be beyond the capacity of your hardware. I don't believe that this is a problem, since the Solar Charge Controller (SCC) will limit itself to its own hardware capacity. All our testing has been on an early 2016 machine which came with 72.40 firmware, and no adverse effects have been detected to date, apart from the 60 A current limit noted below in the section headed "SCC Compatibility". So it all should be safe, but caution is advised particularly during initial testing.

This patched firmware has been developed mainly to overcome a bug in the charging algorithm for these machines. The bug manifests itself as not charging the battery fully. When charging from solar, the charge will often transition from bulk/absorb stage to float stage far too early, often in the first few minutes of charging.

The reason has been traced to a minor bug in a function far removed from the main charge control function, which is presumably why it escaped detection for so long. It's also why we thought that the manufacturer was ignoring the battery voltage termination condition. In fact, they weren't ignoring it; the typographical error (less than instead of a greater-equals) means that they compare against the float voltage setting less half a volt instead of the bulk/absorb (CV) voltage setting less half a volt, which makes the voltage criterion ineffective.

Our patch fixes this typo, which effectively re-introduces the battery voltage termination criterion: the battery voltage must be near the bulk/absorb voltage setting (parameter 26 on the LCD menu) as well as the charge current being at the low value. This means that the absorb stage cannot complete until the battery is close to or above the required absorb voltage. This bug is more likely to be seen when the maximum charge current setting is high; as a result, it seems to be less commonly seen with lead acid batteries (which typically charge at C/10 to C/6.7).

Charge termination conditions
For those interested in the exact new charge terminating conditions, here they are. Others can skip this somewhat complex paragraph. The battery voltage must stay at or above a threshold, and the charge current must stay at or below another threshold, for at least 30 seconds. The voltage threshold is the bulk/absorb setting (parameter 26) minus 0.5 V. The current threshold is one ampere below the maximum of two values:
1) the sum of all the Maximum Charge Current settings (parameter 02) for all paralleled machines, divided by 5 (15 [Edit: 12 in version 72.70c and later] for LiFePO₄), and
2) the number of paralleled machines multiplied by 5 amps.
The official firmware is the same except that
(a) the voltage threshold is the float setting less half a volt,
(b) the total of maximum current settings is always divided by five, and
(c) the required time is 10 minutes (72.70 and later).
When the new absorb (CV) time setting (setting 32) is set to a number (not "Aut"), the current threshold becomes 2 A per paralleled machine, which is difficult to achieve. The effect is that when setting 32 is a number, the absorb stage will usually last for that many minutes.

Example 1: There are two paralleled machines. Maximum charge current (setting 2) is 60 A on each machine, and the Lithium iron Phosphate version of the patched firmware patch is in use. The current threshold is an amp less than the maximum of ((60+60)/15, 2*5) = max(8, 10) -1 = 9 A. So the current has to read at or below 9 amps. [Edit: For version 72.70c, it has to read below ((60+60)/12, 2*5) = max(10, 10) -1 = 10 A.]

Example 2: maximum charge current (setting 2) is 40 A, and the Lead Acid version of the patched firmware is in use. There is only one machine. The current threshold is an amp less than max(40/5, 1*5) = max(8, 5) - 1 = 7 amps. So the current reading has to be 7 A or less.

The patched firmware also fixes a new bug in the case where setting 32 is a number of minutes (not "Aut"). After reaching the absorb voltage setting for 10 seconds, the official firmware doesn't care if the battery voltage goes low again, say due to low solar input. It will still count this as absorb time. We now only increment the counter representing time in the absorb phase when the voltage criterion is met (battery voltage is greater than the CV setting less half a volt).

Patched firmware version 72.70b also fixes a new bug, whereby in official firmware version 72.70 is it now *too hard* to exit absorb stage and enter the float stage. This is because they increased the "qualification time" when the battery voltage has to be above a threshold and the battery current has to be below a threshold, from 30 seconds to ten minutes. This was perhaps a misguided attempt to fix the original charge bug, which you will recall is that it was *too easy* to go to float (and it did so much too early).

Having gone to the trouble of devising the patched firmware, some other changes became desirable. Some of the 7 segment character renderings leave something to be desired, particularly letters "r" and "k". Weber devised a set based on what others have done, and a desire to have most character renderings distinct. But in the end, he decided that "S" and "5" need to use the same rendering. Some letters like "M", "W", "X" and "k" you can't do much with, but I think he's chosen good compromises.

When more than one machine is paralleled, one is designated the master, with "HS". This was presumably because they thought their rendering of an H looked more like an actual M than their rendering of an M did. In this firmware, we've used a different rendering of an M. After a while, you get used to reading the three separated segments as an M. Try to imagine it's like this:
Image

It's also desirable that the patched firmware be readily identified, yet software such as Watchpower should not be confused by a version it's never heard of. Therefore, the U1 main version display screen has been replaced with either an LF1 (lithium ferrous) or Pb1 [Edit: LC1 in 72.70c] (lead acid or lithium cobalt) display screen, still with 72 in the middle, but now with 70b on the right. Subsequent versions of the patched firmware will be labelled 70C, 70d and so on. Enquiries such as QFVW (main firmware version enquiry) still return 00072.70 as before, so that Watchpower still works properly (with the limitations described at the end of the following post).

LiFePO₄ patched firmware only

All changes from here on are made to the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO₄) version of the patched firmware only. For other common lithium chemistries the "lead acid" patched firmware should used, typically with 14 cells in series.

For LiFePO₄ batteries, the most important other desired change is the battery low cutoff voltage, where the battery will be effectively disconnected to protect it from under-voltage. The maximum that this voltage can be set to in the official firmware is 48.0 V, which is unsuitable for lithium iron phosphate batteries. We have added 4.0 V to the manufacturer's range of 40.0 to 48.0 V, allowing cutoff voltages of 44.0 to 52.0 V. This assumes 16 cells in series.

In cases where the battery low cutoff voltage defaulted to 42 V, it now defaults to 44 V.

The battery low warning used to happen at 2 V above the battery low cutoff voltage, and reset at 4 V above the battery low cutoff voltage. They now happen at 0.5 V and 1 V above.

The transition from the "float" charging stage to the "bulk" charging stage was set at 4 V below the float setting. This has been reduced to 1 V below. [Edit: 1.2 V below in version 72.70c.]

It also makes sense for parameter 12 (back to utility voltage) to be increased. This is the battery voltage below which the loads will switch back to the utility. This is used when output source priority (parameter 01) is set to Sbu or SoL. Now, the range of this setting has been increased by 2 V, so it is now 46 V to 53 V.

Change Summary
LiFePO₄ and Lead Acid Patched Firmware
* The repaired voltage criterion for transitioning from absorb stage to float.
* For non-automatic absorb stage timing, only time when the battery voltage is near the CV setting counts as being "in absorb".
* "Font" improvements, and HS -> MS for Master units.
* Firmware revision display screen contains patch revision.

LiFePO₄ patched firmware only
* The bulk/absorb to float transition occurs with a different current threshold: (sum of maximum charge current settings) divided by 15. [divided by 12 in version 72.70c]
* Low battery cutoff voltage range changed from 40-48 V to 44-52 V.
* Back to utility voltage range changed from 44-51 V to 46-53 V.
* Float to bulk charge stage transition occurs at 1 V under the float setting. [1.2 V under in version 72.70c]
* The battery low warning occurs at the cutoff voltage plus half a volt, and returns at cutoff plus one volt.

SCC firmware compatibility

The Voltronic main firmware version 72.70 normally coexists with SCC firmware version 04.10. If you use either the original 72.70 or our patched 72.70b with any earlier version of the SCC firmware, the inverter refuses to charge from solar unless you set the maximum total charge current (parameter 02) to 60 A or lower. [Edit: This problem is fixed in patched firmware version 72.70c.]

So if you need a higher maximum charge current and you want to use this patched firmware, you will also need to update the SCC firmware to version 04.10 (provided below). [Edit: This is no longer required or recommended with patched firmware version 72.70c.]

Edit: a belated but heartfelt thanks to Weber, who did 99% of the grunt work of implementing the hex file patches with a text editor.

Edit 2: removed the word "strict" (it has no meaning with analogue variables like charge current) and made the truncation to a whole number of amps more explicit. Added two examples.

Edit 3: Added a third difference to the official firmware (case (c)). Also "below" -> "at or below" for clarity.
Edit 4: "72.70 only" -> "72.70 and later".
Edit 5: "practically impossible to achieve" -> "difficult to achieve".
Last edited by weber on Tue, 07 Nov 2017, 11:28, edited 2 times in total.
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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