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InfiniSolar Plus 5KW fans not cooling


Youda
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Hi guys,

so I've just installed 2nd InifiniSolar Plus 5KW next to my 1st one and tied the two in parallel. They are syncing nicely, splitting the AC load 50/50 etc. So far, so good.

Strange is, that my older unit has it's fans constantly running, while the new one is almost silent. The older is reporting 32°C inner temperature and 34°C max component temperature.
The new one is reporting 44°C inner and 64°C max component.

Hmm, does any of you experienced such behavior too? :huh:

Thanks!

Youda

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That inverter is definitely defective.

I've just compared the startup sequence of the both units, and despite having a same FW version (which is a must for parallel), they behave diferently. The old one is much more noisy on start, while in the new one there's just a small internal fan spinning, but the three big blowers on top are quiet.

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Today's morning, I found out that during startup the blowers on top start spinning, but they stop after 5 or 10 seconds. Inverter works normally, and produces no error. Here's the photo taken from the top with protective mesh removed - inverter is powered-on, but as you can see, the fans are standing still:

image.thumb.png.ea3476c1d0f6b9d2d10883ba1796604f.png

Notes:

  • Because they are spinning during startup, it's not a bad controll chip.
  • Because inverter is able to report internal temperatures, it's not a bad thermal probe.
  • Strange is, that these fans have sensor wires built-in, but the inverter is not producing error while they stand still.
  • A firmware bug maybe?

Yes, it's a brand new unit, so I can take the box from the wall and ride it back to the shop. But I feel that this might need just a quick fix, so no point in moving 30Kg beast back and forth and undoing all the copper wires...

Any good ideas, please?

 

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Hi Chris,

I was lucky as both units came with the same firmware:

Main FW version              00001.01
Secondary FW version    00001.01
SNMP FW version           1.0.6

To be honest, I think that there's no other FW version for 5KW units. I saw updates for 10KW and 3KW, but no update for 5KW :(

 

Edited by Youda
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Just because it came with the same firmware doesn't mean that it might not behave differently on two similar pieces of hardware. It is pretty common for a device to have features or capabilities, a bitmask field programmed somewhere, that influences certain code paths in the firmware. What I am saying is this might in fact be quite normal.

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Hi Plonkster,

you're right - it's not just about firmware, NVRAM bits come into play too. But the top of the box was really hot to touch. So after the max temperature has risen to 64°C, I turned it off rather.

Hmm... maybe I can try to run this one in single mode and put some decent load on it, to see if the blowers start to react...

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So,

when in single mode AND (load > 2KW OR charging=true) then fans are spinning, else they stand still. This is different to the older unit, where fans are spinning all the time, adjusting the revolutions up/down according to a load.

Reset to the factory settings did not help. So I will assume that the newer unit has a different internal setting like the Plonkster noted. Anyway, I've already mailed the shop as I'd really like have confirmed whether it's okay or the unit is faulty.

 

 

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I thought I'd have a poke around in the firmware to see if I could shed any light on this. I have firmware for 3 K, 4 K, and 10 K models, so I picked the 4 K* model. Version 1.01 (main DSP). Before I got to the fan control, I noticed that there is a parallel task. Huh, perhaps they use the same firmware base. Sure enough, there is an UpdateLocalData() procedure. It has a different control flow graph, but sure enough, there is a comparison of CV and float voltages, and sure enough, they keep the lower of the two, subtract half a volt, and compare against the battery voltage. So it looks like the Infinis have the same main charge bug as the Axperts. Joy :(

Each Infini has inside it a master and a slave DSP. Not to be confused with master and slave machines when paralleled.

Fan control is a chore delegated to the slave, but it's not clear to me which DSP the fans are actually connected to; it seems more likely to be the master. The master and slave DSPs talk to each other over an internal CAN bus. (Not to be confused with the external CAN bus that the master and slave machines talk to each other over.) 

It looks to me that the fan should be running at 30% minimum all the time; in Axperts this is a very slow, quiet value. Anything over 900 W load should increase that. It seems that some temperature is attempted to be kept below 50°C, and turns off at 48°C. [ Edit: that could be the separate smaller internal fan. ] Of course, I may well have a different firmware, but I'd be moderately confident that they are all pretty similar, perhaps targeting a different maximum power (3000 W targets 100% fan speed on the firmware I'm reading, for example).

In the CAN packet that sends data to the master DSP, there are two readings from digital I/O, so these could be affecting behaviour. But I would think that similar models should read similar values from those I/O ports. In summary: it doesn't sound right to me. I'd be pushing for a replacement machine.

As a point of interest, the U1 display screen should have some more version numbers on it. What else do you see there?

* Edit: the firmware I'm reading is in a zip file with a name suggesting 4K; there is a PDF inside it talking about how to update your 10K model, mentioning a firmware update file with 10K in the name, but the actual firmware update file in the zip file has 3K in the name.

Edit 2: The Rating Inquiry command behaves like a 4000 VA model.

Edit 3: Mention 48-50°C could be the small internal fan.

Edited by Coulomb
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Hi Coulomb,

Thanks a lot for the code analysis! I left both units running in bypass overnight and they behave differently. Older have the fans slowly rotating all the time. Temperature 34°C. Fans in the new one stand still. Temperature 46°C.

AFAIK, the InfiniSolar Plus 3K 5K and 10K are one family of machines. InfiniSolar Super 4K and E5.5K are side branches with some major differences. Therefore, when there's a firmware update for 10K, an update for 3K is released too. On the other hand, since all these units are utilizing master/slave microcontroller architecture and are being controlled by the same software, I mean SolarPower/SolarPower Pro, I would also assume that the codebase is more-less the same.

Coulomb, can you navigate me where the "U1 display screen is", please? I'll take a screenshot.

BTW, I see that you are patching Axpert fimware releases for some time. Why the hell Voltronic did not fixed the charging bug yet?

Edited by Youda
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Hmm, here's the SolarPower screenshot and output for couple of query commands. But I'm still struggling to find "U1 display screen":

^P004VFW (CPU1 version)
^D017VERFW:00001.01

^P005VFW2 (CPU2 vesion)
^D018VERFW2:00001.01

^P003MD (device model)
^D037000,005000,99,1,1,2300,2300,04,120 (Infini-Solar 10KW/3P 5000VA)

^P005PIRI (rated info)
^D0452300,500,0217,2300,0217,0100,0480,2,01,0,1

^P003DM (machine model)
^D006151 (Hybrid type AS4777)

 

 

 

1.JPG

Edited by Youda
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3 hours ago, Youda said:

Coulomb, can you navigate me where the "U1 display screen is", please? I'll take a screenshot.

Oh. I've never seen one of these, I'm imagining that there is a built-in LCD display, something like on an Axpert. When you scroll through the various information "pages", one of them should have U1 in it. No matter, what you have shown is very valuable to me.

Quote

BTW, I see that you are patching Axpert fimware releases for some time. Why the hell Voltronic did not fixed the charging bug yet?

Yeah. Especially when I tell them it's in parallel.c, function UpdateLocalData() near the middle, and they have the arguments to a MIN() or MAX() round the wrong way (or equivalent).

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Well, the display on the Infini Plus is a bit different. All the values and states are shown at the same time so there are no "pages" you can scroll through. By using 4 buttons, you can walk thru this single screen and change the type of info displayed. For example, you highlight "AC Output" and then you can switch between kVA, KW or percentage. AFAIK, the Infini parameters cannot be tuned without an external software (contrary to Axpert, where one can controll the machine just using built-in buttons and display). Attached are the screens from my two units, master and slave when running from the battery with PV switch OFF.

So I had two units paralleled during the day, put in bypass, with a battery disconnected. No charging, no load. Older kept it's 33° temperature. Newer went to 44°C, but not higher.

In the evening, I've attached the battery and allowed discharging. No charging, no load. In a couple of minutes the newer went to 60°C and now it's turning blower on/off. Waits a minute, then turns blowers on just for a second and immedially turn them back off. It's funny, instead of keeping calm and steady airflow, it's screams up and down like a trapped coyote :D

 

I'm looking forward to receive some info from the shop tomorrow...

image.png.5965f22bd7f9e7f0d17347a372e63077.png

Edited by Youda
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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys,

just wanted to update you on the solution, so you can benefit from my findings...

The answer from the distributor was useless. There was literally no info, just offer to send him the unit back for the diagnostics. So, I've monitored temperatures of the both units for number of weeks and found that when the units are paralleled and operating and under at least a minimal load, then they are behaving the same.

To me it looks that a newer unit has some NVRAM modification (like Plonkster pointed out) that if SCC is not operating and there are no AC loads, the unit goes into "eco-mode". It stops the fans and waits for 65°C or so, to turn them back on and cool itself down.

image.thumb.png.99e115fd5ad6a69ab081c09fbf9a8f4a.png

But if the units are paralleled, and there are loads running from PV or from the battery, both units have their fans operating as expected and the temperature is similar.

 

Resume: If the fans in your brand new InfiniSolar are behaving a bit differently from the fans in the older one, do not panic. It's normal and should cause no harm :D

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Youda said:

If the fans in your brand new InfiniSolar are behaving a bit differently from the fans in the older one, do not panic.

Just make sure the inverter isn't in a room next to your Office, its really annoying, Stop, Start , stop , start all the time you allow discharge from the Battery's .

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Youda

How are your Infini 5kw inverters holding up. I see some negative comments regarding them in other threads. I am considering upgrading to it from my infini 3 plus which has just been outstanding over the last three years. Seems that they have problems in the coastal areas. so I was wondering about your experience.

Thanks Attie

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Hi Attie,

so far, both units are holding pretty well. I'm using them in off-grid mode, with grid input MCB disconnected. Paralleled they are able to share the load 50/50 and power the whole house. For example, yesterday I was doing pizza in the electric owen while laundry, washing machine and geyser was running simultaneously too. Rock solid boxes, I would say.

I even found a nice feature: I can turn-off one of the units using on/off button (or via webgui) and it goes into charger-only mode, where it has 90% less self-consumption. The operation is online, the second unit takes over all the load without a slightest glitch. Since it's Winter here and I don't need 10kW of AC power 24x7, I'm using this to save batteries when it's really overcast or snowing. This on/off can be scheduled too, but I was too lazy to try it yet.

I read about those DC/DC board failures too, but never experienced one myself. It had to be a bad manufacturing batch or something like that. One thing to note - I live on the mainland with the nearest coast roughly 500km away...

The only thing I don't like on my InfiniSolars is their self-consumption, which is quite huge. In the inverter-mode, it's like 125W per 5kW unit 24x7, and because I have 2 units, I'm drawing 250W from my batteries overnight. Since I don't need hybrid at all, I'm looking to use paralleled Axperts once my Infinis will die. The self-consumption of Axpert is roughly 50W per 5kW unit, which is MUCH better I would say. And the price of 2x Axpert is basically nothing, when compared to the price of 2x Infini, so you can have a spare unit onsite, if you like.

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 2019/01/24 at 9:14 AM, Youda said:

I even found a nice feature: I can turn-off one of the units using on/off button (or via webgui) and it goes into charger-only mode, where it has 90% less self-consumption. The operation is online, the second unit takes over all the load without a slightest glitch. Since it's Winter here and I don't need 10kW of AC power 24x7, I'm using this to save batteries when it's really overcast or snowing. This on/off can be scheduled too, but I was too lazy to try it yet.

This is very interesting since I'm considering to install a second 5kW inverter so I have some questions if you don't mind:

On 2019/01/24 at 9:14 AM, Youda said:

I can turn-off one of the units using on/off button (or via webgui)

Which button are you referring to? And with webgui you mean what you see via snmp?

On 2019/01/24 at 9:14 AM, Youda said:

This on/off can be scheduled too, but I was too lazy to try it yet.

Where and how? Did you overcome your laziness (😄) and have you tried it?

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Hi @RikH

Hmm, just like I said 🤣

- OFF button for turning off
- ON button for turning on

obrazek.png.dc94c456d2a88f4f1115c226c188bd18.png

For example, just press the OFF button for couple of seconds, the inverter will produce a long beep and then it will shutdown.

Basically, if the sun is shining, the Infini will stay in charger-only mode. In this mode, it's charging the batteries, but not generating AC. Once the sun will go down, the Infini running in charger mode will shutdown completely. Once the sun will rise again, the box will wake up and will start charging the batteries again. Just keep in mind that it will stay in charger-only mode, so it will not generate AC. If you want the box to supply AC loads, then you have to turn it back on. Manually, by holding the ON button, or via a remote command.

If you shutdown one of the units that are running in parallel, the process is online and non-disruptive. The other paralleled inverters will continue to supply the AC. Same with starting the inverter again.

Please, bear in mind that my system is off-grid. Your inverters might behave differently if you have a grid supply connected to them.

 

Of course, nobody will do the ON/OFF operations manually, every day. Therefore, you can do it remotely, via WebGUI of the "SNMP Web Pro Card".  There's even a basic scheduler available for this:

obrazek.png.4e8c9048fc2f5b3ed3e7e9288e3ccd8e.png

obrazek.thumb.png.a920ba6d19b96e569886178ff1a0c329.png

Or, if you have your inverters connected to a home automation, then you can issue ON/OFF command remotely, via script, based on the logic of your choice. Personally, I'm running a few scripts with this logic:

SOC:

  • If battery SOC is 25% then shutdown all the inverters. This will trigger the house ATS switch to connect the house to the backup power.
  • If battery SOC 70%, then start the first inverter. This will trigger an ATS switch to connect the house back to the PV system.

AC LOADS:

  • Normally, just one Infini is running, other two are in charger mode.
  • If there's more than 4000W of AC load, the other two Infinis are started automatically.

EV:

  • if an EV is connected to the wallbox AND battery SOC > 40% then all the inverters are started in order to enable maximum EV charging speed.

obrazek.png.9ad791218727c61a0e9daae904abab4f.png

AC LOAD:
obrazek.png.850ae966841480bbc25b4a9305e69940.png

SOC:
obrazek.png.616064143d80cfbd52fb8f232b84d39d.png

EV:
obrazek.png.536b6c50482ecb40153d3356db08cd7b.png

 

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On 2020/05/19 at 12:11 AM, Youda said:

Or, if you have your inverters connected to a home automation, then you can issue ON/OFF command remotely, via script, based on the logic of your choice.

These scripts is the best method for switching on and off. You have it running with Fibaro I noticed. My home automation system is running on Hubitat, not sure if there is a possibility to talk to and switch the inverters. How does your hub communicate with the inverters?

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10 hours ago, RikH said:

How does your hub communicate with the inverters?

  • I'm using a mini PLC that has multiple RS232 serial interfaces. These interfaces are connected to each InfiniSolar directly.
  • The PLC has some CAN bus interfaces too, these I'm using to talk to Pylontechs
  • A code running in the PLC is parsing serial communication (and CAN bus), then is providing the RestAPI with JSON interface available over TCP/IP LAN.
  • Once you have a LAN device with JSON support, it's actually very easy to use it in Fibaro.

PLC Tecomat Foxtrot:

Capture.JPG.38622a51cc246e661ae0f3ba0041e803.JPG

https://powerforum.co.za/topic/2322-youdas-off-grid-lab/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-60376

JSON output sample:

image.png.36d42d2e73e92eb5f857abbe3bb2b01d.png

 

(I bet that even Alexa or Siri would be able to use JSON directly, so you could yell something like "Siri, what's the actual solar power?" or "Siri, turn on the power plant".)

Of course, you can use any piece of suitable hardware, like RaspberryPI, Arduino etc. For example, I used a clone of Arduino called Z-UNO  in the start, since it has embedded Z-Wave chip onboard and is very easy to include in home automation as a standard z-wave device. It had some advantages and some pitfalls too.

In order to parse the serial communication, you have to search for a PDF "infinisolar protocol". It's available for download even somewhere on this forum. Or, you can modify one of the many github projects that are intended for use with Axpert/PIP inverters. There difference is, that Axpert/PIP protocol has "QPIGS style" commands, while InfiniSolar has "^P003GS style".

One last word: talk to the Infini via RS232 directly. As an alternative, you can talk thru USB port, since it's just a USBtoSerial embedded chip, not a real USB device. But stay away from using features of the "SNMP Web Pro card" for home automation. This card is a crap and has many issues.

 

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