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Coulomb

MPP Solar inverters support Pylontech (some models)

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I happened across this today:

https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pylontech/

"We are pleased to announce that our MPI Hybrid inverter family is now ready to support Pylontech US2000B Plus lithium batteries, through the newly added BMS support via RS485 card"

At the end, it used to say:

"Note: PIP-GK and PIP-MK starting Dec 2018 will also be able to work with Pylontech lithium batteries."

[ Edit: the above disappeared for a few weeks, then was replaced with this:

"PIP-GK and PIP-MK 48V models (5048GK, 5048MK), starting January 2019, will be updated with special firmware PCB for use with Pylontech Lithium batteries.

Users simply simply have to connect a BMS cable (supplied separately upon request) directly from the GK/MK's reserved BMS port

to the Pylontech's BMS port and it is automatic compatibility."

    In this post, we find out that models that don't come with this support can't be updated to add this support without extra hardware, and the only solution is to replace the entire unit. ]

MPI hybrids are the MPP Solar name for the Infinis. The off-grid models with K in the name are the more modern ones with the removable displays. 

Edit: The PIP-GKs are also known as the Axpert VM III, and the PIP-MK are also known as the Axpert King.

[ Edit: added "it used to say". Then added newer text from MPP Solar. Added note about old hardware not being upgradeable. ]

Edited by Coulomb
Added last two short paragraphs.

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On 2018/11/07 at 5:01 AM, Coulomb said:

I happened across this today:

https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pylontech/

"We are pleased to announce that our MPI Hybrid inverter family is now ready to support Pylontech US2000B Plus lithium batteries, through the newly added BMS support via RS485 card"

At the end:

"Note: PIP-GK and PIP-MK starting Dec 2018 will also be able to work with Pylontech lithium batteries."

MPI hybrids are the MPPSolar name for the Infinis. The off-grid models with K in the name are the more modern ones with the removable displays. 

Edit: The PIP-GKs are also known as the Axpert VM III, and the PIP-MK are also known as the Axpert King.

nice!

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I note that support for PIP-GK and PIP-MK (Axpert VM III, and the Axpert King) have been quietly dropped. There is a Pylontech-specific PDF on how to set up your machine without proper BMS communication, but that seems to be it. I see nothing on the actual Voltronic Power web site; for whatever reason the MPP Solar web site seems more up to date (most of the time).

This is despite Power Punk's appreciated post about "completed development" for the Infini series. This seems to be for brand new machines; older machines and existing stock seem to miss out, sadly. For new Infinis, it seems very simple: buy the modbus card, insert it, plug in the supplied cable, and power up the battery first. Nothing more to do, and you get accurate SOC readings on the inverter.

[ Edit April 2019: It seems that recent 5 kVA models of the VM III do talk directly to the Pylontechs after all. Maybe the King will follow soon. ]

Edited by Coulomb
As noted.

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The new development from Voltronic with regards to communication with PylonTech lithium batteries will take two forms; an RS485 Card (to be plugged into the Intelligent slot of the inverter) and an RS485 external box (to be plugged into the inverter RS232 port, I believe). Either of the devices will then be connected to the RJ45 port of the PylonTech battery to complete the connection. 

The RS485 external box allows the operator to maintain usage of other Voltronic Infinisolar accessories typically plugged into the intelligent slot (e.g. Modbus Card, SNMP Card, GSM/GPRS Card and WiFi Card). This is an important consideration by the manufacturer because many applications will require more than 1 of the Voltronic Infinisolar accessories to be used in order to achieve the desired operating mode (e.g. A Modbus Card and Eastron SDM630M to control export power to the Grid as well as an RS485 box to control charge/discharge between the inverter and PylonTech battery bank).

The PylonTech communication accessories should be available in Q1 of 2019.

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On 2018/12/28 at 11:57 AM, Coulomb said:

[ Edit April 2019: It seems that recent 5 kVA models of the VM III do talk directly to the Pylontechs after all. Maybe the King will follow soon. ]

Hi Coulomb, I have just bought a VMIII. The seller told me that it had Pylontecth support in firmware, but in battery menu I only have AGM, flooded and User define. Is there any way  of knowing if it has the Pylontech compatible firmware?

In the box there is two cables, both of them with RJ45 terminals, but different pinout. I suppose one is CAN and the other is RJ485 (photo attached)

Could it be that specific litium options are visible only if you connect the appropiate cable and start the batteries first? Or could it be theres isn't any menu option about litiium batteries?

How do I know if my firmware is the one with Pylontech compability?

IMG_20190429_104941.jpg

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On 2019/04/29 at 7:52 PM, TomasCrespo said:

The seller told me that it had Pylontech support in firmware, but in battery menu I only have AGM, flooded and User define.

That sounds like it has the older firmware.

Quote

Is there any way  of knowing if it has the Pylontech compatible firmware?

I don't know. I'm just guessing from a recent manual:

 

389508324_AxpertRecentVMIIIPyL.png.b70c410729a0b8c7c297a85072903781.png

The above sure looks like what you need for Pylontech support. Oh, is yours a 5 kW model?

[ Edit: the paper manuals are notoriously out of date, so I would not base anything much on what your paper manual says. ]

Quote

In the box there is two cables, both of them with RJ45 terminals, but different pinout. I suppose one is CAN and the other is RJ485 (photo attached)

I don't believe that there is a CAN cable in there. The black cable looks like it's RJ-12 (6 pin) [ edit: it's not, see below ], while the white one is an ordinary CAT-5 or similar cable (RJ-45, 8 pin) [ edit: not ordinary, see below also ]. Are one of the ports on the removable LC Display panel 6-pin? The three main sockets seem to be for micro-USB, the battery (and perhaps other RS-485 things), and a communications cable for the PC. I'm wondering if you ended up with a wrong cable. One of the cables may be intended for connecting the removable display at a distance (it's shown as 8-pin RJ-45). I would think that there should also be a short cable with RJ-45 at one end, and a DB-9 at the other, for RS-232. The Unpacking and Inspection part of the manual suggests only one cable, "RS232 Communications cable x 1".

Quote

Could it be that specific litium options are visible only if you connect the appropiate cable and start the batteries first?

It's possible, but I really doubt it.

What's the manufacture date of your machine? It may be encoded in the barcode, as the fifth through eighth digits. For example, 92931901.... would mean 2019  month 01 (January), just before the Pylontech support came out.

Edited by Coulomb

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15 minutes ago, Coulomb said:

ordinary CAT-5 or similar cable

The CAN connections on these batteries look like normal ethernet plugs. The cable that comes with the battery does not necessarily work with any and all inverters out there. EG the pinout is completely wrong for a Victron setup.

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@TomasCrespo

MPP PIP Inverters are talking to Pylontech via RS485 port.
But the white cable that is supplied with the batteries has a wrong pinout (it's a CAN cable for LG inverters I think).
Therefore, you have to order a "PIP BMS Cable" directly from MPP Solar:
image.png.60d594dc5b3f8bae2be8bef899b5ba7d.png

RS485 pinout on the battery side is this:

image.png.f90ddbee615041b0f48234911c823311.png

But the pinout for Inverter side is unknown :(
Therefore, you have to experiment with those 3 wires, or order a proper cable directly from MPP Solar...

 

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I suspect this could be fixed with a firmware update but that Voltronic has explicitly decided not to release firmwares anymore to prevent other companies from using it on clones.  It is a bit sad because I don't think it is actually deterring clone makers because they still release devices that look the same and work the same.  Only hurts customers but Chinese companies aren't so big on customer satisfaction.

It is quite common in Chinese culture to not care about what happens after a sale.  There is an expression for it but I couldn't find it.  The proverb goes something along the lines of only worrying about today because sales tomorrow aren't guaranteed.  So once a sale is made, screw that guy 😛

Edited by Gnome

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12 hours ago, TomasCrespo said:

In the box there is two cables, both of them with RJ45 terminals, but different pinout. I suppose one is CAN and the other is RJ485 (photo attached)

I assumed that by "the box" you meant the inverter box, since you mentioned just receiving a VM III inverter. But are these from the battery box?

I can now make out that the white cable has an "inverter" label at one end and "bat" at the other.

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7 hours ago, Coulomb said:

I assumed that by "the box" you meant the inverter box, since you mentioned just receiving a VM III inverter. But are these from the battery box?

I can now make out that the white cable has an "inverter" label at one end and "bat" at the other.

Hi! 

Both cables came with the inverter box. The seller told me that if in the box I got these cables is because the inverter has the Pylontech update. 

Both cables are RJ45, but different pinout. One of them (the white) is CAN, obviously not for Pylontech, and the other one I suppose is RS485 for Pylontech. I attach pics of pinout. 

The maker date of the serial number is 2018/09, but I bought (and the seller order to the maker) only one week ago. 

However I have no "Pylontech" option in menu "05 Battery type". Is there anyway of show firmware version (by console or with ICC perhaps)? 

In update Axpert manuals there is an appendix at the end showing how to connect the Pylontech to the inverter. It has to be by RS485, but it's not clear for me if I have to put on switch 1 of the DIP of the batterie. 

Anyway, I doubt that 05 option appears when I connect the battery correctly. I think is an outdated firmware 

 

 

 

IMG_20190430_080140.jpg

IMG_20190430_080151.jpg

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4 hours ago, TomasCrespo said:

Both cables came with the inverter box.

Oh.

4 hours ago, TomasCrespo said:

One of them (the white) is CAN,

Everyone keeps talking about CAN cables for Axperts! As far as I know, the only CAN bus is used for talking to paralleled or three-phase machines; I don't believe that there is CAN for customers at all.

Also, CAN bus only needs 2 wires, perhaps 3, 4 at the outside.

The white cable doesn't look like any standard ethernet cable, but I'm no expert on that.

Quote

The maker date of the serial number is 2018/09, but I bought (and the seller order to the maker) only one week ago. 

How hard would it have been for them to reflash the firmware for you? Especially since you made it very clear that you needed the new firmware.

It looks from the web page that there might be no updates, too. It states flat out, in red letters, admittedly about the hybrid models only: "Please note MPI Hybrid units produced prior to January 2019 will NOT be able to support Pylontech batteries". There is no equivalent text for the PIP-5048GK/MK models.

If they flat out refuse to send a firmware update, there is still the possibility that they could send out the new firmware on a new control board. But you'd presumably have to pay for that, even though it's their fault, and it might take a long time to arrive, and you'd have to open up your machine to replace the board. Let's hope it doesn't get to that stage.

Quote

Is there anyway of show firmware version (by console or with ICC perhaps)? 

That's easy, just use the up or down buttons till you get to a screen like this:

819885965_Versionchecking.png.6c50b6b412035602bcb7e074a1eca5da.png

It's not obvious which of these (U1, U2, or U3) are the ones with the Pylontech support, or if these version numbers are realistic.

I believe that you can also use WatchPower; I think the main display screen has the firmware version numbers in it. But good luck figuring out how to connect your PC to it. Maybe a standard microUSB cable would do it. Similarly if you have ICC and can get it to talk to this newish machine.

As for the left most DIP switch on the battery, there are only two positions, so try both. But first you will need that firmware.

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Not sure what country you are from, but in our country if a company sells something saying it must support X and it doesn't support X, you can send it back for a full refund.

Alternatively you can ask them to fix it.  Have you tried emailing Voltronic Power about this?

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Hi again!

White cable it is not a Ethernet cable, that's sure (I'm IT). It has differents pinouts in each terminal, and it is marked, one terminal for inverter and one for batteries, so... it is RS485 or CAN.

In Pylontech user guide (from the internet) I see this pinout for RS485 (6 wires) and CAN (3 wires) 854277326_RS485CAN.PNG.fa7891d34caebb240e107bea7444d7ff.PNG

But in the Pylontech user guide I got with my batterie I have this pinout for the same page:

IMG_20190430_173220.thumb.jpg.608d5381de16752c52fccee6e2ddefdb.jpg

 

As you can see RS485 its not doubled.

 

Anyway I have tried to connect the inverter and Pylontech in the specified way at Axpert manual:

  1. DIP 1 on (with only one battery)
  2. Connecting cable in RS485 Pylontech port and inverter BMS port
  3. Turning on Pylontech battery
  4. Turning on inverter

But there is no option "Pylontech" in menu "05 Battery Type", and the SOC in the inverter does not match with the SOC in the Pylontech (when there is a load), so... there is no communication.

Anyway, I have tried with both cables

 

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2 hours ago, Gnome said:

Not sure what country you are from, but in our country if a company sells something saying it must support X and it doesn't support X, you can send it back for a full refund.

Alternatively you can ask them to fix it.  Have you tried emailing Voltronic Power about this?

Voltronic? I dont think they have reply an email in their whole life 😁

I live in Spain. There is no problem about getting a refund. The seller has no problem on that.

I am going to use the inverter and Pylontech with ICC, so I don't know if the communication between inverter and Pylontech will be important.

In my setup ICC will read the SOC of the Pylontech directly from the Pylontech console port, and make changes in the inverter according to these reads.

Do you think in this scenario a inverter with Pylontecth enabled firmware will apport anything?

Thanks

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9 hours ago, Coulomb said:

If they flat out refuse to send a firmware update, there is still the possibility that they could send out the new firmware on a new control board. But you'd presumably have to pay for that, even though it's their fault, and it might take a long time to arrive, and you'd have to open up your machine to replace the board. Let's hope it doesn't get to that stage.

As you know in VMIII the LCD its detachable. Is there the firmware? I mean, if I send them only the removable LCD screen, could they update the firmware?

 

 

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On 2019/05/01 at 2:31 AM, TomasCrespo said:

Voltronic? I dont think they have reply an email in their whole life 😁

I'm sure if your email mentions how you intend to buy 1000 inverters, they'd respond 🤔

On 2019/05/01 at 2:31 AM, TomasCrespo said:

In my setup ICC will read the SOC of the Pylontech directly from the Pylontech console port, and make changes in the inverter according to these reads.

Do you think in this scenario a inverter with Pylontecth enabled firmware will apport anything?

As far as I know, you can't have both ICC and the inverter talking to the battery. [ Edit: actually, ICC connects via the console port, not the RS-485 port, so it actually would be possible. ] So no, I don't think it matters that much that your inverter does or does not support the Pylontech directly. Just ignore the SOC shown on the inverter, and use the one from ICC instead. There are a few things that perhaps ICC can't compensate for, but these are pretty minor.

On 2019/05/01 at 6:58 AM, TomasCrespo said:

I mean, if I send them only the removable LCD screen, could they update the firmware?

No. Setting 05 is something that's in main firmware. [ Edit: as of June 2019, I'm not sure about that now. ] It' is in the processor on the control board, and that board is removable. But you need to get permission to open the unit. You will be breaking a small sticker with the manufacturing date on it, and normally this would (I think) void your warranty.

Of course, you could probably operate the unit in a limited way while the removable display was away, but it won't do anything at all without the control board.

There is also the issue of sending things to China. Their customs service seems to sometimes have problems bringing electronics into the country. Most likely, they would want to charge you for a new control board, and you could keep the old one while they send it. It sometimes takes a long time (more than a month) for a control board to be sent.

Edited by Coulomb
As noted.

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20 hours ago, Coulomb said:

As far as I know, you can't have both ICC and the inverter talking to the battery. So no, I don't think it matters that much that your inverter does or does not support the Pylontech directly. Just ignore the SOC shown on the inverter, and use the one from ICC instead. There are a few things that perhaps ICC can't compensate for, but these are pretty minor

In my tests the inversor see an high drop in battery voltage when there is a load, so it thinks battery is at 50% when actually is at 100%. My main worry is about the inverter making decisions according to the battery voltage it see. 

But... if I had pylontech enabled firmware... 🤔 The options to change from battery to grid would be the same options, it is configured at a specific voltage. Do the inverter have the right voltage then? Or only it will have the right SOC (%)? 

 

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On 2019/05/02 at 7:30 AM, TomasCrespo said:

Do the inverter have the right voltage then? Or only it will have the right SOC (%)

We should consult the extensive documentation on the web page. Oh, wait... 😮

Seriously, we'll find out when someone who has it posts about it. My guess is that it will merely report the correct SOC, and the battery icon with the 0-4 bars will be accurate. Again guessing, I'd say that settings 12 and 13 etc will still be based on battery voltage. That's what the manual suggests at least. But the manual may not tell the whole story. 

Oh, I see that there is an additional LC Display information item, bmS. It tells you the battery number and group. Whoopee.

Edit: there are also three new warning codes, 60-63. [ Edit: it now looks like 60-62 and 69-70, at least for Axpert Kings. ] 60 seems of some use; if the battery BMS says to stop charging and discharging, then it seems the inverter will do so with warning code 60. So that's extra protection for the battery. 

Edited by Coulomb
"error codes" → "warning codes"; "bns" → "bms"

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6 hours ago, Coulomb said:

I'd say that settings 12 and 13 etc will still be based on battery voltage

That's sure, but... Where will came from the voltage readings? Will be calculated by the inverter? Or will be calculated by Pylon and read by the inverter by BMS? 

I think that's the key. 

If the voltage remains read by the inverter (inaccurate) the Pylontech enabled firmware is not worth. If only reads the SoC by BMS... for what? There is no options to take actions according to the SoC 

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On 2019/05/02 at 5:37 PM, TomasCrespo said:

Where will came from the voltage readings?

That's a great question. The BMS will be a lot closer to the battery, and so will have a much better idea of the battery voltage.

I've changed my mind about whether the battery can connect to both ICC and an Axpert inverter. (Earlier post edited. ) ICC uses the console port, not the RS-485 port, so it would be possible to connect the BMS to both.

I've recently been reminded of a good reason why you would want to do that [ edit: in addition to wanting to get a better battery voltage reading ]. Near the end of charge, if a cell gets into voltage trouble, the BMS will call for lower charge current. (Some will also call for a lower charge target voltage, as @Plonkster explains here .) Everything will go more smoothly if the inverter heeds that reduced current call. Of course, this is a big IF. In the absence of clear documentation, we'll have to do experiments to find out whether those Axperts with Pylontech support actually implement this.

Sorry for the about face on this 🙃

Edited by Coulomb

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I e-mailed Voltronic about Pylontech BMS communication support on a late 2018 manufactured InfiniSolar 4kW Super. Their response was that the model was currently not supported. I have not inquired about the 3kW, 5kW and 10kW InfiniSolar Inverters.

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I've been speaking with the seller about a firmware update, but finally he has told me that is not only the firmware, there is also some hardware modifications too in the > 2019 February models. 

So, the only solution is send the full inverter for a replacement 

 

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Hi again, 

I finally got my inverter replaced 

Now I have one VMIII dated 2018/11/01 but with Pylontech enabled firmware. I can choose Pylon on menu 05.

I making my first tests, but at least now SOC is informed right on LCD screen. 

If you select Pylon in parameter 05 (battery type) some others parameters are not able to modify, like bulk charge or flotation voltage. That's logic, but I don't understand why the parameter "cut-off voltage" is disabled too. I would like to cutoff the battery at an higher voltage. 

So, if someone has any question about an inverter with this firmware, perhaps I could help 

Edited by TomasCrespo

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