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PIP GK series mppt probleme


cristof

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Hello from France,
I allow myself to post this message because many users of hybrid inverters here in France have a problem with their inverter.

it's inverters are from the PIP-GE series from mpp solar, but I think they are voltronic power

they are hight voltage mppt input

all the settings are done correctly, but the mppt algorithm does not seem to work properly. As soon as the panels are no longer in bright sunshine, as soon as the weather is slightly gray, the mppt input drops to 120V DC, and there is no more production. the power sent to the battery or charge is 0 watts.

At the same time, with the same configuration of solar panels, an old model PIP5048, at the same place produces it without any problems. yesterday, with a gray sky, the PIP5048 produced more than 850W, while the PIP GE produced absolutely nothing.

we currently have 3 inverters of this type that seem defective, they are not of the same brand, but all of the same model as: (2 ar WKS brand, one is Mpp solar). They are all similar as voltronic AXPERT

http://voltronicpower.com/en-US/Product/Detail/Axpert-VM-III-1.5KVA-3KVA-5KVA

https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pip-gk-series/

Does anybody could help us.

Best regards

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12 hours ago, cristof said:

it's inverters are from the PIP-GE series from mpp solar, but I think they are voltronic power

Yes, all MPPSolar inverter-chargers are genuine Voltronic Power machines.

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they are high voltage mppt input

In that case, they are PIP-5048MGs. Your post mentions three different models.

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all the settings are done correctly, but the mppt algorithm does not seem to work properly. As soon as the panels are no longer in bright sunshine, as soon as the weather is slightly gray, the mppt input drops to 120V DC, and there is no more production. the power sent to the battery or charge is 0 watts.

120 V is at the very bottom of the MPPT range (120 V to 430 V). How many panels do you have in series, and are they 60-cell or 72-cell? I think in another topic it was decided that you need at least 6S panels. You can't use the same panel configuration for the 145 V max models as you can with the 450 V max models.

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At the same time, with the same configuration of solar panels, an old model PIP5048, at the same place produces it without any problems. yesterday, with a gray sky, the PIP5048 produced more than 850W, while the PIP GE produced absolutely nothing.

You don't mention any reconfiguration of the panels. I would not expect a PIP-5048MG to produce any decent power from a set of panels suitable for a PIP-5048MS.

Separately to this issue with the number of panels, I believe that recent PIP-5048MGs have the same dip and freeze problem (PV production stops for no apparent reason), which also plagues the PIP-5048MKs (Axpert Kings). However, the factory firmware version 71.71 is supposed to fix this problem (not confirmed by users to my knowledge).

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Hello Coulomb, and many thanks for your reply,

Sory, but English is not my main language.

the inverter come from an european brand, but from voltronic factory. The Brand name is " WKS "

https://www.wattuneed.com/fr/onduleurs-et-convertisseurs/12472-onduleur-hybride-wks-evo-ii-5kva-48v-0712971139985.html

I think it's a AXPER VM III 5KVA; (similar MPP SOLAR PIP GK series ? )

Hight Voltage MPPT

There is 9 PV pannels: one string of 9 for 306V DC Vmpp

image.png.bf6a138285ce0fab0dcd3a9fd3f79565.png

When the inverter is started, the mppt input on display show 306V for 10 seconds, and drop to 120V (when sky is light grey) : 0 W production.

a test has been done with 2 string in parallèle (2 x 4 Pannels), input DC on display about 140V DC, (when sky is light grey) : about 400W production.

All PV pannels has been tested , they are all good.

In fact, with the same weather, a PIP 5048 with 2 string (2 x 4 "300W"), at the same time was producing more (0w for WKS inverter (drop to 120V), and 650W for PIP 5048).

Could you tell me how to find firmware version ?

best regards

 

 

image.png

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2 hours ago, cristof said:

the inverter come from an european brand, but from voltronic factory. The Brand name is " WKS "

https://www.wattuneed.com/fr/onduleurs-et-convertisseurs/12472-onduleur-hybride-wks-evo-ii-5kva-48v-0712971139985.html

Ah. That's an Axpert VM III. Equivalent to the PIP-5048GK, as you can see from this handy post. Sorry, I had confused the models also; I should have checked that post myself. I've not heard of that brand, so you might want to check out my Do I Own a Clone post.

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There is 9 PV pannels: one string of 9 for 306V DC Vmpp

Oh. That should be plenty. And Voc is only 360 V @ 25°C, some 385 V @ 0°C. So it's not shutting down through over-voltage.

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When the inverter is started, the mppt input on display show 306V for 10 seconds, and drop to 120V (when sky is light grey) : 0 W production.

That's quite strange. I don't think it's like the dips others have been seeing. [ Edit: I know that the linked post refers to a completely different model, but many of the non-MK models seem to be exhibiting these dips and freezes. ] For example, the period around 8am here:

image.png

Note how the PV volts stays high, as you'd expect from no load. Yours shoots down to 120 V, which happens to be the minimum MPPT voltage. It's as if the panels have gone high resistance, such that the slightest load from the MPPT, which presumably starts at 120 V, causes the voltage to collapse. So the MPPT keeps the current very low to prevent that voltage collapse, achieving a maximum power point that is so low it reads a zero.

That suggests a panel fault (some sort of intermittent high resistance connection or diode). If you used eight of those panels for the PIP-5048MS test, perhaps one string went open circuit, and you would not notice because the other string still produced. It would be good to test the nine panels in series on another string inverter, if possible.

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All PV pannels has been tested , they are all good.

How about their performance in shaded conditions (as opposed to cloud, i.e. some solar cells in good sun, others in shade). I can imagine an open circuit diode causing production to plummet in shady conditions. However, you seemed to be talking about a uniform grey sky. There could be an unusual problem with cabling, connectors, fuses, etc.

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Could you tell me how to find firmware version ?

Unfortunately, firmware update files are very hard to come by these days. There was an Axpert VM III firmware published here, but it's for a fairly old firmware version (20.59). No patched firmware is available for this model.

[ Edit: 5058 → 5048. Sigh. ]

Edited by Coulomb
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Hi Coulomb,

the european seller From "WKS" has send a new inverter (same), and it's still the same. It seems that many peoples in France with this inverter model (Axpert VM III or equal ) have the same problemes. Zero Watts production with light grey sky.

The seller is sending is low voltage mppt input (60-115v), we will change the panels wirering to (3 x 3) and will test:

 https://www.wattuneed.com/fr/onduleurs-et-convertisseurs/9548-onduleur-hybride-wks-evo-5kva-48v-0712971139138.html

for sure all the pannel are good.

again, thanks for your help, I willgive you news asap

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Hi Coulomb,

in recent days, information is spreading in some french photovoltaic forum. we are now realizing that many people bought this inverter  model without previous experience with solar systems. Many of these people thought that this was a normal operation.

Following a few videos on youtube, a lot of comments from people who are surprised to see these bad results. I do not have any contacts at Voltronic Power, but I have contact with Peggy from Mpp Solar, I sent her a message, she transferred my request to the technical department. I hope to have an answer, or an explanation quickly.

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Hi Coulomb,

Here is the first mesage I sent to MPP SOLAR :

""

 

I allow myself to write to you, as a representative of at least 5 mpp solar customer, who recently bought a 5048 GK inverter. They all have exactly the same problem. They all have about 2000 to 3000wc or more of solar panels, mounted in a single string.
As soon as the sun is slightly cloudy, or on morning and end of the day, the mppt input drops to 120V DC, and there is no more production. When there is a lot of sun, everything is ok. Tests have been done with other inverters, SMA, VICTRON, and when these inverters, with the same  solar panels configuration, produce with a clear gray sky, the morning or end of the day, the 5048GK no longer produces anything.
I personally use a hybrid inverter MPP SOLAR MPI 5.5KW that works and produces perfectly even in low sun.
It seems to me that either the  mppt card, or the algoritme of the mppt card have a serious problem.
It is not easy for French users to explain in English, that's why I intervene.
Can you help us solve these problems?

""

Here is first response from MPP SOALR:

""

ello Sir

Although there is the same PV input voltage and MPPT range ( max 500vdc input voltage and 120 - 450Vdc MPPT range) for the 5048GK inverter and MPI5.5Kw inverter, the PV installation angle, latitude and direction will affect the solar generation.These models' MPPT algorithm logic are different, so the MPPT operation will be not compared together.

The 5048GK inverter's start-up voltage is 150vdc (+/-10%) but the MPI5.5Kw inverter's start-up voltage is 116vdc. When the weather is cloudy/raining or sunset, as long as the PV input voltage is less than 150v, the 5048GK inverter will not provide solar power to the load or charge the battery. The unit entirely follows its original design and logic to work. Therefore, it is not a defect of the unit.

Download.html?IDMSG=46031&PJRANG=2.2&NAM  Download.html?IDMSG=46031&PJRANG=2.3&NAM

I hope it helps you.

""

Edited by cristof
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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 month later...
On 2020/11/01 at 11:06 PM, palagarde said:

I have the same problem as Cristof, I bought an Axpert VMIII recently (firmware 41.19), on sunny day day it work normally, on cloudy day it produce 0 watt with 5x2 410 watts panels. Pretty disapointing. I am in Galicia in Spain.

Hi there! I have the same problems (2x8 260w). did you find a solution to this?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the mpp solar 5048gk and I am also experiencing the same problems. Where I would be making atleast 1kw this unit doesn't even register unless it is direct sunlight. My setup is 12x 300w panels 39.1v ocv to the 5048gk charging 25kw lithium battery bank to 2x 3048 LV-mk feeding to house. I am right at 480vdc and still cannot make power unless there is direct sun.

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5 hours ago, Fyca said:

I am right at 480vdc and still cannot make power unless there is direct sun.

Your problem is too much PV voltage, not too little. In full sun, the panels get hot and actually produce less voltage, allowing more power through the solar charge controller.

On the Axpert VM III models (including the PIP-5048GK), solar charge power starts derating at 450 V, reducing from 3000 W max by 60 W for every volt over 450 V. So by 500 V, it would ramp to zero. Presumably, this 50 W minimum is there to allow the panel voltage to reduce under load, which might sometimes be enough to "bootstrap" the panels into a safe operating area.

This is true of all three VM III main firmware series: 20.xx, 41.xx and 91.xx.

Edit: At least, the limit before fault code 07 (overload timeout) has this derating. Presumably, it attempts to do the actual ramping elsewhere.

At 480 V, the power limit would presumably be 20 x 60 = 1200 W.

Edited by Coulomb
6V -> 60W (derating)
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I have the same invert (PIP5048GK) it work better with 2x6 panels it is more effectiv because it receive more current to start (max current is 18A at the input). The PIP7248MAX is more effectiv with the same amont off panel

Edited by KJM
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17 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Your problem is too much PV voltage, not too little. In full sun, the panels get hot and actually produce less voltage, allowing more power through the solar charge controller.

On the Axpert VM III models (including the PIP-5048GK), solar charge power starts derating at 450 V, reducing from 3000 W max by 60 W for every volt over 450 V. So by 500 V, it would ramp to zero. Presumably, this 50 W minimum is there to allow the panel voltage to reduce under load, which might sometimes be enough to "bootstrap" the panels into a safe operating area.

This is true of all three VM III main firmware series: 20.xx, 41.xx and 91.xx.

Edit: At least, the limit before fault code 07 (overload timeout) has this derating. Presumably, it attempts to do the actual ramping elsewhere.

At 480 V, the power limit would presumably be 20 x 60 = 1200 W.

Just to be clear my panels are never running at 480v that's just the Ocv. Usually I am running near 190v during charging. I am adding a pic here just to show my performance this morning. I haven't seen voltage much above 400v. My current setup is 12 panels at 32.1v VMP 39.8v Ocv. 

Does derating happen before mppt adjusts the voltage? 

Capture+_2020-12-13-08-31-11.png

Edited by Fyca
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18 minutes ago, KJM said:

I have the same invert (PIP5048GK) it work better with 2x6 panels it is more effectiv because it receive more current to start (max current is 18A at the input). The PIP7248MAX is more effectiv with the same amont off panel

I would go that route, but my panels are 1000ft away from my house and runs over 2 separate 8awg wire pairs. Voltage drop becomes large on small voltages

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The reason I am trying to get as much volts as I can is hopefully to get power earlier and later. My thought being larger voltage will start the scc even with low light, but it does not seems to happen that way. I had better results with low voltage on my 3048 lv-mk's

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12 minutes ago, Fyca said:

The reason I am trying to get as much volts as I can is hopefully to get power earlier and later. My thought being larger voltage will start the scc even with low light, but it does not seems to happen that way. I had better results with low voltage on my 3048 lv-mk's

About an hour later 9:50am now stuck at 120v and making no power. I'll try switching to 2 strings of 6 and if that does better I will make it 2 strings of 8.

Capture+_2020-12-13-09-50-46.png

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20 hours ago, Fyca said:

Just to be clear my panels are never running at 480v that's just the Ocv. Usually I am running near 190v during charging.

Huh? Is 190 V a typo? I would not expect panel voltage to sag that much, unless light is very low.

20 hours ago, Fyca said:

I am adding a pic here just to show my performance this morning. I haven't seen voltage much above 400v.

In winter when the panels are colder, you may well see higher voltages. But if the PV voltage mostly stays below 400 V, then that should be fine.

20 hours ago, Fyca said:

My current setup is 12 panels at 32.1v VMP 39.8v Ocv. 

39.8 V x 12 = 478 V, and you can usually add around 7% at 0°C, so that's 511 V. You might get away with it.

20 hours ago, Fyca said:

Does derating happen before mppt adjusts the voltage? 

Yes, though as soon as the inverter starts drawing current from the panels, the panel voltage will fall. But it's possible to "get stuck" at a high panel voltage, when the derating is so high that the panel voltage won't come down fast enough to end up under the "no more derating" voltage (which I'm assuming is 450 V).

Your first screenshot shows standby mode; the battery voltage is 55.9 V, which is quite high. I assume you must have a 16S LFP battery, as 15S LFP usually stops charging at 54.0 V. So that might be why there is no charging.

In your second screenshot, the battery voltage is still very high at 55.2 V. What is your absorb/bulk battery voltage setting, or are you using the direct-to-battery-BMS cable? Is it a Pylontech battery?

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22 hours ago, Fyca said:

 

 

2 hours ago, Coulomb said:

Huh? Is 190 V a typo? I would not expect panel voltage to sag that much, unless light is very low.

In winter when the panels are colder, you may well see higher voltages. But if the PV voltage mostly stays below 400 V, then that should be fine.

39.8 V x 12 = 478 V, and you can usually add around 7% at 0°C, so that's 511 V. You might get away with it.

Yes, though as soon as the inverter starts drawing current from the panels, the panel voltage will fall. But it's possible to "get stuck" at a high panel voltage, when the derating is so high that the panel voltage won't come down fast enough to end up under the "no more derating" voltage (which I'm assuming is 450 V).

Your first screenshot shows standby mode; the battery voltage is 55.9 V, which is quite high. I assume you must have a 16S LFP battery, as 15S LFP usually stops charging at 54.0 V. So that might be why there is no charging.

In your second screenshot, the battery voltage is still very high at 55.2 V. What is your absorb/bulk battery voltage setting, or are you using the direct-to-battery-BMS cable? Is it a Pylontech battery?

190 is not a typo my panels are usually riding low on volts. If I switch off the panels and then back on I'll see it jump to 400v ish and quickly drop under 200v. KJM recommended 2 strings of 6 so I am going to see how that works today. The battery shows 55.9v but full should be 58v atleast that is what is set on the charger. I have noticed though that my batteries won't charge above 56v, they are custom made from Nissan leaf batteries. I am attaching a screen shot of the battery specs. I am still trying to figure out how to get the pylontech comms to talk to my batteries, any good info on the protocol? My bulk/absorb voltage is 58v. I appreciate your replys. Oh and the reason the inverter shows standby is because I only use that inverter for charging batteries as it is European voltage and high pv voltage and I am split phase, my house runs on 2x 3048 LV-mk. 

 

Capture+_2020-12-14-07-43-44.png

Capture+_2020-12-14-07-55-38.png

Edited by Fyca
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13 hours ago, Fyca said:

190 is not a typo my panels are usually riding low on volts. If I switch off the panels and then back on I'll see it jump to 400v ish and quickly drop under 200v.

I don't know your panels and have no experience with high voltage solar charge controllers, but that doesn't sound right to me. I'm assuming that this is in reasonable light conditions. I suspect a problem with one or more panels, or the solar charge controller is having measurement or other errors that are leading it to try to draw too much current, collapsing the panel voltage.

Do others see a 2:1 voltage drop when their high voltage panels start drawing power?

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10 hours ago, Coulomb said:

I don't know your panels and have no experience with high voltage solar charge controllers, but that doesn't sound right to me. I'm assuming that this is in reasonable light conditions. I suspect a problem with one or more panels, or the solar charge controller is having measurement or other errors that are leading it to try to draw too much current, collapsing the panel voltage.

Do others see a 2:1 voltage drop when their high voltage panels start drawing power?

I don't know of anyone running high voltage panels. Anyways I switched to 2x6 and it seemed to perform a but better, still seems like the low light is an issue, but I was able to make a max of almost 3k during partial sun yesterday. Today I am going to move my solar to my low voltage inverter and see how that works. 

Capture+_2020-12-14-13-06-58.png

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Hello Coulomb,

I also have a problem with my inverter. I'm off-grid so it's complicated to have little or no energy ...

I have 2 strings of 7 panels (210Wp, Peak Voltage 26.3V, Peak Current 7.99A, Open Circuit 33.3V)

The inverter in question is a Superwatt VM II, 3kW, 24V battery. I suspect a clone of a Voltronic Axpert VM II 3000-24

When the sun does not directly shine on the panels, the inverter no longer charges, the batteries are weak, and the inverter drops the voltage of the panels.
The voltage of the no-load panels: 205V and when I reconnect the panels to the inverter, the voltage varies and is not stable, 115V, 140V, 120V, ...

In summer, there is no problem, but in winter ... I am also exposed to the west side ...

Did I make the right choice of inverter, what could be the solution in your opinion?

 

Thanks

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10 hours ago, Flore said:

Did I make the right choice of inverter, what could be the solution in your opinion?

In my opinion, a clone is never a good idea; you want a manufacturer that knows how their product works, not guessing at a copy of someone else's product. I'm also not a fan of 24V inverters for whole of house off-grid use. There also seems to be less support from other users, as the 48V models seem more popular.

That aside, it seems to me that your system just isn't getting enough PV voltage in winter. In winter, the sun is further away from vertically above, so sunlight travels through more atmosphere. Plus of course, the days are shorter, and you often need more energy for heating.

So it might help to put your panels on stands so they point more directly at the sun in winter. This will make summer production worse, but you have no problems in summer at present.

That's a lot of work and expense of course. So firstly I'd try reconnecting your panels as say 12S1P. Yes, you'll have 2 panels not doing anything, but it might work better than now. If so, roif space and finances permitting, you could add 2 more panels and configure as 8S2P. The extra 25-30V may be enough to stop the panel voltage scraping the low voltage threshold, which might be about 120V for your model. If your model is rated at 3000W PV charging, the extra power should not be a problem. You could test drive 8S2P with 8S1P temporarily. Look for stability of the PV voltage. If it's stable, then 8S2P should be much the same, except obviously with twice the power. 

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So for an update. I moved my panels to my low voltage inverters. I am now making power on shaded and times of partial light. Today was a clear day and I was only able to make 2kw max where I saw nearly 3k on a partial sun day, but overall I'm producing more power than I was. I think I'm going to try the 8x2 panel setup on the high voltage inverters.

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Yes, I know, but I don't know anything about it, it's only now that I know there are a lot of Axpert clones.

I will try to put the system in 8S1P, to see if there are improvements.
It's not that I'm asking for more production than in summer, but in the morning, I can't get a 10W bulb to shine for more than 3 minutes. You have to wait 11am to have a little boost of energy.
(There is nothing else on the installation)

If I hadn't ordered this inverter and done this 7S2P setup, what would you have done with my 14 panels, which inverter?

Thank you very much Coulomb

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