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Growatt Inverter + Pylontech Batteries : BMS Comms Guide

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I've recently purchased and installed the following:

1 x Growatt SPF 5000TL HVM 5kVA/5kW Hybrid Inverter.

2 x Pylontech US3000 batteries.

1 x Pylontech cable kit with RJ45 BMS comms cable included.

I've just spent 5 days communicating with Growatt in China to figure out why I could not get the inverter to communicate with the BMS on the master battery properly.

After many, many emails back and forward, and far too many hours of research online, I finally got it right today and I think it is worth sharing this information here, in case anybody else needs it, because I couldn't find the right information anywhere on the internet, all in one place, explained properly.

It turns out that the Growatt SPF5000 has to be connected to the Pylontech batteries differently to the way Axpert inverters are connected to Pylontech batteries.

Everything I was reading online was saying that you need to plug the RJ45 comms cable into the CAN port on the master battery and then into the BMS port on the inverter, and then you need to set the battery type to Li (setting 05 on Axpert and Growatt inverters) and then choose Li profile L02 (also apparently the same for Axpert and Growatt inverters).

It turns out, the Growatt does NOT communicate via the CAN port. It communicates via the RS485 port that is positioned below the CAN port on the master battery.

And in addition to that, it requires a 9600 baud rate, which you can set using the 4 small white dipswitches on the master battery.

For the Growatt you must set those dipswitches to:  1 0 0 0 (ON OFF OFF OFF)

When connected to the CAN port and put into Li (L02) mode, the Growatt inverter faults and gives an error 20 and an error 04 constantly.

When connected to the RS485 port with the dipswitches set to 1000, comms is immediately established and it works as intended.

I also installed 2 firmware updates on the inverter, that were sent to me by Growatt in China (who were very helpful through this entire process despite not actually giving me the information I actually needed to solve this), but in retrospect I actually wonder if those firmware updates even made a difference because I was able to put the inverter into Li (L02) mode before applying those firmware updates anyway, I just didn't know about the RS485 port and the dipswitches.

Recommended configuration process

1. Turn inverter on but run off battery only. Disable A/C input and  A/C output (use isolator switches if you have them).

2. Go to setting 5 and select battery type = Li. Then select profile L02 (This is specifically for Pylontech batteries). Push ESC to return to home screen. Go back to setting 5 and verify that it was saved as Li.

3. Now shutdown the inverter and batteries completely. Turn the batteries off using the on/off flip switch, not just the red button on the master battery.

4. Now make sure that the end of the comms cable on the battery side (it will probably have a little sticker on it that says BAT) is plugged into the RJ45 port labelled RS485 that is below the CAN port. And also make sure that the other end is plugged into the RJ45 port labelled BMS on the inverter and NOT into the other RJ45 port that is labelled RS485 (Yes, I know, it's weird, just go with it).

5. Now set the 4 little white dipswitches to: ON OFF OFF OFF (1000).

6. Now turn the batteries back on and then turn the inverter back on.

You should no longer see any fault codes or the red fault light.

How to tell that the inverter really is communicating with the BMS properly

1. You should now see a little Li symbol next to the battery icon on the home screen of the inverter, and that Li symbol should NOT be flashing. When it's not flashing and is solid it means comms is working.

2. If you go and look at most of the battery values on the status screens or in settings related to battery level (SOC) you should now see percentage values where there were voltage values before. Setting 21 is a good example of that.

I hope this helps somebody else because the information available online with regards to the Growatt routers is of no help in this regard and most of the information available relates to Axpert inverters, which appear to be very similar to the Growatt at face value, but communicate with the Pylontech batteries differently from what I can see.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks and should be useful to others using PylonTech.

Any idea if the same would apply to Dyness batteries? 

Getting issue with new install that runs fine from PV, but as soon as supply switched to Batt, Red ALM LED lights on Batteries and Growatt inverter goes Error 08 (Bus voltage high) within seconds. 

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On 2020/02/18 at 6:54 AM, SiliconKid said:

How to tell that the inverter really is communicating with the BMS properly

1. You should now see a little Li symbol next to the battery icon on the home screen of the inverter, and that Li symbol should NOT be flashing. When it's not flashing and is solid it means comms is working.

That seems to be at odds with what I find in the manual I have: [ edit: but the below is for an Axpert King; the GroWatt has its own firmware, even if there are uncanny resemblences to the Axperts. Sigh. ]

537325476_Batteryiconflashes.png.16c14cd53035c4a60eaa03189a3106e9.png

Is this perhaps something new in firmware version 71.86 or perhaps an earlier version? I can imagine that having he battery icon flashing all the time would get annoying.

I've not seen the small Li symbol displayed in any photo. I note that even the oldest Axpert displays have had "SLA" and "Li" inverse video (blue text on a white rectangle) symbols (icons?) since the very earliest models, so I'm not surprised to see them carried over into the newer displays.

Edited by Coulomb
Oops, was thinking Axpert King.

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@Coulomb

To be fair, I'm assuming that the little Li symbol no longer flashing means that comms is working on the Growatt, based purely on what I observed and the correlation between me finally being successful and getting the inverter to read the correct % based SOC values from the battery and show them as percentages, and the fact that the Li symbol stopped flashing as soon as that happened.

Note that in the case of the Growatt inverter it is NOT the battery icon itself that flashes, it's a very small Li symbol next to the battery icon, on the right, that flashes, as opposed to what you describe above, which is what I understand the Axpert inverters do.

I can't think of anything else that changed that would have caused a change in the behaviour of that flashing symbol after it had been flashing at me for over 3 days.

But like I say, I am inferring meaning from observed behaviour. I wish I had more substantial information to work with.

I've emailed the Growatt service manager for Africa and told him that their documentation and available resources online are not good enough and need to be sorted out, and he has acknowledged my feedback and assured me that they are going to look at better training for their suppliers and improvements to their online information.

It's ridiculous how hard we have to dig to find information on these things. And the information that is available is often for brands or models that are similar but not exactly the same, and behave slightly differently.

 

Edited by SiliconKid

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5 hours ago, SiliconKid said:

Which make and model of inverter are you referring to in your post above?

Duh. I was thinking Axpert King. Sigh.

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14 hours ago, ranchods3159 said:

Thanks for the information.  I am about install 2xGrowatt inverters.  What model Growatt did you get?

Growatt SPF 5000TL HVM 5kVA/5kW Hybrid Inverter

So far, so good.

Now that I've got BMS comms working properly I'm pretty impressed with it, but I'm waiting for more load shedding to kick in so that I can monitor the performance properly.

I'm also hooking up a Raspberry Pi this week so that I can monitor both the inverter and batteries more effectively, and then I'll probably report back to these forums with more detailed info on performance and efficiencies.

 

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3 minutes ago, SiliconKid said:

I'm also hooking up a Raspberry Pi this week so that I can monitor both the inverter and batteries more effectively,

Hmmm, please tell me more. Any docs\url available that details this process and what one can gain from doing this? Thanks

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Hi SiliconKid,

thanks for your very informative installation process - it certainly saved me a lot of time and headache. 
 

I followed it all and I seem to get the same thing as you except for the charging and SOC reading it out in percentages. If I go through the menu, my battery program shows 100% and the even though the system made it through loadshedding last night, the inverter hasn’t charged the batteries. The “analog” LeDs have reduced though but the inverter still shows 100%. 
 

and still, when mains is back on, no charging. 
 

perhaps I haven’t set the charging options correctly but I’ve configured as per your instructions. Any ideas you might have?

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On 2020/02/21 at 11:15 AM, ChrisLR said:

Hi SiliconKid,

thanks for your very informative installation process - it certainly saved me a lot of time and headache. 
 

I followed it all and I seem to get the same thing as you except for the charging and SOC reading it out in percentages. If I go through the menu, my battery program shows 100% and the even though the system made it through loadshedding last night, the inverter hasn’t charged the batteries. The “analog” LeDs have reduced though but the inverter still shows 100%. 
 

and still, when mains is back on, no charging. 
 

perhaps I haven’t set the charging options correctly but I’ve configured as per your instructions. Any ideas you might have?

Hi SiliconKid  and ChrisLR, 

 

Thanks SiliconKid also struggled but followed your instructions and now working my Li sign on..... but as ChrisLR said my Batt shows 100% but on my SOC one light still down. And the lines on my inv home screen from utility and solar not connected to AC/DC block. The CHG (charge light in inv is on)

 

Regards 

Jacques 

 

 

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@ChrisLR, @Solagas

Hi Guys

I'm not sure why you aren't getting the updated values on your display but it MIGHT be because of the 2 x firmware updates that I've deployed to my inverter, which you guys presumably have not deployed yet.

If you are seeing a % value (100%) that is at least a good sign that the inverter does seem to be communicating with the BMS. It's strange that it's not charging your batteries though because it should be taking it's lead from the BMS to decide when to charge.

The charge current and the various voltage levels involved will all be automatically determined via the BMS if you have BMS comms working, so you won't be able to edit any of that.

The firmware updates have to be done from a PC (I used a small notebook) and you have to connect the notebook to the inverter using the USB cable that you should have received with the inverter.

You will need to be comfortable with doing firmware updates yourself, and you will need to do a reset on the inverter after the firmware is installed.

There is always some risk when you flash anything with new firmware that you could brick it, but Growatt sent me the firmware updates and I was comfortable with deploying them myself.

I can provide the firmware that Growatt sent me if you want to try to update it.

My inverter is working perfectly and ALL values are displaying accurately, battery charging is working exactly as expected, and everything is right.

If you want the firmware and the instructions let me know and I can PM them to you, or I can email you if you like.

Allan

 

 

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Hi there,

thanks again for all your help and the firmware. I eventually confirmed that the problem was the firmware update as you suspected. 
 

Instead of setting the batteries to Li in program 5, set it back to USE and communicate through the CAN port. Charging takes over properly and all good but don’t get the percentages showing up. 
 

If you do the firmware update then your instructions are on the money and both Pylontech/Growatt owe you a few beers. 
 

Much appreciated for your contributions and good luck with future projects!

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Hi

No problem, glad I could help.

Just be aware that when you are in USE mode there is actually NO comms between the inverter and the BMS. The inverter is using the voltage levels on the voltage leads coming from the batteries to make decisions about charging.

And that's a problem because it means the BMS, which we paid a lot of money for, is being ignored, and it also means that the inverter is NOT using the accurate SOC values from the BMS itself to govern charging, or display current charge levels, or to do anything else related to the battery really.

When you have BMS comms working properly there is essentially an inversion of control:  The battery takes control of all battery related things and tells the inverter what to do and when.

When you do not have BMS comms working the inverter has to make all the decisions based on observed voltages, which is not as reliable because the voltage range band for Lithium batteries is far narrower than it is for the older types of batteries and apparently the inverters are not able to monitor the voltage level at a fine grained / accurate enough level to make very accurate decisions.

Short version:  Your batteries are not being managed 100% properly if the expensive BMS that's built into them is not involved in their management

Edited by SiliconKid

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Posted (edited)

Seems I am stuck at a similar spot where Sologas and ChrisLR was with the the battaries connected to the inverter, no error message but the batteries do not charge from the panels or from utilities (no connecting line between the panels and the battery or output shown). Also been in contact with Growatt over the last week or so, gotten a firmware update from them and applied it, but no luck yet... SiliconKid, hoping that I could get the firmware you have and try that?

My system is a bit more complicated, as I actually have 2 x inverters in parallel (sounded great when I started off, but now wondering if I have not doubled my troubles....)

Noted a few strange things also.... Seems the max current is set to 5 Amp when configured to the Li 02 option? 

 

Edited by werries

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Thanks to SiliconKid, I now have a functioning Inverter connected via the battery BMS!

Had the first firmware he had already installed, but did not work yet. When I installed the second firmware, and did the factory reset, all worked.

 

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On 2020/02/17 at 10:54 PM, SiliconKid said:

I've recently purchased and installed the following:

1 x Growatt SPF 5000TL HVM 5kVA/5kW Hybrid Inverter.

2 x Pylontech US3000 batteries.

1 x Pylontech cable kit with RJ45 BMS comms cable included.

I've just spent 5 days communicating with Growatt in China to figure out why I could not get the inverter to communicate with the BMS on the master battery properly.

After many, many emails back and forward, and far too many hours of research online, I finally got it right today and I think it is worth sharing this information here, in case anybody else needs it, because I couldn't find the right information anywhere on the internet, all in one place, explained properly.

It turns out that the Growatt SPF5000 has to be connected to the Pylontech batteries differently to the way Axpert inverters are connected to Pylontech batteries.

Everything I was reading online was saying that you need to plug the RJ45 comms cable into the CAN port on the master battery and then into the BMS port on the inverter, and then you need to set the battery type to Li (setting 05 on Axpert and Growatt inverters) and then choose Li profile L02 (also apparently the same for Axpert and Growatt inverters).

It turns out, the Growatt does NOT communicate via the CAN port. It communicates via the RS485 port that is positioned below the CAN port on the master battery.

And in addition to that, it requires a 9600 baud rate, which you can set using the 4 small white dipswitches on the master battery.

For the Growatt you must set those dipswitches to:  1 0 0 0 (ON OFF OFF OFF)

When connected to the CAN port and put into Li (L02) mode, the Growatt inverter faults and gives an error 20 and an error 04 constantly.

When connected to the RS485 port with the dipswitches set to 1000, comms is immediately established and it works as intended.

I also installed 2 firmware updates on the inverter, that were sent to me by Growatt in China (who were very helpful through this entire process despite not actually giving me the information I actually needed to solve this), but in retrospect I actually wonder if those firmware updates even made a difference because I was able to put the inverter into Li (L02) mode before applying those firmware updates anyway, I just didn't know about the RS485 port and the dipswitches.

Recommended configuration process

1. Turn inverter on but run off battery only. Disable A/C input and  A/C output (use isolator switches if you have them).

2. Go to setting 5 and select battery type = Li. Then select profile L02 (This is specifically for Pylontech batteries). Push ESC to return to home screen. Go back to setting 5 and verify that it was saved as Li.

3. Now shutdown the inverter and batteries completely. Turn the batteries off using the on/off flip switch, not just the red button on the master battery.

4. Now make sure that the end of the comms cable on the battery side (it will probably have a little sticker on it that says BAT) is plugged into the RJ45 port labelled RS485 that is below the CAN port. And also make sure that the other end is plugged into the RJ45 port labelled BMS on the inverter and NOT into the other RJ45 port that is labelled RS485 (Yes, I know, it's weird, just go with it).

5. Now set the 4 little white dipswitches to: ON OFF OFF OFF (1000).

6. Now turn the batteries back on and then turn the inverter back on.

You should no longer see any fault codes or the red fault light.

How to tell that the inverter really is communicating with the BMS properly

1. You should now see a little Li symbol next to the battery icon on the home screen of the inverter, and that Li symbol should NOT be flashing. When it's not flashing and is solid it means comms is working.

2. If you go and look at most of the battery values on the status screens or in settings related to battery level (SOC) you should now see percentage values where there were voltage values before. Setting 21 is a good example of that.

I hope this helps somebody else because the information available online with regards to the Growatt routers is of no help in this regard and most of the information available relates to Axpert inverters, which appear to be very similar to the Growatt at face value, but communicate with the Pylontech batteries differently from what I can see.

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, we will be grateful if you can assist? I have done everything that you said above but my batteries still does not charge, I have 2 x 5Kw Growatt in parallel with 2 x 3.5 Kw Pylon batteries but still no luck, please if you can help I will appreciate it a lot! Thank you very much. Jurgens Bence, [email protected], 071 672 7689

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Posted (edited)

NOTE TO ALL

We have now established that BOTH of the firmware updates that were provided to me by Growatt in China ARE required to get the BMS comms working correctly between the Growatt SPF5000 inverter and Pylontech batteries.

The two firmware updates they sent me are for two different things inside the inverter (Thanks to @Coulombfor taking a look at the firmware and confirming this):

  • The ARM chip.
  • The DSP.

Feedback from @Coulomb:   "So there are two firmwares in there, a TMS320F2809 (same DSP as most Axperts), and an ARM chip (Axpert Kings have one of these in the removable display)."

The firmware pack that I am providing to people who PM me asking for help contains both of those firmware updates, and they are both necessary to sort out all the BMS issues properly.

If you don't have both of those firmware updates installed, one of the symptoms is that BMS comms will appear to be working and there will be no errors BUT the SOC level will be stuck at 100% and the batteries will never get charged, which means that if you have solar connected it will never kick in and be used to charge your batteries.

And we have also confirmed that the firmware resolves the issues for a single standalone inverter and more than one inverter connected in parallel.

 

Edited by SiliconKid

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Just a note on the two inverters in paralell.

Both inverters need to be connected to the batterie. Growatt sells a hub for this purpose.

I have however used a plain RJ45 network splitter, ordered from RS components. That serve the same function. Just connect the bms cable from battery to the in side of the splitter and plug in 2x same length network cables to each of the inverters.

Dont use a network switch hub! Unless you still have one of the old dumb hubs from way back. A swich will try and asign network adresses etc and you just want to duplicate the one line.

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On 2020/03/04 at 7:42 AM, Jurgens said:

percentage values where there were voltage values before. Setting 21 is a good example of that.

I hope this helps somebody else because the information available online with regards to the Growatt routers is of no help in this regard

Hi, 

Thank you for the instructions, very helpful. I also received the firmware update from the guys in China but not the instructions on how to upgrade it. Could you please share the firmware upgrade instructions? 

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On 2020/03/04 at 1:49 PM, werries said:

Just a note on the two inverters in paralell.

Both inverters need to be connected to the batterie. Growatt sells a hub for this purpose.

I have however used a plain RJ45 network splitter, ordered from RS components. That serve the same function. Just connect the bms cable from battery to the in side of the splitter and plug in 2x same length network cables to each of the inverters.

Dont use a network switch hub! Unless you still have one of the old dumb hubs from way back. A swich will try and asign network adresses etc and you just want to duplicate the one line.

 

On 2020/03/04 at 8:21 AM, SiliconKid said:

NOTE TO ALL

We have now established that BOTH of the firmware updates that were provided to me by Growatt in China ARE required to get the BMS comms working correctly between the Growatt SPF5000 inverter and Pylontech batteries.

The two firmware updates they sent me are for two different things inside the inverter (Thanks to @Coulombfor taking a look at the firmware and confirming this):

  • The ARM chip.
  • The DSP.

Feedback from @Coulomb:   "So there are two firmwares in there, a TMS320F2809 (same DSP as most Axperts), and an ARM chip (Axpert Kings have one of these in the removable display)."

The firmware pack that I am providing to people who PM me asking for help contains both of those firmware updates, and they are both necessary to sort out all the BMS issues properly.

If you don't have both of those firmware updates installed, one of the symptoms is that BMS comms will appear to be working and there will be no errors BUT the SOC level will be stuck at 100% and the batteries will never get charged, which means that if you have solar connected it will never kick in and be used to charge your batteries.

And we have also confirmed that the firmware resolves the issues for a single standalone inverter and more than one inverter connected in parallel.

 

Hi SiliconKid 

we are experiencing the same problems Can you please email me the firmware updates as well as the instructions 

[email protected] Cell 0836394786

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@SiliconKid Thanks for a useful feed.. I have exactly the same setup and got it all working as you outlined. 

Do you also have the word "solar" flashing under the battery icon?

Thanks - waiting patiently for loadshedding this evening.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Kingsway said:

@SiliconKid Thanks for a useful feed.. I have exactly the same setup and got it all working as you outlined. 

Do you also have the word "solar" flashing under the battery icon?

Thanks - waiting patiently for loadshedding this evening.

Hi

I don't have the word Solar flashing anywhere, but I don't have any Solar connected at the moment, I'm using the system purely as an advanced battery backup solution and I'm using the grid as the only source of power for recharging the batteries.

I know that several of the other guys on this thread do have Solar connected, so they can probably give you more relevant input if you have Solar connected.

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