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Communication Problem with My Sunmagic PW3024 inverter - please assist


Paul Barnett
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Hi all


So yesterday I decided to buy my first "serious" inverter, - a Sunmagic PW3024 3000w and I am extremely happy with the quality, and how well it performs. I've seen similar units branded as a Mecer. 

I however have two issues which would like resolved. 

Firstly, I am unable to connect it to my desktop, all the manual says is that if the supplied communication cable is to be used, I would need to download monitoring software. I really can't afford a license for anything fancy right now, so just went with WatchPower, and both the USB and RS232 interfaces don't want to work. I tried the USB interface first, and it told me to download & install a "USB-serial CH340" driver which I did, then WatchPower shows no data. I had a spare modernish motherboard which had a RS232 header on it, and combined it with an old (at least 20 years) RS232 connector, and that should have worked, but I also get no data. 

Can someone please advise me on what I am doing wrong.


Here is a photo, which shows what WatchPower is actually doing, and this is just after I've opened it, and my device manager. 

Second problem is the beeper. Every time mains power disconnects, or reconnects the inverter beeps, it's very loud, and the Inverter is mounted on wall in my bedroom, and I swear it will wake up the entire neighbourhood, I know there is a way to mute notifications, as it briefly mentions it in the manual, just not sure how.

If anyone can assist, I will greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

 

 

Device Manager.png

WatchPower.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2021/02/15 at 1:40 AM, Paul Barnett said:

both the USB and RS232 interfaces don't want to work.

I thought that the 24 V models only came with a USB port, no RS-232 port. All Axpert models, if they have an RS-232 port at all, provide it via an RJ-45 connector, and supply a RJ-45 to D9 adapter cable. (It would make more sense to provide a D9 connector on the communications board, but maybe it just didn't fit).

Does your model have this 8-pin rectangular port (looks like an ethernet port)?

If not, then you have to use the USB port, for monitoring software but also for firmware updates.

Perhaps there are some 24 V models that come with both.

It sounds like you tried downloading this CH340 driver, but didn't use any USB to serial hardware. On a modern PC/laptop without a real serial port, that's how you talk RS-232, through an adapter. This will have USB at one end (for the computer), and a D9 at the other end. You connect the D9 to the supplied cable (if there is one, of course).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Coulomb. Yes, the inverter has a USB connection as well as the RJ45 connector with a supplied adapter cable. I have now tried a MECER and a FDTI usb to serial adapter, neither work. Don't have any luck with the USB connection either. My PC does see the USB as a CH340 device though. I have tried various versions of watchpower as well - still no luck. Does watchpower talk set up the CH340 driver to the correct baud rate or do I need to do that manually in the driver?

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On 2021/03/15 at 10:05 PM, MikeBetz said:

Does watchpower talk set up the CH340 driver to the correct baud rate or do I need to do that manually in the driver?

As long as the USB to serial adapter has the appropriate driver installed in Windows, it should all just work. No need to set bit rate or anything else.

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Now managed to find another windows 10 laptop to try and connect to the inverter. Neither usb to serial nor direct usb work. This is getting to be a real pain in the butt. Scrolling on the inverter display, I get to P5 which says 501. I assume this is the software version. Is it possible that this is old software that actually does not have the comms to a PC? Is it easy enough to upgrade the firmware on these things?

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13 minutes ago, MikeBetz said:

Scrolling on the inverter display, I get to P5 which says 501. I assume this is the software version.

That doesn't sound right. It should say U1 at the left or top, and there should be two other two-digit numbers. Unless you have patched firmware, in which case the U1 might be replaced with LC1 or LF1, and the last number would have a letter at the end. 

13 minutes ago, MikeBetz said:

Is it possible that this is old software that actually does not have the comms to a PC?

No. All models should be able to talk to Watchpower. Are you using the D9 to RJ-45 cable that came with the inverter?

13 minutes ago, MikeBetz said:

Is it easy enough to upgrade the firmware on these things?

It's not hard, but you have to have your comms sorted first 😀

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5 hours ago, MikeBetz said:

Is there maybe a web page somewhere which will help me get the comms sorted?

I should write one, I suppose. So many people seem to have trouble with it. But no time for that at present.

You might get a few clues from my firmware update post.

You didn't answer my question: Are you using the D9 to RJ-45 cable that came with the inverter? Sometimes people get the idea that you connect to the inverter via a networking cable, connecting to their ethernet port at the PC end. That won't work.

5 hours ago, MikeBetz said:

Do I need special software to flash the new firmware?

Everything you need software wise is in the .zip or .rar or .7z firmware update file. It's just a small Windows executable with several DLLs.

To find out if you can update your firmware, see my Can I update my firmware, and if so, to what? post. In the first post of that topic, there are some links to firmware update files, mainly our patched firmware, but a few others as well. Depending on your inverter model, you may have to switch to one of the sister topics (e.g. for PIP-5048MK).

Hardware wise, you need a Windows computer, and the comms cable all sorted and connected.

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I clearly managed to get the right guy to answer my questions, thanks Coulomb 😀.

Sorry - I thought I had answered your question. I got a RJ45 to DB5 cable with the inverter. I have been trying the cable together with 2 different RS-232 to USB converters. One made by FDTI and one bought from MECER. I tried both cables on 3 different PC's now, and together with the USB A to B cable, nothing seems to work. My inverter is a 3KVA unit. Looking at your programming links, the 3KVA units are not upgrade-able.  Please tell I am wrong on this?

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16 hours ago, GVC said:

You need to install the "Prolific USB-to-Serial" driver and not the "USB-serial CH340". 

Depending on what the actual USB to RS-232 adapter actually is. I'm not familiar with the CH340. There are (or were for some years) Prolific clones (perhaps clones of the chip itself, not just the adapter). Prolific got tired of people using their driver without getting any sales from selling the chip, so they changed their chips and drivers, so that they were not backwards compatible. I have a an old Prolific that I can't use on anything other than Windows XP (there is still a legacy driver available for that OS). Really annoying to have to buy a second one just because some company is trying to freeload off some other company.

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  • 2 months later...

Having this same issue, last option is trying a old winXp Pc with a legit COM port, tried ICC as well as Watchpower but it’s as if there is no data on either the RS-232 or USB ports.

Wonder if anyone has had any joy connecting to these 3kva units, kinda regret the impulse buy and should have gone the 5kva route perhaps.

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18 hours ago, Bobbo_sa said:

last option is trying a old winXp Pc with a legit COM port,

Well, that will at least eliminate the possibility that the USB to RS-232 adapter isn't compatible, as you would not be using it.

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  • 6 months later...
2 hours ago, Norm said:

what is the Max Pv wattage can this inverter handle.

It's really hard when people just name an obscure brand, and don't give a web page or image. These days, the market is also rife with clones. I've not heard of Sunmagic, and couldn't quickly find this model online.

The sticker/label on the side should tell you, or give a big clue. Can you post a photo of that, please?

[ Edit: Sigh. I see that you provided exactly this on another thread. ]

Edited by Coulomb
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16 minutes ago, Coulomb said:

It's really hard when people just name an obscure brand, and don't give a web page or image. These days, the market is also rife with clones. I've not heard of Sunmagic, and couldn't quickly find this model online.

The sticker/label on the side should tell you, or give a big clue. Can you post a photo of that, please?

[ Edit: Sigh. I see that you provided exactly this on another thread. ]

Hi Coulomb, thanks for the response. please see the attached requested picture below

Sunmagic Spec.jpeg

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From the Manual I have the following details (3000va 24v model). I would also be interested in advice on the PV recommendations for this.

p.s. I eventually gave up trying to connect to the data port on mine (Tried multiple Apps, cables variations, Computers), would be interested if you ever have any joy on the Data Connection.

IMG_0744_1.jpg

IMG_0746_1.jpg

IMG_0745_1.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Scorp007 said:

Working back from the 60A at 24V for the solar charger it can take a PV input of 1500W.

If I had to decide based on the label this is a clone. 

100% these are clones, although fundamentally it works and has been doing its job perfectly i do in some part regret not spending the extra ZAR on another version to get the data side as well.

On the PV side, what I get confused with is the Series / parallel connection, PV size etc, I would love to start with a basic set of panels that i can expand on but I'm yet to figure out / calculate what the minimum panel size / voltage etc i would need to look for and how many i could use.

 

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The answers are in the manual:

image.png.8072fc5bb3beb2de8d38637beada8a48.png

They recommend only a maximum of 1600 W, I said 1800 W. Oops, I see I highlighted the 12 V row, but the maximum voltage is the important one, and it's the same (150 V).

Suppose you have access to 300 W panels with a Vmp of 37 V and a Voc of 44 V (just made up these numbers as an example). You want to multiply the voltages by 1.07 for cold winter days; the panel voltage goes up when the panels are cold. I use 1.07 because it's about right for most panels down to about 0°C. So Vmp = 37 x 1.07 = 39.6 V, and Voc = 44 x 1.07 = 47 V. Absolute maximum panel voltage is stated as 160 V, so a max of 160 / 47 = 3.4 panels, so far you could go 3S. 3S would be 47 x 3 = 141 V, still under the 145 V absolute max of the model they likely copied.

But when the panels are operating, you use Vmp; 150 / 39.6 = 3.79, again you could go 3S (but not 4S). Total panels = 1600 / 300 =  5.3, so really you aren't supposed to run 6. But I think it's safe, so you could run 3S 2P of these. In other words, 3 panels in series, repeated in two strings, and you parallel the strings. Because it's only 2 strings, you might even get away without string fuses. You could join the strings on the rood with Y cables, and just bring down one pair of wires. You just need one pair of DC-rated breakers (e.g. Noarks), and you're done. Though personally I would bring down four wires (2 for each string), and use 4 breakers (one for each wire). I don't know if you need lightning arrestors in your country; we don't tend to bother with them in Australia (though maybe I at least should have).

Hope this helps.

Edited by Coulomb
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1 hour ago, Bobbo_sa said:

100% these are clones, although fundamentally it works and has been doing its job perfectly i do in some part regret not spending the extra ZAR on another version to get the data side as well.

On the PV side, what I get confused with is the Series / parallel connection, PV size etc, I would love to start with a basic set of panels that i can expand on but I'm yet to figure out / calculate what the minimum panel size / voltage etc i would need to look for and how many i could use.

 

You just add up the Voc for the panels you want to use per series string. After that you work out how many parallel strings to get to the PV maximum as per spec. 

Voc of panels in series about 10%below the MPPT max. 

Edited by Scorp007
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