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EG4 18KPV & 48v Lifepower batteries, still not working 4 months after install

Nbr22

New Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2024
Messages
1
Location
Jackson, MI
I had the 18kpv inverter installed with two 48v Lifepower batteries by a certified electrician in November. During installation he had some questions because the installation instructions are unclear in certain parts. I called customer service (30 min wait) and the rep said don’t worry, the part in question is not needed for installation. When I told the electrician that he said ok but that he wanted that in writing to avoid liability. I called back (60 min wait) to ask for that in writing and the rep told me that it’s already in the instructions, we just need to look at a different diagram. I explained that the diagram he was pointing to did NOT apply to my situation (whole home vs partial home backup). After a few minutes of back and forth, he talked to a manager and then returned to say that yes, that part is legally necessary.

After installation was complete, the inverter was powering on but giving a ‘bat com failure’ error. I called customer service (10 min wait) and after trying some things that did not work, I mentioned that I had read that some people needed to upgrade the firmware on their batteries before it would work. The rep said yes that is what I needed to do and he would email me the link to download the new firmware (he did) and the link to buy the needed data cable (he did not and when I found it, it was out of stock). 3 weeks later it was delivered and I managed to figure out the software to find out that the firmware on my batteries actually WERE up to date.

I again called (50 min wait) and the rep said that the battery power connections and data cables were connected incorrectly and told me how to correct them. I couldn’t find anywhere in the instructions where they specified these connections so I thought this was finally the solution. It didn’t work. I called again (10 min wait) and the rep told me to change the battery setting to lead acid to override the communication error and force charge the batteries. I’m unsure if this worked or not but was not meant to be a long term solution anyway. I called back again (3 min wait) and the rep was confused as to why it was not working. She then said she updated the firmware on the inverter and after a minute said I was all set, I just needed to manually balance the batteries to get them to within 1 volt of one another (I thought the inverter did balancing itself?). I turned the batteries on one at a time and the inverter at times showed charging, but nothing it was doing was consistent. Eventually each battery individually showed 80% on the inverter so I turned both on. The inverter now shows ‘Normal’ instead of ‘Warning’ like it did before, but one battery is still flashing ‘Alarm’ and is showing a low state of charge on the battery pack itself.

I tried calling customer service back but the line was shut down for the day, a half hour before their website said it would be. Also the touchscreen is *terrible*, the fact that I don’t see other reviews mention this makes me wonder if mine is defective. Some spots only work if I touch the screen a quarter inch away from the button. Also when trying to change some settings it asks for a password. NOWHERE in any of the paperwork was a password mentioned (it’s ‘00000’). However even after entering the password it won’t let me change the settings. So the inverter is now stuck on Lead Acid which from what I understand it should not be left on long term with lithium ion batteries. At this point it had been two months after having this installed with storms coming soon and it still wasn’t working.

The next week I called back (60 min wait) before giving up when no one answered. I tried again later (45 min wait) and talked to a rep. He requested pics of the battery wiring which I sent to him. He said he saw the problem, my batteries were connected in parallel but needed to be connected in series. I explained that these are both 48 volt batteries connected to a 48 volt inverter and they definitely should not be connected in series. After he accepted that he said “ok, but they’re wired in parallel the wrong way” and sent me a diagram showing moving the negative from batt A to batt B. I understand that way is more optimal but I imagine it shouldn’t prevent the system from working, especially with only two batteries. I made the change but still no luck. He asked me to email him pics of the whole setup which I did. He said he would forward this to the level 2 techs (why is this the first I’m hearing about level 2 techs?) to see what they think. After a couple weeks I hadn’t heard anything and I emailed him asking if there was an update. He apologized for the delay and said he would escalate as needed. A couple weeks later I got an automated email saying that my ticket had been closed due to not hearing from me. I emailed the tech back asking if there was something I needed to do but no response. A week later I emailed him again asking what I’m supposed to do, but still no response.

In total I have spent around 20 hours on the phone (mostly waiting for someone to answer) and talked to seven different customer service reps. Most of the convos have gone the same way, “Try this”, doesn’t work. “Ok, try this instead”, doesn’t work. “Ok I know how to fix it but it takes a while, so do this and if it doesn’t work call us back”. I try it and it doesn’t work, it seems like they all just want to get off the phone.

On top of all of this, the online chat function hasn’t worked once and I tried to leave a review on their website and, surprise surprise, it just gives me an error. I’m at a complete loss as of what to do and couldn’t regret using this company more. Has anyone else had a similar experience or know what could possibly be wrong?
 
Thank you Robby!
I’m at a complete loss as of what to do
Hi @Nbr22 I'm so sorry you've had this much trouble getting your issues taken care of! If you'd like to send me a DM with your name and email address, I'd really like to look into this and find out what happened! Our average wait time for tech support in March was 5 minutes and 3 seconds, so I'd like to ensure there isn't some sort of issue with the way your calls are coming in. With your information, we can look at your profile and tickets to get your concerns cleared up promptly!
 
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He said he saw the problem, my batteries were connected in parallel but needed to be connected in series. I explained that these are both 48 volt batteries connected to a 48 volt inverter and they definitely should not be connected in series. After he accepted that he said “ok, but they’re wired in parallel the wrong way” and sent me a diagram showing moving the negative from batt A to batt B. I understand that way is more optimal but I imagine it shouldn’t prevent the system from working, especially with only two batteries

This portion is all I need to know about these folks. What a trip!!!
 
I feel your pain brother. Hope things work out for you. I bought a SRNE 48v 5000 watt inverter charger in a kit with a 48v SOK battery and either it doesn't charge to 100% or I get a OVP on the battery. I went the email route and have asked 3 people at the Solar Power Store for the exact settings of the parameters and all I got from them was a copy of the manual which is the same answer I got from the 2 people at SRNE gave me.
 
You are not alone. We are just installing our ShopSolar system, having two BigBattery White Rhino batteries. Neither will charge. They were in storage for 18 months, no one informed us they require 6 months interval charging. Now, communication with BigBattery is a joke, most unprofessional.
Communication with ShopSolar isn't much better.
 
Hey! Unless I was reached out to in a different manner, OP didn't reach out. I just wanted to leave my email address here for OP and anyone who may need to reach out with a similar issue. Our wait times are absolutely minimal at this point, so if there are extended wait times like this, something else is happening at the time 😬 Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns and we'll get it cleared up! I can't comment on the issues OP had without contact information but I'd really like to look into this and get them taken care of!

Engagement@signaturesolar.com
 
You are not alone. We are just installing our ShopSolar system, having two BigBattery White Rhino batteries. Neither will charge. They were in storage for 18 months, no one informed us they require 6 months interval charging. Now, communication with BigBattery is a joke, most unprofessional.
Communication with ShopSolar isn't much better.
The Cerbo gx has NEVER connected or recognized the pin.... Victron.... The batteries will only charge through the inverters.. On a gen.....Having a non-stop fight with mppt's.... It's a good thing to get an occasional email with ZERO useful information... Just more questions.. They said they would call me back... They didn't.. Made an excuse about an "incoming call center".. The original kit advertised on the home page says NOTHING about the problems you are about to endure after the sale.. We will take your $$$, then you are on your own... STAY AWAY FROM SIG SOL AND VICTRON...
 
The Cerbo gx has NEVER connected or recognized the pin.... Victron.... The batteries will only charge through the inverters.. On a gen.....Having a non-stop fight with mppt's.... It's a good thing to get an occasional email with ZERO useful information... Just more questions.. They said they would call me back... They didn't.. Made an excuse about an "incoming call center".. The original kit advertised on the home page says NOTHING about the problems you are about to endure after the sale.. We will take your $$$, then you are on your own... STAY AWAY FROM SIG SOL AND VICTRON...
Hi! I'm so sorry you're feeling this way! I'd really like to look into this and get an idea of what happened! Our customer service and customer satisfaction are our top priority and if you're still needing assistance, I would like to get you connected and ensure you're taken care of. If you'd like to send me a DM with your name and order number, we would love to be able to make this right with you.
 

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