Signature Solar EG4 48v 100ah Batteries Alarming Out

drithus

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
8
Hey Everyone,

I hope I can get some advice on my current situation.

Equipment:
Growatt 3000w 48 All-in-One Inverter Charger (Rounded corner model)
2x EG4 48v 100ah Lithium Batteries (non LCD version)
3,300w Solar Array

Problem:
Batteries go into Alarm state and disconnect power to inverter. Usually only one will fault out at a time, sometimes both together. Seems to happen most often when the batteries reach 100% SOC.

-Batteries are currently not setup to communicate with inverter
-Batteries are not connected with ethernet cable to eachother
-Growatt set to USER2 defined battery type. Setup per Signature Solar's phone instructions.


So just installed these two batteries replacing a single 100ah server rack lithium. This is on my fathers camper down here in AZ. I'm hitting the road of Friday and need this sorted out before I go. Much of this is a bit more than he wants to deal with, so a properly functioning system is critical. When I swapped the batteries out I had the inverter in User1 mode (used on last lithium w/o any comm options). I kept the inverter in User1 and adjusted the charging parameters per the spec sheet on signatures solar's website. I also did connect the included ethernet cable from one battery to the next, thinking maybe they should talk to each other 🤷‍♂️.

Then came the first alarm. Both batteries had the red alarm light lit and were no longer supplying power to the inverter. Rebooted the system and they worked again for awhile. Then alarmed again.

Next day I get ahold of Signature Solar's tech support. Very friendly fella helped me out. Under his instructions I changed the battery mode to User2, and adjusted the Charge/Float voltage to 56.5v. Also was told there was no need to connect the ethernet cable to the batteries unless they were also connecting to the inverter. So I disconnected that. Also as I was waiting to get in touch with tech support i adjusted the dip switches so the batteries had different addresses (were set the same at first). But not an issue since i'm not using it. After the changes the batteries seemed to be working fine. So great.

Next morning, the battery(s) faulted and alarmed again. I think just one at a time now. (So many alarm lights I can't remember). It was saturday, so spent the weekend checking on batteries and resetting them as necessary to clear the alarm light.

Yesterday I called up signature solar tech support again. "Peyton" was the fella helping me out. I had noticed a peculiar situation with the voltage reading on the inverter, as the batteries reached 100% SOC. The voltage to the batteries would fluctuate, 53.something, 56.5, 54.2, back up to 56.8, all over the place. Which I assumed was the inverter sending charging pulses? lol. To top off the batteries. But I did also notice that the voltage would jump up well over the 56.5v set point in the inverter. 57.5v, 58.0v. This got me thinking. Well I'm pretty sure the BMS kicks out at 60v, so maybe the voltage was jumping up high enough to trip the alarm? Not sure, so I suggested to Peyton that maybe we needed to decrease the 56.5v set point the previous tech has instructed me to use. He said no, and to keep it at 56.5. The spec sheet recommends 56v. But they are the experts so ok. Peyton has me do a complete shut down and restart of the system. Of which one of the batteries alarms again. He asks me to take a picture of the batteries, under load, with a voltmeter and send it to him over email. I sent it over, no response. I called again yesterday afternoon, talked to the operator, she said she would let him know to call me. Nothing yet this morning.

So I take a look again this morning because one of the batteries faults out again, reset, faults again, reset, stays on this time. So without input from Signature Solar I decided to adjust the charge voltage down to 56v. Thinking maybe that will help. Once again I keep an eye on the Growatt screen at the battery voltage. Same thing, reach 100% SOC and the input voltage ranges up and down over and over. This time though, while i'm watching I see the voltage reading hit 60.1v! So I adjust the voltage down another .5v to 55.5v. Hoping the spikes in voltage from the inverter will be less. But just as i'm feeling pretty good about myself, one of the batteries trips again (while i'm not watching).

So I think the issues lies with the Growatt inverter pushing too high of a voltage to the batteries when at 100% SOC. Thus causing the batteries to alarm out. But I do not see a way to keep the inverter from going wild and pushing 60v at the batteries when I only want it to charge at 56.v.

Any thoughts? Thanks!
Josh
 

robby

Photon Vampire
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
1,771
Sounds like the Growatt is having an issue.
Did you buy it from signature Solar? If so maybe @SignatureSolarUS can give you some warranty help.
 

drithus

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
8
Sounds like the Growatt is having an issue.
Did you buy it from signature Solar? If so maybe @SignatureSolarUS can give you some warranty help.
No he did not purchase it from Signature Solar (just the new batteries), I think he got it on Amazon. I may need to contact Growatt directly.
 

RichardfromEG4

The "Do-What's-Needed" Solar Guy
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
844
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Sounds likely that you are running into an overcharge fault. The easiest way to check would be to connect to the BMS software while the battery is in alarm - it will tell you exactly why it is alarming. Signature Solar's tech support team can walk you through this, or I can have someone call you. Let me know. Once we know the exact problem we can try and find the source and fix it.
 

drithus

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
8
Sounds likely that you are running into an overcharge fault. The easiest way to check would be to connect to the BMS software while the battery is in alarm - it will tell you exactly why it is alarming. Signature Solar's tech support team can walk you through this, or I can have someone call you. Let me know. Once we know the exact problem we can try and find the source and fix it.
Hello Richard,

Thank you for the response. I still have call back messages into signature solar, have not received the call back.

So unfortunately I had to leave my father down south with this issue as I had to head north. So any troubleshooting will be a bit trickier. We did not setup the BMS software on a computer. But I can probably talk him through it. Can you, or someone give me the simple step by step instructions for setting up the software, and how the batteries need to be connected to each other, dip switch positions (i hear they might be upsidedown from an older post i saw). Then we can connect it and see what the issue is.

Sidenote:
I did install a second Growatt 3000w inverter with a different lithium battery and did notice the same voltage spikes like i did with the first unit i spelt out in the original post. This battery must not be as sensitive to the spikes.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

RichardfromEG4

The "Do-What's-Needed" Solar Guy
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
844
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Hello Richard,

Thank you for the response. I still have call back messages into signature solar, have not received the call back.

So unfortunately I had to leave my father down south with this issue as I had to head north. So any troubleshooting will be a bit trickier. We did not setup the BMS software on a computer. But I can probably talk him through it. Can you, or someone give me the simple step by step instructions for setting up the software, and how the batteries need to be connected to each other, dip switch positions (i hear they might be upsidedown from an older post i saw). Then we can connect it and see what the issue is.

Sidenote:
I did install a second Growatt 3000w inverter with a different lithium battery and did notice the same voltage spikes like i did with the first unit i spelt out in the original post. This battery must not be as sensitive to the spikes.

Thanks!
Totally get it - out tech support team is always pretty busy so they try to get back to people in the order the messages were received. Signature Solar has a few really good youtube video's on their page that walk through connecting to the software. I'd start there to save some time on waiting for a phone call.
 

Roughneck13

New Member
Joined
May 23, 2022
Messages
2
Totally get it - out tech support team is always pretty busy so they try to get back to people in the order the messages were received. Signature Solar has a few really good youtube video's on their page that walk through connecting to the software. I'd start there to save some time on waiting for a phone call.
Richard, I see you are the one following up and helping out in this forum.

The system I just purchased from Signature Solar: is 2 weeks old
- Growatt 12kw Inverter
- EG4 Battery Rack w/ 2 EG4 48v 100Ah batteries

I am using this as a UPS. It worked great for the first couple of days then both my batteries went into Alarm mode and will not recharge from the Inverter? Not sure why? I went through every menu setting as the manual stated and exactly as your Youtube video suggested. I attempted to use the CAT5 and set up communications from the inverter to BMS without success. I tried the settings under menu 5 for US2 and USE because the LI setting will not function due to a communications issue that I called about today. I found out the hard way that the dip switches in the EG4 manual are incorrect. After doing some extensive searching on the forums, I located the correct dip switch settings and I was able to get my PC to connect with the software. The inverter still does not communicate with the BMS.

The system worked flawlessly for a few days and is now not functioning at all. The inverter shows no faults or errors. The EG4 batteries stay in Alarm mode even after resetting them. Other forums suggested charging the batteries with a 48v charger. I do not own one and the voltage for both packs sits at 48.1v.

Thoughts?
 

Roughneck13

New Member
Joined
May 23, 2022
Messages
2
Totally get it - out tech support team is always pretty busy so they try to get back to people in the order the messages were received. Signature Solar has a few really good youtube video's on their page that walk through connecting to the software. I'd start there to save some time on waiting for a phone call.
 

Texican

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 8, 2022
Messages
103
I has a similar situation with my new eg4s, they went to alarm, even showed 21V. someone suggested disconnecting them all from the racks buss bar and then resetting them. It worked and actual volts were about 52 after reset. also disconnect each battery from the other comm wise
 

drithus

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
8
Sounds likely that you are running into an overcharge fault. The easiest way to check would be to connect to the BMS software while the battery is in alarm - it will tell you exactly why it is alarming. Signature Solar's tech support team can walk you through this, or I can have someone call you. Let me know. Once we know the exact problem we can try and find the source and fix it.
Richard,

So back to the original issue, sorry for the late response on this. We have not yet attempted to connect the batteries to a computer.

Here is what we did do. I reached out to Growatt through their email support (as like signature solar, the phone was getting me nowhere), I was told that connecting the batteries to the Growatt inverter would solve the issues. I was also told to use protocol "L01". So over the phone I instructed my father to connect the batteries to each other, then the top battery to the "BMS" port on the growatt inverter. Unfortunately we could not get them to communicate.

The dip switch situation is a bit annoying. We tried every combination we could think of, assuming the dip switches were mounted correctly, then assuming they were upside down. Trying other combinations, none of which would solve the issue. We made sure to reboot the batteries with every dip switch change, as i read that you must do this for the change to take effect. But we kept getting the battery communication error on the inverter.

So, what i would ask of Signature Solar would be either a video outlining the exact hook up of a pair of the EG4 batteries 48v 100ah (no screen), to a Growatt SPF 3000TL LVM inverter. Or at the very least some type of comprehensive graphic with step by step instruction including clear dip switch settings. I watched a few videos, some had conflicting information, and none where this exact setup.

Just to add one more comment. It seems to me that $1500 batteries should be a bit more user friendly to use. Or at least the documentation should be thorough and accurate. I shouldn't have to make my 64 year old father install software on a laptop and troubleshoot battery BMS systems. This is a bit silly. Will Prowse is online promoting these batteries. But he doesn't explain how to setup up these systems. He is the reason i suggested these batteries to my father. I was expecting this to go much smoother.

Thanks for any help.
 

RichardfromEG4

The "Do-What's-Needed" Solar Guy
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Messages
844
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Richard,

So back to the original issue, sorry for the late response on this. We have not yet attempted to connect the batteries to a computer.

Here is what we did do. I reached out to Growatt through their email support (as like signature solar, the phone was getting me nowhere), I was told that connecting the batteries to the Growatt inverter would solve the issues. I was also told to use protocol "L01". So over the phone I instructed my father to connect the batteries to each other, then the top battery to the "BMS" port on the growatt inverter. Unfortunately we could not get them to communicate.

The dip switch situation is a bit annoying. We tried every combination we could think of, assuming the dip switches were mounted correctly, then assuming they were upside down. Trying other combinations, none of which would solve the issue. We made sure to reboot the batteries with every dip switch change, as i read that you must do this for the change to take effect. But we kept getting the battery communication error on the inverter.

So, what i would ask of Signature Solar would be either a video outlining the exact hook up of a pair of the EG4 batteries 48v 100ah (no screen), to a Growatt SPF 3000TL LVM inverter. Or at the very least some type of comprehensive graphic with step by step instruction including clear dip switch settings. I watched a few videos, some had conflicting information, and none where this exact setup.

Just to add one more comment. It seems to me that $1500 batteries should be a bit more user friendly to use. Or at least the documentation should be thorough and accurate. I shouldn't have to make my 64 year old father install software on a laptop and troubleshoot battery BMS systems. This is a bit silly. Will Prowse is online promoting these batteries. But he doesn't explain how to setup up these systems. He is the reason i suggested these batteries to my father. I was expecting this to go much smoother.

Thanks for any help.
Please email Signature Solar at tech@signaturesolar.com - there is a firmware update or issue that they will need to address. This info was just recently released.

Edit: Just to clarify - the batteries are working correctly - the issue is the 3k inverter trying to overcharge the batteries (which is why they alarm) and there is a firmware issue or fix, not sure if they have the fix yet. Just wanted to clarify the batteries are operating correctly.
 

drithus

New Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
8
Please email Signature Solar at tech@signaturesolar.com - there is a firmware update or issue that they will need to address. This info was just recently released.

Edit: Just to clarify - the batteries are working correctly - the issue is the 3k inverter trying to overcharge the batteries (which is why they alarm) and there is a firmware issue or fix, not sure if they have the fix yet. Just wanted to clarify the batteries are operating correctly.
Richard,

Thank you for the information. Just to be clear your are stating there is a firmware issue with the Inverter? And this is known and documented from Growatt?
 

mrall

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
6
I experienced the EXACT same problem with the same hardware and the same route with Peyton and firmware.

Also went back and forth trying to get communications working between Inverter and batteries.

Bottom line (I think) lower your voltage and they work just fine. Use the voltages provided by
Signature Solar and you will destroy your batteries.

Peyton has been very patient and professional but I've spent dozens of hours troubleshooting with little results.

$3400 for batteries, $700 for inverter, 35hours @ $60.10/h = $2100 troubleshooting.
So... ~ $6,000 for an installation that won't communicate, won't integrate but certainly irritates...

I'm working on a protocol converter that will allow devices to talk but I can't find any
docs on the LifePower 48V (no display) BMS protocol.

I can't believe that the protocol isn't readily available to the public.

Does anyone have protocol information?
I don't even know what the protocol is called.
Packets start with 0x7e and end with 0x0d.

Example:
[28/05/2022 08:32:42] Written data (COM12)
7e 01 33 00 fe 0d ~.3.þ.
[28/05/2022 08:32:42] Read data (COM12)
7e 01 33 15 51 54 2d 59 53 30 30 2d 31 36 53 56 ~.3.QT-YS00-16SV
31 30 30 41 2d 56 33 2e 37 ba 0d 100A-V3.7º.
[28/05/2022 08:32:43] Written data (COM12)
7e 01 01 00 fe 0d ~...þ.
[28/05/2022 08:32:43] Read data (COM12)
7e 01 01 58 01 10 0c ff 0d 01 0d 02 0d 03 0d 00 ~..X...ÿ........
0c ff 0c fe 0c ff 0d 01 0c ff 0d 00 0d 02 0d 00 .ÿ.þ.ÿ...ÿ......
0d 03 0c ff 0d 00 02 01 72 cc 03 01 19 46 04 01 ...ÿ....rÌ...F..
27 10 05 06 00 44 00 44 00 44 00 44 80 42 20 42 '....D.D.D.D€B B
06 05 00 00 00 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 07 01 00 05 ................
08 01 14 cd 09 01 27 10 0a 01 00 00 84 0d ...Í..'.....„.
 

wayne530

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
81
@mrall Solar Assistant is able to read from the 48V LiFePower4 batteries over the RS485 port using the "Narada" protocol. Maybe you'll have some luck finding it?

I would also point out that there is some inconsistency in the DIP switch address settings and it's particularly important that you get address #1 correct since that is supposedly used to communicate with inverters. See this thread:


The protocols are apparently different if using address #1 vs. any of the other addresses according to Solar Assistant (https://solar-assistant.io/help/battery/eg4). On my LiFePower4 batteries (no LCD), if I use the manual's setting for address 1, I actually get address 7. The best thing to do is hook up the BMS software and plug into your #1 battery (the one that interfaces with the inverter) and scan all addresses to see what "PACK ID" is showing up. If it's not #1 then the battery is trying to talk to the inverter using a different protocol and that could explain why it's not working.

There are also reports that some DIP switches work correctly with the manual's table, while others do not. None of my batteries worked according to the manual's table but all worked correctly using the table I posted in the thread above. I checked all addresses from 0-15. Hope you're able to solve this and hope it doesn't require reverse engineering the protocol and writing an adapter (!).
 

mrall

New Member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
6
Thanks. Any idea where I can find a doc detailing the Narada Protocol?
 

wayne530

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
81
Thanks. Any idea where I can find a doc detailing the Narada Protocol?
Sorry, I do not. The best thing to do would be to use a combination of an RS485 listener (so you can see the packets being emitted by the battery BMSs) in combination with the PC software provided by EG4. This should allow you to reverse engineer things. Also, if you're trying to sort out Inverter<->BMS communications, you probably want to use the address 1 protocol, which I understand is specific to allowing the inverters to communicate with the battery. @RichardfromEG4 might be able to help further. It should not require reverse engineering line protocols and writing a custom adapter. There are others with Growatt inverters that I believe have gotten comms to work correctly.
 

GXMnow

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
1,779
Having the BMS talk to the inverter should not be needed in most cases. But if there is a cell balance issue, it might be able to command the charging current down to allow balance to happen. Once the cells are well top balanced, this really should not be an issue. In solar storage use, we should not be working the cells very hard. If (when) I go to LFP cells, I would just charge to touching the top knee, and only pull down about 60% of the rated capacity, so even if the cells are not closely matched, you will stay in the flat area of the cells before charging again.

Can you manually adjust the absorb and float voltages in the Growatt? For a 16S LFP battery, the absorb should never go above 58 volts with perfectly balanced cells. And with LFP's sharp knee, even a small imbalance can cause a single cell to over volt at as low as 55 volts. That would be the other 15 cells all at around 3.4 volts with one runner hitting almost 4 volts. When the cells are at rest, they still have 99% capacity at 54 volts, 3.375 volts per cell. The only reason to go any higher is to force them to balance into the knee region.

On the low side, I would recommend keeping the minimum voltage above 48 volts for the whole pack. I know this sounds high since many of the cells are rated down to 2.5 volts, but in reality, at 3.0 volts, the cells only have 9% capacity remaining. Even at 3.2 volts, they are already down to just 17%.

Richard... At what point does the BMS in that battery start balancing the cells? Would it be appropriate to dial the absorb down to 55 volts to give it time to pull in the balance, or does it need to go higher to trigger balancing? The Daly dumb BMS units for LFP do need the voltage above 3.45 on a cell to make it balance, but it will start on any cell going up there, even while the rest are at 3.3 volts. But to get all cells balanced, that means the whole pack has to go to at least 55.2 volts. And with just 0.060 amps of balance current, you need to hold the voltage up there at a vey low current for a long time. That is one reason I like NMC cells better. They are so much easier to get into balance. LFP cells have many advantages, but that flat charge curve and sharp knee is a pain. Cell voltage means basically nothing until you hit the knee.

I would also measure the actual voltage at the batteries, to make sure the reading in the Growatt is accurate. My Schneider inverter is off about 0.15 volt compared to my Fluke meter. If the Growatt is trying to hit 56 volts, but it is actually pushing 59 volts, you will have a problem.
 
Top