Dowell ipower 3kw storage inverter non runner

hi all,
I was a member here a few years back, after life has flown by, now getting back into projects after a busy few years,
I picked up this Dowell storage inverter a few years back from a guy that was using it in a van to keep the back of the van cold and help keep cold vegetables to and from a market. The inverter is a transformer type, and its very heavy.
Anyhow, he gave up the business and i took the inverter off hom
Its been sat around for 2 years gathering dust, i didnt test it when i got it, so this weekend, after a shed cleanout i thought id power up the brut and see how it runs.
It wont start up.
Ive put 48vdc on the battery side, and plugged in the inverter to the mains, no joy.
Removed the cover, it all looks clean inside, no signs of any burning, scorching or faulty components on the boards.
Ive put a meter on the AC connectors on the pcb and it has got 240v onto the pcb.
Has anyone got any experience in working with these types on inverters, or, if i cant get it to power up, have any use for it for parts?
Thanks
Anthony


If it was working before it was removed from the van, and has been in an unheated shed for years, I’d suspect corrosion on a connector first. Then, I couldn’t rule out a dry joint on the pcb somewhere.

After that, you need full details - circuit diagram etc, which might be hard to come by.

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Thanks for replying Robert.
I was hoping to see some fuses on the AC in on the pcb, but no such luck.
The pcb, connections are very very clean to be honest, no signs of damp, condensation, moisture or corrosion anywhere on the boards, connections or components.
All the FET’s on the heatsinks look ok, theres nothing with pieces blown off anything, the caps look ok…
I will try to locate a diagram or fault finding chart for it, but being chinese, i’m not too positive about finding anything to be honest.

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What switches it between grid-tied and off-grid - assuming it will do both?

(Because grid-tied, it MUST shut down with no a.c. present. If it’s set to off-grid, the first sniff of mains and it will shut down. It’s worth checking.)


Hi Robert,
The beast is running.
The reset switch as sticking, and preventing the inverter from starting up.
I think it can be set to grid or off grid, and to charge from the grid.
Now that its running i can see the menu structure, and its set to island at the moment.
Its only run for 466 kwh in total. Its hardly been used, although it looks battered as the case isnt in the greatest of shape.
Thanks for your help anyway, much appreciated.
Anthony.

I figured it was either something silly, or something very expensive. From what you wrote, there was unlikely to be a middle ground. Good to know it’s working. :+1:

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Hi Anthony,

Did you get hold of any info, instructions, manual etc. I have acquired the same Dowells 3000 inverter unit. But I cannot find any manuals or support docs or software.

Any advice appreciated.

Steve.

Hi Steve.
I could not find any manual for it.
Have you had it running?
I think from memory, it needs to see the 48vdc to run first, then the AC power can be switched on.
In my case, i attached a 48vdc power supply to the battery terminals to replicate a 48vdc battery, ensured the reset switch was in the correct position, its either in or out, then it started up.
Once started i could switch ON the Ac power and see the menu structure etc…
Once in the menu it looks quite simple to set up.

a data sheet

Found a manual, be handy for both of us lol…
your welcome to check mine out if you wish

https://manualzz.com/doc/6804327/ipower-installation-manual

Cheers, I could a German one that I was trying to translate. I’ve also logged on with the built in WiFi access point, I also found someone on the German site that gave config details relating to Plylontech batteries that I have got, so hopefully slowly getting there.

I’ll share what I’ve sussed when I can make sense of it.

Cheers,

Steve.

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The English version you have is V1.1 but the German version is version 1.5 (attached) and is pretty different and in particular describes the setting and use of the Wi-Fi feature.

So, between the two there is possibly a good deal more sense to be made of the Inverters features.

Can’t save changes on mine yet but only made any progress at all this evening so I’ll see what the next few days throws up especially after I sort the translation out in the morning.

Dowell_de.pdf (619 KB)

Ah, ok,
so, do you intend to use the inverter purely as a storage device, like a AC coupled inverter.
I suppose this could be used to store energy at 12 till 4am when electricity is cheap, and use it thro the day.
I have 7.5kw of solar and bought the inverter on the cheap to utilise when i may need it.
Ideally, i want to try to pick up a proper AC coupled inverter that would store my excess electricity automatically that i produce, but they are really strong money at the moment.
Anthony

Just got it off a friend cheap, only knew it was Hybrid. I’ve got Emphase microinverters, grid tied, and use them to also push battery storage from any DC supply (0-60v) straight into my mains supply. But having an excess of these Pylontech batteries (10 and counting so far, over 20kw) I thought I’d play with a partial off grid option as well. Not thought it through, just winging it so far.

wow, thats alot of pylontechs!
You know someone outing them cheap?
As far as i am aware, atho its a “hybrid” it doesnt operate like a modern hybrid inverter.
I dont think it has any CT clamp connection to assess export, or more importantly import, to allow the inverter to take the load rather than import, I may be wrong, but i dont think it does that.

Yes, the Emphase microinverters do all that side per unit (one per panel) so I’m free to get creative with this Dowells unit, I can just charge up some batteries with it the pass that power from the batts used through individual Microinverters. I’m waiting to see if he can get anymore batts. I had 19 off him and paid £300 for the lot, so although spares repairs I have bought 10 back to working condition so far. On a shoe string I reckon I have a £30,000 solution so far for less than £4000. Great fun as well, so far…

wow, what a bargain.
Id gladfully take some off your hands if you want to offload a few, and make a few quid in the process.
Did you find anything common on the bateries that caused them to go bad, like a duff bms, or just discharged below their set point where the bms isolated them?
Your a lucky lad steve.
Maybe a good way to divert electricity is via an old system from Robin Emley where he designed a system to dump energy into a hot water tank.
My brother bought one years ago, and it worked flawlssly, and efficiently.
As that sees export it opens up a solid state relay to divert the otherwise exported energy into your battery.
If you want i`ll give you my mobile, get morre into out of a direct chat.

Sorry was out and about with the family.

So far I doubt that there are any issues other than a lack of understanding by the guys who managed the estate of 40 batteries that I’m told there were in the configuration.

So he may have another 20 or so hopefully, but still waiting to hear.

Three of mine had zero cycles on the counters and two were less than a year old.

By the looks of it just a few bad cell pouches but still experimenting to see if the remainder can be recovered or salvaged.

I’ve not looked for any cell pouches yet until I get the correct spec of them, although I think I saw the spec on a Pylontech datasheet the other day…

I guess that the guy who owned the site was fed up of the cowboys who were ultimately ripping him off, and just sacked the whole thing off?

Yes, funny you should say that because I have one eye on winter and obviously the biggest power draw/goal is ultimately producing hot water… That certainly would make more sense than messing around trying to avoid exporting the power through the Dowell into the grid.

Fortunately, the Enphase kit has zero export set up on it along with all its other advantages but trying to setup net metering on a hybrid solution was something that I could do with avoiding. 5

I have US2000 batteries that I’m keen to utilise because they are more standalone capable or can be put together etc. The rest are H48050 x-cube batteries that I believe are supposed to be used in series with the Solax type inverter ESS systems although I may well be wrong.

But to keep costs low I have not yet invested in a compatible Inverter/charger or specifically in the case of the H48050’s a 500 Pylontech controller - mainly because they are essentially the same kit and I have just made my own battery charger/balancers to recover/test the 5s2p packs (3 in each 15s Pylontech battery).

However even getting hold of the cheaper alternative - a 15s Lifpo4 48v - 54.75v charger is very difficult and would cost in the region of £250 from China. Because no one in Europe appears to have any Lifepo4 chargers or support anywhere…?

If you were to setup as an importer and or support franchise for the likes of Pylontech and this technology I’m certain that the future could be very busy and lucrative. Something i’m seriously considering.

Crudely translated copy of the German manual v1.5

(Attachment ipower 3000 Energy Storage Inverter.docx is missing)