wgcampbell
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:21 am

Hi -

First, I have an Outback FM60 with a Mate-b in a remote cabin - and am very interested in your project.

Second, I have been trying to get the pi to receive the Mate data. I have a usb to serial adapter which I plugged directly (all pins straight through) to the mate. I'm using minicom and set the baud rate to 19,200 N81, but I'm getting no data. I'm a bit confused about "driving the DTR high and the RTS low" - not sure if I need to tie some pins together or is there a setting in minicom which will do this? (I'm a total novice at serial communications)

Thanks!

wgcampbell
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:34 pm

OK, so I answered my own (second) question. Serial connections (hardware & software) is as follows:
  • Outback Mate-b connected directly by Ethernet to an FM60
    Manhattan USB to Serial Converter Cable model 205146
    Pins 2,3,4,5,7 straight through from serial converter to Mate (with pins 5 & 7 tied together)
    Raspberry Pi with the latest Debian release installed
    Software: Used minicom to view the data - set at 19200, N81 (flow control seems to make no difference)
Hope that's useful to someone...

User avatar
anwmalos
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm
Location: Greece
Contact: Website

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:29 pm

Hello wgcampbell,

Does this mean that you were successful?

wgcampbell
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:08 pm

Yes, I was able to receive the one second interval 49 byte output from the Mate. The usb to serial converter (with no powered usb hub) is apparently outputting enough voltage (on 4 & 7) to power the Mate serial port.

I haven't as yet done anything with the data, but it's coming through and agrees with the Mate readings.

sjcomputing
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:20 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:30 am

Hi anwmalos

I have a 3.96kw system with a Fronius TL3600 Invertor attached, I've just ordered an ir photodiode to monitor power production from my electronic meter as I have not got an official monitor, then I stumbled across your project.
My RaspPi is currents running a python script to pull in currentcost data and throw my grid usage stats up to the cosm service but I can drop that as the solar monitoring is of far more interest.

Please could you tell me what info your managing to get out of the Fronius invertors? and what equipment I would need to participate.

cheers

User avatar
anwmalos
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm
Location: Greece
Contact: Website

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:53 am

Hi,
You are lucky because fronius inverters are already supported very well. Right now the probe extracts the following info:
power, currentAC, currentDC, voltageAC, voltageDC, frequencyAC, Phase1Current, Phase2Current, Phase3Current, Phase1Voltage, Phase2Voltage, Phase3Voltage, DailyEnergy, TotalEnergy

(these are actually the names of the db columns...)

They are sampled every 5-10secs and an average value is commited in the db every 1 minute.

If you are interested in using/contributing please pm me for more information.

shacent
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:27 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:53 am

Hi im a student working on a project to log data from a pyranometer and upload it on a webserver. It looks like your project could u help me with a push in the right direction because im not that experienced with programming. I am using a RS485 to USB converter to connect the pyranometer with the RPi. How should i log the data after connecting it ?

Help would be appreciated

User avatar
anwmalos
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm
Location: Greece
Contact: Website

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:30 pm

Hello shacent,

Although my solution would be suitable for your situation, it needs customization per case, and this might be a sticky point because it's a C++ application which is not suitable for beginners. Nevertheless if you wish to have a try, you can find the code on a previous post.

I would suggest that you check out python because if you want a simple enough solution, it would greatly simplify the complexity of the application and the experience needed to develop it.

neilaustin
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:26 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:29 pm

I'd be more than interested in an update on your progress and also being included on your mailing list. Got PV and now need to start getting data from it.

neil.austin@the-austins.co.uk

User avatar
anwmalos
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:13 pm
Location: Greece
Contact: Website

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:44 pm

@Neil,

Post some info about your setup and we'll see if your hardware is/will be supported. You can find the mailing list@https://www.solarspy.net/solardev.


I think I could post an update on what's going on with the project

The project is not progressing blazingly fast as this is a side project. Nevertheless, up until now, I have the following
1. Partial rewrite of the probe client in order to be able to configure the client to be able to read from multiple sources and output to multiple targets even simultaneously
2. 90% of support for solutronic inverters - right now I have to finish some details and test the whole thing
3. "some" support for bluetooth SMA inverters. Bluetooth comms work, the basic protocol is ready and tested, however because of the obscurity of the protocol, it's hard to move very fast, and I devoted some time on other things.
4. Starting to do some work for i2c interfaces so you can interface the client with any kind of i2c devices. Yesterday this was delivered to me and I can't wait to be able to monitor analog sensors too.
5. Waiting for the raspicomm to be released so I can play with it and integrate it with my code.
You can always check the progress/contribute/download the code @https://github.com/alxnik/fpd.

For what is worth, this project is not raspi specific, actually it should run on just about any linux based platform.

oldcodger
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:14 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:57 pm

I have recently planned, bought and installed a PV solar system. It consists of 18x44watt solar panels from Maplin (bought cheaply in September 2012 at £72 each as an end of line, new ones now £200). They are mounted on my south facing roof and on a reasonably sunny winters day produce about 50A into my bank of 8x12V batteries.
They are connected in two array's of 11 panels, each array connected to the common battery bank through a charge controller (to protect the batteries from over charge and over discharge).
I would like to remotely monitor and log the charge state and battery voltage from each charge controller so I know how much charge the batteries have obtained during the day. This will then tell me how much 230VAC load I can take from the inverter before the controllers switch the system off.
My system may differ from yours, but I would like to offer it for your project if it would be of use to you.

yop
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:50 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:14 am

Hi everyone.

This is a very cool project!

I also have a epsolar 30a mppt with the TTL rj45 com port.


I want to monitor the contrôler with the raspi, ont only to log but mainly to control a USB relais board.

I explain.

I got a solar array who can produce the maximum that contrôler accept.
Its Ok most of the time but not in deep winter.
As PV are nos under 1$/watt, i dont want to buy bigger controler nether than dirty battery expensive.
So i want to plug my main array directly to the regulator, and plug smaller array (5a) in each relay.

So when raspi mesure under 24amp for say 10mn it open the relay nb1, and so on until 29amp is reach or all the relay are open.
Same in the other way but without timing to avoid over power input.
So we can have an oversized pv field for the same battery corresponding to my need. We can even have a smaller battery park as we can charge every day. The battery is the most expensive part and short life. Pv a cheap and last really long (i'll be dead before them anyway).


I also want to dumpload the array who are not connected in a resistor to heat water or whatever, like for a windmill.

My main problem is to interface the ttl232 rj45 to the rasp. There is no software provided. Im not good enough with this to understand alone.

I also want to webcam the site cause someone burn my house once, i dont want it to happen again. And i want it to be accessible from internet, but this is the easy part.

Where should i start to begin communicate with this hardware by this kind of connector?

Thank you very much :-)

Udo1
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:39 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:52 pm

anwmalos wrote:I would also like to incorporate more sensors (hello hardware hackers) such as pyranometers, weather stations etc.
Did you see: http://wiki.volkszaehler.org/hardware/c ... rweiterung

Regards
Udo

yop
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:50 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:53 am

Hi

I finaly got the protocol info about epsolar lcd screen.

The screen is the same for all epsolar controler so it would be nice to add it to this monitoring software.
Epsolar are cheap a will probably apear in many house.

I'll try to work on my side because as explained earlier im working on a project but we can still share this part.

Im sure youll understand better than me what to do, and im ready to be a beta tester for your software on epsolar devices.

Thanks

Bonehead_pi
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:35 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:38 pm

I just got my first Raspberry Pi, and using it as a battery/system monitor/data logger for my off-grid solar system is one of the things I'd really like to do with it. I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it, yet (beyond the battery monitor and display part), but I'd be happy to contribute to and/or benefit from your work.

I have a Midnight Solar Classic charge controller and a Magnum inverter/charger connected to a 48 volt battery system.

yop
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:50 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:51 pm

I'll stop drinking asap, i promess.


Here is the link for the epsolar protocol.

3 pin usefull txd rxd gnd, im happy i didnt try to plug in to a ethernet port as 12v is send from the other pin (wich we could use to power the raspi?)

http://db.tt/knGFNSfO

By the way, epsolar didnt answer at all, its another resseller who did it. I guess they dont give a f.. since you already pay.


Hope it could be added to this project!

goretex
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:07 pm

I have a just come across your post.

I have a 3.6K solar installation, a PI with bluetooth adaptor, a SMA Sunny Boy 3600TL.

I can give you access to the Pi via remote SSH. I am a windows administrator with a little knowledge of Linux.

If you want to get in touch I would be pleased to work with you on this project

ReneP
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:07 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:15 am

Hi

i would also like to participate, i have a Fronius 3500 IG.
i do have a raspberry pi, but planing on buying a new one to run this.
what should i do regardig software, wireing etc?

René Pedersen

sjcomputing
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:20 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:55 pm

Hi All

I've posted interest before but wasn't really in a position to get going with monitoring, I'm now in a better position to get going.

My setup: 4kw Array, Fronius IG TL 36 Invertor.

I've downloaded the git respository, made changes to the settings.xml file (although I'm not convinced that I've made the correct changes) and I can't seem to get much out of the Invertor.

I'm wondering if anyone has already been successful with the IGTL range as I'm not entirely sure:
1. Which RJ45 plug (IN or OUT) I should be using?
2. Do I need to terminate the other port and if so with what?
3. Should the DATCOM protocol be set to SOLAR NET or INTERFACE ?
4. How often the Invertor will send data packets (I might just not be listening for long enough.
5. What type of RJ45 to USB serial adapter is required (I have one of a current cost and one from ebay.

I could really use a copy of a settings.xml so I know if I've really messed the file up.

If your still reading then thankyou, if your willing to replying, even better..

Cheers guys.

Jacko

wastevenson
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:43 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:50 am

I just brought home an Aero-Solar 5kw grid-tie inverter with standard output over wifi. Love to not have to rely on Windows to monitor the data. ;)

waver
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:47 am

Hello,
I am interested in this project as well. I have a fronius inverter too, but also a datalogger with USB interface. That's a problem I think while the serial connector on the fronius inverter is busy already.
The datalogger has a USB interface with an unknown protocol (for me)
Oh, am in the JSunnyReports project as well as a Java developer.

geoffj3191
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:35 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:47 am

Have you thought of uploading the data retrieved from the inverter to http://pvoutput.org ?
This is a site developed so that people can upload their generation and consumption data so that they can easily monitor there systems and compare them with other systems by inverter type, geographical area or a number of other factors.

It is a mature site, able to accept data in a number of different ways. I believe there are RP monitors already doing this so interfaces have been developed.
I don't use an RP solution, mine is based on an Asus EEE PC but I would be interested in moving to a solution with a smaller footprint.
You can see my live data presented here http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=4909&sid=3878
By clicking on the graph options you can get it analysed in different ways.
Cheers.

roblom
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:44 pm

I have a Samil Power inverter with a RS232 and RS485 connection. I would like to monitor my PV system but I want to log it with the use of one of these connections. By doing this is hope I am able to log more then only the energy that is delivered.

At this moment I'm searching for days to get more information about how to achieve this. For now it looks like a raspberry pi with a RS232 to USB converter will be the best solution. But now I have the problem that I'm missing the software. So this thread passes by and now I hope someone can help me with this or point me in the right direction).

Machasm
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:10 pm

Hi, Just stumbled across this post and I am most interested in this project too.
Problem is I have a Fronius IG Plus inverter (which does not come with a built in rs232 or 434 connection. A data card has to be purchased seperately at a substantial cost (the IG TL inverters have this fitted as standard doh!).
So my question is can something be made to interface with the inverter which isnt as costly?
Thanks.

netaldod
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:30 am

Re: Photovoltaic/solar systems monitoring

Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:41 am

Hi everybody, I just started on this forum and I am quite interested in this topic.
Concerning SolarMax systems (inverters made by Sputnik, especially SolarMax S Series) I use successfully since last March a Raspberry Pi (model B) to monitor my photovoltaic system. The software is on sourceforge

http://sourceforge.net/projects/solarmaxwatcher/

and the steps to install and use it on the Pi (via a LAMP server) are here

http://sourceforge.net/p/solarmaxwatche ... /85002e48/

Hope that this will be useful for those of you with this type of inverter!

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