WattPlot poll

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No, I REALLY need to know... (Please help me out here.) Are you a current WattPlot user?

Yes, I have/had WattPlot installed.
7
35%
No, I activated a WattPlot trial but never got a license.
0
No votes
No, I've never downloaded WattPlot.
3
15%
=========================== AND WHAT DO YOU USE NOW?
0
No votes
I use WattPlot apps a lot.
6
30%
I use WattPlot occasionally.
0
No votes
I now mainly use OpticsRE.
2
10%
I now use another tool.
1
5%
I don't do system monitoring.
1
5%
 
Total votes: 20

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intellact
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WattPlot poll

Post by intellact » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:08 pm

Hi folks!

When I asked that question in my earlier post, I really did need to know.

If I've ever helped you out, can you help me out now? I need some input from OutBack clients in order to help me support the industry going forward. Developing monitoring software could hardly be considered a viable 'business' for me anymore, but if OutBack clients are relying on my continued support and industry presence, I'd like to know. :smile:

Perhaps a poll will make it easier...
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

hendrik krijt
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My RE system: pv=4.9Kw, 2xflexmax 80, 2x 24v-240v 50Hz outback inverters, fla's 12x Willard rt25 tubular 2v cells. rsa, kzn prov. (may change to aquion batteries)
Location: South Africa, KZN province

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by hendrik krijt » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:31 pm

Hi, I just climb up and go look with my own eyes.
I know this sounds archaic, but I use technology if I really need it to do work for me, otherwise it is something else that can break. I respect those who like to enjoy the full range of technological gismo's, and admire those who create them, to me it would be another black box that I cannot fix myself!

I feel sorry for the heaps of people posting their problems with the comms tech on this forum and battle, or never get the issues resolved

Lots of South African Southern Sunshine to you all!
Hendrik.

blackswan555
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My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.
Location: Ibiza Spain,

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by blackswan555 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:54 pm

"just for the record"
Yes I do have/had WP and it was a great tool, Andrew was always top notch with help and support even when I was attempting some err "difficult" Projects with it (read to be honest stupid at the time, Remote monitoring, fault emails & gen start over a distant wifi link to a useless internet connection, Got WP working perfect, net was another thing)

The only reason I do not use it now,,,,No sites to monitor :grin:

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

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Chrisserrant
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My RE system: Flexware 500 VFX3524 5 FM80's 30 evegreen 220 1370 AH Forklift Battery Generac 16KW Gen MAte 3
Location: Cayman Islands

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by Chrisserrant » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:30 am

Been using Wattplot pro for logging and system auto control from 2013. With great teachnical support.

JRHill
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Re: WattPlot poll

Post by JRHill » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:07 am

I demo'ed and then purchased the Wattplot subscription directly after my system was put into service. I never had problems with Wattplot but I did have the an old Thinkpad that hosted it die and lost all the collected data. So I set up another old Thinkpad to host the monitoring and it to died within a year losing it's data. I upgraded to a Mate3 so I could use that to collect history and also added the FNDC. Then OpticsRE came out and I thought "Oh Boy! A cloud monitoring solution!" I really liked the interface and reporting features but the connection issues were intolerable - so back to WattPlot.

The reason the ThinkPads died was the dust which is just part of living in the woods. It required the machine to be disassembled several times a year to clean the cooling fan and everything inside the case. Sometimes I didn't get to it before it was too late :-(

Now I'm back on WattPlot and upgraded to Pro. Love it. WattPlot is running on a 8" tablet which uses very little power, generates almost no heat and is not vented. I really only use it when I need to get into detail or if I need to adjust the rules that send status and alert text messages to my phone. My main monitoring interface is VisualMate running on my (unvented ;-) ) laptop.

Best, Jim

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intellact
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Re: WattPlot poll

Post by intellact » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:19 pm

Thanks Hendrik, Tim, Chris, Jim, and the others who have already responded. =D> (Still, this user forum is not what is used to be... :neutral: )

More responses are needed! :smile:

C'mon folks! Just a couple of clicks to help me help you! \:D/
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

Mike Curran
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My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied GVFX3524's classic stacked for 120/240VAC (2007)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS, OpticsRE. Tigo Energy ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 (2x7) Talesun 275W (DC array input to SB charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input (manual switch during grid outage only) from 14 Talesun 275W,
Enphase M215 microinverters, normally direct grid tied

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by Mike Curran » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:27 am

When I installed my first system in 2007, I bought Randy Richmond's Winverter software. I only became aware of it because my GVFX inverters came with a 2 page flyer describing the software, and if I recall correctly this software was at one time supplied free with Outback's inverters (the inverters came with a disclaimer sheet saying the software was no longer supplied free).

Anyway, I liked the software mainly because of the graphical display it presented on the computer that I had serial-connected to the Mate. However, it initially had no control functions, could only be accessed from that one local computer, and I found the data logging function was cumbersome at best. I got used to going out to the garage to observe and adjust settings on the Mate.

However, I never found an urgent need to examine the historic data, and I bought software called "TightProjector" ($20) to broadcast the screen on my local "solar" computer across my LAN so I could see the Winverter interface window on any other computer in my house. Still visiting the garage to adjust settings...

That worked fine for me until I upgraded my system with an FNDC and a Mate3, with free Optics software, last year (2016). I'm pretty well happy with OpticsRE (I guess I don't need all the functionality others on the forum decry its lack of, and/or don't see the problems they're seeing) and remote access capability. The only thing I missed from Winverter (at first) was the graphic display, but I've become used to the Optics graphics and wouldn't go back, mainly because of all the other bells and whistles it offers.

This isn't meant to be a criticism of Winverter software. It served me well for a long time and even as I upgraded last year, Randy Richmond was still willing to work with me to try his latest software version. But ultimately I've stuck with OpticsRe. I'm probably getting to the stage (age?) when I would really have to see a major benefit, or maybe a change in my hardware, before changing software again.

Sorry I can't comment on Wattplot and forgive my off-topic ramblings. I have visited the website and checked out the user interface, and what I saw looked impressive, but as stated above I'd need a really strong incentive to purchase, install and learn a new system interface.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :grin:
http://www.tigoenergy.com/site.php?95b2dca2-ca6c
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221

stevetull
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My RE system: FlexPower Two:
2 VFX3648, X240, 2 FM80, Mate 3s, FnDC, Hub 10
One array facing south at 30 degree tilt
One array facing southwest at 10 degree tilt
Total of 8kW
16 Fullriver AGM DC400-6 = 830Ah @ 48v
OpticRE: Paige cabin
Location: Near Bastrop Texas
Contact:

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by stevetull » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:56 am

I enjoy using WattPlot with our system. I keep a laptop below my Mate which is remote located in our home. I love it.
Thanks Andrew.

-Steve

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intellact
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Re: WattPlot poll

Post by intellact » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:39 am

Mike Curran wrote:This isn't meant to be a criticism of Winverter software. It served me well for a long time and even as I upgraded last year, Randy Richmond was still willing to work with me to try his latest software version. But ultimately I've stuck with OpticsRe. I'm probably getting to the stage (age?) when I would really have to see a major benefit, or maybe a change in my hardware, before changing software again.

Sorry I can't comment on Wattplot and forgive my off-topic ramblings. I have visited the website and checked out the user interface, and what I saw looked impressive, but as stated above I'd need a really strong incentive to purchase, install and learn a new system interface.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :grin:
And a fine story it is, Mike! Thank you!

I'm really glad to see that Randy is still offering and supporting Winverter. He was the first to be doing this for OutBack equipment and has stuck with it a long time. =D> I admire his integrity and perserverance.
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

SwDoctor
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My RE system: Radian, Mate3, FlexNet, FlexMax

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by SwDoctor » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:45 pm

When I set about mining data from the Mate3 (2+yrs ago) I did NOT learn about wattplot, actually I found out about it today.
Tried the trial version (that did not connect under trial license to tcp.ip LAN connected MATE3).
Seemed well written and very useful, however my integration with home automation controller only lacks the element of battery temperature it is not something I would need just for that.
But I endorse your software and would have otherwise been a registered user.

If you ever intend on making a "plugin" type for homeseer and need some advice to integrate with that system, I don't mind lending help and some VBscripts.

With your software logging system (just based on outback data alone) you could EASILY send "battery watering reminders" to email/text msg --- based on AH-in/Out (and/or timed), perhaps with ability to trigger an automated watering system thru relay output. That's a feature you can implement with data already present from a FNDC.

Another one: (not as useful as watering batteries, but...)
It could also use solar data and calculations (weighting days old data with newly past today data) to give a prediction of "expected output" for a given day (future/today) - compensate for variance in solar noon, adjust for difference in day's length, and "count" notches in the day's chart up to solar noon- those will be clouds... (basically "bend and reshape the chart") Factor sample rate and viola- cloud rating... Keep the now-present, and today-past levels so you can conclude if cloud cover is/are increasing, or decreasing.- This may be "useful" information to some people and the solar harvest is able to provide enough information to calculate this. - Up until full charge/diversion (when it don't matter anymore anyway). The data needed to predict this comes from a single (or more) charge controller.
This could result in a pretty accurate "likelihood to charge" factor.

Hope it helps spark something good.
-Rick

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intellact
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Re: WattPlot poll

Post by intellact » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:35 pm

SwDoctor wrote:With your software logging system (just based on outback data alone) you could EASILY send "battery watering reminders" to email/text msg --- based on AH-in/Out (and/or timed), perhaps with ability to trigger an automated watering system thru relay output. That's a feature you can implement with data already present from a FNDC.
Funny you should mention that... I do have my system setup to give me battery watering reminders. \:D/ WattPlot Automatic Actions include specific date triggers. :smile: (I don't have a trigger for total AH yet from the FnDC, but would not be difficult to add. Thing is, most enhancements like that would be now going into WattPlot Generation 6.)
SwDoctor wrote:Another one: (not as useful as watering batteries, but...)
It could also use solar data and calculations (weighting days old data with newly past today data) to give a prediction of "expected output" for a given day (future/today) - compensate for variance in solar noon, adjust for difference in day's length, and "count" notches in the day's chart up to solar noon- those will be clouds... (basically "bend and reshape the chart") Factor sample rate and viola- cloud rating... Keep the now-present, and today-past levels so you can conclude if cloud cover is/are increasing, or decreasing.- This may be "useful" information to some people and the solar harvest is able to provide enough information to calculate this. - Up until full charge/diversion (when it don't matter anymore anyway). The data needed to predict this comes from a single (or more) charge controller.
This could result in a pretty accurate "likelihood to charge" factor.
Another interesting idea, Rick. When you say "solar data", are you referring to the total wattage produced at the panels, or predictions of solar output from a weather link?
Andrew Welch, creator of WattPlot

SwDoctor
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My RE system: Radian, Mate3, FlexNet, FlexMax

Re: WattPlot poll

Post by SwDoctor » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:35 pm

My weather has to be gathered at the site (no internet & off grid), including UV index and "cloud rating" (derived only from solar production data of the present day compared to "known expected" calculated from historical and time/date info). Data taken from outback system. (charge controllers)

(for better weather alerts, I would like to find a RS232 serial output weather radio that could "read" alerts properly from NOAA weather radio, but I do pretty darn good with just sensors.)

Anyway;
"Solar data" (as I threw the term into the last post) was referring to historical data collected by wattplot.
it was kind of a loose term for a math formula based result - derived from "data" that wattplot captured and logged for the past "few days" or a time/sample period as determined to be a good math base for determining what "should be normal" for a given day and time (factoring in site specific data along with known solar exposure times for that unique calendar day - each day is slightly different even if zero clouds).
The target comparison would be a baseline to say that any "LACK" of meeting the expectations could only be caused by cloud cover. (or never rule out a system fault) - but for data to be "considered accurate" then errors and warnings must be inactive!

What I did, was "knowing that "expected maximum harvest" (within 10% tolerance) at any time during the day".
Comparing that to what is harvesting presently in real time. If within 10% then ignore it, no problem- its a happy sunny day! (repeat based on sample rate= mine was 5mins)
If more than 10% deviation/loss, then "count that" as a cloud, and note the frequency (interval) of this cloud and others, producing a trend of "increasing or decreasing" interval and duration. [ are clouds forming , or breaking ]
(helps to predict expected harvest rather accurately- before the day would be half over! Making decisions about how much expected power "SHOULD" be harvested is a very tricky issue, but it works AMAZINGLY well...
Basically, by "solar noon" I can rather reliably know the total days projected solar harvest. And KNOWING how much power you have to work with for the day when you are off grid is VERY handy. Sure, there are storms that roll in late in the day, or days where it clears out after being a bad morning. But when these events happen, the calculation is adjusted in real time, and results is only about 5 days a year where it missed the target of 98-100% charge.
(my system also takes into account number of days since full charge, if more than 4 then it will skew the prediction to allow for higher likelihood of a full charge, it skews more and more each following day until either charge parameters are met, or no "anticipated diversion" is allowed to operate.


Now, UV index (not a true uv index, but useful for knowing "exposure" for greenhouse and radiant system adjustments/calculations-- is simply averaging the production compared to that same maximum expected harvest, giving a percentage output. (it is pretty darn close to the reports given by the local weather man when I compared it) - know that an actual uv index is reported as 1-10, but percentage was more useful to my automation calculations, simply know that 100% pretty much equates to 10 on the uv index. (ie; this is useful to know if the water heater tubes are fully engulfed in solar radiation, or exposed only 50%, etc. - I predict the expected end of day water temp too...)

Actually, with the ability to poll each charge controller, you could determine a charge controller "imbalance" - of course requiring the software to know what the array size connected to EACH charge controller is. So for example, if you have 3kw on charge controller one, and 1.5kw on charge controller two, you SHOULD get 2x the harvest from charge controller one under no fault conditions. If the fault occurred whereas a string of panels were "disconnected" due to breaker, fuse, wiring, or a open/ bad panel on charge controller one, you would get a reading such as 2.5kwh on the same time period you would get 1.5kwh on charge controller two. This is easy to analyze digitally, but may go unnoticed for long time otherwise. (this ONLY works with more than 1 charge controller, otherwise you could not rule out cloudy conditions by cross comparison!)
(My system is programmed to watch for this, I have 4 charge controllers, 3 are identical arrays 1 is the "oddball" but output is compared to string size and in relation to the other "set(s)") = Mine is set to "alert" with 10% difference between any controller compared to average of them all, the alert "check routine" only happens at end of production day. (to rule out multiple triggers due to any shadow effect moving across one set before another, etc. Over a day period, they should average the same.)

And yet another idea:
Your software could also give PRE-warnings for RADIAN inverters operating "too hot":
The unit DERATES based on a temperature formula (see manual, or ask me for it) at temps over 77F.
To calculate this, you "could" use battery temp sensor, or add input for a temp probe (I did that in my electric room)
With this data, if the radian is loaded up to say 80% of where it is likely going to shut down due to thermal overtemp, then send a warning (whereas my system will also start cutting back on controlled loads automatically). But it would be nice to be alerted before unexpected "power-down" happens if no automation is available. (this thermal shutdown would happen on very hot 100F+ days, when system is diverting power even if battery is fully charged and sun is bright, if you try to divert everything thru your inverter it could sneak up on you!)

Also: notification of ERROR or WARNING condition (with radian, charge controller, or any device)

These things were helpful in automation system, I can see where it would be useful to know even if you were not on automation to the extent I went.

I hope you find something useful in my rant!
(I always hated math as a student...)
-Rick

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