SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

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retrodaredevil
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SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by retrodaredevil » Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:14 pm

Hi,
I've created a program that has been monitoring a system for almost two years now. It works with Mate/Mate2 devices using the RS232 port.

Data can be viewed on Grafana, or an android application. There's more information here: https://github.com/wildmountainfarms/solarthing

Setting it up takes some time and reading, but it doesn't require any programming knowledge to get it to work.

Please feel free to ask me questions here or create issues on the GitHub repository.

plebspamuser
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My RE system: 3 phase VFXR3048E

Re: SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by plebspamuser » Wed May 06, 2020 6:08 am

Great work.. looks really good.

pleb

kiwigander
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:35 pm
My RE system: 8 x Suntech 180 w panels (array 1); 9 x Mitsubishi 175 w panels (array 2)
2 x MX60, 2 x FX2348ET, Hub4, Mate2
24 x Exide ?700 Ah FLA cells = nominal 48 V
Kubota GL6000 AUS genset

Re: SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by kiwigander » Tue May 19, 2020 5:26 pm

Apology in advance if this question is particularly dense, but could I use this system to upload data to my Web server to monitor my RAPS remotely?

(By way of analogy, I've got a weather station feeding a server in the house - an old laptop with a serial port, running weewx - that ftp's its data up to a server provided by my ISP, which displays a Web page with the weather data and a few graphs.)

retrodaredevil
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Re: SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by retrodaredevil » Fri May 22, 2020 8:35 am

kiwigander wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:26 pm
Apology in advance if this question is particularly dense, but could I use this system to upload data to my Web server to monitor my RAPS remotely?

(By way of analogy, I've got a weather station feeding a server in the house - an old laptop with a serial port, running weewx - that ftp's its data up to a server provided by my ISP, which displays a Web page with the weather data and a few graphs.)
I don't know what RAPS is, but right now SolarThing is only set up to monitor Outback MATE1/2s and Renogy charge controllers. It's pretty easy to add additional devices to monitor, but I likely won't work on something I don't have. If you have programming experience and would like to contribute, PRs are welcome.

As for uploading data to a web server, SolarThing supports two databases: CouchDB and InfluxDB. It can even be configured to upload to multiple databases at once. There's also (currently undocumented) GraphQL, which can be used with CouchDB. Databases are a lot easier to add than additional devices to monitor, so if you have a specific database you want supported, I might consider adding it. I like the idea of JSON FTPing some data to a server.

For monitoring remotely, I don't think CouchDB or InfluxDB are particularly good at being exposed to the entire internet, but they can be secured. I currently have a CouchDB database open to the entire internet and I think it's reasonably secure.

kiwigander
Forum Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:35 pm
My RE system: 8 x Suntech 180 w panels (array 1); 9 x Mitsubishi 175 w panels (array 2)
2 x MX60, 2 x FX2348ET, Hub4, Mate2
24 x Exide ?700 Ah FLA cells = nominal 48 V
Kubota GL6000 AUS genset

Re: SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by kiwigander » Fri May 22, 2020 4:18 pm

RAPS = Remote Area Power System, ie. my off grid system. The switchgear is all Outback Power with a Mate2 unit as my user interface. Therefore your software suite won't have a problem with my system.

I reckon if I'm going to make use of, &/or contribute to, your project I'd better first get myself a Pi and see what SolarThing looks like in-house.

retrodaredevil
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Re: SolarThing - An open source way to monitor your system using a raspberry pi or similar device

Post by retrodaredevil » Sat May 23, 2020 8:44 am

I recommend a Raspberry Pi for this with a 16GB or 32GB SD card, but if you just want to test it out, all you need is any computer (Windows, Mac or Linux), and a USB to DB9(RS232) converter. It works with non-linux computers, but there's no pre made way to make it run long term on non-linux computers and setup might be more difficult on a windows computer.

It's also worth noting that SolarThing doesn't support FlexNet DC units yet. If that's something you need, I might add it. I've been meaning to do that for a while but I've never had a reason to.

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