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Watchpower automation/alternatives?
#1
Hi All
I have (finally!) commissioned my home solar panel, battery and inverter system - mostly due to the great advice on here - thanks to all!

I have  PIP5048MK MPPSolar unit that is working great so far, with 6 x 300W panels and a home-built 10kWh battery built from reclaimed 18650 e-bike batteries. I am using 'Watchpower' software to monitor performance and would like to store all the data that is currently available from the PIP unit. I can do this with Watchpower by exporting the data periodically (the PIP unit is permanently connected to a laptop via RS232 interface, and Watchpower is running continuously on the laptop).

Has anyone found a way of automating the data extract/export process - or do you use an alternative to Watchpower for data logging?

Many Thanks,
BarryG
Not much in life is free these days - but Solar Energy is!
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#2
I use Solar-sis that i have written and store it in influxdb and visualize with Grafana. For processing and automatization i use Node red

There is also an ISO for raspberry pi available

https://diytechandrepairs.nu/raspberry-solar/

You can install the solar-sis with NPM as well but its not latets version right now. Can be found on github to
The Ultimate DIY Solar and build place
YouTube / Forum system setup / My webpage  Diy Tech & Repairs

Current: 10kW Mpp Hybrid | 4kW PIP4048 | 2x PCM60x | 100kWh LiFePo4 | 20kWh 14s 18650 |  66*260W Poly | ABB S3 and S5 Trip breakers
Upcoming: 14S 18650~30kWh
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#3
(03-13-2020, 11:02 AM)daromer Wrote: I use Solar-sis that i have written and store it in influxdb and visualize with Grafana. For processing and automatization i use Node red

There is also an ISO for raspberry pi available

https://diytechandrepairs.nu/raspberry-solar/

You can install the solar-sis with NPM as well but its not latets version right now. Can be found on github to

Thank you for the heads-up, daromer......much appreciated. I'll give this a look......
BarryG
Not much in life is free these days - but Solar Energy is!
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#4
You should have a look at this:

https://centurionsolar.co.za/

That's what you're looking for I guess.
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#5
(03-13-2020, 11:02 AM)daromer Wrote: I use Solar-sis that i have written and store it in influxdb and visualize with Grafana. For processing and automatization i use Node red

There is also an ISO for raspberry pi available

https://diytechandrepairs.nu/raspberry-solar/

You can install the solar-sis with NPM as well but its not latets version right now. Can be found on github tI am sorry to bother you, and I understand if you don't have the time to help me, but I have come to a dead end regarding my attempts so far.


After watching your youtube video about the Raspberry Pi implementation of the Grafana visualization package, I have managed to get mine up and running with a MPP Solar PIP 5048MK. It all works great - but I want to go further.

I have been trying to make a change to the code so that I could issue a command to the PIP inverter to change the 'operation logic'. The MK version allows you to change from 'normal' automatic mode to 'ECO' mode, whereby the batteries will charge from the grid. This would be extremely useful for me during the winter months, as I won't get enough sun during the day. I can, of course, go to the inverter physically and make the changes with the display interface. However, since I have a way of issuing commands via your software, I want to do it this way - and probably issue the commands according to certain 'triggers'. So - that's the background to my request - now here's the problem I have......

I have looked through the index.js file to try to understand how it all works and edited the 'session.json' file, to get the software to use the 'OnInit' section, using the 'RunCommands' object. However, I can't get it to work. It's quite difficult, as you can probably imagine, trying to 'decompile' a programme that someone else has written !!

The command I need to execute is the 'POPLG' command, which, according to the official protocol for the device, is what I need :

" ..... POPLG: Setting operation logic (Only for MK) Computer: POPLG Inverter: (ACK if Inverter accepts this command, otherwise, responds (NAK nn:00: automatically, 01: On-line mode, 02: ECO mode"  

I added this to the calls.json file, hoping it would enable me to use the QuickCommand part of the programme.....

   "quickcommand_config": {
    "start_bit": "",
    "command_type": "S",
    "response_type": "",
    "data_length_bits": 0,
    "seperator": " ",
    "ending_character": "\r",
    "crc_length": 2,
    "response_accept_command": 1,
    "response_refuse_command": 0,
    "variable_length_fillout": "0",
    "response_start": "(",
    "response_header_length": 0
  },
  "quickcommand": {
    "switch_to_ECO_mode":{
      "command": "POPLG",
        "default_value":  "02",
        "variables": {
          "value":  "02"
      }
    }
  }  


I tried the following added to the end of the session.json file............

  "QuickCommands": [
{
      "switch_to_ECO_mode":{
        "command": "POPLG",
        "default_value":  "02",
        "variables": {
          "value":  "02"
        }  
      }
    }
  ],
  "OnInit": {
    "RunCommands": [    
      {
        "switch_to_ECO_mode":{
          "command": "POPLG",
          "default_value":  "02",
          "variables": {
            "value":  "02"
          }  
        }
      }
    ]
  }


I also tried many different variations on this, but as I am not very experienced with working with javascript and json files, I have come to a dead end.

Any chance you can point me in the right direction?

Any help you can offer would be very much appreciated. I also think that many people who have this type of inverter/controller will find this a useful addition to the package, as it allows users to programme a charge from the grid at cheap rate without having to visit the controller physically.


Cheers!
BarryG
Not much in life is free these days - but Solar Energy is!
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#6
I'm using Omega AC Current and Voltage Data Loggers on the output of my AIMS inverters ....
https://www.omega.com/en-us/control-and-...lsrc=aw.ds

The unit uses a CT to measure the current and clip on wires for voltage.   Has USB for connection to the computer - and of course logs data internally and has a screen to display on the device itself. 

The PC software to retrieve the data looks like this:


So now, I'm trying automate the data retrieval by writing a GUI driver program to retrieve the data and export to a file so I can parse it and load it into my database - but not yet finished with this.
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#7
Thanks. Not sure if my MPPSolar PIP 5048MK would work with that.

The software that Daniel recommended actually works great- it's just that I would like to be able to automate some commands. Guess I'm just too lazy to walk down to the controller and input them by hand! :-)

This is my 'Dashboard'.........



BarryG
Not much in life is free these days - but Solar Energy is!
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#8
(05-07-2020, 11:03 AM)BarryG Wrote: Thanks. Not sure if my MPPSolar PIP 5048MK would work with that.

Guess I'm just too lazy to walk down to the controller and input them by hand! :-)
Absolutely - where's the fun in doing a 60sec hand input when you can spend months to automate it 'once and for all' Smile
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#9
Just insert the command in solar sis config and then you run it with a web call with the attribute to send. Then use Node red for atuomatisationa and you can have it running in 20 minutes (But you need to understand NodeJs and solar-sis to do the first part that easy)

I have not documented anything in terms of sending commands Smile
The Ultimate DIY Solar and build place
YouTube / Forum system setup / My webpage  Diy Tech & Repairs

Current: 10kW Mpp Hybrid | 4kW PIP4048 | 2x PCM60x | 100kWh LiFePo4 | 20kWh 14s 18650 |  66*260W Poly | ABB S3 and S5 Trip breakers
Upcoming: 14S 18650~30kWh
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#10
I'm getting to know solar-sis better as each day passes! The same goes for node.js.....

Do you have any plans to document the "sending commands" part of solar-sis?

Currently I am trying to get this working almost by trial and error..... It's very difficult trying to understand someone else's code! Especially without any documentation - hence I would really appreciate any specific instructions as to how to do this. A step-by-step example would be really helpful.

Thanks.
BarryG
Not much in life is free these days - but Solar Energy is!
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