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Thank you for the great forum, Safe Driving over the weekend. Sincerely Jason
Czauto

ICC for Windows??

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Thanks for the inputs. I will develop a windows app also that do basicly the same as AICC and more. Have more trends and local data stored

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That would be great. I'm first on the download list.:D 

It might be a good idea to start a thread with suggestions on features on both programs. If some suggestions is viable, great, if not, so be it......I think it would be fun to get some ideas to peak the program. eg: Program it so that it cleans the dust off my panels every 6 weeks.:ph34r:;)

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35 minutes ago, Czauto said:

I would be happy to pay up to a R1000 per annum for a license key.

Respect.

And locally is a must and easy to use as you so succinctly stated.

FWIW ... mine is all automated using relays. But let me tel you, the day something trips ... not a chance software can handle that. Wife and kids have been taught to switch things off and on manually.

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1 hour ago, PaulF007 said:

O ja the Emon local thing works like a charm and well worth the effort to set up not too sure about the Pi version but the windows one runs stable and as noted above your data is your own and you can do with it as you please there is also some extra widgets that you can download that you don't get on Emon.org..

Pi emon is working great !!

1.png

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I have been using the AICC for Windows since it became available. The only problem was loss of communication over USB cable using a USB extender. When the Rasberry Pi version became available I installed it immediately as now I could use a CAT5 Ethernet cable for communication and it was the end of the previous problem. Since Manie made an image available of the operating system with all applications installed and ICC starting and restarting automatically it really is the proverbial piece if pie to install on an SD card, plug it into your RPi and connect to the inverter or cluster and you are ready to go. To access the Rpi, which is running without a VDU connected, simply download the free RealVNC viewer and connect to the RPi from your desktop or just use the Remote Resktop program. I use the RealVNC viewer to manually switch between grid and solar/batteries at times.

I have discussed a feature I would like to see incorporated with Manie and will detail it here so that others can also add their views. Essentially I am looking for a setting that will allow one to specify a maximum load of the inverter output that, if exceeded, will switch from solar/batteries to grid and back again when the load falls to below the set value after a suitable delay to prevent switching back and forth. Should the RPi, or a Windows equivalent, be set to control the inverter input source based on SOC, the requested feature should of course not switch back to  solar/batteries if the SOC of the batteries is below the value set for switching from grid to solar. This will all work well if the inverter is set to charge from grid at low amperes or not at all. The benefit would be that the batteries are not subjected to excessive load currents and from personal experience by switching manually, if I noticed high loads, the batteries will be fully charged when the sun goes down. With such a feature my system would be automated to a greater degree as I would solely rely on SOC of the batteries instead of guessing the times at which switching between grid and solar/batteries should happen.

Another useful feature would be a display of Kwh for solar and grid for the current month to date. I regrettably am still running version 1.1.0 on a Rpi3. I tried installing an available RPi2 with the latest ICC-Pi ver 1.1.2 this morning but it would not read data from the 2 x Axpert 5Kwh cluster that I have. I have ordered a RPi3 and will try that as soon as it arrives.

It would be interesting to see what others have to say about all this and perhaps suggest improvements. If Manie deems all this possible, he is going to be one very busy developer in the weeks to come.

 

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4 hours ago, Manie said:

Pi emon is working great !!

Super , it seems like there is also a bit more support on the Pi version as the open energy project is also geared towards the Pi so it would make sense. There is some truly amazing guys developing Emon!

Some eye candy :P

2017-01-23_164216.png

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Sometimes the most obvious is overlooked. I just looked right over the selection for the type of inverter on the Pi2 and did not select anything. Manie put his finger on it first time and I felt duly stupid. ICC-Pi on the RPi2 works a treat if you do all the required settings. Oh well one more for the books to try and remember not to repeat. At least I will have a spare Pi3 to play with.

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On 1/23/2017 at 10:28 AM, SolarNoob said:

the easiest and best of all worlds would be to download a Linux image that you simply write to an SD card and boot off of on the Raspberry Pi.

Users call you and tell you that they 1) formatted the SD-card as fat32, and 2) copied the image file onto it and it said not enough disk space (even though it's a 32gb card man... this unix stuff is weird...).

Why, well because vfat can't handle file sizes over 4gb, and because it requires a completely different way of thinking.

I think if you went one step further, actually shipping pre-burnt sd-cards... then you might have the last hurdle removed :-)

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Come to think of it, I wonder if the pi native loader can boot isolinux or grub in some manner. Cause if it can, you can chainload isolinux which could then loopback-mount an image. Then you could put the whole thing on a fat filesystem so that the windows dummies aren't so utterly confused... :-P

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Since my main PC runs Ubuntu, I have never found it necessary to format the SD card as dd writes the ICC-Pi image or any other operating system to an unformatted SD card flawlessly. Does the Windows programs to write to SD cards require a formatted one. I am asking as I don't particularly want to waste time to try it myself.

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It is not necessary to format the sd-card.

All that "formatting" (some OSes talk of "initialising", I think in linux we think simply of "creating a file system") does is to write book book keeping structures in the relevant places. The majority of blocks are in fact left untouched and whatever data was on them before is still there after the "format".

Writing an image is different. Here it literally writes every block on the sdcard so that it looks exactly like the one where the image came from. If you formatted it beforehand, whatever bookkeeping structures were written will simply be overwritten by the image.

The Rpi images usually have two partitions on them. The first one is a good old FAT partition, and this contains the proprietary boot firmware. The important files are bootcode.bin and start.elf. The Pi starts up with the ARM processor disabled and the GPU enabled. It has just enough functionality on the chip to read that first partition and load the second stage bootloader, which then turns on the CPU snf loads the rest (we call it chain loading). The first image on the Rpi must therefore always be FAT.

The second partition can be whatever you want it to be, but usually it is EXT3 or EXT4. Your traditional windows filesystems lack features that are required for unix to work, and therefore the second partition can never be a windows-readable partition.

I do seem to recall though that there was an ext2 driver some years back that allowed windows machines to read-only access these file systems. I don't think it ever really caught on.

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On 1/23/2017 at 10:56 AM, The Terrible Triplett said:

However a very large number of users are not computer literate and don't want to learn or be bothered with Linux at all. Chances are extremely likely they have Windows equipment.

That might be true. But most users don't even know how to operate Windows properly and you have to hold their hand with that too. Could just as well do it with Linux. One of the major advantages of Linux is that you don't need to worry about driver issues ( @plonkster before you correct me on this, bear with me ), nor do you have to worry about compatibility issues - unless the whole USB subsystem in the inverters change in the near future, but Linux would have had that resolved by the time those new inverter hit the markets as well. 

My 2c: Build something that works with little, to no, user intervention - where necessary / if needed. The raspberry Pi idea is great in this regards. it's stable and fairly cheap, and very very light on energy. Yes, you could use an Intel Edison with Windows, and it would consume the same amount of power. But now you need to worry about updates - which many users don't want to do, or don't know how to do. And they surely don't want to babysit this new gadget in their lives as well. I know many farmers who don't even have a PC, but have a 20KW PV array! And all he really care about, is how well his investment is doing. Have a Pi (or, if you must, Edison) with a 7" LCD screen displaying some graphs and history. Most inverters does this already. And most clients are more than happy with that! Why spend more money, especially license renewal fees, to tell him 4 years later that his system still works? He can see it works. 

I use UNIX (OpenBSD & FreeBSD), Linux and Windows - every tool has it's rightful place. Use it for it's intended purpose and it won't fail you. 

NOW, if you must, have an option to feed to emoncms / mysql / sql lite / whatever you prefer and give the "power users" more control over their systems. A few people (generally those on this forum) would perhaps pay for this, most clients can't be bothered since they already spend a fortune on something they don't really want (maintenance, additional insurance cost, extra security measures, etc). 

Writing a Windows & Linux compatible app is much more difficult than you can imagine. For one, if you want to write in C#, you would need to use "Mono" on Linux, and all the C# libraries doesn't work in Linux, since, well, it's written for Windows. Write it in C++ and you'll need to manually write your own libraries for certain things - gauges, graphs, etc. Write it in Python, and it lacks in certain areas on the Windows side again. And then you'll have fun (almost) re-writing half the base code again in a year or two's time when Windows 11 (?) comes out. 

 

Victron and Microcare have some nice monitoring solutions, which "just work" (tm) - you pay for it once and it logs and everyone is happy.

How do you guys make money? From support. "Tom" can install it himself, so he does. "Pete" can't and pay Rx to have it installed. While doing so you notice he doesn't have a BMV702 - sell him one. While on the topic you notice his PV arrays is under performing, make some suggestions to improve it and you have a client. 

BUT: give poor support with the application you wrote and the world will know it. 

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19 minutes ago, SilverNodashi said:

before you correct me on this, bear with me

Oh I agree! The faster release cycle does mean that Linux gains driver support faster, at least for some hardware. The stuff we always have trouble with? Video cards and printers. Thankfully neither of them matter in this application.

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On 1/26/2017 at 11:16 PM, plonkster said:

Oh I agree! The faster release cycle does mean that Linux gains driver support faster, at least for some hardware. The stuff we always have trouble with? Video cards and printers. Thankfully neither of them matter in this application.

Unless you want to print a report of your solar energy generation and usage ;) 

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On 1/22/2017 at 9:43 PM, Chris-R said:

I can already supply small windows devices with windows 10, for just over R2000 with great capabilities for monitoring and media. These units work with a usb charger and uses about 2w. You can leave it switched on forever!

@Chris-R, can you post more details about this device? If @Manie launches the new Windows version of ICC, this might just be the perfect device to make use of. Using only 2w of power is very impressive. That is half that of a Pi. 

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On 1/23/2017 at 4:49 PM, PaulF007 said:

Super , it seems like there is also a bit more support on the Pi version as the open energy project is also geared towards the Pi so it would make sense. There is some truly amazing guys developing Emon!

Some eye candy :P

2017-01-23_164216.png

 

This is the best dash I seen. Well Done !! How did you get the animation to work ?

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Hi Manie thanks! Was some fun and games to get it going. I used some animations embedded in the page to get the effect. Still tweaking it I think I am now on version 4 or 5 :) 

Here is version 6 :) 

2017-02-04_153911.png

 

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Wow. Even better. You kick our buds with emon interface. By far the best i have seen. !!!

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bdc39b87f6f4f76e63185e2babec28fa.jpg

I HAVE to say this. Since Manie developed the ICC windows version i've had troublefree monitoring of my solar system.

Installed it on an old laptop and it consumes about 85w. Way more than a pi but seeing that i can use it to monitor my cctv as well and have such a stable system it worth the extra 80w.

No issues. Download, install, run, go for a swim and go on with your life.

Thanks again Manie. Jy's my hero as Mugabe doodgaan[emoji85]

Ek sal nog my pi iewers aanwend as ek meer lus het vir speel en eksploreer.....

IMG_20170216_172751.jpg

Kyk net daar. Dis my vrou se hair straightener. Kan presies sien wat angaan.........

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Pleasure. Still busy with it. Will add some more

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Hi just some feedback on the windows ICC. 

Infini 3kw also added

Here are some screenshots

Dash.png

Day Totals.png

Hour Totals.png

Grid Trends.png

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