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The wait was worth it!

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Good Day all

So after 6 months of waiting for my installer, on the 25 July the install actually happened. This is a modest setup to start my journey to solar generation, but enough to cover my home.

The equipment installed was as follows:

  • Axpert MKS II 5kW 48V Inverter
  • Axpert WiFi Module
  • SHOTO 5.12kWh Lithium Battery
  • 160A 2 Pole Multiblock NH00 Fuse Holder
  • 100A 500V NH Fuse Link x2
  • PermoPower 35mm Black Cable 
  • PermoPower 35mm Red Cable
  • 35mm Heavy Duty Crimping Lugs

Their was quite a bit of extras, as the  2 x DB, 20m of cable, extra breakers, pilot lights, as I had to install the inverter and battery in another room. The system had its official first load shedding test this afternoon and coped very well. Its pleasing to have such a seamless change over. 

I have configured a pizero w with POE/USB HAT, running Solar Assistant to do my monitoring and integrated it into Home Assistant. The RS485 cable will arrive soon in order to monitor the Shoto Battery more closely. I went with Solar Assistant, as a platform, as I already had most of the hardware required. I'm very happy with the install so far and will be looking into what panels to install for the solar phase of this project.

One mistake I made here was purchasing the Wifi module. It works to an extent, via the Watchpower app, but does not give enough granular settings to monitor the inverter and battery pack. The module is slow and was cumbersome to get registered and working.



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Posted (edited)

Good Day all

I have completed my monitoring setup as well.

I decided to go with the Solar Assistant solution, as I wanted to utilise my existing Pizero W. The challenge I had was power to the Pizero W, as I did not have power close by in the room where the Inverter and Battery was installed. I could tap power off the battery, but that would mean finding a step-down power supply. I wanted a completely self contained solution, because I already had a POE switch in another room, which could power the Pizero W.


The setup is quite easy as per documentation on the Solar Assistant website:

  1. https://solar-assistant.io/help/getting-started/prepare-device
  2. https://solar-assistant.io/help/voltronic/configuration
  3. https://solar-assistant.io/help/home-assistant/broker-setup

-There was a slight difference with the integration into Home Assistant doing the MQTT broker part, which I have informed Solar Assistant about. Home Assistant's UI has changed a lot, but after doing some searching solved the integration part. I know just enough linux to get by. 🤣

-Another challenge was getting the POE Hat setup and getting the Inverter's USB port to recognise the Inverter in Solar Assistant via the Pizero's USB port. Once figured out the setup was plain sailing. I had the Inverter in Emulated BMS mode till my RS485 to USB cable arrived. The RS485 cable was connected to the battery and Pizero USB ports and connected immediately, no issues, as below:



Yes, trunking not done yet, but I will get there. All working perfectly, with integration into Home Assistant as well. Very straight forward install for a semi-technical person. Thanx to Solar Assistant for programming this solution. Easy Peasy!



Edited by Prince3121
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