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Hi
 
I recently got a solar system installed.
I've just now got the settings and everything good (I think) but I could only get the Inverter to switch from battery to grid either too early, for example as soon as it drops to below 70% or as soon as I switch on the kettle (even if battery is still on 80%+) OR
it doesn't switch to grid at all until I either manually switch it, by using the toaster and the kettle at the same time or if the battery runs out...
 
So I've left it now on the "close to never switch to grid" setting, and every night as soon as battery goes below 40% or if it's not close to 40% and we are going to bed, then I also "manually" switch to grid (by turning on toaster and kettle etc at the same time) .
 
Is there a way to remotely do this (switch between battery and grid)?
I'm looking for a solution, like maybe RaspberryPi connected to the Inverter and WiFi and then a mobile app, that can show me the current battery capacity (and other cool stats and info) and then either I can set on the app to switch when it goes below 40% OR I can switch it myself, with the app, instead of going to the battery to check the capacity level and if "low enough" then turn on appliances until it switches to grid.
 
I also found few posts where people talk about firmware update...?
How can I do that if I can't link/connect my inverter to the internet?
If it's possible to do that with a RasPI and app as well, that would be awesome.
 
Thanks so much for the help.
 
My solar system details:
Mecer Axpert 5kW Inverter 
315 W panels (6)
Leoch 5kWh Lithium Ion Battery
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13 hours ago, JohanFourie said:
Is there a way to remotely do this (switch between battery and grid)?
 
 
Yes. Search this forum for "ICC"; that runs on a Raspberry Pi and talks to the inverter. You can just click on a button to switch to/from line mode. In conjunction with a BMV battery monitor, you can switch the inverter between utility and battery at a precise SOC percentage.
 
Quote

 

I also found few posts where people talk about firmware update...?
How can I do that if I can't link/connect my inverter to the internet?


 

You download the appropriate file to your Windows computer, then use a USB to serial converter and the provided RS-232 to RJ-45 cable to talk to the inverter from your computer. The firmware update file is a .zip or .rar file, and inside is a special program for firmware updating. You run that program, and about 8 minutes later, the new firmware is running.

See Can I update my firmware, and if so to what?

Quote

If it's possible to do that with a RasPI and app as well, that would be awesome.

I don't use it myself, but I don't think it can do both. But you just rearrange the cables for the firmware update, and when it's done, restore the cables for monitoring.

 
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2019/10/23 at 4:52 PM, JohanFourie said:

Is there a way to remotely do this (switch between battery and grid)

Hi Johan, I’m not sure how your system is wired but on my Axpert I use a two channel sonoff switch. With this switch theres an app on my phone and I can manually switch between grid and solar with my phone, or set the timers on the phone and switch it that way.

My Sonoff is set to switch to solar about 7h30 in the morning when sun is up and charging batteries. Then in the afternoon my timer are set to switch back to grid about 18h00. That leaves my battery about 95% charged ready for possible load-shedding during the night.

I don’t use any rasberry or other technology as the sonoff was the cheapest option to switch between grid/solar and the nice thing is you can do it from anywhere. When it is overcast I sometimes manually switch back to grid for a hour or so to give the batteries a bit of extra charge.

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18 hours ago, Gerrie said:

Hi Johan, I’m not sure how your system is wired but on my Axpert I use a two channel sonoff switch. With this switch theres an app on my phone and I can manually switch between grid and solar with my phone, or set the timers on the phone and switch it that way.

My Sonoff is set to switch to solar about 7h30 in the morning when sun is up and charging batteries. Then in the afternoon my timer are set to switch back to grid about 18h00. That leaves my battery about 95% charged ready for possible load-shedding during the night.

I don’t use any rasberry or other technology as the sonoff was the cheapest option to switch between grid/solar and the nice thing is you can do it from anywhere. When it is overcast I sometimes manually switch back to grid for a hour or so to give the batteries a bit of extra charge.

Hi.

Thanks.

I have sonof switches, the small ones:

https://eiferer.co.za/products/sonoff-basicr3-wifi-diy-smart-switch?variant=29388736987180&currency=ZAR&utm_campaign=gs-2018-10-05&utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqdjMkJrY5QIVBomyCh2yxwj1EAkYEiABEgIXkvD_BwE

Are the strong enough?

Someone told me that some of the units can’t handle high load like for example switching a geyser on and off.

Is that true? And if so, will they be able to control my solar as well?

If it will, where do I need to put it?

I have a DB board that has 3 stages:

solar, OFF, eskom...so if I need to put the sonof on that switch, then how will it work if the sonof only has a “on and off”?

Or where should I put that device (if it is “strong” enough)

 

Thanks for the reply

Edited by JohanFourie
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On 2019/10/24 at 6:13 AM, Coulomb said:
Yes. Search this forum for "ICC"; that runs on a Raspberry Pi and talks to the inverter. You can just click on a button to switch to/from line mode. In conjunction with a BMV battery monitor, you can switch the inverter between utility and battery at a precise SOC percentage.
 

You download the appropriate file to your Windows computer, then use a USB to serial converter and the provided RS-232 to RJ-45 cable to talk to the inverter from your computer. The firmware update file is a .zip or .rar file, and inside is a special program for firmware updating. You run that program, and about 8 minutes later, the new firmware is running.

See Can I update my firmware, and if so to what?

I don't use it myself, but I don't think it can do both. But you just rearrange the cables for the firmware update, and when it's done, restore the cables for monitoring.

 

Thanks for the reply.

Sorry for only responding now.  Tried to get the info on cables and costs for the rasberry pi etc.

I’m going to give this a try in the new year.

Hopefully there is a rasberry pi on special somewhere over black Friday :)

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17 minutes ago, JohanFourie said:

Are the strong enough?

The sonoff is just the control that switches a contactor on and off so there are very little current (milli amps) going through the sonoff so it should last for years.

 

21 minutes ago, JohanFourie said:

where do I need to put it?

You will need to install a change over contactor in your DB, this basically does the job of the manual change over switch. This contactor will then be switched via the sonoff switch.

I have a manual hager change over switch in my DB as well as two contactor change overs in my DB. One is doing critical loads and the other doing the rest of the house, so that enables me to switch critical on solar and the rest of the house on grid or I can have all on solar and be completely off grid. But for this you will need a contactor similar to photo but I would recommend a different brand to the one in picture. Also with that you will basically need a DB rewire. I done my own DB snd only had to by the Sonoff and contactors that was about R600

87A99A0C-0CBB-4681-AEFC-08913DA12F13.jpeg

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