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Lock down solar projects


The Bulldog
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So how are you doing with your solar system during lock down ?

Perfect time for me do do what I wanted to do for some time but never had the time for. To recap - got three 5KVA multies on a three phase feed with a Solis 15KVA three phase grid tie with 10KWp of panels on the roof.

I "stole" one of our MX1 aircraft EFIS flight instruments and repurposed it a bit. This is the original prototype of the MX1 EFIS intended for low cost applications. Normally it would be fitted in an aircraft cockpit and gives you all of the primary flight information (altitude, airspeed, attitude etc), does the autopilot, navigation, engine monitoring and so forth. Pretty much an all in one glass panel. Made in Somerset West and exported around the World (one of many models we do).

Anyway, at its heart it is a STM32H7 processor with a LCD touch screen. I took the normal EFIS software and threw out a million or so lines of code to end up with a skeleton but functional system and hacked around the Solis and Victron communications buses and connected these to the MX1. The MX1 software is largely user configurable - you design your own displays from provided items so I added all the various bits from the inverters. You can do up to 9 screens - you select which screen you want to view using a rotary control. Here is my "main" screen. My system is approved to feed in so I want to see how I am doing. This is the last few days (but we had some rain and overcast so I am a bit negative on the financial side but still feed in far more than I use). Other screens are dedicated to solar production stats, daily stats etc. The graphs show a day at the moment but the system stores up to a year of data and you can scroll through each day and touch the graph to see what you were doing at that point in the day.

The MX1 is also able to control the inverters including throttle the solis if needed. Using ESS I can shunt power from one phase to another or utilize the battery in whatever way I please to optimize the system as a whole. It can also control switching units via Wifi to switch loads in and out depending on conditions. For example you could setup such to put excess power into a geyser depending on water temperature and potential PV power which the MX1 can calculate (if the Solis is throttled). These switches then work in a priority chain with power export being the last item as that is the most inefficient way to use the power (COCT pays peanuts for the power). 

Fun project so far - still work in progress of course - the more I add the more ideas I get.

Pic below shows my current main screen (Battery stuff needs work - still need to connect to BMV). Graph shows import/export of power during 24 hour day - yellow line is current time - into to the right of that is yesterday (so it always shows the last 24 hours). 

MX1-Solar.jpg

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