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cvzyl
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Yesterday I swapped out my 5kW Axpert inverter with a new InfiniSolar 3kW+. The reason for the change was that I don't really want to use batteries exept for load shedding. This is not easily achieved with the Axpert inverter. I also want to start playing around with grid feeding...

Mike here on the forum supplied the equipment and together with Jeff did the installation. I must say that I was super impressed with their professional service and the quality of workmanship. In addition to the inverter installation they did the following:

- Cleaned up wiring which was a mess (previous installer)

- Corrected wiring standards and protection

- Installed a battery stand

I am really pleased with the installation now. Let's see what we can get out of the panels today...

Cobus

8cfd35dd57c4b3c503dd4f9dbb00dfd4.jpg

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Mark, yes on both questions. I still have to speak to Mike, he said he might be interested in the Axpert. You also looking for one?

I'll post some photos of the before state but a bit embarrassed about it :(.

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The cable work under that "trunking" was a nest so once they opened it they basically had to redo most of it.
Mike also installed a bypass/changeover switch for me.

The previous installer ignored my requests for changeover switches and that the battery cable lengths had to be equal. He insisted that it did not matter. Never managed to get him back to fix it. Now Mike has sorted it out for me and I'm glad I did not have to let the previous installer work on the system again.

I can highly recommend Mike (and Jeff).

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I am considering a second Axpert but only at the right price... I want to add a string but need another MPPT.

A few things I like:

  • The Battery Balancer - I have one and works well!  I ahve bridged the 2 banks with fises and also added the mid point voltage (I have the 702).
  • The NL Battery monitor (what is this for (its 12V))
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Just a pity they are in another country ;-)

Yep and it will be some time before I have some software for the infini. Maybe SuperDiy will have his working so you will be back on PVOutput.

Cobus was the first to run AICC in a prod non beta platform. Thanks for the support Cobus.

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

I am considering a second Axpert but only at the right price... I want to add a string but need another MPPT.

A few things I like:

  • The Battery Balancer - I have one and works well!  I ahve bridged the 2 banks with fises and also added the mid point voltage (I have the 702).
  • The NL Battery monitor (what is this for (its 12V))

Mark

I took out the NL battery monitor, the original installer added it thinking that the voltage of a single battery in a 48V parallel bank is representative of the other three. Scary stuff!

I ordered another battery balancer which I will install on the second bank. They work well, I started developing imbalances of up to 1V on the batteries, now down to around 0.1V.

I am missing the AICC software, the SolarPower software is better than WatchPower but only marginally so. Hopefully an alternative solution is not too far in the future... In the mean time I will update PVoutput manually.

Cobus

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Question to the clever guys:

How difficult would it be to write an application to read the SolarPower database files at intervals (e.g. 1 minute or 5 minutes) and to publish that data on PVoutput.org and EmonCMS?

The reason for my question is that in my opinion the Infini units does not require such a lot of active management and changing as the Axperts. For that reason the SolarPower software is actually sufficient to change device settings. It is the online monitoring side which I am going to miss. So ideally if I can get a small application that takes the data read by the SolarPower software and publish it online, it would be ideal for me.

jdp, superdiy, etc. what do you guys think?

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You will have online monitoring once you connect the SNMP card to your network. give it a static IP and off you go, just use the Pro version software, it will make one of your pc's a server

and, thanks for the opportunity to assist you.

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Thanks Mike. I know that I will be able to monitor it, I would however like to publish it on platforms like PVOutput and EmonCMS.

To my simple mind it seems like an easy way to solve the problem, simply read the SolarPower software database. But I'm sure there must be some complication somewhere.

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1 hour ago, cvzyl said:

Question to the clever guys:

How difficult would it be to write an application to read the SolarPower database files at intervals (e.g. 1 minute or 5 minutes) and to publish that data on PVoutput.org and EmonCMS?

The reason for my question is that in my opinion the Infini units does not require such a lot of active management and changing as the Axperts. For that reason the SolarPower software is actually sufficient to change device settings. It is the online monitoring side which I am going to miss. So ideally if I can get a small application that takes the data read by the SolarPower software and publish it online, it would be ideal for me.

jdp, superdiy, etc. what do you guys think?

I haven't actually tried to access the DB files - I'm not even sure what db is used by SolarPower, I think it might be the same as used by WatchPower - maybe jdp can assist.

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26 minutes ago, Mike said:

can you not export it as an excel sheet into one of them apps?

Exporting it and uploading it is tedious. You need to do some calcs and create a new CSV file if I remember correctly. I would prefer if it is a small app running in the background that reads the db file every 5 minutes and does the update live.

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Should not be to difficult. Write a little java console app that reads the data from the Derby DB

You just sum the values together for the last 5 min as required by PVOutput and send it to PVOutput.

I am not sure if you will get the realtime values like you got on EmonCMS from the Derby DB

https://db.apache.org/derby/integrate/plugin_help/derby_app.html

 

 

 

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So, how did the first day go?

Well, to date my best generation was 12.93 kWh from my 3kW panels. Today I generated 17.79 kWh! Very pleased with the Infini unit. It is basically set up and forget, the load management options is a lot more flexible and in a case like mine where I only want to use batteries as load shedding backup it works perfectly.

The guys who are working on custom software for the Infini's, what would you like the software to do that SolarPower is not doing? I dreaded using it after my experience with WatchPower but in the case of the Infini's it is basically a tool to set up the inverter. The only function I am missing is the online data publishing but otherwise I don't think there is any need to fiddle around with settings and commands once the inverter is set up properly?

Am I missing something?

Ps. The one thing that is exactly the same as WatchPower is the shitty SOC calculation. It is useless but as I am only going to use the batteries as last backup it doesn't really bother me as much as on the Axpert. The batteries are floating all day and ready for use should Eskom goes back to their old tricks. I have a Victron BMV702 which I also use to monitor the batteries but as I said, they're always fully charged so not much to see there.

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9 hours ago, cvzyl said:

How difficult would it be to write an application to read the SolarPower database files at intervals (e.g. 1 minute or 5 minutes) and to publish that data on PVoutput.org and EmonCMS?

Sorry if I am a bit late to the party, but I do have a day job.

I try treat it as different parts of a system, but for ease of use/installation, others have kept it in one/two (my system has 5 different apps, each doing a seperate task, so not ideal for generic/home user).

At the end of the day, if you can't/unwilling to do yourself, then you have to rely on the developer providing the feature... Ask nicely, and understand when they say it isn't a priority (only commercial software that you paid for deserves your immediate attention, the rest of us work on what is being requested by others, and when we have the time/skill to apply such feature)

If you are willing to try (as a software developer/hobbiest), then:

  • Very, very easy if done right and the database is accessible.
  • From the developer point of view - Another way is to do it is without locking the port... Most software (please I am not speaking for Invertor software here, just making a general comment) tries to lock the port keeping it for it's own use. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, if it locks it then it can be fairly guaranteed it will get data when it asks, if it doesn't lock then there are a large number of software & hardware checks to go through to just talk to the port and make sure it's available.
  • Figure out where you actually want to get the data from, the database or the port (equipment) directly. Database will be simpler to access but you might not have details on how the information is stored.
  • A small program can easily be written to take the data from the previous step and send it to any site. Feel free to ask, no matter the development language, there are a lot of skills/experience in software development specifically for Invertors/Devices.

Please ask if you need further help, many of us are great at programming (even though I personally have learned some hard lessons about Solar Power)...

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Cobus. I got the pricing for the 5Kw+ today. I first need to go rob a bank and then maybe, just maybe I will join the green side. I also want to spare may batteries.

Only thing that I also want to add to my software then it to keep track of how much power we made and used up so I don't end up in a negative.

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Today is not a very good day for solar on the West Coast, quite a bit of cloud around. But these conditions highlight one of the big advantages of the Infini unit over the Axpert. In the graph below the red line is the load, running fairly constantly at around 1kW. The yellow line is the grid connection into the inverter and the blue line is my Eskom supply. It is extremely irregular as the clouds sometimes obscures the sunlight. In situations like this the Axpert would be drawing from batteries every time the demand exceeds production. I normally switched to utility during such conditions as it constantly draws from battery and then charges again, something the probably shortens the battery life significantly. With the Infini it simply draws the shortfall from grid. The batteries remain on float.

As you will see I am mostly pushing back into the grid (blue Eskom line below zero) :)

pmrrTD3.jpg

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On 15/04/2016 at 0:10 PM, cvzyl said:

I ordered another battery balancer which I will install on the second bank. They work well, I started developing imbalances of up to 1V on the batteries, now down to around 0.1V.

Hi Cobus

That is typical of batteries. Start off "in-die-kol" and quite quickly the start showing imbalances during late absorb. Where do you order you HA02 battery balancers from?

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