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Monitoring power generated, power used from batteries, power used from grid.


William2805
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Good day everyone. Hope all is well.

I'm fairly new to solar and also new to the forum.

I just wanted to hear if there is anyone that has experience in using monitoring software on ther inverters. 

I currently have 2x Axpert inverter units (none WiFi) running between solar, batteries, and the grid. I would really like to start trending the power used from the solar side, vs the power that is still used from the grid to try and optimize my system and to see where I can improve, and if needs be to add additional lithium batteries. 

 

What software would you suggest? How wil thhe setup work with having 2 units? Will you require 2x LAN connections to a PC? Will only one comnection be needed as the units are connected as a master and a slave? Will I be able to use something like a energy meter that has it's own software? Is a PC with monitoring software the only solution or will I able to use a smart device like a Raspberry Pi or a cellphone?

 

Your feedback, guidance and assistance will be highly appreciated. 

🙂

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So I am running both at the moment ICC and Solar Assistant. Here is my (this is my personal view) findings to date:

  1. ICC Solar - Price I can't remember the exact amount but I think I paid $49 via pay pal - No Pi included there are options to include a Pi
    1. Pro's
      1. Incredible software from a perspective of the developer knowing the inverters correct calculations and displaying the information
      2. It has MQTT built in so if you need to stream the values and access them for another system (like me) you can. A use case is I have home automation in my entire house. I use the MQTT values to do certain things i.e. turn things on and off, arm certain parts of the alarm system if loadshedding or the grid drops at a certain period of time. Another use case is if you want to create your own dashboards and work with the data you not stuck in their interfact.
      3. They allow you to SSH into the machine (Raspberry Pi) so that you can always make sure packages etc are up to date and because the load on the machine is not high you can utilize the same RPi for other services you might need.
      4. Updates are frequent which is great and you can track the updates in their change log which often is over looked by developers and is good info for the end user.
      5. Setup is pretty solid 
      6. You can connect a HDMI cable and you have the RPi Desktop you can interact with
    2. Con's
      1. They don't have a mobile app they rely on the centurion solar interface which leaves a lot to be desired but this is where the MQTT service comes in to build your own dashboards which is awesome for mobile.
    3. Could do better
      1. Their support is good, but often you met with a short answer when you seeking more information or VNC to connect which is not always the best answer. Not saying this is a negative just saying spending more time explaining when all one needs is a text answer.
  2. Solar Assistant - disclaimer been using it for one week. - Price R799 (as of last week) - No Pi included, there are options to include a PI
    1. Pro's
      1. Their user interface is far superior and more "modern"
      2. Info is displayed in a user friendly way so if you just want to see the important info easy to read this is your option. ICC Solar is more aimed at installers from my point of view.
      3. Setup is easy 
      4. Graphs are done in a great way they using Grafana in the background which is one of the best interfaces for dashboarding.
      5. They have a "mobile app" even though its not a true app and is merely a link on your device to the web interface its functional and works great.
      6. Support is quick at responding and often answers the question first time round.
    2. Con's
      1. It's a headless system meaning there is no user interface for Raspberry Pi installed and the only interface you have to the OS is via the web interface solar assistant provides you. 
      2. No option to login to the Raspberry Pi via SSH to install a desktop interface or update the operating system (for me this is a big no no).
      3. No MQTT however I have been told this is coming in an update in the next few months.
    3. Could do better:
      1. Besides improving on the con's nothing much 

So having said all that both will give you what you asked for, now its about understanding which one has the better pro's and con's for your senario.

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1 minute ago, William2805 said:

Your feedback, guidance and assistance will be highly appreciated. 

I take it you are running your Axperts in parallel, correct? Then you only need a connection to 1 of them and you can access the data of both through it

There are a few options for Axperts:

All of them run on a Raspberry Pi and you remotely connect from your PC/phone/tablet (you can source your Pi separately and just buy the license (usually cheaper) or purchase both as a kit)

I ran ICC for 2 years (the one that is still called ICC) and was really happy with it

Have now changed from Axperts to Sunsunks and just purchased a Solar Assistant license. Looking to get it up and running this weekend, so do not have any experience to report yet

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On 2021/06/10 at 12:58 PM, William2805 said:

Good day everyone. Hope all is well.

I'm fairly new to solar and also new to the forum.

I just wanted to hear if there is anyone that has experience in using monitoring software on ther inverters. 

I currently have 2x Axpert inverter units (none WiFi) running between solar, batteries, and the grid. I would really like to start trending the power used from the solar side, vs the power that is still used from the grid to try and optimize my system and to see where I can improve, and if needs be to add additional lithium batteries. 

 

What software would you suggest? How wil thhe setup work with having 2 units? Will you require 2x LAN connections to a PC? Will only one comnection be needed as the units are connected as a master and a slave? Will I be able to use something like a energy meter that has it's own software? Is a PC with monitoring software the only solution or will I able to use a smart device like a Raspberry Pi or a cellphone?

 

Your feedback, guidance and assistance will be highly appreciated. 

🙂

You Could look at the Riot cloudlink 

No monthly fees and works with most of the nex Axpert Clones 

https://www.riotsystems.cloud/

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@MyInverter Been using Solar-Assistant with MQTT bridge on a DEYE 8Kw for the better part of 3 months now and its rock solid. Primary use is for priority load balancing between high demand appliances (oven / geysers / heatpump et al) using HASS and 63amp wifi circuit breakers. 

If you want an easy hassle free way to integrate DEYE/Sunsynk into HASS get yourself the package with a RS485 cable. It will also give you the ability to remotely monitor your setup easily should your HASS system not be available.

Next project is to enable the Energy dashboard using the above setup.

Edited by jamrobot
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