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Capture Solar data project

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AE6XE
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Capture Solar data project

I recently upgraded my solar installation and hooked up a Raspberry Pi to a Tracer (epsolar) 3210A charge controller to capture the performance data.  Happy to share further details if anyone is interested.    This site has 3 x Rockets, 1 x ipCam, and 1 x Raspberry Pi 2 and if the IR night mode of the camera is off, consumes slightly above 1A consistently.  the IR takes another .3A :) and I'm glad I was able to quantify that.  

the higher end Tracer charge controllers, models "BN" and "A" have incorporated a modbus protocol over an RS485 serial line.  This turned out to be relatively easy to get working given the hardware and bulk of the code is readily available to piece together:

1) USB to RS-485 adaptor only $6 on amazon:   JBtek USB to RS485 Converter Adapter ch340T chip 64-bit 
2) cat5 - re-purpose cable, cut off one end and attached the right wires to the RS-485 adaptor.  RJ45 end plugs into Tacer.  Plug USB into Raspberry Pi.
3) install pymodbus library on Pi
4) short python script grabs all the data and pastes in a file (will capture in more efficient format, next step)
5) To do: hook in web page to display data (there are 3 or 4 examples on our mesh networks around the country already)

See uploaded pic, to follow, of a quick-n-dirty excel chart of the last 2+ days.   This is a 320W solar panel with 2 Walmart deep cycle batteries 105Ah each.  We had some clouds roll through the last half of this chart time.

thanks to Dale, W6WTT, for going along and driving his 4x4 to carry up the new solar panel out in to the wild.

Joe AE6XE

AE6XE
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Solar Metrics

Here's the last 2+ days of solar data.

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