Solar Power Monitor now live

Solar power monitor shows

The Solar power monitor shows the live performance of the PV system. The green lines show energy production, the red show

The new revision of the solar controller is in operation now. It offers a hook into Home Automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). I built a website tracking the power generation and consumption in real-time. The website is for inspection of the system only – configuring the modes of the operation can only be done locally. The below image shows the location in my kitchen where the system is living in only two wicker baskets.

 

Appliances off the grid

This system is currently powering the following items in my household:

  • Refrigerator
  • TV, DVD, etc.
  • Stereo
  • Phones, tablets and other small chargers
  • Laptops, printer, desk-lamp
  • Cable modem, IP phone
solar UPS controller solar power monitor

This is my solar UPS controller hooked up to all components (MPPT charge controller, 65AH AGM batteries and a pure sine wave inverter which is at the bottom of the basket) and residing in two wicker baskets in my kitchen. The left basket can be pushed back and is not in the way. The solar UPS controller now sends data live to a solar power monitor website.

The kitchen setup

Some details about this setup which is shown in the image on the right:

Recommended also: Manifesto, Functional Diagram, Carbon Footprint Poster

3 comments for “Solar Power Monitor now live

  1. Brian Chapaitis
    March 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Dear Markus,

    Love your ideas and design here. Thanks for posting on the Internet.

    Wondered why you chose such a fragile battery technology, like Lead-Acid which in my context wears out within 2 years, EVEN with a depth of discharge of only 70% full capacity. I am having great success in longevity with the new LFP (LiFePO4) batteries, which are not really expensive when it appears they will last over 10 years of service, plus they have much greater “real” energy storage capcity since one can safely discharge to 20% of full capacity without damage. For example your 65Ah Pb battery can be replaced with a smaller and lighter, 20Ah LFP battery, and in your case– perfect would be a 40Ah LFP which does exist. Of course, you might very well say you had your Pb batteries lying around the place, and they were effectively “free”. Let me know when the day does arrive that you replace what you have today.

    So, if you want to dialog further, then “way cool”, says I. I am living and testing in a third-world nation (PNG) as I write to you this note. Once again… thanks for this post.

    -Brian C 🙂

    • Markus Loeffler
      March 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

      Hello Brian,

      Thank you for your comment. My controller is modular and is able to support any battery technology as long as it will be operating in the range of 10-30 Volts. That is the reason why an external charge controller needs to be connected to my controller – it is responsible of working with the connected battery technology. LiFePO4 is still more expensive and I wanted to offer a solution at the lowest possible cost. My controller also discharges the batteries only by 10% to extend the lifetime as long as possible.

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