Solar Systems - Inverters

I’ve been considering Solar for a while (s/considering/procrastinating/) and one of the things that I really want to do is to be able to query and log stats out of the system in an automated fashion.

If you’ve got a Solar system, are happy with it and what you can get out of it. I’d love to hear about it! If you’re in Perth and can give installer recommendations, that would also be super helpful.

I am in a similar boat, here in QLD they have a heap of re-baits for new solar setups, I was considering doing it but we are replacing our roof in the next 12 months so it seemed a bit of double handling and our shed roof is too small for a 5kw+ system. This led me to look into second hand setups, I found a 4yo 3kw system that fits on my shed roof for $500 (everything included, AC and DC saftety switches, mounting rails and brackets, cables. The inverter can handle a peak of around 3.4kw at 20amps.

Its a bargain but the only drawback is the inverter only has rs232 connectivity for monitoring, well I thought so in terms of not understanding serial connections very well. After a bit of digging and looking at the spec sheet I think I could connect a ESP-01 to communicate with my MQTT broker. I have yet to try but am quite optimistic about it.

I am also designing adjustable tilt on the panels using linear actuators and a MCU so that the panels can adjust every week to ensure that they get maximum sun in winter and summer.

Hope this gives you some insight, I will post more once I begin debugging the serial connection and fabricate the roof top mounting brackets.

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I have a Solax inverter which has a couple of “hidden” pages of real-time CSV data. I’m using a Node Red flow to intermittently scrape the values from these pages and publish the values I want to MQTT to get them into Home Assistant. I have to credit this HASS forum thread - my NR flow is a lightly modified version of the one u/hotswapster posted over there.

I’ve read about people using InfluxDB to subscribe to and store MQTT data, then analyse it in Grafana. Home Assistant also appears to have some ability to manipulate and analyse your data. I’ve not had the time or inclination to play with either of these yet though.