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Solar Station Monitor program

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Posted by raydas

Oct 24, 2019 at 2:51pm

Any spreadsheet gurus here? I did a ~24 hour log of my system. I entered the .csv file into a spreadsheet, and got about 1410 rows of data. Now, what would be the formula for getting a value that tells me how the solar panel array system, in watts, produced in that period of time. 

Posted by raydas

Oct 25, 2019 at 8:43am

So far the data for the working state of my solar system, is very dismal. For the data sample that I worked with, it shows that the solar panel array was active for 9 hours. And during that 9 hour period it produced ~45 watt hours. And the days are getting shorter, so it will get worse.

The sample day was cloudy in the morning, and then it was partly cloudy the rest of the day. Since I have 4 x 100W and 2 x 50W panels producing 45 watt hours, and I have a 35Ah + 100Ah battery (1620 watt hours), this looks like I would need a whole lot more solar panels.

Now I can see why you need to spend $30,000, if not more, for a solar system that powers your house. And I am thinking all the conveniences, that one enjoys at the moment, would be powered.

This is a real eye opener for me. So basically, at the moment, with lets say $1500 investment in the solar system, I can keep a 45 Watt bulb lit for 9 hours.

I guess looking at it from a different point of view, if I did not have any load on the system, I guess it could keep my batteries topped off. $1500 for a trickle charger system.

The solar system has been tinkered with to the best settings for the available panel locations. The whole point of my experiments was to get a real idea as to what the solar system could produce under the given factors.

Posted by retrodaredevil

Oct 25, 2019 at 10:21am

I'm guessing you've figured out that you can use the daily kwh charging field to see how much it has charged. (This is in watt hours). There's a lot more data you can get from the rover. If you have a load connected to the load panels, you can see how much it is currently discharging and also see your daily kwh discharging.

If you wanted to calculate the watt hours yourself, you would have to do some sort of an integral operation.


raydas Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 8:43am raydas said:

So far the data for the working state of my solar system, is very dismal. For the data sample that I worked with, it shows that the solar panel array was active for 9 hours. And during that 9 hour period it produced ~45 watt hours. And the days are getting shorter, so it will get worse.


Also as it gets colder, solar panels will do better. And when there's snow on the ground, depending on how your solar panels are set up they might get more wattage than they're rated for from the light reflecting off the snow and onto the panels. But this all depends system to system and I'm no expert on that.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 25, 2019 at 12:21pm

if a 45w light uses 45wh in one hour then it would use 9 times that in 9 hrs or 405wh.

Posted by raydas

Oct 25, 2019 at 1:23pm



if a 45w light uses 45wh in one hour then it would use 9 times that in 9 hrs or 405wh.


Sorry, that is a bad example. I am still trying to get a handle on that watt hour stuff.

"...daily kwh charging field...". In the .csv file there is no field for that, unless it is actually called something else. The field that I actually wish they had is, something that shows just how much the panel array produced for the day.

Posted by tattoo

Oct 25, 2019 at 2:00pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 1:57pm raydas said:

 Like I have always heard "Talk is cheap...".




LOL Yep you are correct........ so keep on talking........... LOL

Posted by retrodaredevil

Oct 25, 2019 at 2:01pm

tattoo Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 1:40pm tattoo said:

LOL you crack me up with your lack of knowledge...........


Dude, you've been harassing raydas in just about every forum post he's made. If there were mods on here they would ask you to stop, but mods don't seem to exist on this forum.

Please, stop harassing him in every single forum post. You can tell him why he's wrong or when one of his statements is incorrect, but reading your nasty comments is not fun.

raydas Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 1:23pm raydas said:

"...daily kwh charging field...". In the .csv file there is no field for that, unless it is actually called something else. The field that I actually wish they had is, something that shows just how much the panel array produced for the day.


I think it's called something like "power generation of the current day" for daily kWH and then it's "Power consumption of the day" for the daily discharging kwh. These values are in watthours, but I like to divide them by 1000 to get kWH.


If you still can't find that in your csv file, try giving us a link to the file through dropbox or something, or tell us all the fields it does give you.

Posted by raydas

Oct 25, 2019 at 2:14pm

Date Time,Station Name,Device ID,Array Current(A),Array Voltage(V),Array Power(W),Working State,Battery Voltage(V),Battery Temp.(?),Battery Current(A),Battery SOC(%),Load Current(A),Load Power(W),Load Voltage(V),Load State,Device Temp.(?),Battery State,Charging State,Controller Working State


Above is the fields that are shown in the .csv file, this is what I am working with.

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To the Forum Moderator: Please inform tatoo to quit disparaging or high jacking my thread(s). Or maybe add a blocking feature, so I can block him all by myself.
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Posted by retrodaredevil

Oct 25, 2019 at 2:46pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 2:14pm raydas said:

Date Time,Station Name,Device ID,Array Current(A),Array Voltage(V),Array Power(W),Working State,Battery Voltage(V),Battery Temp.(?),Battery Current(A),Battery SOC(%),Load Current(A),Load Power(W),Load Voltage(V),Load State,Device Temp.(?),Battery State,Charging State,Controller Working State


Above is the fields that are shown in the .csv file, this is what I am working with.



So with those data points, you will have to basically do some sort of integral on them. You x would be your timestamp in hours and the y would either be "Array Power" or it might be "Battery Current" * "Battery Voltage". I'm not really sure what battery current is. If it is the charging current, then using that would be more accurate. If it's something else, then it would give you something you don't want.

Now, if you wanted to go the integral route, you'd basically accumulate kWH or WH throughout the day. If you want to go that route, I can try to help you do that.

There might be some better ways though. On the rover itself, I believe it shows you amp hours, kwh or both. So you could physically go to your charge controller and find the menu that displays it. Another option would be to use the Solar Monitor Program manually to see the kWH or WH.

There's also the option of using a program like solarthing or solarshed. I made solarthing and it works well to store data in a database. I will admit there is definitely more setup required for solarthing, but if you are willing to try it I think it would give you a lot more data. Recentlyish I've been trying to make it more configurable. If you want a feature such as exporting a csv file for every day or for every hour, that's something I could add to the program. If you are interested: github.com/wildmountainfarms/solarthing.

I'm really surprised that the program that exports csv files doesn't expose power generation for the current day. The rover has a bunch of data you can get from it and what you have above is just a fraction of it.

Posted by raydas

Oct 25, 2019 at 3:15pm

I am using Libre Calc on my Linux box. The 'Array Power(W)' is what I started with, using '=(SUM(F88:F609)/521)'. I was thinking that if you multiply that function by 9, which is the time between F88:F609, that would give you an approximate watt hour value.

The values or rows in the .csv file, which is generated by the Monitor program, are showing data that is collected every 2-3 seconds, so I know that does not represent a true watt hour representation. To get the integral involves a lot more detailed Calc function that I do not know how to do at this point. I am not sure that Calc has that Integral feature, I will have to do some more research on the Calc features.

Thanks for offering to help.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 25, 2019 at 5:15pm

you'd need the time between rows converted to hrs or something useful.

then you'd multiply that by panel power and add them all up.

3 secs or 3/60 = .05 minutes or .05/60 = .008333 hrs x 50w panel output = .04616667 wh

not sure what the time math (subtracting one row from anther yields, secs, min, hrs?)


please ignore the children at play that are not helpful and just pests, all of them!

Posted by tattoo

Oct 26, 2019 at 7:17am

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To the Forum Moderator: Please block raydas from continually harassing me. He made a deal with me and he keeps breaking it......... Or maybe add a blocking feature, so I can block him.
**********************

Posted by Guest

Oct 26, 2019 at 9:56pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 26, 2019 at 6:22am raydas said:

**********************
To the Forum Moderator: Please block tatoo from disparaging and/or high jacking my thread(s). Or maybe add a blocking feature, so I can block him all by myself. Also if you could, please delete all of his posts, from my thread(s).
**********************


Keep in mind that there are no Forum Moderators here.

Posted by russ

Oct 26, 2019 at 10:29pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 24, 2019 at 2:51pm raydas said:

Any spreadsheet gurus here? I did a ~24 hour log of my system. I entered the .csv file into a spreadsheet, and got about 1410 rows of data. Now, what would be the formula for getting a value that tells me how the solar panel array system, in watts, produced in that period of time. 


If I am not mistaken, you are using a Rover charge controller. Why not just read the amp hours from the display after sunset. If you want watt hours, simply multiply the amp hours by the system voltage.

One of my solar power systems has two 100 Watt panels in series with a 20 amp Rover charge controller and a 100 amp hour battery. Typically, by the end of the day, after sunset, the charge controller shows that it has charged the battery with 40 to 50 amp hours. (This includes power use from the system after the battery has reached the "float" charging stage. So the battery hasn't been discharged 50 amp hours.) Lets say I read 45 amp hours as an example. Multiply 45 (amp hours) by 12 (volts) = 540 watt hours. So the solar panels supplied the system with 540 watt hours that day. As soon as the next charge cycle starts the charge controller starts measuring the amp hours again from zero.

Keep in mind that what you power with the system can influence how much energy the panels provide to the battery. If I disconnect all external loads from the system before sunrise, the amp hour reading after sun set is something less than 10 amp hours. Lately, it has been hot in the afternoon so I plug a fan into the inverter that requires about 50 watts. The battery has usually been fully charged by then (late afternoon) and is in "float" charge mode (13.8 volts for a gel cell battery) so the charge controller just maintains 13.8 volts. When I turn on the 50 watt fan during the float stage it has no influence on the battery because the sun is still powering the panels and the battery is fully charged and sitting at 13.8 volts. The charge controller draws more current from the panels (which are being under utilized at that point) to maintain 13.8 volts while suppling 50 watts to the fan and that is added to the daily amp hour reading.

So, when I want to see my solar power "harvest" I just take a look at the amp hour reading on the charge controller after sunset. It might be fun to put those numbers in a spreadsheet and see how that changes over time.

Posted by tattoo

Oct 27, 2019 at 5:43am

russ Avatar

Oct 26, 2019 at 10:29pm russ said:

If I am not mistaken, you are using a Rover charge controller. Why not just read the amp hours from the display after sunset. If you want watt hours, simply multiply the amp hours by the system voltage.


Yes sir, that's exactly what I do if I want to know how much power I made on a cloudy day.......... That's what I said in an earlier post in this thread........

Posted by mediadogg

Oct 27, 2019 at 8:23am

Sorry, wrong thread.

Posted by raydas

Oct 27, 2019 at 9:09am

The name of this thread is Solar Station Monitor program. There is big problem when the thread gets high jacked. In an earlier post I showed exactly what is contained in the .csv file, in terms of fields. My interest, at the moment, is how to interpret the data that was collected by the .csv file. If somebody wants to bloviate about how to read the Rover CC LCD screen, please start your own thread. It is hard enough keeping this thread on tract, in spite of all the distractions.

I think what I might have to do is take the .csv file and use the Libre BASE program to have it as a database. At that point I will be able to create some graphs and plots of specific data sets. Also this would give me a long term record of what MY solar system was/is doing. Instead of having a response of "my system works perfectly", so there!

This thread is supposed to be about using software tools that will help in expressing the data. I am not interested in a manual reading of the Rover CC LED for 'Accumalated AH', I want it logged, by a software program, and not hand copied.

Since the .csv file contains the 'Array Current(A),Array Voltage(V),Array Power(W)', I might try to do a graph of those data sets just to see what the correlation is between those items during the active time of the solar panels.

Yes, it would have been a nice feature of the 'Solar Station Monitor program' if one of the fields in the .csv file would have been 'Accumalated AH', for 10/24/2019, or any other date.

So please, if you want to brag about how well your solar system works, or how expert you are at reading the Rover CC LCD, or express some sort of commentary, start your own thread.

Posted by mediadogg

Oct 27, 2019 at 9:12am

Sorry, wrong thread.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 27, 2019 at 9:21am

raydas, Is there any way to get piece of the your csv file? I use excel to do cell/row/column math/graph. not heard of your software but there is an office suit that includes a spread sheet very similar to excel. A shareware program Apache OpenOffice.

I see LibreOffice, will down load it and look at it spread sheet software.

If subtraction of the one row's time and another row's time is hrs then the calc is simple.

Can you cut and paste 3 rows of data to this thread?

Posted by raydas

Oct 27, 2019 at 10:06am

Date Time,Station Name,Device ID,Array Current(A),Array Voltage(V),Array Power(W),Working State,Battery Voltage(V),Battery Temp.(?),Battery Current(A),Battery SOC(%),Load Current(A),Load Power(W),Load Voltage(V),Load State,Device Temp.(?),Battery State,Charging State,Controller Working State
2019-10-26 07:00:55,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:01:57,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:03:00,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:04:02,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:05:05,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.76,9,11.8,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:06:07,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.76,9,11.8,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:07:09,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:08:12,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:09:14,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:10:16,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.76,9,11.8,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:11:19,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,72,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:12:22,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,71,0.75,9,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:13:24,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.5,25,0.00,72,0.83,10,12.0,1,21,No,Normal,Normal
2019-10-26 07:14:27,sta1,1,0.00,0.0,0,Idle,12.6,25,0.00,71,0.78,9,11.5,1,21,No,Normal,Normal



LibreOffice is the software, if I just write Calc, then somebody might assume OpenOffice. I thought Libre Calc would suffice. My bad, I assumed again. Another problem with the .csv file is the first field contains the date and time. I think it would get a little tricky in a spread sheet. In a database that would not be a problem, I think.

I was using the spread sheet just to get an idea of how well, or how I could work with it. Not used to working with spread sheets in a more complicated way, no less trying to display graphs and plots.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 27, 2019 at 11:31am

that some crummy data with all zeroes!!!!

When you open the .csv file you get the import screen, go to the bottom and highlight the first column. just above that is a drop down with 'standard', change it to 'US English'. then complete the import.
The above imports the date in a format of so many days since some start time (43764.2923032407 days ago), a a number and not time.

Insert 2 columns after the DateTime column.
So now in column B, on the third row do the math of column A3 - A2, this will yield the fraction of a day difference in the two dates.
Copy this down the page.
Now column C, do the math of B3*24, this converts it to fraction of an hour, copy down the page.

To get power multiply panel power * frac of hr to achieve watt hrs for each time step, add them up.

ray.jpg



Posted by raydas

Oct 27, 2019 at 11:56am

Thank You bupkis, You are the expert. Now, since I usually scroll down through the page, is their some way to make the first row stationary, so it does not disappear when you scroll. That would make it easier to keep a name above the column.

Using the data set, I wonder if I can compare, or at least get a close enough read of what the CC LCD is showing, and what the acquired data set reveals. For instance, it was suggested to read the 'Accumalated AH', from the LCD. I can write down the time I looked at the 'Accumalated AH' and use that for a value in the data set. I will assume that the 'Accumalated AH' starts at 00:00:00 hours.

Posted by bupkis

Oct 27, 2019 at 12:06pm

at the top File Edit View Insert, select View and then select freeze cells/freeze first row

accum ah would be time difference [frac of hr] times [Array current(A)], then add them up

Posted by raydas

Oct 29, 2019 at 5:24am

People were mentioning the use of CC 'Accumulated AH' LCD reading. Yesterday, at about 19:00 hours, I checked the reading, it was 5Ah. This morning, 07:00 hours, it read 5Ah. So now I am wondering, when does it roll over to 0Ah. I wish they had that as one of the fields, in the Monitor program. Or, maybe the moon was so bright that I picked up another 5Ah of work from the moon panels.

Posted by playersz28

Oct 29, 2019 at 7:10am

raydas Avatar

Oct 25, 2019 at 8:43am raydas said:

Now I can see why you need to spend $30,000, if not more, for a solar system that powers your house. And I am thinking all the conveniences, that one enjoys at the moment, would be powered.


If you are looking to replace a grid connection in "regular" home then yes, takes some big dollars and payback is long. If I wanted to take my house off the grid I'd need a load of panels and a big battery bank so I can run the kitchen draws, my workshop, the welder, etc. I'll continue to just pay the electric company for the convenience of the connection.

My RV is a different story though. I have 640w & 450ah of AGM w/2kw PSW inverter and I can easily supply my power needs. I spend the winter in the US SW though where I get plenty of solar gain. Wouldn't work at all up in Ontario for the winter.

Posted by raydas

Oct 29, 2019 at 7:42am

" So now I am wondering, when does it roll over to 0Ah."

About an hour and a half later, I checked again and CC 'Accumulated AH' LCD reading was 0Ah. I also checked the 'Array Voltage(V)' and that was reading 12.4V. Not sure, but 'Accumulated AH' might be rolling over when the 'Array Voltage(V)' drops down below 12V. That would be a problem, if you had a storm during the day where the 'Array Voltage(V)' dropped and then went above 12V, would that reset back too 0Ah. That would create a big problem if you were trying to track array production, on the not so perfect days.

Posted by Admin

Oct 29, 2019 at 11:26am

**UPDATE

Some comments have been deleted for going off topic and argumentative language. Please remember to stick to the topic of the posts.

Posted by tattoo

Oct 29, 2019 at 12:15pm

Admin Avatar

Oct 29, 2019 at 11:26am Admin said:

**UPDATE

Some comments have been deleted for going off topic and argumentative language. Please remember to stick to the topic of the posts.


Thank you............

Posted by russ

Oct 29, 2019 at 10:53pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 29, 2019 at 7:42am raydas said:

" So now I am wondering, when does it roll over to 0Ah."

About an hour and a half later, I checked again and CC 'Accumulated AH' LCD reading was 0Ah. I also checked the 'Array Voltage(V)' and that was reading 12.4V. Not sure, but 'Accumulated AH' might be rolling over when the 'Array Voltage(V)' drops down below 12V. That would be a problem, if you had a storm during the day where the 'Array Voltage(V)' dropped and then went above 12V, would that reset back too 0Ah. That would create a big problem if you were trying to track array production, on the not so perfect days.


I believe the amp hour measurement resets to zero and start accumulating again when there is enough sun to indicate charging on the charge controller. The moon symbol goes away and the sun symbol appears on the charge controller display.

Posted by raydas

Oct 30, 2019 at 4:13am

Yesterday when I looked at the CC at about 08:30 I stated that the Array Voltage(V) was reading 12.4V. The other readings, Array Current(A) and Array Power(W), were reading 0. So far it looks like the Array Voltage(V) is the controlling factor. Todays weather here, looks like it will be rainy and cloudy for the next couple of days. I will keep an on the 'Accumulated AH' to see what the numbers are.


Posted by russ

Oct 30, 2019 at 7:51pm

It was windy and very dry (something like 4% humidity) here in southern California. The Rover on my 200 watt system racked up 52 amp hours.

Posted by raydas

Oct 31, 2019 at 6:43am

So far, it looks like the Array Voltage(V) is the controlling factor, for the roll over of the 'Accumulated AH'. Here, it has been raining for the last couple of days, and checking the collected data, it looks like during the daytime, the Array Voltage(V) has not gone below 12.0V, so, their has been no reset of the 'Accumulated AH'. Yesterdays 'Accumulated AH' was a whopping 1Ah.

For the fall and winter months I will be utilizing the solar system as a supplemental electrical source. I have attached a Deltran battery tender for a constant power source. According to the Kill-a-watt, it is using 30 watts, to run. Since it is using 1.25Amps to charge the battery array, it is taking some time to get the 100Ah+35Ah battery array up to a full charge.

I have also been collecting and viewing the data, with the Monitor program, to see just how the Deltran is working. It seems to be working as expected. The load on the system is ~.75A or ~10 Watts, so, 1.25A - .75A = 0.5A, which is what the battery gets, when the solar array = 0V.

I am now waiting for a couple of sunny days where the solar system helps in getting the battery array up to full charge, and then the Deltran switches over to maintain mode. It will be interesting to see how the two power sources maintain the battery array.

Posted by raydas

Nov 1, 2019 at 6:26am

Yesterday, the Deltran finally got the battery array up to 13.0V @ 12:53. At that point, it looks like, according to the Monitor program data set, the Deltran went into its maintain mode. Everything looked good until 15:53 when the data set shows, it dropped down to 12.9V. Checking the Kill-a-watt, it showed 0 power being used, means Deltran is not doing anything. I just left everything alone, to see if the Deltran would go back to charge mode, it did not.

I guess the Deltran microprocessor gets confused when there is a load on the battery, and it shuts down after awhile. A new problem to solve.

The last three days, around here, have been rainy or very cloudy. Today cloudy, and the next couple of days possible snow flurries. So, the solar panel array is doing very little, yesterday, 1AH. There is no spot where I could place all the panels, have them connected in series, for maximum panel array production. Not even sure how much improvement that would be.

With the data I am collecting, I will try to evaluate, using the existing panel locations, to see what kind of difference it would make by adding more panels. Space for the panels is the limiting factor.

For me, the Monitor program is turning out to be a very important analysis tool.

Posted by retrodaredevil

Nov 1, 2019 at 2:23pm

raydas Avatar

Oct 31, 2019 at 6:43am raydas said:

For the fall and winter months I will be utilizing the solar system as a supplemental electrical source. I have attached a Deltran battery tender for a constant power source. According to the Kill-a-watt, it is using 30 watts, to run. Since it is using 1.25Amps to charge the battery array, it is taking some time to get the 100Ah+35Ah battery array up to a full charge.


I'm pretty sure that you shouldn't use two batteries with different capacities. If I remember correctly, doing that would only get you the capacity of 35 Ah. I don't think they just add up like that. I think if you have batteries in parallel or series, each cell should have the same capacity and should be used the same amount, ex: don't use a 12V battery for two years then add another identical, unused 12V battery to the system.


I'm sure a quick search would tell you some of the drawbacks of doing that.

Posted by raydas

Nov 2, 2019 at 5:59am

Thanks for pointing that out.

So, yesterday I disconnected the 35Ah battery from the 100Ah battery and kept the Deltran on.

Today doing a casual look at the Monitor program supplied data set, prior to the disconnect, the battery was 12.9 - 13.0V. At the disconnect, with only the 100Ah being charged, the battery pulled back to 12.8V. So, it sort of looks like the charging characteristics do change. I need to look at the data, in finer detail.

Since I will be using a battery charger for charging the battery array, I will be setting up an experiment to see if I can determine a battery power profile. I hope this will help me in trying to determine at what point I should start, or turn on the battery charger.

Not sure how involved I want to get with this, but in another thread it mentioned the INA219 device. I guess if I attached, one each, on the batteries, I would imagine I could get some very good data sets from that.

Posted by raydas

Jan 8, 2020 at 6:13am

I have been using the Solar Station Monitor program quite a bit, but now my needs are changing.

Has anybody developed a utility or program, in Windows 10 pro, for accessing the Rover information via MODBUS. What I am looking for is something that does an on demand, real time, data access. I have been using the .csv data, but that does not provide a real time scenario.

I am trying to create a GUI where I can use my own selected data subjects. For instance, AH, I would have a button, on the GUI, where I can get, from the Rover, that piece of information, in real time. I am also working on some data logging, but I want to select to data that I want to log.

Posted by mediadogg

Jan 9, 2020 at 7:13am

Did you "Google it"? I did, and found a bunch of links for programs written in C# and VB (both compatible with windows 10).

Posted by retrodaredevil

Jan 9, 2020 at 8:10am

Pretty much every program made for the Rover is compatible with Windows. Some projects like solarthing (my own) or solarshed have a simple way to get the program to run as a systemd service on a Raspberry Pi. You can just as easily use Windows, you will just have to find a way to launch the program on start.

There are a few differences when running on windows like the name of the serial port.

If you want to create your own solution or use solarthing or solarshed, I would set up Grafana. SolarThing can easily use InfluxDB as a database and solarshed can use Prometheus as a database. Grafana supports both.

Here are the links for anyone interested:
github.com/wildmountainfarms/solarthing
github.com/corbinbs/solarshed

Both of these solutions do take some set up. I am able to answer questions about SolarThing if you have any. I haven't used solarshed, but it (along with my own) is one of the best projects out there to monitor Rovers.

Posted by raydas

Jan 9, 2020 at 8:47am

I took a quick glance at solarshed and solarthing, it looks one is done in python and the other is done in java. Since I have no experience in java, not sure about that one.

As suggested, I checked the internet, and lot of stuff came up for MODBUS. I have decided that I know nothing about the MODBUS protocol, so, I will have to do some reading about MODBUS, before I do anything else.

I did notice that there were some examples using C#, I might consider doing something in Visual C#, using the MODBUS protocol to work with the Rover. With Visual C# you get a GUI, and an .exe application code. A lot to think about.

Posted by mediadogg

Jan 9, 2020 at 9:28am

raydas Avatar

Jan 9, 2020 at 8:47am raydas said:

I took a quick glance at solarshed and solarthing, it looks one is done in python and the other is done in java. Since I have no experience in java, not sure about that one.

As suggested, I checked the internet, and lot of stuff came up for MODBUS. I have decided that I know nothing about the MODBUS protocol, so, I will have to do some reading about MODBUS, before I do anything else.

I did notice that there were some examples using C#, I might consider doing something in Visual C#, using the MODBUS protocol to work with the Rover. With Visual C# you get a GUI, and an .exe application code. A lot to think about.


Good research. The C# projects that I saw, looked pretty complete to me. Being a C# Visual Studio programmer, I wouldn't have much trouble adapting them to my use. but I didn't analyze them carefully enough to make any judgement about which was "best." The renogy link already posted has all the info on modbus itself. So that part is "easy" in that you don't have to go searching - it comes directly from the manufacturer.

My suggestion would be (1) Download and install the free version of Visual Studio Community and get one of the Microsoft sample apps running ("Hello World") - just to get up to speed on using that platform, then (2) download one of those C# MODBUS sample apps from Codeproject or some place like that, and just get it running as-is in Visual Studio. Then you can bootstrap your way into what you want to do, by making small changes and doing real-time debugging in Visual Studio. That's where it shines. You can test incremental code changes on the fly. If you get something running, and you hit some kind of snag in C#/Visual Studio, give me a shout.

Posted by mediadogg

Jan 9, 2020 at 9:51am

retrodaredevil Avatar

Jan 9, 2020 at 8:10am retrodaredevil said:

Pretty much every program made for the Rover is compatible with Windows. Some projects like solarthing (my own) or solarshed have a simple way to get the program to run as a systemd service on a Raspberry Pi. You can just as easily use Windows, you will just have to find a way to launch the program on start.

There are a few differences when running on windows like the name of the serial port.

If you want to create your own solution or use solarthing or solarshed, I would set up Grafana. SolarThing can easily use InfluxDB as a database and solarshed can use Prometheus as a database. Grafana supports both.

Here are the links for anyone interested:
github.com/wildmountainfarms/solarthing
github.com/corbinbs/solarshed

Both of these solutions do take some set up. I am able to answer questions about SolarThing if you have any. I haven't used solarshed, but it (along with my own) is one of the best projects out there to monitor Rovers.


Hey some real cool stuff there!!! Maybe port the Python over to C# ?

Posted by retrodaredevil

Jan 9, 2020 at 1:48pm

raydas Avatar

Jan 9, 2020 at 8:47am raydas said:

I might consider doing something in Visual C#, using the MODBUS protocol to work with the Rover. With Visual C# you get a GUI, and an .exe application code. A lot to think about.


If you don't care about storing data, then yes, a GUI would be the way to go. With SolarThing (and I think solarshed as well), the data is updated frequently enough for it to be real time. solarshed requires some Python knowledge to set up the serial port and log data. I've been working to make SolarThing fully configurable through JSON to where you don't have to edit any Java code. I'll admit the documentation for setting it up isn't quite there, but I'm still working on it.


So it is possible to use Grafana for real time data. Grafana is good for real time and past data. Graphs are always fun and Grafana makes that pretty easy. If you're worried about space for the data you save, databases usually support the ability to delete data after a certain amount of time.


Also, you could use any language you wanted to create a GUI application. If you decide to use C# you can probably get the most native looking application.


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