Introduction: Solar Power Monitoring and Management
Monitoring and managing a remote Solar Power installation is
important to make sure that the right amount of electricity is available when you need it. This guide will make it possible to measure
· Battery Voltage
· Current delivered generated by the sun
· Current charged to your battery bank
· Current used by your appliances and switch unnecessarily loads of and back on.
· Utility power used to charge batteries (if needed) and switch it of when Solar Panels are generating enough current to maintain your battery bank
Step 1: What You Will Need
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
· Solar Panel(s). I use two 180 watt solar world panels.
· Deep Cycle calcium batteries. I use two Delkor 12 V, 105 AH batteries in series
· Solar Charger/Regulator (PWM or MPPT from STECA)
· Inverter if you need AC. I use a 2.4 KVA pure sine wave UPS
· Suitable electrical wiring for the current that they will transmit
· Wood, wire stripper and basic tools
The following from www.phidgets.com
· The PhidgetSBS 3 (Linux single board computer)
· 1 x 1135 Precision Voltage Sensor
· 6 x 1122 0-30 Amp current Sensor (You may chose other sensors or less if you do not build the complete system)
· 1 x 1124_0 - Precision Temperature Sensor or 1125 Temp / humidity sensor
Step 2: Skills Needed
Basic Linux and Python skills will assist but may not be needed. Make sure you study the PhidgetSBC 3 User guide and the Linux part of the Phidgets Python programing guide.
My instructable on a Web InterFaceKit for PhidgetSBC may also assist for background knowledge.
Step 3: Preperation
Use the SBC 3 Web Interface to enable SSH and make sure that
the complete debain repository is available.
Attach all your hardware to your base board like in the image
Attach is the wiring diagram.
Step 4: THE WEB INTERFACE KIT
Create a directory sunlog in /var/www/cgi-bin/
Goto the cgi-bin
Download the file sunlog.zip with wget (See SBC3 guide on how to install and use unzip and wget)
Make sure your cgi-bin is executable
chmod 777 -R /var/www/cgi-bin/
Step 5: TESTING
Use your PC or tablet browser and enter http://(IP of SBC3)/cgi-bin/sunlog/sunlog.py
Enjoy monitoring your solar system
Step 6: GOING FORWARD
The following will be useful to the system
- A data logger
- An automation model that can switch some loads of when the system is at risk and switch AC supply from the utility of when batteries are full and the panels are generating enough power.
See my instructable on secure remote web access to linux systems if you needremote access to this system.