Get your Raspberry PI up and running to visualize your solar system with Grafana, MQTT and Node Red!
Its important to understand that this is not magic stuff that will create all this wonderfull graphs for you! It will need you to do some work and also have some knowledge to do it. I will help out doing it to a degree that i can manage it but also make note that I need to make a living and this is something i do on my spare time. Setting up your Raspberry is on the other hand not difficult!
What is this ISO all about?
This iso is just a collection of good to have tools, to do automatization and visual graphs bundled into a package that will run on a Raspberry PI.
I have put together an ISO image with what i would consider a collection of tools that i think will do my day 2 day work easier working with my DIY solar system. It does not come bundled with fancy scripts that automatically takes all data from your equipment and draws up graphs. I do add some scripts that will start your work including some example dashboards and flows.
- Node Red
- Mosquito MQTT
- Apache (LAMP)
- VNC server
What do i need?
- Raspberry PI 2 or 3
- 8gb SD card (or bigger)
- Screen/Mouse or some way to get hold of its network configuration. (It runs DHCP on wired interface)
How to get it up and running!
There is plenty of guides out there on how to get raspian running so i will reffer to them:
- Begin with downloading my premade ISO from here:
- Write the image to the SD card in question with Etcher or Disk32 Writer. (See above installation manual)
Its now time to boot it up!
You need to have a way to set up network. I do prefer that you use a screen and follow this manual:
- Configure network among other things: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/
- Find the IP address: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/ip-address.md
When you got the IP to the machine the fun will begin!
Lets first start and browse to the machine and you will get something like this:
This page will show you all installed components and how to reach them. This page will also (In near future) show you the version of my image that you are running and if there is an update.
Example scripts and how to?
Question is now. How simple should i do this? How much time should i spend making it bullet proof? Unfortunately i cannot spend all days on it since i need to pay my bills.
There are a couple of example scripts located in /energy-logger/
There is source code for all of them except the Batrium logger as of now. There is ongoing work for the Batrium logger being done and we dont want to release those parts until we are confident they do work and that it will not cause issues. We are all very keen that our Batteries are maintained properly! 🙂
To run any of those script you need to have a terminal. You can get to a terminal in 3 different ways.
- Ssh to the machine
- Use VNC to connect to the machine
- Monitor and keyboard
When you have the terminal up and running this is what you will see
Then i sugest that you go to the folder in question by typing: (<enter> means that you need to press the enter sign)
cd /energy-logger <enter>
In this folder you find a set of sub folders. You have Batrium that consists of an executeable that parses Batrium data to local Grafana. Then you have MPP that have example scripts to get some data from PCM60x and the famous PIP4048. They are not complete scripts but purely examples that take some basic info out and add to Influx database.
To test one of the scripts in MPP do:
cd MPP <enter>
sudo node pcm60.js <enter> (For PCM 60x connected via serial)
sudo node pipusb.js <enter> (For PIP4048 over USB)
sudo node pip_rs232.js <enter> (for PIP4048 over serial)
They do work out of the box on my system but all systems are different and may not work for yours. If need help you can always ask in forum (Link above) or ping me on some channel. Note that I have limited time and the ones being bigger Patreon member or going Paypal goes first.
To start the batrium software you do:
cd batrium <enter>
sudo mono batrium_reader.exe
This will then output some data that you can see under Grafana and the dashboard called Batrium.
The last piece of software included is the one fetching data from external meter:
To run this you run
sudo python mat.py
Above is experimental and does not have any failsafe. If they crash you need to restart. To automatically do this you can run them in a loop like this:
while [ 1 ] ; do sudo mono batrium_reader.exe ; done
This will restart the process if it dies.
I will put this up open that you can contribute and that we can create a collection of scripts for different systems. Im not there yet but if you already have a github place with scripts or anything you think will fit let me know and il let you tag along!
Other ways to help out?
- Become a Patreon member
- Send me some bucks on Paypal
- Subscribe to my youtube channel and like videos
- Buy stuff via my links
- Promote my channel on your places
- Just cheer on my and suggest and ask for things!
I will be releasing more information in this topic as we move along. Next will be about how to hook up a serial device in form of the PCM or PIP via its RS232 RJ45 port!
Links to buy stuff
External page to follow along the work: