1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Solar Smart Meters

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by th3_hawk, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,591
    Location:
    Kilsyth 3137
    Following on from another thread where I'm having to change my workflow to import my electricity and solar data to calculate stuff I've been wondering if the simple, but more expensive, solution is to just fork out for a smart meter.

    Right now I get electricity data from the power company including solar export and grid consumption then combine that with production data from the solar array to calculate how much solar I have self consumed. My process works, but it's manual and I'm having to do more and more transformation to import the data as we go, so not ideal.

    From what I understand there is a magical device that goes somewhere in the powerboard that measures power coming out of the solar array, power moving into and out of the grid and then does all the maths for me... is this correct? Does such a device exist?

    OR do you need to have the right solar inverter to talk to an add on box to make the magic happen??
    (I've seen Fronius setups which have that pretty web interface showing just what I want (ideally with a data export)).

    Does anyone have this mythical setup? and would they recommend it?
     
  2. Copie

    Copie Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    14,688
    Location:
    Newcastle
    bcann likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,591
    Location:
    Kilsyth 3137
    I have a Goodwe, and yes they have a couple of options. More than the last time I looked a couple of years ago.
    https://www.goodwe.com.au/monitoring-system/smart-meters-286_7.asp

    I do note that the "HomeKit" (and the one that looks almost the same) both claim to be inverter independent, which is ideal. I've reached out to the original installer, who is still in business!! which is nice, to see if I can get a price for the equipment and install.

    I wish I had known more/been offered this as an option when the solar system was installed since it would have basically cost $0 extra to install while doing the rest of the work. The last time I looked at a smart meter vs capturing the data manually and after the fact was just fine, I didn't feel like I was likely to change my usage based on real-time feedback, but as my bill gets higher and higher it's becoming slightly more likely. Do I really think I would make enough changes to get an ROI on the equipment?? Probably not. Is it worth it for ease of data capture?? Probably. Even better if I can automate the upload to PVOutput which is another manual step I do.
     
  4. Butcher9_9

    Butcher9_9 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,695
    Location:
    Perth , St James
    The thing I like about the smart meters is the ability to identify power consuming devices.

    Things like this:
    [​IMG]

    You can see when I got up and put the washing on in the morning (should have waited an hour longer), when my PC turns on and when i was using power tools. The Big red spike is the Hot water coming on (I have solar but its been cold and cloudy) I set that to come on just after the peak solar production so that the solar hot water system can have heated up naturally as much as possible but that i'm still using Solar power to heat the water.

    If you get the right inverter you can even see panel level info which helps identify bad panels or once that are dirty / shaded.
     
  5. Phido

    Phido Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    7,710
    Location:
    Dark City
    Frontius have a really neat setup, all interegrated.

    The inverter can output to PVoutput, and with the meter, it will output everything automatically to an open source project website, and you can download stuff.
     
  6. Fred Nurk

    Fred Nurk Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,257
    Location:
    Cairns QLD
    The reason you'd want the same make of meter as your inverter is generally that's what is used for export limiting. If you don't care about that then its possible to use someone else's meter, though also subject to how you're getting the data. Some meters provide an interface that's both compatible with local data extraction plus integration with the OEM's monitoring platform, others may only provide something that's useful via their own cloud based monitoring.

    As an example, I can access my SMA power meter via multicast, or via local https and get data that way, subject to what data is available in either interface and how. If I want solar data included in that I need to access SMA's webconnect or download it off the inverter's webpage. There's no guarantee that the data will be in a form that won't require processing, but it is unlikely to change unexpectedly.

    I'd look at the Goodwe option first, if the data consolidation is what you're after. You may require the inverter installer to also configure both the meter and the inverter to behave and allow for this cost too.
     
  7. choppa

    choppa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    2,522
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    I know I'm a few months too late but take a look at this: https://iotawatt.com/
    Self hosted, pretty cheap, gives you as much or as little data as you want down to individual circuit levels. Just attach some CTs.

    Alternative solution is this one: https://openenergymonitor.org/
    Same same but with a Raspberry Pi in an all in one solution.
     
  8. ashcollector

    ashcollector Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2019
    Messages:
    320
    Location:
    4127
    iv just ordered a shelly em, ill post some screenshots after newyear when it arrives with my install.

    will be using it with home assistant that has just recently made energy consumption significantly easier than how they previously handled it.

     

Share This Page

Advertisement: