Home Assistant - Solar Monitoring and Management

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
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MQTT 👍

still reading the rest of the thread, catching up on the awesomeness..

after having light bulbs stop responding to phone stuff because of outside world internet being interrupted, i swore to seek solutions that use LAN transport only unless WAN access was really called for. Today I Learned about Home Assistant
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
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Wichita, Kansas
I'm also a long time Home Assistant user. I had my inverter, battery, relays, etc. integrated and solar forecasting via SolCast, to predict when my batteries will be fully charged to switch inverter mode:

View attachment 48099


I then discovered SolarAssistant and basically abandoned my whole HomeAssistant setup as it gave me many features I wouldn't have. Their power management is also something I was looking for. Since SolarAssistant is a commercial product it pretty much just works out of the box.


I also saw this post:

Now I hear SolarAssistant will soon support MQTT output with automatic discovery in Home Assistant. When that is available I'll probably revive my Home Assistant setup for hobby purposes although I don't really need it anymore.

View attachment 48101



Now to show off my ultra wide screen:

View attachment 48102


View attachment 48103

It's pretty clear that it uses Grafana for charts internally:

View attachment 48104

Then the inverter settings:

View attachment 48105

They seem to provide you with some sort of region based built in VPN. I can access my site remotely via web and mobile without having to do any setup. There seem to be regions for US, australia, europe, africa. The latency I get to my site is amazing. Opens instantly even though I'm in Africa.
MQTT is now on its 2nd(or 3rd maybe) version of Solar Assistant.

I'm trying to figure out what I can do with it. Is "Home Assistant" different than Google Assistant?

I installed a mosquito explorer, but I really don't know what else it needs to make it go. Yes I Started and Enabled Discovery in Solar Assistant, it's off now since I don't know how to connect to it yet.

1632931155361.png
 

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jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
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How's it do for adding sensors?
For example, a competitor like SmartThings is always adding new sensors, has a large following on GitHub, and has a pretty easy mechanism to add them if they're based on the Zigbee/Zwave HA (home automation) standard. Bluetooth and WiFi based sensors are a bit tougher to add (if not available on GitHub) to something like SmartThings as they require an api.

Has anyone integrated HomeAssistant with the IotaWatt or the Emporia Vue?
Update: https://github.com/magico13/ha-emporia-vue and https://community.home-assistant.io/t/custom-component-iotawatt-energy-monitor-integration/254110
I am venturing off into the deep end now.
I have my Pi400 and writing my sd now. :)
 

butter_fry

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Seattle, WA
I am venturing off into the deep end now.
I have my Pi400 and writing my sd now. :)
haha oh boy you have a learning curve ahead of you. I assume by now you've figured out the difference between Home and Google Assistant?

HA does have a built in mqtt server. I don't prefer it myself, but if you are running Home Assistant OS, then that is your best choice. It'll be in Supervisor > Add-on Store. HAOS by design is a closed stripped down system meant to be ultra fast and reliable on a SD card. While that is great, you don't get much access to run anything else except what is on top of the OS through the HA interface in docker containers.

I digress.. have fun!
 

wattmatters

Solar Addict
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Apr 16, 2021
Messages
859
Interested in learning more about Home Assistant but I have little knowledge of Raspberry Pi or programming.

I have Solar Assistant on my off-grid system. I bought a preconfigured Pi from the SA guys so it was pretty much plug n play.

The off-grid system is my grid backup power source and as a side gig it also runs my pool pump. The pool pump's energy mostly comes from the solar PV, and doesn't draw from the battery much. But there are poor solar days at times so I keep an eye on that.

The pump's controller has a simple timer built in but that's about it. I was thinking of putting it on a smart switch which can use HA logic to control and adjust the pump's start and stop times based on some parameters, mainly time of year and weather conditions.

For example, on cloudy/cooler days the pump's duty cycle doesn't need to be as long, while on sunny/warmer days it would be better to run the pump for longer. Also the duration of the pump's duty cycle could be adjusted based on length of day. Winter it can run for 3-4 hours while in Summer I might want an 8 hours duty cycle. I manually adjust it now every couple of months but having it look after itself would be nice.

I guess it would also be possible to manually control the pump remotely if needed, e.g. I likely don't want the pump to operate when we have an outage and are operating on backup power (the pool pump is non-essential). Or perhaps certain parameters can be set with data from Solar Assistant such that the pump turns off if the battery's SOC falls below a certain level.

I read bit on HA and it seems that programming a switch based on sunrise/sunset times is possible, and also based on weather information.

Curious to hear other's thoughts on this.

Where does one start?
 

butter_fry

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Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
Interested in learning more about Home Assistant but I have little knowledge of Raspberry Pi or programming.

I have Solar Assistant on my off-grid system. I bought a preconfigured Pi from the SA guys so it was pretty much plug n play.

The off-grid system is my grid backup power source and as a side gig it also runs my pool pump. The pool pump's energy mostly comes from the solar PV, and doesn't draw from the battery much. But there are poor solar days at times so I keep an eye on that.

The pump's controller has a simple timer built in but that's about it. I was thinking of putting it on a smart switch which can use HA logic to control and adjust the pump's start and stop times based on some parameters, mainly time of year and weather conditions.

For example, on cloudy/cooler days the pump's duty cycle doesn't need to be as long, while on sunny/warmer days it would be better to run the pump for longer. Also the duration of the pump's duty cycle could be adjusted based on length of day. Winter it can run for 3-4 hours while in Summer I might want an 8 hours duty cycle. I manually adjust it now every couple of months but having it look after itself would be nice.

I guess it would also be possible to manually control the pump remotely if needed, e.g. I likely don't want the pump to operate when we have an outage and are operating on backup power (the pool pump is non-essential). Or perhaps certain parameters can be set with data from Solar Assistant such that the pump turns off if the battery's SOC falls below a certain level.

I read bit on HA and it seems that programming a switch based on sunrise/sunset times is possible, and also based on weather information.

Curious to hear other's thoughts on this.

Where does one start?
What you're doing is so simple for HA, i can't even count the ways it could be done. There's even a visual workflow editor that you can build your automations with. No programming or configuration file touching needed.

Much of what you're doing is what I'm doing with my solar hot tub. Especially the SoC transfer switch..

When the SoC drops (voltage actually because I don't have true SoC on mine) below xx:
HA triggers a smart plug to turn on. It's a simple 24v power brick that supplies up to 200w and will sustain until voltage goes above 26.xxv
The only way enough charge gets in the batteries is with solar, so once it triggers it will stay on all night.

You can create complex conditional automations with HA. For example

Condition: If outdoor temp is xx
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

Condition: if cloud cover = xx%
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

Condition: month = september, october ...... march, april
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

and so on. I like option 3 the best. no sensors needed. Though you could augment it with a cloud cover version for borderline months.

The pump can be wired to a smart switch/relay that also has a temp monitor and humidity sensor..

sensors abound. the trick is to chose the most reliable way of course.
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Wichita, Kansas
What you're doing is so simple for HA, i can't even count the ways it could be done. There's even a visual workflow editor that you can build your automations with. No programming or configuration file touching needed.

Much of what you're doing is what I'm doing with my solar hot tub. Especially the SoC transfer switch..

When the SoC drops (voltage actually because I don't have true SoC on mine) below xx:
HA triggers a smart plug to turn on. It's a simple 24v power brick that supplies up to 200w and will sustain until voltage goes above 26.xxv
The only way enough charge gets in the batteries is with solar, so once it triggers it will stay on all night.

You can create complex conditional automations with HA. For example

Condition: If outdoor temp is xx
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

Condition: if cloud cover = xx%
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

Condition: month = september, october ...... march, april
Turn on pump for xx minutes
else: turn on pump for xx+10 minutes

and so on. I like option 3 the best. no sensors needed. Though you could augment it with a cloud cover version for borderline months.

The pump can be wired to a smart switch/relay that also has a temp monitor and humidity sensor..

sensors abound. the trick is to chose the most reliable way of course.
I tried doing IFTTT a few years ago and it was a complete disappointment, entirely too slow to be of any use for me. I haveing some trouble burning my SD card for now but I'll get it. I'm looking forward to all the activities I can do with the HA. It's like putting a bunk bed in the bedroom, just think of all the room.
 

wattmatters

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
859
What you're doing is so simple for HA, i can't even count the ways it could be done. There's even a visual workflow editor that you can build your automations with. No programming or configuration file touching needed.
OK thanks.

HA website says I need at least a 32Gb SD card but it doesn't give any specs on the Pi itself.

Assuming a RPi 4. How much RAM should I need? Seem to have 2, 4 and 8Gb options.

For supposedly cheap computers they aren't all that cheap!
 

butter_fry

Solar Enthusiast
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Messages
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Location
Seattle, WA
OK thanks.

HA website says I need at least a 32Gb SD card but it doesn't give any specs on the Pi itself.

Assuming a RPi 4. How much RAM should I need? Seem to have 2, 4 and 8Gb options.

For supposedly cheap computers they aren't all that cheap!
Pi 3 will work just fine. But the 4's are a huge leap and it's nice to have the multi threaded capabilities. You're fine with 2gb unless you plan on doing a bunch more with it.

And yes. they're not cheap prices have skyrocketed over the past year and a half. Chip shortage they say. It's more about lack of supply than anything. Nobody can keep stock.

When I needed one the other day for a project, The best prices I found was going to the Pi site and looking at their official resellers. Buying directly from them instead of Amazon. https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/
 

curiouscarbon

Science Penguin
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Messages
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two places i also check



sure as sunshine, many are out of stock, but not all

edit: oops forgot need aus supply, both of those are na
 
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wattmatters

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
859
Pi 3 will work just fine. But the 4's are a huge leap and it's nice to have the multi threaded capabilities. You're fine with 2gb unless you plan on doing a bunch more with it.
Thanks. Will check out those options. There are two official suppliers of Pi kit here in Australia.

It's not that I'm a cheapskate, it's just I don't see doing a whole lot with it so prefer to spend an appropriate amount.

I can see the following possibilities for now:
- smarter control of pool pump duty cycle (time of year, weather conditions)
- some lighting automation (a little)

Future options
- hot water heating control based on available solar PV excess
- perhaps some smarter control of home heating/cooling to help reduce peak tariff period consumption
These would require fitting of compatible devices to control those systems.

It's more of a hobby than a money saving thing but I sure don't want to increase energy bills! Our controlled load hot water off-peak tariff is pretty good and it won't save much to use our solar PV. But activating a daytime load could possibly help to reduce the high grid voltages we experience, which has the effect of curtailing solar production / exports.

Our home heating/cooling (ducted reverse cycle AC) does not have smart control. I think something can be retro fitted.

What else are people doing with them?
 

Joe BoyKey

Watts, Watts, more Watts
Joined
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Messages
465
Location
Austin Texas
Here's an update to Home Assistant and solar monitoring.

I'm using an Overkill Solar BMS in an 8cell EVE 272ah setup. From the Raspberry pi it's pulling data in from both the Charger/Inverter (Growatt SPF3000) and the BMS. The BMS has a full suite of telemetry available, including faults/balance status. Props to the code owner @tgalarneau on github for doing this reverse engineering. The screenshot is taken from a remote location (another HA install) and connected to the onsite Pi via VPN. Only Grafana is running on the remote rendering location. The onsite Pi has Telegraf and Influx.

The Bluetooth BMS monitoring code: https://github.com/tgalarneau/bms
Solar Charger/Inverter monitoring code: https://github.com/johanmeijer/grott

Using a Telegraf / Influx / Grafana stack I can render all that in Home Assistant. It's a work in progress, but I've got all the telemetry in there now so I can do whatever I want with it. The data from the Charger is coming in at a 1min interval (growatt limitation) and the BMS can report at any interval. I've got it set to 8seconds right now.


View attachment 47280
Wow, thanks for the link to Bms, can't wait to try it out, now if someone could get my direct wifi MakeSkyBlue controller work in Hassio, THANKS, Joe.
1633690548157.png
 

Joe BoyKey

Watts, Watts, more Watts
Joined
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Messages
465
Location
Austin Texas
MQTT is now on its 2nd(or 3rd maybe) version of Solar Assistant.

I'm trying to figure out what I can do with it. Is "Home Assistant" different than Google Assistant?

I installed a mosquito explorer, but I really don't know what else it needs to make it go. Yes I Started and Enabled Discovery in Solar Assistant, it's off now since I don't know how to connect to it yet.

View attachment 66876
On SA installations doc it says to put in SA ip address as Broker in Mqtt under configuration, Mqtt broker configure, worked for me and enable Mqtt in SA so they are green, Joe. https://solar-assistant.io/help/integration/home-assistant
1633714359121.png
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Wichita, Kansas
On SA installations doc it says to put in SA ip address as Broker in Mqtt under configuration, Mqtt broker configure, worked for me and enable Mqtt in SA so they are green, Joe. https://solar-assistant.io/help/integration/home-assistant
View attachment 68065
I'm still in the "make HA work" phase. I put HA on an SD card then put it in a Pi400. Now all I have is the HA command prompt.

Well apparently HA isn't going to work at all via WIFI.
Plug the ethernet cable in, and magic starts.
 

Joe BoyKey

Watts, Watts, more Watts
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Messages
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I'm still in the "make HA work" phase. I put HA on an SD card then put it in a Pi400. Now all I have is the HA command prompt.

Well apparently HA isn't going to work at all via WIFI.
Plug the ethernet cable in, and magic starts.
leave plugged in to cable and google the ip address listed on your router, your may need to use http://yourip, until you setup security
1633743050418.png
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
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Messages
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Wichita, Kansas
leave plugged in to cable and google the ip address listed on your router, your may need to use http://yourip, until you setup security
View attachment 68121
I'm making some progress....

1633744711894.png

Ok, how do I "addin" Solar-Assistant now? Solar-Assistant is Enabled. (I would think with "discovery" enabled, HA would say "look what I found", but not yet).
 

Joe BoyKey

Watts, Watts, more Watts
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Your best bet is to do 5 or 7 things you need to do after install - youtube videos, especially security. to see SA go to supervisor, add-on store and install mqtt then start, then to configure - integrations theirs another configure mqtt to configure broker to be SA ip address,( https://solar-assistant.io/help/integration/home-assistant )
other things to install is samba so you can explorer HA hard drive/sd card, duckdns for internet access, virtual studio to edit yaml file,
configuration - integrations1633745792258.png


supervisor
1633745856156.png
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
1,640
Location
Wichita, Kansas
Your best bet is to do 5 or 7 things you need to do after install - youtube videos, especially security. to see SA go to supervisor, add-on store and install mqtt then start, then to configure - integrations theirs another configure mqtt to configure broker to be SA ip address,( https://solar-assistant.io/help/integration/home-assistant )
other things to install is samba so you can explorer HA hard drive/sd card, duckdns for internet access, virtual studio to edit yaml file,
configuration - integrationsView attachment 68127


supervisor
View attachment 68128
I was putting the IP into the wrong spot.
Doh!

Thanks for the assistance.

1633747222752.png

I got pretty overloaded when it discovered my house and all the crap I have. 😂

My printer and it's ink levels, something call onhub, and about 30 binary sensors. Yikes.

I even got my grid-tied solar edge connected, super easy actually, id and API-KEY and done.
 
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