Sol-Ark - Inverter Monitoring

solardad

Solar Addict
In short real-time monitoring is possible with the Sol-Ark!

I decided to post a dedicated thread on this topic given the ongoing interest and research that has been done by some members. I am pointing folks to the resources that I used for the primary setup but will highlight the Sol-Ark specific items that I discovered on my own that made everything work.

Background Info - I have been on the 'search' for a way to monitor my Sol-Ark 12k inverter since I bought it. I was unimpressed with the out of the box offering and discouraged with every firmware release that pushed monitoring frequency from 5min to 8mins and now 10mins per reading (today I am monitoring at 1 sec intervals). I had some limited experience with logging and graphing with my Batrium setup so I started looking and came across this site where the members had successfully accessed the SunSynk inverter, 'cousin' to the Sol-Ark. A cousin to the point that all the modbus registers are the same outside of the ones related to the grid phase side, SunSynk is single phase vs. Sol-Ark being two phased. See attachments.

Setup - I followed the steps that have been outlined in the following two posts (posting them for credit). Read these threads and read then again and you will be 90% of the way there setting up.
https://powerforum.co.za/topic/8451-sunsynk-inverter-monitoring/
https://powerforum.co.za/topic/6875-software-for-sunsynk-pylontech-combo/

For my setup I used the following items:
  1. RPI - Zero W - Out of the box setup
  2. Modbus Interface - Biggest PIA was trying to troubleshoot the driver issues with the 1st two devices. Literally spent more time on this setup step then the actual connection to the Sol-Ark.
    1. WaveShare RS485 CAN HAT for Raspberry Pi https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VMB1ZKH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Was unable to get it to work, I believe it is a driver issue
    2. Industrial USB to RS485 Converter Adapter Original FT232RL https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081MB6PN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Did not work on the RPI but did work on my Mac
    3. JBtek USB to RS485 Converter Adapter ch340T https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NKAJGZM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Work with RPI and what I am using today
  3. Node-Red - Running on the RPI Zero W
    1. Established JSON flows are already available for download from the powerview threads listed above. make note they have to be updated for some items that relate to single phase.
  4. InfluxDB - Running on a RPI 4
    1. Standard setup
  5. Grafana - Running on a RPI 4
    1. Establish JSON dashboards are available for download from the powerview threads.
Sol-Ark Items - This ended up being the easiest item once I received the Modbus document from Sol-Ark. In the latest manual version they dedicate a section to the RS485 connections but leave out some key details unless you ask for them. They are contained in the attachment that I added to the post. In short depending on what version of Sol-Ark you have, 8k, 12k, indoor or outdoor model there are slight variations to the wire connections.

As of now I have been collecting data for the past couple of days and still in the process of building a dashboard but when it gets to a semi sold form I'll share it with the group. If you are looking for an example or a template you are better off grabbing one of the ones already posted and building from there (what I did).


NOTE - Some of the flows / setups that you may come across allow for the changing of inverter settings, modbus write actions. The Sol-Ark document excludes those settings but the SunSynk has them. For my own personal setup I only use the read only modbus options at this time to avoid any mistakes until I get a good handle on what is available and what I want to do eventually.

Good luck!
 

Attachments

  • Modbus Sol-Ark V1.1(Public Release).pdf
    562.7 KB · Views: 88
  • sunsynk_modbus.pdf
    935.3 KB · Views: 79

HighTechLab

Small Business Owner
Yeah, I'm a bit lost in this region of knowledge...If you're setting up microgrids, I'm your guy...Deciphering communications like this and I'm lost. I really need a good teacher for comms protocol. I will be watching this thread though to try and learn something.
 

mabrowning

New Member
I have 2 SolArk 12ks ordered but not installed yet. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure they support modbus over TCP, both WiFi and Ethernet, so you can skip all the RS485 nonsense. They claim to support SunSpec draft (v4) in the manual, which is an open industry specification, not proprietary. Theoretically any of these clients should work:

That said, having the modbus register map is a good backup in case they don't fully conform to the spec or there is information only available in a proprietary set of registers, so thanks for this data dump!

Edit: just joined this forum and looked around a bit after posting. Apparently the manual is lying about sunspec and these proprietary register maps are the only way, so double thanks!
 
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sassafras

New Member
Not sure if the device supports Modbus over TCP natively. The WiFi dongle connects to a 9-pin RS232 port and communicates using a standard serial protocol.

I tried to get the RS485 working but could never get any talk-back from the inverter. RS232 over the 9 pin serial works just fine. I have no interest in using their stupid app, so I wasn't losing anything getting rid of the WiFi dongle.

I purchased an RS232 to Modbus TCP converter (USR-IoT D301 from Amazon) and use that to read the registers using a Modbus plugin for Home Assistant. I imagine one could do the same with NodeRed - Would be cheaper than setting up an RPi to do the job.
 

robby

Solar Addict
I hope you guys get this figured out as Sol-Ark seems to have some sort of hang up about allowing users access to remote realtime data monitoring. The response I always get from them is that they want to do it but it’s difficult to implement. In reality that does not seem to be the case.
 

offthehook

New Member
In short real-time monitoring is possible with the Sol-Ark!

I decided to post a dedicated thread on this topic given the ongoing interest and research that has been done by some members. I am pointing folks to the resources that I used for the primary setup but will highlight the Sol-Ark specific items that I discovered on my own that made everything work.

Background Info - I have been on the 'search' for a way to monitor my Sol-Ark 12k inverter since I bought it. I was unimpressed with the out of the box offering and discouraged with every firmware release that pushed monitoring frequency from 5min to 8mins and now 10mins per reading (today I am monitoring at 1 sec intervals). I had some limited experience with logging and graphing with my Batrium setup so I started looking and came across this site where the members had successfully accessed the SunSynk inverter, 'cousin' to the Sol-Ark. A cousin to the point that all the modbus registers are the same outside of the ones related to the grid phase side, SunSynk is single phase vs. Sol-Ark being two phased. See attachments.

Setup - I followed the steps that have been outlined in the following two posts (posting them for credit). Read these threads and read then again and you will be 90% of the way there setting up.
https://powerforum.co.za/topic/8451-sunsynk-inverter-monitoring/
https://powerforum.co.za/topic/6875-software-for-sunsynk-pylontech-combo/

For my setup I used the following items:
  1. RPI - Zero W - Out of the box setup
  2. Modbus Interface - Biggest PIA was trying to troubleshoot the driver issues with the 1st two devices. Literally spent more time on this setup step then the actual connection to the Sol-Ark.
    1. WaveShare RS485 CAN HAT for Raspberry Pi https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VMB1ZKH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Was unable to get it to work, I believe it is a driver issue
    2. Industrial USB to RS485 Converter Adapter Original FT232RL https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081MB6PN2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Did not work on the RPI but did work on my Mac
    3. JBtek USB to RS485 Converter Adapter ch340T https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NKAJGZM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      1. Work with RPI and what I am using today
  3. Node-Red - Running on the RPI Zero W
    1. Established JSON flows are already available for download from the powerview threads listed above. make note they have to be updated for some items that relate to single phase.
  4. InfluxDB - Running on a RPI 4
    1. Standard setup
  5. Grafana - Running on a RPI 4
    1. Establish JSON dashboards are available for download from the powerview threads.
Sol-Ark Items - This ended up being the easiest item once I received the Modbus document from Sol-Ark. In the latest manual version they dedicate a section to the RS485 connections but leave out some key details unless you ask for them. They are contained in the attachment that I added to the post. In short depending on what version of Sol-Ark you have, 8k, 12k, indoor or outdoor model there are slight variations to the wire connections.

As of now I have been collecting data for the past couple of days and still in the process of building a dashboard but when it gets to a semi sold form I'll share it with the group. If you are looking for an example or a template you are better off grabbing one of the ones already posted and building from there (what I did).


NOTE - Some of the flows / setups that you may come across allow for the changing of inverter settings, modbus write actions. The Sol-Ark document excludes those settings but the SunSynk has them. For my own personal setup I only use the read only modbus options at this time to avoid any mistakes until I get a good handle on what is available and what I want to do eventually.

Good luck!
Thanks for the excellent pointers solardad!

Hardware success using the Victron VenusOS on an RPi 3 with the JBtek USB to RS485 Converter Adapter ch340T. Here is a sample python script that uses the pymodbus library to pull values from a single 12K inverter (I have a parallel system and will be using qty 2 USB RS485 adapters in order to get accurate totals from the combined system). Use at your own risk. I will be integrating a sol-ark inverter driver into the VenusOS system to add to my existing monitoring in the future.
 

Attachments

  • modbustest_solark.py.txt
    4.8 KB · Views: 43

robby

Solar Addict
Thanks for the excellent pointers solardad!

Hardware success using the Victron VenusOS on an RPi 3 with the JBtek USB to RS485 Converter Adapter ch340T. Here is a sample python script that uses the pymodbus library to pull values from a single 12K inverter (I have a parallel system and will be using qty 2 USB RS485 adapters in order to get accurate totals from the combined system). Use at your own risk. I will be integrating a sol-ark inverter driver into the VenusOS system to add to my existing monitoring in the future.

Wow nice work, Any Screen shots or a video of it in action?
 

solardad

Solar Addict
Any updates?
None really. The data collection has been working great over the past few weeks. In terms of changing inverter parameters based on a state (write command) I have not investigated but might pick it up over the fall.
 

solardad

Solar Addict
I hope you guys get this figured out as Sol-Ark seems to have some sort of hang up about allowing users access to remote realtime data monitoring. The response I always get from them is that they want to do it but it’s difficult to implement. In reality that does not seem to be the case.

So this is really already figured out it is just a matter of implementing. The key (for me) was getting the already linked docs. from Sol-Ark for the proper inverter settings in order to read the modbus registers. There are other users (from the forum that I linked to in the 1st post) that have been successful in sniffing the wifi port for the same data but the effort was over my head.
 

robby

Solar Addict
So this is really already figured out it is just a matter of implementing. The key (for me) was getting the already linked docs. from Sol-Ark for the proper inverter settings in order to read the modbus registers. There are other users (from the forum that I linked to in the 1st post) that have been successful in sniffing the wifi port for the same data but the effort was over my head.
That's really nice work that you did. I am on the last stages of getting my system up and running. I have panels on the roof and the electrical room built but I have hit into a bit of unexpected delay as the concrete for the structure requiers 21-30 days of curing time before paint can be applied or it will strip. I was so tempted to just put in all the equipment and paint it afterwards but I know what a PITA that is going to be, so I decided to wait it out.
 

denarius

Solar Enthusiast
Hi Guys, Sol-Ark is basically exactly the same inverter as Deye and SunSynk, its just different branding/marketing. You can get real time monitoring with this product:

I doubt that Sol-Ark has modbus over TCP because I haven't seen that option in solar assistant. The data logger you plug into the WiFi port just uploads non-realtime data to the cloud, it doesn't expose modbus.
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Hi Guys, Sol-Ark is basically exactly the same inverter as Deye and SunSynk, its just different branding/marketing. You can get real time monitoring with this product:

I doubt that Sol-Ark has modbus over TCP because I haven't seen that option in solar assistant. The data logger you plug into the WiFi port just uploads non-realtime data to the cloud, it doesn't expose modbus.
Try these folks. I just installed it for my MPP solar inverters, and it works great. The software works on Deye and Sunsync also, so Sol-Ark should also work.
 

mabrowning

New Member
Yeah, I just got my Sol-Arks installed and was indeed mistaken. Scanned every single 64k TCP port and none are open.

Worse, each inverter is hard-coded to modbus address 0x01, so I need multiple RS485 transceivers...
That said, the OPs register maps are perfect and my Influx DB is filling up :) grafana shows per-second data on a small display live in my living room.

Note for anyone planning to buy multiple systems: you have to aggregate the data manually even when they are configured for stacked operation.
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Yeah, I just got my Sol-Arks installed and was indeed mistaken. Scanned every single 64k TCP port and none are open.

Worse, each inverter is hard-coded to modbus address 0x01, so I need multiple RS485 transceivers...
That said, the OPs register maps are perfect and my Influx DB is filling up :) grafana shows per-second data on a small display live in my living room.

Note for anyone planning to buy multiple systems: you have to aggregate the data manually even when they are configured for stacked operation.
Weird. I have parallel MPP's, and SolarAssistant is showing data from both. I would imagine the SunSync code would be similar in capabilities. I know DMI Inc had to use a Pi per Inverter with JBlances code, which I have built on my other Pi, but need to sort out the bad gateway errors from the database to Grafana.

I am hopeful though about the Victron Ve connectivity from SolarAssistant to the shunt, as my battery stats are working great on that.
 

solardad

Solar Addict
Worse, each inverter is hard-coded to modbus address 0x01, so I need multiple RS485 transceivers...

See this post on how folks setup to read multiple sunsynk s for additional info

 

robby

Solar Addict
I have spent the better half of a day rigging up a 8" Fire HD tablet to use as a monitor to at least have a constant visual of what the Sol-Ark is doing. I got the tablet during prime day for $49 and recently installed Google Playstore on it and then downloaded a browser called "full screen browser" and an app called "Tasker" to do an auto refresh every 5.5 minutes and do various screen changes to get it zoomed into the section of the webpage that has the animated Power flow diagram.
It's far from perfect but it does allow me to at least have a constant visual inside my Kitchen as to what the sol-ark is producing in the electrical room. If your wondering I tried using the powerview App but I could find no method of making it zoom in or refresh the screen. The really odd part is that the Powerview webpage has a option at the bottom left called full screen mode. In the first mode it does show the PV power being produced and does refresh it, but that is all the only power flow data it provides.

Someone please take my money 🤑 and produce an App or whatever hardware device is needed to monitor this thing in real time. I know about "Solar Assistant" but while they say it works with the Sol-Ark it does not seem like they have done any real testing, it seems like they are assuming it does because it's designed to work with the Sunsynk Inverter.
 
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