Sol-Ark needs a serious Change!

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
I purchased from Rosen solar off of alibaba. I posted about it in another thread (search for Rosen on this forum)…. Still hasn’t arrived as it’s stuck waiting to offload in Los Angles
Very cool. I was under the assumption that Sol-Ark was the only distributor of Deye allowed in the US, similar to MPP Solar for Voltronics. See the label with -US and it being split phase is very interesting. May I ask what price you paid?
 

Scorch

Solar Enthusiast
Rosen is a China distributor…. So it may be true that Sol Ark is the only US distributor, but obviously you can buy us spec’d version directly from China.

Cost was $2k each (I bought 2) along with 6 200ah 48v batteries also for $2k each. Shipping was $600 and duty should be about 25%.
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Rosen is a China distributor…. So it may be true that Sol Ark is the only US distributor, but obviously you can buy us spec’d version directly from China.

Cost was $2k each (I bought 2) along with 6 200ah 48v batteries also for $2k each. Shipping was $600 and duty should be about 25%.
Interested in the batteries also. Does the BMS provide SOC to the inverters?
 

Sanwizard

Photon Sorcerer
Interested in the batteries also. Does the BMS provide SOC to the inverters?
I hit their store on Alibaba, and I see the Deye 8KW inverter for $2200, but there are no specs. Are you sure you are getting a split phase inverter that will work in the US?
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
I've decided that putting the two CT series vs. parallel is just sum vs. average.
CT1 + CT2 vs. (CT1 + CT2)/2

I’m interested in anyone who has used a pair of CT sensors with one of these GTIL inverters (ideally 1000W or 2000W GTIL2).

I’ve assumed that’s single sensor generated an DC voltage which will be zeroed-out as long as the GTIL inverter is connected to the same phase.

In my case, rather than using two sensors to read 240V power consumption from L1 and L2, I have separateGTIL inverters for each leg (so single CT per inverter works fine) but I have a grid-tied Microinverter-based grid-tied PV system and wanted the GTILs to offset home consumption even when net grid consumption was negative (because of higher Microinverter generation than house consumption).

I connected two CT sensors in parallel (‘Y’configuration), using the second in ‘reverse’ orientation to add ‘negative’ voltage according to ‘negative’ PV generation (so PV generation is added to net ‘home-consumption minus PV generation’) resulting in a measure of home consumption which is accurate with or without PV generation on the same leg.

I assumed that two CT sensors on the same phase connected in parallel would ‘add’ the two voltages (with my PV CT sensor being connected ‘backwards’ so that it actually subtracts the negative voltage from the PV generation) and it appears to be working as I had hoped. I see the same AC/coupled grid-tied export going to the grid with the entire house load shut down or active (as long as that load is within the GTILs capacity to offset), so it seems to be working as I had expected.

I don’t understand why you believe a parallel connection of two CT sensors should ‘average’. Are saying that if I connect my two CT sensors in Series I’ll end up generating twice as much output?
Either should work to approximately measure power so long as there is a multiplication factor which can be applied.
If Line1 and Line2 aren't exactly the same voltage, there will be some error.

Where software only implements "Zero Export" but not "Export up to XXX Watts", I have a hardware workaround:
Use a step-down transformer and resistor to obtain a current proportional to AC line, and feed it though many turns of small gauge wire wrapped around CT. This creates a signal of amps x turn current flowing. Inverter will think "Zero" when it balances that offset signal.
Another:
Use an op-amp to add an AC voltage to the CT's sense resistor voltage. An offset in reading.
I agree that there are a few ways to ‘amplify’ or scale a CT-sensor-generated voltage to get 1.X times output from a GTIL, but I’m still not understanding why you think two CT sensors connected in parallel are going to provide a different net signal than two CT sensors connected in series?
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
The CT I have are a coil plus a resistor, put out 3 mV per amp.
Two in series would add voltage, if each was around a wire carrying one amp, the series connection would produce 6 mV.
If in parallel, 3 mV || 3 mV = 3 mV
If one wire carried 0A and the other 1A, the sensed current would split between the two parallel resistors (when CT in parallel) so 1.5V
Each is just a current source driving a resistor.

Sum vs. average, I figure.
 

fafrd

Solar Addict
The CT I have are a coil plus a resistor, put out 3 mV per amp.
Two in series would add voltage, if each was around a wire carrying one amp, the series connection would produce 6 mV.
If in parallel, 3 mV || 3 mV = 3 mV
If one wire carried 0A and the other 1A, the sensed current would split between the two parallel resistors (when CT in parallel) so 1.5V
Each is just a current source driving a resistor.

Sum vs. average, I figure.
Interesting, thanks.

The CT sensor I have is shown in the last picture here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08H...dcrb_top?ie=UTF8#immersive-view_1632278868428

Doing a bit of digging, it seems there are two types of CT sensors, current type and voltage type (with a resistor, like yours).

I’m not sure how to determine which type I have.

With current type, two in-phase sensors in parallel should deliver a combined current equal to their sum.

With voltage type, the input current adds but is translated to voltage though 2 resistors in parallel, so half the voltage output if the sum or the average, as you state.

Since my GTILs are configured to drive current and/or voltage to zero, the behavior should be the same and it may just be the reported power when the GTIL is unable to zero it out which is off by 50% (half in the case of parallel versus series connection).

I just had a look a my CT sensor and it says ‘100A / 50mA’ so it looks like I have a current type and that is why parallel connection is adding as I had thought…
 
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fafrd

Solar Addict
Be careful in use of that type, may be a safety issue if not handled correctly. I don't know if these small ones we use are as great a danger or not.

Thanks for the heads up. No warning came with my GTIL inverters and I had no issue installing them just like I do the clamp sensor of my multimeter.

50mA from 100A of 120VAC translates to 50mV for every 12kW and since I’m generally consuming well under 1/10th of that, hard to believe 5mA of AC current is going to result in a voltage spike to dangerous levels (at least through such a long connection wire).

But good to keep in mind…
 

rickypr

New Member
I also own a Solark unit which I like very much. Where I live I loose Internet access frequently and have made a custom PCB to replace the inner board of the Solark WiFi dongle. My goal is to have local monitoring and interact with other smart home components. It retrieves the information from the unit and transforms it into Sunspec models 102 and 160 (for now). My local HomeAssistant server already can retrieve the inverter values in real time using Modbus TCP. It provides inverter data using JSON format through an API and can publish values to an MQTT server and to InfluxDB (either to a local server or to their Cloud service). This is still under development, right now I am working on the web interface with live usage data. Here are some pictures of the progress, again still under development. Any recommendations on what features it should have? I think I would like to sell some units to recover some of the investment I made on my solar system.
 

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Scorch

Solar Enthusiast
I also own a Solark unit which I like very much. Where I live I loose Internet access frequently and have made a custom PCB to replace the inner board of the Solark WiFi dongle. My goal is to have local monitoring and interact with other smart home components. It retrieves the information from the unit and transforms it into Sunspec models 102 and 160 (for now). My local HomeAssistant server already can retrieve the inverter values in real time using Modbus TCP. It provides inverter data using JSON format through an API and can publish values to an MQTT server and to InfluxDB (either to a local server or to their Cloud service). This is still under development, right now I am working on the web interface with live usage data. Here are some pictures of the progress, again still under development. Any recommendations on what features it should have? I think I would like to sell some units to recover some of the investment I made on my solar system.
Mark me down as a potential customer!

Though it would need to be pretty plug and play for me to be able to use it. Would be great if it could be linked to IFTTT.
 

rickypr

New Member
Mark me down as a potential customer!

Though it would need to be pretty plug and play for me to be able to use it. Would be great if it could be linked to IFTTT.
The idea is just to replace the card that comes inside the wifi dongle. It can be configured through wifi (acts as an access point).
I will research about how to integrated with IFTTT, sounds like a great idea.

-Thank you
 
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poldim

New Member
I also own a Solark unit which I like very much. Where I live I loose Internet access frequently and have made a custom PCB to replace the inner board of the Solark WiFi dongle. My goal is to have local monitoring and interact with other smart home components. It retrieves the information from the unit and transforms it into Sunspec models 102 and 160 (for now). My local HomeAssistant server already can retrieve the inverter values in real time using Modbus TCP. It provides inverter data using JSON format through an API and can publish values to an MQTT server and to InfluxDB (either to a local server or to their Cloud service). This is still under development, right now I am working on the web interface with live usage data. Here are some pictures of the progress, again still under development. Any recommendations on what features it should have? I think I would like to sell some units to recover some of the investment I made on my solar system.
Nice, how are you polling that data from that DB9 port of the wifi dongle? Is it just serial? Also, at what interval? Your charts look very detailed

I'm curious why you are transforming the data to sunspec models? This might post might be of interest for you as it's an already built integration for solark
 

denarius

New Member
A really easy way to monitor your Sol-Ark inverter is with solar assistant. I noticed other users on this forum using it, then I installed on a Sol-Ark installation a few weeks ago. It's excellent, gives you Grafana charts, allows inverter setting changes, home assistant integration, etc: https://solar-assistant.io/

1632734543454.png

1632734936308.png

1632734831566.png

The way it works is you basically add a Raspberry PI to your solar installation which runs the software. See it as your replacement for Chinese cloud servers:

Data is stored on the PI, not in the cloud, but if you need remote access way from home your traffic goes through a US based proxy, which I checked resolves to IPs in the Amazon AWS network: https://solar-assistant.io/help/access/regions

It doesn't use the normal Sol-Ark WiFi dongle at all. You connect your inverter with the PI with a standard USB serial cable plugged into the inverter WiFI/RS232 port:

Software setup is really easy. Software is not free, but if you email them they activate a free trial. Probably the easiest path to see alternative monitoring on your system.
 

rickypr

New Member
Nice, how are you polling that data from that DB9 port of the wifi dongle? Is it just serial? Also, at what interval? Your charts look very detailed

I'm curious why you are transforming the data to sunspec models? This might post might be of interest for you as it's an already built integration for solark

That is right, the small green board you see in the picture connects to the inverter serial port. I started working on this because I wanted to have detailed graphs and integrate the inverter with my Home Assistant. (I can now turn off air conditioners or increase the thermostat when the grid goes down or the battery is low).

I am reading values from the inverter and mapping the values to Sunspec models 1 (general), 102 (inverter), 160 (mppt), 701 (grid meter), 713 (storage capacity) and 714 (DC measurements) every 5 seconds. This can be retrieved using Modbus TCP from any other device on the network. These values are also exported to an InfluxDB server. InfluxDB is a great time series database that has a web GUI with graphing capabilities and many more features. Grafana can also use InfluxDB as a data source.

My inverter is now sending data to both, a local InfluxDB server (always available) and a free server in InfluxDB Cloud (only 30 day retention). I did this because when the grid goes down, so does my Internet service. The data is sent to InfluxDB every 5 seconds but can be downsampled as needed to reduce the disk space requirements. I am downsampling to 5 minutes averages after 24 hours.

It can now also send events to IFTTT as was suggested by Scorch. Right now it only sends "grid status changed", "battery low" and "battery critical". I may add more events later if needed.

1632747982050.png

I am now working on the Web GUI which now shows live usage graphs without the need of an external server and after that I want to add it what I will call "configuration templates" where I want to have different configurations made by the user and apply them at the inverter by just changing the configuration template. Ex. Template for battery at 50% another for battery at 80% use.

It integrates with Home Assistant using the Home Assistant Sunspec plugin which discovers the Sunspec models and created entities automatically (great work from Johan Isacsson and his collaboratos).

Some screenshots from HA:

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1632746876992.png

Some updated InfluxDB screenshots

1632747306166.png

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1632747376813.png
 

rickypr

New Member
A really easy way to monitor your Sol-Ark inverter is with solar assistant. I noticed other users on this forum using it, then I installed on a Sol-Ark installation a few weeks ago. It's excellent, gives you Grafana charts, allows inverter setting changes, home assistant integration, etc: https://solar-assistant.io/

View attachment 66511

View attachment 66513

View attachment 66512

The way it works is you basically add a Raspberry PI to your solar installation which runs the software. See it as your replacement for Chinese cloud servers:

Data is stored on the PI, not in the cloud, but if you need remote access way from home your traffic goes through a US based proxy, which I checked resolves to IPs in the Amazon AWS network: https://solar-assistant.io/help/access/regions

It doesn't use the normal Sol-Ark WiFi dongle at all. You connect your inverter with the PI with a standard USB serial cable plugged into the inverter WiFI/RS232 port:

Software setup is really easy. Software is not free, but if you email them they activate a free trial. Probably the easiest path to see alternative monitoring on your system.
I looked into Solar Assistant and looks good. I didn't want to hook up a raspberry pi to the inverter and wanted to implement Sunspec. I like the idea of replacing the board inside the original dongle and keep everything looking nice.
 
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robby

Solar Addict
A really easy way to monitor your Sol-Ark inverter is with solar assistant. I noticed other users on this forum using it, then I installed on a Sol-Ark installation a few weeks ago. It's excellent, gives you Grafana charts, allows inverter setting changes, home assistant integration, etc: https://solar-assistant.io/

View attachment 66511

View attachment 66513

View attachment 66512

The way it works is you basically add a Raspberry PI to your solar installation which runs the software. See it as your replacement for Chinese cloud servers:

Data is stored on the PI, not in the cloud, but if you need remote access way from home your traffic goes through a US based proxy, which I checked resolves to IPs in the Amazon AWS network: https://solar-assistant.io/help/access/regions

It doesn't use the normal Sol-Ark WiFi dongle at all. You connect your inverter with the PI with a standard USB serial cable plugged into the inverter WiFI/RS232 port:

Software setup is really easy. Software is not free, but if you email them they activate a free trial. Probably the easiest path to see alternative monitoring on your system.
Can you still use the Can port for closed loop battery monitong and can I still use the wifi dongle and powerview for data monitoring.
Thanks
 

denarius

New Member
Can you still use the Can port for closed loop battery monitong and can I still use the wifi dongle and powerview for data monitoring.
Thanks

Yes I still use the inverter CAN port to connect the battery BMS. This is the solar assistant settings pages:

1632767663693.png


1632766622125.png

If you want to use both the WiFi dongle with Powerview and SolarAssistant at the same time, then you need to connect solar assistant via the RS485 port instead of the WiFi/RS232 port as the latter port is already occupied by the dongle. The CAN port will still work as normal. The Sol-Ark RS485 cable is not a standard cable you can find in electronic shops. One optoin is to buy this cable and pay international shipping:

I asked if I can make the cable myself, then they said I can buy one of the cables below. I bought the first one:

Crimp it into RJ45 plug:

1632766854512.png

They gave the RJ45 pinout below. You only need to connect pins 1-3 OR 6-8. Both isn't needed, I only used pins 1 - 3.
1632766908222.png

The problem you might have with this whole thing is it seems there is a global shortage of Raspberry PIs until next year. Hopefully you already have one.
 

poldim

New Member
I also own a Solark unit which I like very much. Where I live I loose Internet access frequently and have made a custom PCB to replace the inner board of the Solark WiFi dongle. My goal is to have local monitoring and interact with other smart home components. It retrieves the information from the unit and transforms it into Sunspec models 102 and 160 (for now). My local HomeAssistant server already can retrieve the inverter values in real time using Modbus TCP. It provides inverter data using JSON format through an API and can publish values to an MQTT server and to InfluxDB (either to a local server or to their Cloud service). This is still under development, right now I am working on the web interface with live usage data. Here are some pictures of the progress, again still under development. Any recommendations on what features it should have? I think I would like to sell some units to recover some of the investment I made on my solar system.
What data are you able to get from the wifi port? Is it the same as all of the data available via modbus registers?
 
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