Recently got a (simple) solar system installed, however the useful data is available from multiple sources each of which doesn't really tell me (easily) what is going on at all times
1) electricity supply company provides smartmeter data via website (they have an app but it doesn't show this data) The displayed data is very poorly organised, for example it just graphs the usage over 30 minute intervals throughout the day, it only has the ability to graph that data for day (showing the 48 samples) month (daily totals) or year (monthly totals) but doesn't do any breakdown of the various rates (night, day, peak etc.) Also this data is historical (can at best be only accessed the next day, at worst only estimated or not available for some time) The raw data is available via csv file. Similar csv data seems to be available for data exported to the grid (and as far I can see in my own case has lots of 'estimated' values) Doesn't seem to be any api available to access this data (web scraping yuck is an option I guess)
2) inverter: System is solar only, no battery and the inverter only becomes 'alive' when it has enough energy (e.g. during the useful daylight hours). At the moment here in winter it comes alive from around approximately 8.30am to 17:30 (with useful output from around 9am to 15:30) Data is uploaded to the cloud but is 'very' delayed, this is quite annoyting as there is an app that supposedly shows reatime generation power, power from the grid, power to the grid etc and clearly it is showing the state of things at least 5 minutes in the past (and I think much more than that more like 10). There is alot of data historical data available for download, again doesn't seem to be an api available to access this data. The data seems to be available at 5 minute samples. However, internet searching suggests the datalogger can be accessed locally and data pulled from it without trying to scrape info from the cloud etc. (have not tried it, don't know if my own model supports it, have no idea about what data is available if it does work)
3) energy diverter: Used to detect surplus solar and divert it to do something else (could be to charge a car, solar battery etc.) in my case it heats our water. This device also has an app (and website access)
The app only shows (graphically) current grid usage (to/from) and amount of power diverted. However.... it is updating every minute and seems accurate to that time period, additionally since it is always 'on' it shows usage throughout the day/night making it useful for monitoring general electricity usage. The website doesn't show the graphical (live) current grid usage but does show the detailed data (grid usage) additionally there is apparently an api, it isn't officially supported but it is provided by the energy diverter. Again, haven't used it, don't know what information (or how often) it is available.
Goal for this Hackweek
- Investigate the various options to get data (except for web scraping, I don't really want to invest time in that) from the inverter datalogger and energy diverter device
- I'd like to at least be able to monitor real time (or as realtime as possible) our electricity usage so we have an idea of our consumption 'right now'. Would be nice to visualise that somehow (haha I have no clue about UI programming) by visualise I mean even something on the terminal :)
- show power imported from the grid (should come from the diverter api)
- power exported to the grid (diverter api ? maybe the inverter would be more accurate here, I guess I need to figure it out)
- power to water (diverter api)
- actual solar generated (this information should come from the inverter/inverter datalogger as it isn't measured by the diverter device (although I guess we could infer it)
- we have had some potential issues with the install where the solar circuit has tripped a couple of times so while I'm waiting for the installer to get back to us I'd like to know when the inverter comes online/offline (or doesn't wake up by a certain time) to see if/when it happens again (hoping that there is some (free) api to send sms/whatsapp/signal messages)
- In keeping with our ALP journey (and hoping to learn something about it) I hope if I actually get something to work to deploy it in a container and run in ALP
This project is one of its kind!