Relaunching @edent_solar. Part 4 - Dual String MPPT APIs

by @edent | # # #
Graph showing the difference between east and west panels.

I'm hooking my solar panels up to the Internet! Installation Inverter API & Code My solar panels have an API! It tells me the total amount of power they've generated each day. But there's a small problem... I have panels on the East and West sides of my roof. My solar inverter has two MPPT…

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Relaunching @edent_solar. Part 3 - API & Code

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments
Solar Graph.

I'm hooking my solar panels up to Twitter! Installation Inverter Fronius provide a comprehensive API guide - I wish more companies did this. There are lots of unofficial libraries in a variety of different languages. I've written this code in Python3. This is a general tidy-up of the code I wrote several years ago. Here's…

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Relaunching @edent_solar. Part 2 - Inverter

by @edent | # #
A big grey box with lots of wires coming out of it.

Having solar panels on your roof is great - but you need something to turn their wicked DC electricity into pure and godly AC. This bit of kit is called an "inverter". It's a big box which lives in your roof working magic. This is what ours looks like: We chose a Fronius Primo inverter…

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Relaunching @edent_solar. Part 1 - installation

by @edent | # | 2 comments
Roof of our house.

A few years ago, we installed solar panels on our roof in Oxford - I've enjoyed blogging about them. I've released open data from them, inspected them with a drone, and measured what happened during a solar eclipse. They've even been on the BBC! But the best thing I did, was release this little Twitter…

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Sending 1.2 Million Tweets

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~7,040 times.
A beautiful blue sky with scattered clouds. Text reads 2586 Watts - 68% battery.

Back in 2014, I set up a rather silly Twitter account - @OxfordSolarLive. The premise was simple. A camera took a photo of the sky above my house. It took a reading from my solar panels to see how much electricity they were generating. It superimposed the reading on the photo. Then posted it on…

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Is a smart electricity tariff worth it?

by @edent | # # # # | 6 comments | Read ~2,750 times.
A graph of energy consumption.

(Long and data-filled post ahead!) I've switched to energy provider Bulb (£50 off if you join using that link). They offer a "peak time" electricity charge which looks like this: 23:00 to 07:00 = £0.0815/kWh 07:00 to 16:00 = £0.1235/kWh 16:00 to 19:00 = £0.3263/kWh 19:00 to 23:00 = £0.1235/kWh By contrast, the standard tariff…

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Talking Solar Batteries With BBC Click

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~203 times.
Terence pointing at a laptop

A few weeks ago, I had a delightful chat with the BBC about our solar battery storage. You can watch it on iPlayer starting about 7m 30s in. Community battery technology is here. It is feasible. And it just works. The solar panels on our roof generate more power than we can use - so…

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Solar Battery and Alexa - in 30 lines of code

by @edent | # # # # # # # | Read ~141 times.
A list of phrases used to activate the device

Amazon Alexa is a fun little bit of kit. But it can be tricky getting it to work with all your smart devices. Not every company has an Alexa skill - just like not every company has an app. Using Flask-Ask it is possible to bring Alexa smarts to a range of previously mute devices.…

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Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~11,664 times.

I can now query my solar panels via my Alexa Amazon Dot Echo thingie (why so many names?). I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but fuck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the…

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Inspecting Solar Panels using a Drone

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~178 times.

I'm probably not the first to do this - but it was a fun way to learn just how tricky it is to control a cheap quadcopter even in mild weather. This video has no sound. Your browser doesn't support HTML5 video tag. Good enough quality to make sure the panels aren't covered in bird-mess,…

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