I've been on this house hardware kick recently haven't I? Well today's no different! MUAHAHAH... Well, okay, kind of different. No clouds, no Azure. Today Graham Ross is going to help us scratch our Green itch, will still geek'ing out in our web and Netduino world.
The Netduino Solar Monitor accesses data from a Midnite Solar Classic charge controller using the Modbus protocol or the Outback Flexmax controller using the serial interface. The solar monitor can also monitor information from a Outback FX inverter using the serial interface. The Netduino Solar hosts an embedded web server that displays the pages below which can be viewed on a smart phone or tablet.
If you simply want to install this application onto a netduino plus 2, please follow these steps;
1. Download the NetduinoSolar.zip file from the 'Downloads' area.
2. Unzip to a temporary location on your PC.
If you want to use the emulator, please follow these steps
1. Follow the instructions at http://netduino.com/downloads/ to install the required .Net Micro Framework SDK.
2. Once you have the SDK installed, you can use Visual Studio (Express) to deploy the application to the netduino or you can run the application within the emulator when you select the 'Debug' target.
The Netduino and the charge controller should be connected to a wireless router. The charge controller must be setup with a static IP address, this address must then be entered in the settings tab of the NetduinoSolar application.
The status page viewed by browsing to the configured deviceIp address which can be configured along with the subnet mask and gateway address by editing the SolarConfig.ini file.
If you are going to be monitoring an Outback controller or inverter, you will need an RS232 interface for your Netduino. Pins 4 (DTR) will need to be driven high and pin 7 (RTS) will need to be driven low in order to power the Outback Mate serial interface. An interface card such as the Pololu 23201a Serial Adapter can be used.
Netduino Solar parts list
1. Netduino Plus 2, firmware rev 4.2.2 (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11608)
2. 2 Gig micro SD card, netduino does not support more than 2 Gigs (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2882538&CatId=3610)
3. 9 volt AC adapter (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/298)
Optional components for access to Outback Mate;
- RS 232 serial adapter (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/126)
Optional LCD display;
- 24x2 Line LCD Module HD44780 (ebay)
Optional power supply to run netduino and router directly off the (24V) battery bank
- LM2596 DC 3A Step-Down Adjustable Breadboard Module Power Supply Converter (ebay)