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Power on socket depending on surplus PV power

  • 28-09-2020 10:35am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,912 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    Is there an integrated solution for automatically powering on a (smart) socket in your house when your panels are generating surplus power that would otherwise go back to the grid?

    The situation I'm thinking of is a bright Autumn/Winter/Spring day where you'd want the heating on but might be generating excess power, so you could have an electric heater plugged into such a socket and it would click on and off automatically as surplus power is available.

    I'm pretty sure you could do something bespoke with home-assistant.io and a raspberry pi, but I'm wondering if there is something a bit more whole-package available already?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭ Coltrane


    Hi
    Smappee offers this functionality. You'd have to buy their hub and one or more of their smart plugs, which can for example to programmed to turn on with a solar-surplus and off again when the surplus disappears. I've had both for two years and love them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,912 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    That sounds ideal, do you have a link to the hub and smart plugs?

    <edit> Did a quick search and these seem impossible to buy anywhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭ lightson


    Think you can just use a diverter ie hoteater diverter. Iboost, immersun, Eddi
    That’s what they do you just wire it to a simple heater not the immersion or to the immersion then what that is hot it then put power to the next out put. Not sure on how many out outs the Iboost has but the others def do that


  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭ phester28


    any heater solution will not power an A/C device as the heater will likely be powered by a chopped down version of A/C to be able to modulate the heater power used to your surplus. This could damage a traditional type device.

    A quartz type heater at around 400W per bar could be a runner using a supplementary output if the iboost has one


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭ graememk


    mp3guy wrote: »
    Is there an integrated solution for automatically powering on a (smart) socket in your house when your panels are generating surplus power that would otherwise go back to the grid?

    The situation I'm thinking of is a bright Autumn/Winter/Spring day where you'd want the heating on but might be generating excess power, so you could have an electric heater plugged into such a socket and it would click on and off automatically as surplus power is available.

    I'm pretty sure you could do something bespoke with home-assistant.io and a raspberry pi, but I'm wondering if there is something a bit more whole-package available already?

    Think your going to have to roll your own on that sort of thing as its too "variable" for an off the shelf solution.

    Im building a system based on the monitoring from openenergymonitor and the emon pi.

    Im using an emon hub (raspberry pi) and Emon Tx as i needed more than 2 inputs to monitor. (import/export, Solar, and hot water divert)

    So you can know your useage, your generation, and how much "excess" there is.

    For example, the eddi, (or solar iboost) monitors your export, and then adjusts the power sent to the immersion as needed. (the zappi also knows this value, so once it gets to 1.6kw, it will take over and put it into the car)

    I wonder would myengery branch out into things like that, but knowing people they might just stick a 3kw load on something and burn it out, too many variables.

    Node red you can practically do anything control the ikea plugs, or mqtt relays, or the sonoff smart plugs

    for instance I'm planning on using a mqtt wifi relay (or a smartplug) to control a towel rack, which draws about 400W and switch that on when there is an appropriate excess, maybe take some that the immersion is using?

    Or control a smartplug for a dishwasher, that will set it going when the total excess is above 2.5kw, as once thats running you cant stop it.

    I only have the monitoring setup now, but the rest is on the todo list!


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,884 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    You should really start a thread on that stuff, graememk!

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 54 ✭✭ lightson


    I thought you could just divert to a oil type elictric type radiator and it would take what it could until it’s thermostat turned it off. Didn’t think the none perfect wave mattered for this


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,912 ✭✭✭ mp3guy


    graememk wrote: »
    Think your going to have to roll your own on that sort of thing as its too "variable" for an off the shelf solution.

    Im building a system based on the monitoring from openenergymonitor and the emon pi.

    Im using an emon hub (raspberry pi) and Emon Tx as i needed more than 2 inputs to monitor. (import/export, Solar, and hot water divert)

    So you can know your useage, your generation, and how much "excess" there is.

    For example, the eddi, (or solar iboost) monitors your export, and then adjusts the power sent to the immersion as needed. (the zappi also knows this value, so once it gets to 1.6kw, it will take over and put it into the car)

    I wonder would myengery branch out into things like that, but knowing people they might just stick a 3kw load on something and burn it out, too many variables.

    Node red you can practically do anything control the ikea plugs, or mqtt relays, or the sonoff smart plugs

    for instance I'm planning on using a mqtt wifi relay (or a smartplug) to control a towel rack, which draws about 400W and switch that on when there is an appropriate excess, maybe take some that the immersion is using?

    Or control a smartplug for a dishwasher, that will set it going when the total excess is above 2.5kw, as once thats running you cant stop it.

    I only have the monitoring setup now, but the rest is on the todo list!

    My apprehension about going this route is maintenance. Finicky wifi, making sure stuff is always running and doesn't randomly crash.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭ graememk


    unkel wrote: »
    You should really start a thread on that stuff, graememk!

    It would mean actually finishing a project, and the solar isnt even on my house, its on my parents next door! Prob should go in the home automation... maybe when I get my pump control done and automated other than just running a script through ssh like I'm doing at the minute - the art of the temporary fix.. maybe some feature creep?

    I do get to look at pretty graphs of useage though.
    (I have a 400w buffer on the iboost, to try and reduce the fighting between it and when they leave the hob on with the teapot half off it... )

    But i Have a figure of "excess" that I can work from. An Id4 might be on the cards for them if they decide to change cars, So will be going for an OpenEvse point.

    And it has to be rock solid and just work as I will be supplying the support.

    Getting my solar next year I think.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,884 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    graememk wrote: »
    Getting my solar next year I think.

    With the parents next door I presume you have a large detached house built on your parents' land? If so, go big with the solar PV! Panels are very cheap and once installed they last many decades. I would go at least dual aspect too (like east / west). But I'm sure you know all this. Best of luck with the projects :)

    I have only a very modest semi-D in the Dublin burbs, yet I have close to 5kwp installed and grid tied. Don't ask me how :p

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭ graememk


    unkel wrote: »
    With the parents next door I presume you have a large detached house built on your parents' land? If so, go big with the solar PV! Panels are very cheap and once installed they last many decades. I would go at least dual aspect too (like east / west). But I'm sure you know all this. Best of luck with the projects :)

    I have only a very modest semi-D in the Dublin burbs, yet I have close to 5kwp installed and grid tied. Don't ask me how :p


    Actually it's my grandfather's house he and my granny built in 1980 and left my dad in the old house.

    As for solar, Oh... A 3 bay 35ft shed over half of a silage pit(other half is a round roof shed) I have my eye on. Just have to get power from my house to the yard. (Yard is currently run from my parents house).

    the roof faces NE/SW at about 12 degrees, so it's walkable. Should easily squeeze 20 panels on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,751 ✭✭✭ SlowBlowin


    My system monitors the battery state of charge then when I have surplus turns of the polytunnel lighting, then the house electric heating etc etc...

    I have some home automation hardware that speaks to my controllers, and can turn of devices (Lightwave RF and Adams controllers) according to rules.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    What inverter system are you using ? I have openhab running most of my house, heating, lights even c, bit can't get my head around how to pull in my givenergy diverter to it


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,751 ✭✭✭ SlowBlowin


    All the intelligence is in the software, I use Morningstar controllers and Studer inverter.

    The software brings in all the data from the controllers, I can then use if then else logic to switch on loads etc. All the electrical devices in the house are configured on it using lightwave RF and adams controllers (and a Velleman relay board).

    The software, iCatcher Console, runs on a PC thats is powered on all the time from the inverter, it displays cameras, renewables system information, and is my main home PC. It also stores and graphs all data, and has full control via the internet/phone.

    The software is no longer being developed, I would love to have google home integration.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭ graememk


    SlowBlowin wrote: »
    I would love to have google home integration.


    I would love to be able to display a webpage as a screen saver on the home hubs instead of a slideshow or the time. i know i can cast the page from a chrome browser but thats a bit of hoop jumping


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    SlowBlowin wrote: »
    All the intelligence is in the software, I use Morningstar controllers and Studer inverter.

    The software brings in all the data from the controllers, I can then use if then else logic to switch on loads etc. All the electrical devices in the house are configured on it using lightwave RF and adams controllers (and a Velleman relay board).

    The software, iCatcher Console, runs on a PC thats is powered on all the time from the inverter, it displays cameras, renewables system information, and is my main home PC. It also stores and graphs all data, and has full control via the internet/phone.

    The software is no longer being developed, I would love to have google home integration.

    Sounds interesting, you should look at openhab or home assistant which can integrate most of what you have and also give you the google home integration. You can run it on a RPI.

    My control.ayatem is velbus (by vellman)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,751 ✭✭✭ SlowBlowin


    Yes I will have a look. The thing i like about icatcher is the video intergration, so I can turn on stuff if a virtual tripwire is crossed on a camera view, or take a snapshot and send it to my phone if the gate opens. If Openhab can offer that then it ticks all my boxes.

    I have a Pi4 here as well !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,442 ✭✭✭ wexfordman2


    SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Yes I will have a look. The thing i like about icatcher is the video intergration, so I can turn on stuff if a virtual tripwire is crossed on a camera view, or take a snapshot and send it to my phone if the gate opens. If Openhab can offer that then it ticks all my boxes.

    I have a Pi4 here as well !!


    Not sure if it does the video integration, but you could look at running both, openhab or home assistant eillmgovr you the google home integration, and you could keep it dumb, just turning stuff on and off via Google, leaving your other system stillmdoing the logic


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