20090615

Wireless Solar Panel / Battery Monitor

With all my batteries and electronics projects I've really been thinking about a way to monitor everything as to avoid having to manually check in on all these devices strewn across our homestead. Today I assembled a prototype device which can remotely monitor small PV solar panels and batteries then wirelessly transmit the information back to a laptop. I stole some code from Ladyada's Tweet-a-Watt parser. The Batwatch project had a great idea of using two ADCs with a 10 ohm resistor and voltage dividers to determine volts/amps of a PV panel / battery circuit. I'm pretty amazed how fast the bread board version came together. This could be a great platform to start monitoring temperature, controlling irrigation, opening digital locks, and just adding more automation to the homestead. The PV panel is a $30 10V @ .13A unit from Voltaic Systems. PV Battery Xbee PV Battery Xbee #2

5 comments:

Perywinkle said...

Nice! Next, you'll need an iPhone app to check on the go.

Mikey Sklar said...

I was thinking about just using my laptop as a webserver so I can connect from any device (including my iphone).

Andrew said...

Is there any way you could send me the python code and a schematic? I have 2 xbee modules but don't know where to start! This would be great for me to learn the basics...

Mikey Sklar said...

Andrew -

Sure I sent the schematic / schematic pdf and python code to your e-mail address.

The setup is a little confusing, but I found Ladyada to have the best directions for getting started with xbee.

http://www.ladyada.net/make/xbee/point2point.html

I agreed to produce a HOWTO next week for Voltaic System on this topic so more details to come.

ciller said...

I found your page refreshing and fascinating. I would like to try your setup and monitor my progress and restoring old batteries; anyway i can get your schematics pdf and code? I went to http://voltaicsystems.com/blog/diy/ and could not locate your post there. Any help you would provide would be appreciated and honored.

Thank You
Clive