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Data Logger for a Solar System

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Posted by amir.zawar on July 27, 2013, 1:09 pm
 
Hi Everybody,

I am looking for a data logger which collects data from my "Solar remote si
te".
I can visit these sites every 4 to 6 months for maintenance and need to col
lect data on a memory card or on the internal memory of the device in order
 to download them. Better will be if I could get the data over internet on  
my laptop as I have mobile coverage on Site (but this is not really mandato
ry).

The data logger should measure and collect following data every 15 or 30 or
 60 minutes:
- Date & time
- Current: between ?0 A? up to ?250A? (4 X DC channels in order to  
be able to measure different sources)
- Voltage: between ?0 VDC? up to ?60 VDC?
- Temperatures: between ?-5C? up to ?55C? (3 or 4 channels in
 order to measure outside, inside, battery temp)

I need also all related sensor. Could anybody support me?

BR,
Amir

Posted by John on July 28, 2013, 7:10 am
 
You need a microprocessor to handle the data collection and writing to probably an SD card to save the data.  There are a couple of options.

PICAXE - developed for education in the UK; programmed in a version of BASIC; free software available for Windows, OSx, and Linux; has a very active user forum:
  www.picaxeforum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?2-Active-PICAXE-Forum?

Arduino - very popular; programmed in C (not always easy for a beginner); many parts available at Radio Shack; lots of support sites including some projects on instructables.com;  

Various sensors available from sparkfun.com although AMP makes some excellent Hall effect current sensors in various ranges from 25 amps and up

Both PICAXE and Arduino can monitor voltage via built-in ADC ports.  Both can read temperature using the DS18B20 one-wire temperature chip.

amir.zawar@gmail.com<> wrote:  

--  
Android Usenet Reader
http://android.newsgroupstats.hk  

Posted by Jim Wilkins on July 28, 2013, 5:31 pm
 

Arduino C is relatively simple to learn and easy to use. The program  
memory in the chip does wear out from too many Writes, though, like a  
Solid State Drive.

Here is another isolated current sensor supplier:
http://www.gmw.com/magnetic_sensors/asahi/current-sensors-HA.html  

Shunts require very careful design to avoid common-mode interactions  
on the sense leads.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Every wire and connection is a resistor that creates a voltage drop.  
Yesterday I measured 350mV of drop between the elements of my TV  
antenna with only 1A passing between them. Wiggling the rivet joints  
while the current flowed reduced that to 20mV, and I gained almost  
10dBm of signal strength.

http://www.dataq.com/?source=googledq&gclid=CODez8y1kasCFesLtAodJS-Qtg  
Three separate EL-USB loggers may be the simplest and cheapest  
approach if you can tolerate unsynchronized readings.

If your electronic technician skill level isn't up to building safe  
and reliable circuits from scratch you might consider an old laptop  
and a USB DAQ. My Compaq Armada consumes as little as 7W at idle with  
the screen off, and can operate from an external 12V battery with the  
Auto-Air adapter. Spare batteries are fairly inexpensive for some  
common laptops like Dell Latitudes. It needs only a few minutes of  
remaining run time to move between chargers.

A quick search for wake timers found:
http://www.raymond.cc/blog/automatically-wake-up-from-windows-stand-by-and-hibernation/  

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/automatically-wake-a-hibernating-windows-xp-machine/  

jsw  



Posted by j on July 29, 2013, 11:59 pm
 On 7/27/2013 9:09 AM, amir.zawar@gmail.com wrote:> Hi Everybody,
 >
 > I am looking for a data logger which collects data from my "Solar  
remote site".

If you go Arduino you can get an SD card/ethernet shield combo. There  
are a huge number of available shields including cellphone. Arduino has  
limited memory and interface capacity without a "shield".

Arduinos have A/D's for data logging and there are "1 wire" temp sensors  
that connect to the digital inputs.

http://www.arduino.cc/  

Arduino is easy out of the box:

http://www.ladyada.net/learn/arduino/index.html  

It's not the only micro controller out there. But it is widely available  
and cheap. You can find "sketches" of data logging and one wire temp  
reading that can be altered to suit fairly easily. The learning curve is  
easy.

Also available are Raspberry Pi's and Beagle Bone Blacks. Both run Linux  
and can be programmed in almost any language. Both also have analog and  
digital inputs and outputs similar to the Arduino but are also full  
fledged mini computers.

Jeff



 > I can visit these sites every 4 to 6 months for maintenance and need  
to collect data on a memory card or on the internal memory of the device  
in order to download them. Better will be if I could get the data over  
internet on my laptop as I have mobile coverage on Site (but this is not  
really mandatory).
 >
 > The data logger should measure and collect following data every 15 or  
30 or 60 minutes:
 > - Date & time
 > - Current: between ?0 A? up to ?250A? (4 X DC channels in order to be  
able to measure different sources)
 > - Voltage: between ?0 VDC? up to ?60 VDC?
 > - Temperatures: between ?-5C? up to ?55C? (3 or 4 channels in order  
to measure outside, inside, battery temp)
 >
 > I need also all related sensor. Could anybody support me?
 >
 > BR,
 > Amir
 >




Posted by Jim Wilkins on July 30, 2013, 11:21 am
 
What do you suggest as an alternative?

I just discovered BatteryInfoView from NirSoft for logging the battery  
discharge on a laptop too old to have sensors that HWiNFO32  
recognizes. Some of his other programs like Produkey dig deep enough  
to trigger antivirus warnings.
http://www.nirsoft.net/  

Several full discharge and recharge cycles have restored the capacity  
of the original battery in my 1999 Compaq from a few minutes to about  
an hour.
jsw.  



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