We have a holiday house with a complete off-the-grid solar charging system, which consists of 6 solar panels and a 24V / 525Ah battery bank. The Outback MX solar charger we use has a special port that you can connect an Outback MATE to, which itself has an RS232 port for logging data.
However this logging data is a pretty basic ASCII packet, and I was frustrated that I couldn't access the more advanced information shown on the LCD! So I started this project in an attempt to access the raw data myself.
The result is pyMATE - an open-source python library that can speak the native protocol that Outback devices use, and it opens up many more possibilities than the RS232 port alone could provide.
All it needs is a UART port and some opto-isolator hardware to convert it to the correct voltages.
Currently I am able to:
- Get a status packets for the MX solar charger, FX inverter, and FLEXnet DC monitor
- Get log entries stored on the MX (Up to 255 days worth)
- Read & write MX/FX/DC registers, parameters, and controls (allows you to change system behaviour!)
Full protocol implementation details is available in the python library.
Leave a comment if you found this library useful!
Thank you for this great project
I would really like to get this up and going, I live off grid in Baja Mex and USA Oregon.
Both systems have Flex Max Charge controllers. I would especially like to be able to monitor the systems while I am away. I have electronic hardware skills but my software is mediocre at best, but when motivated I can usually patch things together.
What is the minimum raspberry Pi that you would recommend to be able to send the data via WI FI.