After using my own code for over a year to upload CSV results to PVOutput, I wanted a solution that would give me real time stats instead of the previous days output. A bit naively, I thought that it would be as simple as writing a little bit of Java code to listen to a bluetooth connection and simply store the data. Ha! After spending 8 hours downloading all the relevant software across my slow broadband connection, I opened a socket to the inverter and put the code in debug, only to get an exception… 30 minutes later I had a bit of a “D’oh!” moment when I realised it’d taken so long to get everything running, the inverter had switched off for the day.
Next morning, I fired up the software to again get an exception, but not a connection problem this time. My inverter is an SMA Sunny Boy 3800 and after doing a bit of searching, SMA has a proprietary language for communicating with their inverters. I stumbled upon a piece of software called SMA-Bluetooth which did exactly what I wantedand saved me writing my own code. After struggling to install the software, eventually I had it up and running, but the software reported quite a few date errors and as such wasn’t usable for me. A member of the SMA-Bluetooth community suggested I try SMAspot which sorted the date issue and also had a patch from a community member for uploading results to PVOutput.
One week later, my server has been calling the inverter every 1 minute and uploading results to PVOutput allowing me to be really sad and watch the output stats of my panels from work!
Now all I have to do is find a small low energy display to put in the kitchen to view PVOutput.