Author Topic: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control  (Read 1073 times)

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Offline Rover

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RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:51:08 PM »
Hi All,

As a lot of people know that frequent the IRC channel, I have a homebuilt RE monitoring system based around a low power PC and a LABJACK U6 PRO DAQ. It exists in the power shed and monitors solar and wind power, battery bank voltage level, outgoing power and temperature.

I've decided to extend the system to also control the devices that use the  power (LED landscape lighting (a lot), Shed Fan, a 1500 GPH waterfall pump, and some other stuff ). Currently this is being accomplished by a bunch of discrete timers.

This is really not that hard of an endeavor as the Labjack has a bunch of DIOs that I can use to control relays.

The following picture show current progress as of this morning, basically hooking everything up and testing with a laptop on the bench that I can activate the relays .

Components LABJACK U6PRO, CB37 breakout board (used for analog measurements, nothing connected as this is bench testing, its twin is running in the shed with another LabJack), PS12DC Switching board (12 channel switch board , optically isolated from the LabJack, 750mA possible switch current per channel, DIO controlled) , 2 relay modules (each with 4 10A Mosfet controlled relays).
Total current consumption is somewhere between 100 and 150mA with all relays energized as seen on the current reading on the adjacent power supply.



 
Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 01:11:04 PM »
Wow I just looked them up, those labjack are kinda spendy huh?
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 01:44:28 PM »
Yep, no argument there, although I have one of the higher priced ones, the lower priced ones, like the U3 would work as well. I just wanted the higher ADC bit depth etc. I also like Labjack for the large amount of online support.

They are very reliable, the one in the shed has been running for 3 years.

I used to build my own, this just became easier, and I'm using a very low power Intel NUC PC in the shed to control it.

Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 07:10:14 PM »
This is just a different approach and it works for me.
I am fully aware the cost of this is quite a bit , but I went for what I could do with the platform. You can, and a lot have, even I , use a PI , Arduino , or other base to do the same. In this case I just wanted to roll everything up onto a single platform, have a database , have a onboard webserver and the room to expand as desired.

If you have greater than a  KW of RE resources than this might be a different approach, its scalability is underdetermined. 

Rover
Rover
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(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline MadScientist267

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 08:46:30 PM »
Good to see others posting on the concept... One thing is for sure.. No matter what's under the hood, automation and centralizing control is extremely addictive... Started out with mine just wanting to log some vitals... then the idea "if I could just control this based on that" came into play, and somehow or another, every pin on the Pi is used up and I've still got a list of things left to tack on LOL

Looks good Rover, just proceed at your own risk :o :P

Steve
Wanted: Schrödinger's cat, dead and alive.

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 05:32:25 PM »
Hardware almost completely built, all that is left is to attach the sensors, and put in decent wire restraints in the knockouts.

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Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 03:17:54 PM »
Pretty Much Done, Sensors Calibrated, Automation control software written and tested.
Looks pretty much the same as the last time except you can see the halls.
Hopefully get it in place next couple weeks.

Click on the image if you can't read the notes

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Rover
Rover
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(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control - screen shot
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 03:31:32 PM »
Screen shot of the scheduler application. It sets the times for various devices to database tables that are read by central server application and that in turn operates the devices/relays

(Click on the image for a larger view)

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Rover
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Offline rossw

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 03:59:55 PM »
Pretty Much Done, Sensors Calibrated,

Not wanting to be irritating.... but it has to be asked:  you went to so much effort to get those halls exactly right, adjust for offsets etc, but won't you have to re-do it all when it gets to its final location and orientation?

I mean, I know they're *SUPPOSED* to be independent and not affected by ambient magnetic fields (such as the Earths!), but we both know that's not entirely true!

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2015, 04:37:45 PM »
Yep, possibly, but I'm noticing that moving them around etc. , is having a trivial effect on the readings.

But you are right, I know I will have to adjust them further, once they are in place. This calibration was more of an initial one, and also to see how they all behave with the same load which will be difficult to do once the system is mounted. This gives me an opportunity to see if whether channel selection on the ADC , and things like adjacent placement and temperature have effects that I can get a grip on before it goes in place.

Also , once the system goes in, one of the Halls will be tougher to calibrate, as it also monitors the consumption of the system. I do have DC clamp ammeter that helps, but its resolution is not as good as the system, so it gets me to ballpark.

For everyone else who might be interested in the details. The halls are 4 , 100 Amp Amplocs and 1 200Amp Amploc
I'm sampling across all channels at roughly 5Hz for ~ 300 samples per minute on each channel
The Labjack allows you to set ADC resolution and settling time, and I'm around 20bits on the unit, note this is not the effective resolution of the measurements, I'm nearer 16bit at the end. The unit can sample to 24bit, but the higher the bit depth , the slower the sampling time.


 
   
Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)

Offline Rover

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Re: RE Monitoring sytem, updating and adding automation control - completed
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2016, 12:18:42 PM »
All done, boxes mounted.
First 2 pics are what was there, following pics the new arrangement. I think I managed to tidy it up a bit

Before
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After
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Rover
Location: South East Virginia US

(Where did I bury that microcontroller?)