OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Discussion about the OutBack OpticsRE system monitor

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David LeBow
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OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by David LeBow »

So I'm spending some of the quiet time between holidays sifting through OpticsRE new feature suggestions collected recently (isn't everybody?). There's one class of suggestions which recurs pretty frequently - monitoring some other device through OpticsRE - so I thought I'd take this opportunity to collect your thoughts.

The answers I'm looking for basically fill in the blanks on a question something like this: "I sure wish that I could connect __________ to OpticsRE (here's a link to its description online: _________). It has the following monitoring interfaces: ______. I bet that there are probably _____ other Optics users out there with the same thing!"

Those blanks are probably arranged easiest to hardest, but you get the idea.

Hey look! Here are some (I've collected) now!

More remotely-operable relays. "Make a relay bank that is operated via the internet. Something like what controlbyweb makes, but able to be controlled by optics. Many off the grid locations need relays for remote control (battery watering, heater tape cut out, computer hard resets etc.) Being to control everything from your dashboard on optics would be great. The number of remote relays available in your devices is not enough for our needs and I suspect other outback customers are also going to outside vendors for this functionality."

Display windmill/hydro and other inputs. "Enhance the Power Flow diagram so that each shunt can be represented. I have a windmill on my site and it would be great if I could see what it is doing without having to click on the battery icon and read its particular shunt."

Weather station integration.. "This is particularly useful when integrating a wind turbine as the only way to assess its performance is to compare it to wind speed".

Standby generator fuel gauge. . "it would be really good to be able to connect standby generator fuel gauge as this is a frequent cause of generator not starting due to lack of fuel."

Third Party Shunt. "An add on shunt to monitor third party devices such as wind turbines."

I/O Module. "I/O Module for additional automation."

Fuel Gauge. "Ability to connect a fuel gauge to Optics to read the fuel status of a standby generator could be linked to other data as well such as wind speed"

Now... no promises here, just collecting input. So... what ideas do you have?

David
David LeBow
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

David, I was just pondering and wishing very recently: "Weather station integration..

I've had a Davis Vantage Pro2 for many years. At a time I had a site to upload to the weather bureau but the s/w crashed so often I shut the project down after a <2 years. But I still wish there was a way to correlate the data collected from the weather station to OpticsRE. Wind, solar, rain, temps and associated data with OpticsRE would be a historic record and comparisons/searches would be invaluable. And at these times of drought - I can't express the coolness. Sure, this could be done by developing exports to an .xls but its just too labor intensive to maintain.

I received a note recently that Davis was going to a cloud format just like OpticsRE. That is what brought out the wish.

So there is my wish: OpticsRE and Davis.

(Oh, BTW, the fuel gauge thingy would be nice. Lord knows how that would be approached but please do the EU7000is 1st (wink))

Best,
Jim
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sodamo »

WonÔÇÖt be a surprise to uou David, but Davis wx station would be my #1. ShouldnÔÇÖt be all that difficult as it already integrates with other 3rd party apps.

Generator fuel monitoring would be nice as well.

Merry Christmas
David
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by Ampster »

Relay integration would be great, also some integration with IFTTT. I have a grid tie system and also have a battery backed Skybox. Relays would give me the ability to control some loads such as super off peak charging and heat pump. I am on a TOU rate in California and want to use as little of the grid as possible.
Drive Tesla Model X and Model 3 which are charged at Super Off Peak rates.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

Can I stretch the intent of your question about supported devices to include batteries? How about a way of logging maintenance info like date, overall water added, SGs, etc. This would only need to be available if Devices > Battery Type = Standard flooded. Another simple function would be a user defined field of interval so as to pop up as a reminder. In other words, if I haven't added maintenance data then I get a well deserved prompt to go do the maintenance and gather the info and input it..

Seriously, with all the folks posting about absorb times, battery performance, etc., wouldn't you do a huge service by reminding people that they need to do the minimum of system service? This probably applies to more people than weather data and by doing so their system runs better and although its not Outback's problem, if someone does maint., if the system works better, y'all look better as a result.

Mr. Lebow, I hope you and the Outback team had a marvelous time off for the holidays to ponder these suggestions.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by SolaRevolution »

Hydro and wind have already been mentioned, but more generally, it would be nice to be able to custom label the shunts and include their data in the summary.

I've got one client system with 9 FM charge controllers, an FNDC and a Micro Hydro, (2) Trace SW5548s. (Hopefully I can talk him into Radians when the SWs die) But even if he does upgrade to Radians there aren't enough inputs on the HUB10.3 to network everything.

If you could label the shunts and include them in the summary and bar graph data Optics would work better for old FX systems too.

It could help build brand loyalty. I often put FM CCs into older existing systems. (The onboard logging is one of the main selling features for me) If OpticsRE, MATE3s and FNDCs could be more useful for older systems (regardless of inverter brand) it would be easier to talk them into investing in Outback equipment. Then when their old inverters die, upgrading to a Radian would be a no brainer, especially when I can show the added benefits of a fully networked system.

Also, it would be great to have a GEN control that could be easily accessed instead of having to get into the device map- MATE3 - AGS - Gen Mode...
Last edited by SolaRevolution on Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by Mike Curran »

I think you can custom label the shunts. Click on the battery icon on Optics' dashboard, then you get this screen:
Screenshot_20190109-154953.jpg
Now click on edit, and Voila!
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by SolaRevolution »

Mike Curran wrote:I think you can custom label the shunts. Click on the battery icon on Optics' dashboard, then you get this screen:
Screenshot_20190109-154953.jpg
Now click on edit, and Voila!
Thanks Mike!

That is a lot of what I was hoping for!
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

David LeBow wrote:So I'm spending some of the quiet time between holidays sifting through OpticsRE new feature suggestions collected recently (isn't everybody?).
Hi David, I recalled this thread a few days ago after a battery failure in my weather station (outside unit's solar panel faded due to old age) caused the history to go away. I sure would love OpticsRE to pull the data from the Davis Pro2 and there were a few others that would appreciate this compatibility. Were there not enough of us with Davis stuff to get your attention?

Perhaps there are a few others that missed this query and would like to chime in?

Best, Jim
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36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sodamo »

I agree, Jim
Would be worthwhile benefit. I turned off the OpticsRE weather link as it didnÔÇÖt apply to my location. My Davis is just a couple hundred feet from my Outback.
Apparently the tools are there on Davis as we can already link to other sites/services.
David
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by jbakker »

Options for more relays, with options to turn the relays on or off based on battery voltage.
Turn on at 55 volts and off at 52 volts etc.
Or based on Solar input..

More input and outputs for more automation.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

How about an FNAC? A device with programmable outputs (manual on/off or timed/time of day, etc) and a shunt for same AC circuit? Wireless or transmitting through the AC line would be cool and avoid long runs of twisted pairs which could be code or routing crazy. The transmitters to the FNAC would be like the popular plug in unit at the outlet but collected and uploaded to Optics in the same graphical format through the MateX.

Would anyone else find a benefit in a FNAC?

BTW, I want Davis Weather support just as much, maybe more. But if guys have to multitask at home to keep the wife happy then they can do it at work too, eh?

Best,
Jim
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by AndrewL3 »

Hello David.
Did you ever progress this thread.? I was in contact with Lones today regarding the ability to display third party CC, wind etc on the Optics page power flow diagram.
I can view them by drilling into the battery tab on the page, but it would be nicer to see them as logos on the dashboard showing kW being generated.
Any updates much appreciated.
Thank you,
Andy.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

sodamo wrote: Thu May 23, 2019 1:51 am I agree, Jim
Would be worthwhile benefit. I turned off the OpticsRE weather link as it didnÔÇÖt apply to my location. My Davis is just a couple hundred feet from my Outback.
Apparently the tools are there on Davis as we can already link to other sites/services.
Working with Mr. Sodamo I finally got my Davis weather station connected so I can see OpticsRE and flip a window to the WeatherLink app. My gosh how WeatherLink has improved in ease of use. Next up is to add the UV sensor to the weather station which I'll now gladly add for comparison. The comparison is between incoming panel harvest vs. the UV from the weather station, temp, etc. But the huge advantage would be the single point, cloud based view and history.

There are a BUNCH of weather stations out there. But if folks were to settle on a standard maybe an OpticsRE integration with WeatherLink could get some traction. I've had the Davis system longer than the OB gear.... Once in 14 years did I need service on it.
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My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sodamo »

Hey Jim, let me add my continued support. Seems OB / OpticsRE already has an embedded wx link. If only it was an editable field that would allow change to a local link. David?
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by raysun »

All this talk about 3rd party weather app integration is well and fine, but is meaningless until this can be included:
12800110_10153998068093817_2307755898349483334_n.jpg
sodamo
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My RE system: Totally off grid - Hamakua side, Big Island, Hi

36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
Radians GG8048/GS4048 w GSLCs
4 FM 80 charge controllers
Hub 10.3
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3s
OpticsRE - MMKL - Ninole Hi
12 SimpliPhi 3.8
14Kw Kohler 14RESA Propane

Charging Only
2FX3048T
Hub
FNDC. - shared shunt feeds from Radian FNDC
Mate 3s
10Kw MEP 803a Military gen

Honda EU7000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KHININOL2
Location: Ninole, Hi

Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sodamo »

Best yet 🤙🤙🤙🤙

Maybe add
Coconut Floating - Flooding
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by raysun »

sodamo wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:24 pm Best yet 🤙🤙🤙🤙

Maybe add
Coconut Floating - Flooding
🚣

Going to reset the weather station.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sbrownian »

Maybe something along the lines of weather underground home weather stations?
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

sbrownian wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:51 pmMaybe something along the lines of weather underground home weather stations?
That's a curious thought. Professional, semi-professional, and other stuff. I would say the Davis weather stuff is somewhere around semi-professional. But if a given station could be linked to Wonderground and accessible OpticsRE, yeah, that would suffice. All in one place. OTOH, I believe the same data saved in multiple places is a sin. No sense that data in Wonderground is also saved in OpticsRE. So this gets more complex. Going back, the beloved history from OpticsRE would be combined with Wonderground data on demand. How would that happen? Well, I don't think this will happen unless a bunch of people get weather stations instead of hanging coconuts.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by raysun »

Well, I don't think this will happen unless a bunch of people get weather stations instead of hanging coconuts.
KISS, KISS, baby.

All those weather apps come with their own built-in set of interface complexities.

Coconuts have a single, universal API - the same on every island world wide. As a bonus, they can knock sense into the random knucklehead that insists on sitting under a coconut palm.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by sbrownian »

raysun wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:02 am
Well, I don't think this will happen unless a bunch of people get weather stations instead of hanging coconuts.
KISS, KISS, baby.

All those weather apps come with their own built-in set of interface complexities.

Coconuts have a single, universal API - the same on every island world wide. As a bonus, they can knock sense into the random knucklehead that insists on sitting under a coconut palm.
Or be used to sip adult beverages...
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by raysun »

Or be used to sip adult beverages...
Try THAT with your Davis and see what happens.
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by JRHill »

OK Raysun. Using coconut logic we'll just shut this down.

Back to the original subject, what Device Support would you like to see?
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Re: OpticsRE - Device Support Survey

Post by raysun »

I'd be happy with whatever was local, universally accessible, and free.

I'd think a leading candidate would be Weather Underground, though I haven't looked at their model in a while.

For my site, I take all weather reporting with a very large dose of salt, due to these extreme variability introduced by the complex terrain and nano-climates.
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