solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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Many people (like myself) are installing 1kw grid tie inverter systems
to take advantage of rebate system. I am happy with it except the
solar installer doesnt have technical knowledge about interfacing to
the rs232 port on the inverter for data logging etc.  The inverter is
a generic rebadged brand so cant contact manufacturer. cms-2000
http://www.aussiesolar.com.au/inverter_CMS-2000.pdf

I am wondering if anyone has played with the serial port of their grid
tie. What baud rate? Can you use hyperterminal that comes with xp.
What command do you send to it?

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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Who did you use?

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nope, but there are two general problems;  wiring, then settings.

If you have never connected anything else to your serial port, you are on
a steep learning curve.

What wiring depends on what the ports on each end are. It depends if is  
DTE or DCE on the solar boxen, whether you need a straight through or
crossover(null modem) cable.

Basically, there are null modem cables and null modem cables.

Then is depends on protocol, 9600, 8,N,1,P was common.

Practical steps, get a null modem cale and join them together. Load
hyperterminal, config for direct and above and tape the keys.

Try Xon/xoff forst over hardwire(?)

If you get garbage, especially a good strong string(menu?), then wiring
is generally okay and it is just a matter of protocol settings.

This sort of stuff is why I keep a couple of serial terminals around.
Save fighting terminal programs(hyper,mnicom,etc) to sort out basics.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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You can tell which pins are outputs by looking for +/-12V. Inputs will
probably be floating.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

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Sometimes they appear to have very weak pullups (pull-downs?) but sticking a 1K
resistor to ground will sort out which pins are outputs and which aren't.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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CMS2.0 kW Grid PV-Inverter Installation and Operation Manual Version
2.5 E 2008.07:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/2%200Kw%20Installation%20and%20operation%20manual%202_5E_update (07-06-08).pdf

The RS232 port is a DB9 connector with only 3 pins being used, TxD
(2), RxD (3), and Common (5).

Page 29 of the manual states ...

2. Optional communications port: This port is a very powerful
extension. Inverter can accept a special card designed for the port
only. The RS485 card is used to work with Inverter’s EZ logger and in
multiple monitoring applications. CMS plan to release other
communication cards in the near future.

3. Firmware upgrade: To keep the firmware up to-date, use the RS232
port and supplied program to upgrade firmware.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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Do they even know? I thought these were incompatible standards?


Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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Hmmm. The EZ logger has both interfaces, although its RS232 port
appears to be used for modem hookups. It looks like the logger is
meant to be installed indoors and connected to the inverter via an
RS485 run. RS485 is optional for the inverter, but standard for the
logger.

BTW, I just received a quote via telephone. Aussie Solar use Google
Earth to view your house. They can determine an optimum location for
your panels, and can even suggest where to put your inverter. I reckon
I will see payback within 5 years, or maybe even 3, if the NSW
government increases the buy-back tariff for power returned to the
grid. At the very least it should increase the value of your home, or
your estate.

I can't locate where I read this, but it appears that the inverter
shuts down when mains power is lost to prevent power being fed into
the grid when linesmen could be working on it.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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Its a disgrace what the goverment is doing. Giving $8k to families who earn
under $100k so they can put in 1kw is absolutely rediculous. The difference
once you go from $99,999 to $100,001 is stupid. A 1kw system typically costs
$12k, but only $4k on the rebate.. a 66.6% discount, thats rediculous. The
people who earn over $100k have to pay 3 times as much, not to mention that
its their taxes paying for the other people anyway.

What the goverment doesn't understand is that the price of panels are largly
set by the price of existing electricity. WIthout the repayment its about 20
years until it pays off, most studies show solar panels aren't even carbon
neutral until 15 years, 30 years if the water used to make them comes from
de-sal. They are just a joke - like water tanks.



Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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any credibility you had went out the window with that statement. It is a
well known fact that the more people earn, the less tax they pay in this
country, unless they are total fools. Ergo, Big Kezza having a taxable
income of $17,000 one year.


Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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The rebate system is due to change very soon. AIUI, after next month
everyone will get a non-means-tested $5K rebate or credit. Of course
this means that, after next month, *nobody* will find it economical to
install a PV system.

As of this moment, each PV installation comes with 21 Renewable Energy
Credits. Aussie Solar offer to buy these from you for $1K. I don't
know whether these will still be available after the Budget. In fact I
am having a lot of trouble determining their actual market value, or
finding a way to sell them on the open market.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port

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Err, so if I do it now, I get $4k, but if I wait I can get $5k
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and if Aussie solar do it, I can sell the Energy Credits for $1,000 extra?
(what is the catch?)


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Yes, that's how I understand it. <shrug>
 
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It doesn't matter who supplies the equipment. AIUI, any renewable
energy "project" is assessed for its eligibility for carbon credits. A
1kW PV project is worth 21MWh over some defined life span, and this
equates to 21 RECs. These credits can be traded, or offset against
one's carbon generating activities.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

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I wouldn't buy them for "carbon" purposes - the whole AGW scam is just
a crock of bullshit anyway.

The panels could be useful for emergency power - once the state
governments/greenies and the economic crisis inevitably run the
electrical (and every other) infrastructure into the ground and we
have constant daily blackouts / shortages.

For example, a 1kw unit could run a small refrigerator for several
hours a day, and charge batteries for running modest lighting  / small
TV / laptop and ADSL box etc in the evening.

A generator would be needed as backup though, but to fuel the thing
all day wouldn't be cheap. The solar system would probably save money
in generator fuel ?



Agree on the tank theory too.  since the average household supposedly
uses 1 kl per day, ( 1 kl 3D% $1 on our local water rates) and the
suggested tank capacity (local council building regulations for all
new homes) is 5000L, the tank holds $5 of water - or 5 days with
normal family use.

If it rained enough every 5 days to fill the thing, then you would
save your entire water rate charge, ($365 a year based on above
figures). in 10 years you might have the cost of your tank and its
related pump / plumbing repaid - not counting interest etc.



In a normal world  - where we currently live right now -  where there
is 24h water and electricity, both of these items are financially
impractical.


In a future world where we are screwed with carbon taxes etc, it might
be a different story

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You mean stealing other peoples' tax money. You should be ashamed of
yourself. Solar thermal is vastly better.

PV is a JOKE.

Graham


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With that attitude, I hope you have not accepted any government super co-
contributions.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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I suspect that the manufacturer may be Phoenixtec. They claim to be
the leading UPS maker in Taiwan. In fact if you search for phrases
from the CMS manual, you will find Phoenixtec Sunville manuals with
the same phrases, especially in the troubleshooting section, and with
the same typos and identical Chinglish.

See the indoor unit on page 3 of this brochure:
http://www.phoenixtec.com.tw/solar/files/CONTENT (20080702).pdf

Here is a brochure for their EZ logger:
http://www.euronet-group.cz/pdf/accessories.pdf

The CMS-2000 could be a Phoenixtec indoor model PV-2000X or similar.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: solar 1kw installation; inverter rs232port
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The following document may provide a clue. It is for a UPS RS232
interface, but maybe some commands are similar.

Phoenixtec UPS Communication Protocol:
http://www.networkupstools.org/protocols/sola.html

For example, you could try the ID (UPS ID enquiry) command, or Q
(Status Inquiry), or Q1 (Status Inquiry - typically used by CheckUPS),
or T (test).

Another way is to obtain a firmware upgrade and look for text strings
in the image file.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

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