What is a Powercom Inverter?
The Powercom project is a software suite for owners of Powercom ( Sunny Roo ) inverters. These are typically paired with solar panels or wind turbines. Inverters convert DC from the power source into AC suitable for feeding into the grid. These particular inverters have RS232 and USB ports which allow you to probe them for instantaneous statistics on things like watts being produced, temperature of the heatsink, etc.
This project consists of 2 components; a polling utility to download and parse statistics, and a GUI for viewing downloaded data and uploading to pvoutput.org
The polling utility is a wrapper around another project: libpowercom. libpowercom does the low-level probing of the inverter and dumps registers to a file. The wrapper calls libpowercom, then parses the text file and inserts statistics into a SQLite database.
The GUI is written in Perl and Gtk3. It makes use of another of my projects, Gtk3::Ex::DBI, for rendering the datasheets. The graphing is some hand-written code that uses Cairo. There are undoubtedly more graceful ways of doing the job, but I wanted to learn some Cairo.
PVOutput is a site for uploading energy production and comparing your systems stats with other people. I’ve implemented a PVOutput API client in a nice object-oriented way, so it’s for people to understand / hack / steal / whatever.
I’m planning on prettying it up and adding support for other database targets. Hopefully people with other inverters can donate some parsing code that plugs into the storage I’m using … hint, hint …
You can download the latest version of my powercom project from the ‘Downloads’ link down the side of the page.