I have been thinking for a while about a simple project that would allow me to combine two different needs. On one hand, I would like to experiment with some kinds of technology that I have not had the chance to play with so far, specifically:

  • The tools used to build an Internet of Things (IoT) system
  • The well-known Arduino ecosystem
  • The development of Android applications

On the other hand, I would like to have  a data logger for my photovoltaic home system, in order to remotely monitor its energy production.

I tried to mix all these things up, and this the idea that came to me:


Project description

The idea is to make a data logger based on the Arduino Mega board, equipped with some additional interfaces:

  • A TTL/RS485 converter to communicate with the photovoltaic inverter (PowerOne Aurora Uno)
  • A temperature/humidity sensor (I think it is a good idea to record these quantities as well).

Arduino is powered by an AC/DC wall adapter that is connected to the building’s electrical wiring, in order to work even if the photovoltaic system is not producing any energy.

On the network side, Arduino connects to one of my house’s WiFi access point via the ESP8266 module. The access point acts as a router as well, allowing Arduino to connect to the Internet. At the other end of the cloud, Arduino communicates with Ubidots servers. These machines make available the IoT infrastructure required to store  and visualize collected data in real-time via HTTP. The last step of the project should be the development of an Android application to perform more complex operations with this data, using mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets.

This is the first of a series of posts that will describe the project in more detail, as it progresses.

2 thoughts on “Photovoltaic data logger – Part I

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