Monitoring a SunPower Solar System

After years of waffling on if I should install solar on my house, I finally decided that it would be a good investment. While the federal tax credit went down from 30% to 26%, I would still get a bit of my investment back. The tax credit goes to 22% next year and then goes away, so if I didn’t make the leap now, I’m not sure financially it would make sense for a long time until the panel prices come way down.

Like most major investments, I did a significant amount of research. I got proposals from 9 companies using a variety of panels and inverters. For better or worse, I went with a SunPower system. SunPower wants to make it easy for people to see how much energy they are producing and their monitoring site has a very, very simple dashboard. Apparently their older dashboard (still available via a different URL that uses Flash) showed output on a per panel basis. When I asked SunPower about this, here was their response:

Unfortunately, our monitoring website only shows production data of the system as a whole. Inverter level monitoring was only offered to dealers for troubleshooting and/or repair purposes. This was not offered to homeowners because, after lengthy evaluation, that feature offers more information than is necessary to monitor ongoing system performance, but not enough information to help identify problems (on the rare occasions when they do occur). We also had concerns about the feature’s design, in part due to negative feedback from customers.

After a bit of research, I found that the monitoring device (PVS6) actually has the ability to be queried for local data. An individual with better hacking/detective skills than me figured out the commands to send to the unit and posted information on GitHub describing the setup. That looked pretty straight forward. So I decided to figure out how to integrate it into Home Assistant and into my Grafana graphs.

First step was to configure a Raspberry Pi as basically a bridge where HTTP requests sent to one port would be redirected out the other port. I didn’t need a full fledged router for this, just an HTTP proxy. I decided to use a Raspberry Pi Zero W that I had lying around as a base. I ordered an Ethernet adapter for it and that was it for hardware. My son designed a case for both pieces and I 3D printed it.

Configuring the Raspberry Pi

  1. Download the Raspberry Pi Imager
  2. Select the Raspbian Lite image.
  3. Write the image to an SD card.
  4. Create a file called wpa_supplicant.conf at the root of the image with the following:
    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
    update_config=1
    country=US
    
    network={
     ssid="<Name of your WiFi>"
    psk="<Password for your WiFi>"
    }
    
  5. Add a file called ssh at the root of the image. This file should be empty.

  6. Assign a static IP address mapping on your router for the Pi.
  7. Boot the Raspberry Pi. Login using username: pi password: raspberry
  8. Update the OS using

    sudo apt-get update
    
  9. Install ha-proxy
    sudo apt-get install haproxy
    
  10. Modify /etc/dhcpcd.conf by adding the following so that the Ethernet going to the PVS6 doesn’t attempt to setup a gateway. If this happens, the Pi no longer responds over WiFi.
    interface eth0
    nogateway
    
  11. Add the following to /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg:
    frontend http-in
        bind *:80
        default_backend backend_servers
    
    backend backend_servers
        server sv1 172.27.153.1:80
    
    listen stats
        bind *:8080
        stats enable
        stats uri /
        stats refresh 10s
        stats admin if LOCALHOST
    
  12. Reboot the Pi.

Now when you issue HTTP calls to the Pi, they’ll goto the PVS6.

Setting up Home Assistant

I use Node-RED for most of my automations, so the following is how I poll the PVS6 from Node-RED.

Node-RED PVS6

Basically what I do is make an HTTP call to the Raspberry Pi over the WiFi interface that redirects to the PVS6. Using the information from the GitHub repo I found, the call is: http://10.0.3.55/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList

I then parse out the different devices that are returned (one for each inverter, one for the monitoring unit, one for the consumption meter and one for the production meter). My installer didn’t hook up the consumption meter, but I use an older version of the Rainforest Automation EAGLE-200 to connect to my electric meter and get consumption data.

This Node-RED flow generates multiple sensors that can then be used to display data right in Home Assistant or in Grafana. There is more information in the output than I need such as AC voltage, DC voltage, AC current, DC, current, etc. I use Home Assistant’s HTTP interface to create new sensors and since I have no idea how fast it can respond, I rate limit the updating of the sensors.

You can download my Node-RED flow from here.

Grafana

I’m going to leave it as an exercise for the reader to setup pretty pictures in Grafana. I’ve setup a basic dashboard and some other graphs. The per panel graphs are useful to tell me if a panel isn’t operating properly. While SunPower doesn’t really want you to know this information, it is very helpful. My system was turned on (my installer and SunPower can remotely disable my system which really bothers me) yesterday and I noticed that 1 of the panels wasn’t generating power. This amounts to about 8% of my overall system; most people wouldn’t know this which makes it even more important to be able to get status on a per panel basis.

Energy Dashboard

Energy Usage

Per Panel Monitoring

Conclusion

I’ve written up this guide to help others, but also to refresh my memory in the future to figure out what I did. My home automation system is growing more and more complex by the day and if I don’t document at least parts of it, I’ll never be able to troubleshoot it.

Feel free to ask questions or provide comments.

84 Replies to “Monitoring a SunPower Solar System”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the great post. I have a question about how do you get the real time energy consumption. I am not so clear about the “net_ltea_3phsum_kwh” and “p_3phsum_kw” meaning even after checking the GitHub page. can you make it more clearly to me? Thank you.

    1. Hi Rick,

      I believe that “net_ltea_3phsum_kwh” is the total number of kWh consumed (cumulative) and “p_3phsum_kw” is the current (at the time measured) number of kW being used. Since the consumption monitor was not hooked up for me, my values are all zero.

      I hope that helps.

    1. Hi Odin,

      It is through the REST API. Node-RED has an interface to it, so I don’t directly use the API. A request is something like this:

      /states/sensor.inverter_total_power_E00121942059984


      {
      "attributes": {
      "friendly_name": "Total Power",
      "icon": "mdi:flash",
      "unit_of_measurement": "kWh"
      },
      "state": 138.3355
      }

      I hope that helps.

  2. Scott,

    Thanks. Great post.

    I am interested in something much simpler – basically checking the health of each panel periodically (monthly?) to make sure they are working properly.

    My question is: why do you need the RPi in between. Could not a program on a home computer simply make an HTTP request directly to the PVS6, assuming the IP address on the home network is known?

    1. Hi Brownell,

      The PVS6 doesn’t have a way to communicate with it from your LAN. The Raspberry Pi is necessary because the HTTP requests can ONLY be made to the installer Ethernet port and not the regular Ethernet port (or WiFi). The Pi acts as a bridge so that you can route requests from your LAN to the installer Ethernet port.

      I hope that helps.

      1. Scott,

        Thanks for the quick reply. I have a couple more questions. (I am doing this for a friend and don’t know a lot about the SunPower.)

        where is the device that the RPi connects to via Ethernet? Is there some control box in the house, or is it on the roof with the panels?
        do I use a regular Ethernet cable or a crossover?
        when the RPi ports are configured as you describe, I can use software like Postman to send the HTTP Posts to the RPi and they will be forwarded to the SunPower and I will get the responses. Right?

        Thanks,
        Brownell

        1. Hi Brownwell,

          The PVS6 (monitoring device) is usually located in the garage or near the electrical panel. I use a regular Ethernet cable to connect it to the Pi. In my case, I have Ethernet going from my garage to my equipment rack, so I have the Pi sitting in my rack.

          Yes, you can use Postman or the like to send requests to the Pi which then sends the requests to the PVS6.

          Keep asking questions!

  3. Scott,

    Sorry for another question. You are going to need two Ethernet ports on the RPi. How did you do that? Does Ethernet over USB work? I am using an RPi 4 that already has one RF45 port on it.

    Thanks again,
    Brownell

    1. You’ll either need 2 Ethernet ports or Ethernet and WiFi. Ethernet is required to plug into the PVS6 and Ethernet or WiFi connects to your LAN. I’m using a Pi Zero W which doesn’t have native Ethernet, so I have a “hat” that provides Ethernet (actually using USB). I have the PVS6 connected to the Ethernet port and the Pi is on my LAN on WiFi; I like hardwired connections, but this is what I had on hand and it seems to work well.

  4. Thanks for this excellent write-up. My Sunpower supervisor is an SMS-PVS20R1 as opposed to a PVS6. It’s got two LAN ports. Do you think the approach you outline will also work? I have a spare Pi 2 and WiFi dongle so I can just give it a try, but I thought I’d ask.

      1. Unfortunately, it did not work with my SMS-PVS20R1. I connected the Pi2 with WiFi dongle to one of the LAN ports. I could SSH into the Pi no problem. However, when I executed http:///cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList after 20 seconds or so I got a 503 Service Unavailable.

        I checked haproxy status on the Pi and it looked right. So I gather the PVS20R1 just has a different interface,

          1. Oops, I need to report back a different result with my SMS-PCS20R1 Supervisor. When I did this originally, I disconnected the PowerLine adapter that the LAN1 on the Supervisor was using because that was my only convenient source of power. Then I plugged LAN1 into the Pi, and I got the 503 Service Unavailable error when using the HTTP GET request. So, today I worked a bit harder and got an extension cord, so I left the PowerLine adapter plugged in with LAN1 connected. Then I connected the supervisor LAN2 to the Pi, and the HTTP GET request works and I can get the DeviceList and DeviceDetails. The payload is a little different than the PVS6, but the basic information is there.

            So, the lesson I learned is that you need to use the other LAN port for this to work; in fact you may have written that and I just didn’t notice.

  5. This is really cool what you have done! With the SunPower partner site being inaccessible now, I would like to be able to check my production at the panel level ad-hoc (like 1x a month), similar to a previous comment. However, I don’t have experience using a Pi. The closest I have done to anything with programming is installing custom rom’s on Android phones. Do you think I could figure this out? You have great instructions on here, but will have some simple questions, would you be willing to help out a NOOB once I get my Pi? If I can at least get the raw data to see the production, I would be happy, but would also love to learn to build a dashboard eventually.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Getting the raw data is fairly straightforward; the dashboard is where the fun lies! Hopefully my instructions are complete; I can try to help, but can’t guarantee it.

      1. Thanks Scott! While messing around today, I was able to get the raw data by just plugging in my laptop to the installer port and go to 172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList. I don’t think I really need a Pi now. However, so I don’t have to go physically connect my laptop every time I want to pull data, shouldn’t I be able to use an old router to bridge my PVS6 to my network? My PVS6 is connected to my wireless network currently. I assume I would need to plug the WAN port of the old router into the installer port of the PVS6. I assume I need to change something on my router to 172.27.153.1 (or 172.27.153.0), but not sure what. And then I assume I need to connect one of the LAN ports on my old router to my existing network. Any tips / advice?

        1. Hi Alan,

          I think that you could use an old router, but I don’t know how you’d do it. Basically the old router would be a bridge and I’ve only done that with Linux (and that was ages ago). You might be able to find some tips online on how to accomplish this. I wish I had better news; good luck!

        2. I am following to see if there is a way to do it wireless. I wish someone could design an app that connects to the monitoring system. it sucks that the sun power monitoring site is not working anymore. For some reason I think my current (August) daily production is almost 4kwh less that what I was producing in May 2020.

          1. But the Raspberry Pi in the above guide from Scott does do it wirelessly, that is how I use it! I have a Pi-zero-W attached to the mamangement interface on the PVS6, powered via the usb in the PVS6, then hooked up to my wifi. Then Scotts node-RED script is doing the polling. I then stick it in an InfluxDB on my Home-assistant setup where the Node-RED is running, and can see the stats in Grafana. The only thing Scotts guide is not covering is the graph setup, and specific setup on Home-assistant, but there are plenty of other guides for that!

          2. Hi Odln. How did you connect your Pi-Zero-W to the PSV6? (https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-zero-w/). From looking online, it shows that the RPI-zero-w only has a micro usb and hdmi. How does it connect to the PVS6 when ethernet is required? Or is there a USB connection on the management interface of PVS6 that can be used to both transfer data and power the RPI-zero-w. Also, does the RPI-zero-w fit inside the case of the PVS6 or require its own casing? My PVS6 will sit outside in the sun, and I was wondering if the small chip and usb cable will sit inside the housing

          3. Hi Peter! Get the raspberry Pi-Zero-W (important to get the W version). Then I got this case: https://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Heatsink-Raspberry-Wireless-C4Labs/dp/B01HP636I4/
            Then install the Pi according to Scotts instructions above (HA-proxy stuff). Then get an adapter for a USB to Ethernet, I had one lying around for the FireTV-stick that was unused, so I know that one works! https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Ethernet-Adapter-Fire-Devices/dp/B074TC662N/
            Plug the Ethernet adapter to the mgmt interface on the PVS6, and the USB-end to the Pi. At this point, you should be able to SSH to the Pi over your local network, and then send curl commands (i.e. curl http://172.27.153.1:80/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList) and also send the same command with the Pi IP-address from a computer on your network.
            Now install NodeRED on Home-assistant, and modify Scotts flow to work for you. Then follow Frencks 15-min guide on how to setup Influx and Grafana (https://youtu.be/m9qIqq104as) on Home-assistant. After this, all you need to do is create the graphs you want! This is what I have, and it works great!

          4. Forgot to say, but it all fits neatly inside the PVS6 box, no outside cables needed! The Ethernet to USB is powered from the USB-port on the PVS6!

  6. Ugh.. I really want to do panel level monitoring but the above seems a bit more complicated than what I’m used to. Why doesn’t Sunpower allow this? Is there a very watered down easy way to do this?

    I was also wondering, do you know if I installed the Enphase IQ Envoy with this, it would work and I could monitor the Enphase IQ 7AS inverters on the Sunpower? Or is that a waste of money.. I know they cost around 500 USD

    Another option I was looking at was Solar Analytics where you install onto the main panel I believe, but I’m not sure if it provides panel level monitoring. Its an AU based company but has really good reviews

    The thing about the above option is that my boxes/panels will all be outside on the side of my house which is right by the street. I would need to figure out how to get power etc. Also I’ve never configured a RPI but I’m not tech illiterate and can probably figure it out. I wish there was a more simpler way to access this. Also, what keeps Sunpower from updating something that might prevent from the RPI pulling the information in the future?

    1. Hi Peter,

      I don’t know if the off the shelf Enphase can monitor the SunPower system even though the system (at least mine) is using Enphase inverters.

      Nothing will keep Sunpower from updating to make this stop working; my hope is that they’d go the other way and actually provide a documented API that lets us do local monitoring on our LAN without this type of bridge.

      I wish I had better information for you; when I had my system installed, I had them put the PVS6 in the garage where I had access to 2 Cat 6 drop. 1 drop goes to my LAN and the other goes to my Pi.

  7. Peter, if I followed Odin response – his setup would work for you. Pi Ethernet port connects to installer port. Use Wifi on the Pi to connect back to your network. He indicated he is powering the Pi via the USB in the PVS6. There is room in the PVS6 to house a Pi, so that setup may work for you. However, setting up the Pi is a hurdle for many (including myself). I may still try it, but there was a post on solarpaneltalk forums about using an old router, unfortunately, that site has been down for a couple days. Scott has done a great job here, so thank you, but for those of us who have minimal/no linux/pi experience, it can be daunting without screenshots/video.

  8. The problem I have is powering the Pi. I have an SMS-PVS20R1 Supervisor which I found will work with the Pi 2, however there’s not enough room in the box to get in PowerLine adapter in there to allow both the LAN1 connection for the SunPower ethernet cable and a power cord for the Pi. Nor is there a USB port on the supervisor to power the Pi. I ran extension cables to show the system worked. I’d have to Jerry-rig something pretty ugly to get it working full time. Out of curiosity, if I use a Pi Zero, do I get Power over Ethernet which would then fix my problem (i.e., I wouldn’t need a power source for the Pi)?

    1. Hi Eric,

      A Pi Zero, out of the box, doesn’t have Ethernet. You’d need an Ethernet adapter. The Pi Zero W also doesn’t have Ethernet, but has WiFi; in the case I’ve outlined, you need both WiFi and Ethernet. You can’t use a true PoE Ethernet adapter as the Pi Zero W doesn’t handle it, but there are splitters take PoE input and then split it out into Ethernet and a micro USB adapter which would power the Pi.

  9. Scott,
    I’m sorry, when I wrote my text I was sloppy in terms of discussion of the components. If I get a Pi Zero W and use the Ethernet Adapter you suggest (the HAT), are you suggesting I can get a splitter that will take the ethernet out of LAN2 on the Supervisor and provide a micro USB power for the Pi plus an Ethernet connection to the Pi? If so that’s great, although strictly speaking I don’t know if the SMS-PVS20R1 LAN2 port is strictly ethernet or PoE.

    1. Hi Eric,

      I searched on Amazon and something like this takes 802.3af PoE and splits it to 10/100 Ethernet and a USB micro USB connector. So you just need your switch to be PoE or find a different PoE adapter (plenty on Amazon that are either 802.3af or are 2 parts that combine power and Ethernet in a passive manner). I hope that helps.

      1. Hi Scott
        I think we’re talking past each other a little bit. The ethernet connection to the Pi is coming from the SunPower SMS-PVS20R1 Supervisor. So, if the SMS-PVS20R1 is providing PoE, everything works. If not, I am stuck without convenient power to the Pi.

        1. Hi Eric,

          Yes, you are correct that I’m confused 😀 If your Pi had 2 Ethernet ports and you were connecting to your LAN via Ethernet, then you could do what I set. However, in the setup I’ve outlined, you’re right that this won’t work. Kind of funny that it is so hard to get power to a solar unit!

          1. It’s actually a little frustrating, I’d really like to get the data but I can find no good setup for doing so. I’ll get a PoE splitter given they are cheap but I expect it won’t work because the PVS20R1 Supervisor is likely just ethernet.

            Back in 1993 I actually built and raced a solar car across the US and Australia (the car is in a museum now, actually) so I have a long-standing interest in solar power. Actually back in 1990 I met Richard Swanson, the founder of SunPower. Little did I know twenty-five years later his company’s panels would be on my roof!

          2. Hi Eric,

            That’s cool about the solar car! I wonder if you could get the supervisor replaced with a newer one. The PVS6 is very much over built as it has something like 4 USB ports, the LAN port, the installer RJ45 port, WiFi, and cellular!

  10. Hah! My wife would probably hang me if I start tearing into the power system here at the house! But I sure would like a better piece of hardware like the PVS6!

    1. I’ll touch low voltage and can wire outlets, but there is no way that I’d touch the solar system! Personally I wish there was a real, local API for it that was supported I am not looking forward to the day that it breaks.

  11. Thanks Scott for the info. I just want to make sure I buy the right parts…

    The Raspberry Pi Zero W. And also the splitter you linked above. So if I understood it correctly, I would connect an ethernet into the PSV6 and the other end into the splitter. Then connect the splitter, micro usb end to the RPI0W for power, and the ethernet end into another ethernet adapter to micro usb, and plug that into the RPI0W for data. Whew, thats a lot of cords/adapters! After all that, then I can load the stuff onto the RPI0W per your initial instructions in the blog? You should make a business out of this and just sell the units with everything upload 🙂 I’d buy one haha

    1. Hi Peter,

      I was confused. The PoE splitter won’t work as you’re plugging the Ethernet into the PVS6. As Eric pointed out, you can just connect a USB cable from one of the USB ports on the PVS6 to the Pi Zero W to provide power. Then with the Ethernet hat, plug that into the supervisor port on the PVS6.

      1. That makes much more sense. usb between PSV6 and Pi for the power, and then ethernet with hat to usb for the data. Would you mind posting a link for a suitable ethernet hat for the zero W?

  12. I added a tiny cheap tp link n300 router to monitor box, connected to LAN Ethernet port and powered via usb port in monitor. Able to connect wirelessly via phone or laptop and get the json panel data via the DeviceList command in browser. Nice to have with the partner site cutoff!

    1. Could you post the link to the device you bought or used? I didn’t see any tplink n300 that had an Ethernet port as well as a usb power. My pvs6 will be outside so I’d like to have something small enough that will fit inside the housing of the pvs6

        1. So I finally have my PVS6 installed and I just purchased the n300 multi mode extender. I planned to place this inside the cover of the box and connect the usb for power and Ethernet for the comms. However, does this extender need to be configured? Or how do you access the PVS6 info from a computer once everything is connected?

  13. I was able to configure an old router as the bridge between my new SunPower system (PVS6) and my local LAN. Here is what I did, following previous postings here and on the SolarPanelTalk Forum.
    – Connect the old router WAN port to the PVS6 installer’s ethernet port. Configure the WAN as Static and give it the address 172.27.153.2, one number above the 172.27.153.1 (PVS6 address), use 255.255.255.0 as the Mask and 172.27.153.1 as the gateway and DNS. For the second DNS, I used 8.8.8.8. At last, configure the old router with a Static LAN address for your local network. In my case, I used 192.168.1.170. Do not forget to turn off DHCP on the old router as well and Wi-Fi if not using it. Connect one of the LAN ports of the old router to your local network.

    Now you need to create 2 Static routes. One in your LAN router pointing to the 172.27.153.0 (Destination), 255.255.255.0 (Subnet Mask) and 192.168.1.170 (Gateway/LAN IP of the old router). If your router uses metrics input 10. On the old router connected to the PVS6, add a static route with 192.168.1.0 (Destination), 255.255.255.0 (Subnet Mask) and 172.27.153.1 (Gateway). Basically, the static routes are pointing to each other networks, creating the bridge. Now when I visit the link below in a web browser, I get the info from my system:
    http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList

    Here is one of the micro invertes data:
    “ISDETAIL”: true,
    “SERIAL”: “EXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”,
    “TYPE”: “SOLARBRIDGE”,
    “STATE”: “working”,
    “STATEDESCR”: “Working”,
    “MODEL”: “AC_Module_Type_E”,
    “DESCR”: “Inverter EXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”,
    “DEVICE_TYPE”: “Inverter”,
    “SWVER”: “4.14.5”,
    “PORT”: “”,
    “MOD_SN”: “P22MXXXXXXXX”,
    “NMPLT_SKU”: “”,
    “DATATIME”: “2020,08,26,17,34,24”,
    “ltea_3phsum_kwh”: “43.3751”,
    “p_3phsum_kw”: “0.1871”,
    “vln_3phavg_v”: “248.63”,
    “i_3phsum_a”: “0.75”,
    “p_mpptsum_kw”: “0.1873”,
    “v_mppt1_v”: “56.06”,
    “i_mppt1_a”: “3.34”,
    “t_htsnk_degc”: “36”,
    “freq_hz”: “59.98”,
    “stat_ind”: “0”,
    “origin”: “data_logger”,
    “OPERATION”: “noop”,
    “CURTIME”: “2020,08,26,17,38,00”
    I blanked the micro inverter serial numbers with XX. I believe that the current panel production is in Kw, so to empress in Watts, panel rated capacity, you need to multiply by 1000, the variables below for AC and DC.
    • p_3phsum_kw: AC Power (kilowatts)
    • p_mpptsum_kw: DC Power (kilowatts)
    In my case, using the example above, my panel is producing 0.1871 x 1000 = 187 watts AC approximately.

    Now, is there a way to run this data or the JSON file in Windows 10 to make the data pretty with graphics? I am looking for a solution that does not require a Linux / RPi config if possible as I am already getting the data via the old router bridge solution. Thanks all for the comments and I hope the above is not to complicated for those trying to use an older router as the bridge. I wish SunPower would provide us the per panel info after spending so much money on them.

    1. Ricardo – you can setup a web query in excel to http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList and pull the data. You can use a macro then to update it every x minutes and push it to a database (in my case another tab). If the solarpanelforum site was up, I would publish more detail there, but that site has been down for several days now.

      Unfortunately you can’t use the equivalent google sheets function as the importhtml function requires a public facing site to work

      1. Thank you Ricardo and Alan. With your help I was able to use an old router to now monitor the PVS6 SunPower panel data on my home LAN. Good thing I did as some of the panels were malfunctioning and I would of had no Idea without the panel level monitoring. I could do the network setup but I am having difficulty setting up Excel to view the information and format it into usable data. Alan, you mentioned that you were going to post additional information on this. Have you done so and if so where can I find it? Hopefully someday SunPower will realize that it is not good business to make their customers spend this kind of time and effort on something most other solar companies include.

  14. Thought about bridging but not sure if that cheap n300 router supports it. May be able to put dd-wrt on it to bridge if it doesn’t. Since I check infrequently is not really necessary for me to have bridge..I just connect to the different ssid and get data using router defaults including dhcp on.

    BTW recent versions of excel allow you to import json data.

  15. Thanks Alan. I tried the the web query but for some reason my Excel version uses the old Internet Explorer 11 instead of the new Edge engine for web querying and does not allow me to import the data, only save to an external file. I am trying to figure out if I could change the Excel default browser to Edge or Chrome which work better displaying the data when accessing http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList .

    1. Not sure what version of excel you are using, but I had Office 2007 running on a old machine. Here is the workaround.
      Create a web query to 172.27.153.1, you will get a few script errors, but you will be able to save the query. Edit the query in notepad and change the address to http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList . Alternatively, create a query file in notepad (sunpower.iqy for example) with the following:
      WEB
      1
      http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList

      Selection=EntirePage
      Formatting=None
      PreFormattedTextToColumns=True
      ConsecutiveDelimitersAsOne=True
      SingleBlockTextImport=False
      DisableDateRecognition=False
      DisableRedirections=False

      1. Alan, the external query worked beautifully, thank you! I created a table on the side grabbing each important cell value from each individual panel and using the cell formatting to remove the comma =(LEFT(E84,SEARCH(“,”, E84)-1)*1000). Now I have a semi-automated Excel spreadsheet that when I open it, it automatically queries the SunPower PVS6 and shows the production table below with an auto update ever minute:

        Panel 1 198.2
        Panel 2 189.7
        Panel 3 195.7
        Panel 4 195.2
        Panel 5 203.4
        Panel 6 266.1
        Panel 7 191.3
        Panel 8 273.7
        Panel 9 273.7
        Panel 10 194.3
        Panel 11 195.7
        Panel 12 200.6
        Panel 13 196
        Panel 14 190.3
        Panel 15 271
        Panel 16 196.2
        Panel 17 193.6

        Producing Total: 3.6471
        Net Metering: -3.8847
        Consuming now: 0.9793

  16. Not sure if you guys have seen this, but all my 17 Micro inverter modules are reporting ERROR in the STATE and STATEDESCR and they are not reporting the per panel info. However the total production seems correct. I am not getting the relevant p_3phsum_kw anymore. Any ideas? I was reading something about possible power line or voltage interfere. Any ideas?

    ISDETAIL: true,
    SERIAL: EXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,
    TYPE: SOLARBRIDGE,
    STATE: error,
    STATEDESCR: Error,
    MODEL: AC_Module_Type_E,
    DESCR: Inverter EXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,
    DEVICE_TYPE: Inverter,
    SWVER: 4.14.5,
    PORT: ,
    MOD_SN: P22MXXXXXXXX,
    NMPLT_SKU: ,
    origin: data_logger,
    OPERATION: noop,
    CURTIME: 2020,09,25,23,56,44

    1. My inverters do that very intermittently and report all zeros for short periods of time, but then they all go back to reporting correctly. It could be caused by a power spike or grid fluctuation. I have noticed that some of the inverters take much longer than others to get back online after a reset or when I turn off the solar breaker. As with yours the PVS6 still reports the correct solar production no matter what the inverters are reporting. I used the secondary router method of connecting and additional router to the PVS6 black configuration port to report the panel level information real-time to any computer on my network.

  17. So I finally have my PVS6 installed and I just purchased the n300 multi mode extender. I planned to place this inside the cover of the box and connect the usb for power and Ethernet for the comms. However, does this extender need to be configured? Or how do you access the PVS6 info from a computer once everything is connected?

    On another note, if my system is sized 6.225 kw but my ac output at its peak midday only hits 4.850kw at its max (clear sunny day), is that normal? I know I won’t get near the 6.225kw since there’s some inefficiencies converting dc to ac, but I thought it would be a little higher. I guess once I can do panel level monitoring setup I can see if any of the panels aren’t functioning. My install crew came back the next day after installing saying that one of the arrays wasn’t plugged in properly, so it’s a little concerning. I am also using the sense smart monitor to monitor the total production of solar. It’s been pretty accurate based on my meter read usage

    1. The total output is always less than the maximum rated output. You will notice that the maximum your system produces will vary throughout the year due to the angle of the sun. My system produces the most in late June when the sun is the most directly overhead. My is an 11.2kw system and the most it produces is 10.5kw. Currently because the sun angle has decreased from vertical the max the system produces 8.3kw. It will continue to drop off through winter and pick up again in the spring. You definitely want to do some kind of panel level monitoring to make sure all of your panels are operating correctly. If I had not had that information, I would have never known that one of my panels was not functioning due to a palm frond shadow. To monitor my individual panels, I used the additional router method described by Ricardo AUGUST 26, 2020 in this blog. It works great and I recommend everyone who has a SunPower system to set it up. I have set mine to provide real-time information on each individual panel reported to an Excel spread sheet. Its really too bad that SunPower does not provide this information. If I would have known I probably would have gone with a different company.

  18. Garu is correct, production changes as the sun angle and seasons change. My system is a 5.7Kw system and the most it has produced is 5.26kw at 1-2pm since installation a couple months ago. Currently it is topping at 4.8kw.

  19. Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments about the peak production and that makes sense. I just didn’t expect it to drop so much I guess, and thought maybe some of the inverters weren’t working. So hopefully having the panel level monitoring setup will ease my concern

    So, I finally have my TP-Link Wireless N Nano Router WR802N installed in my PVS6, however I’m having trouble on configuring the device so I can access it from my home network. So this little device sits inside the housing of the PVS6, and is powered by USB and connects to the partner ethernet port. If I use my laptop to connect to the TP Link Router by changing the wifi connection (TP-Link_XXXX), then I can search in my web browser “http://172.27.153.1/cgi-bin/dl_cgi?Command=DeviceList” and get the information I want. However, I want to make it so this device wirelessly connects to my existing home wifi network, so I can access from my home computer while its connected to the internet. I don’t want to switch between the two wifi networks to get the data I need, since I want to be able to eventually poll every minute and still use my computer with internet. Any tips?

    I tried to follow RIcardos steps, but his directions seem like its more for a wired ‘old’ router that is connected by ethernet to the PVS6, and also connected by ethernet to the home router. In my case, my PVS6 is outside the house. How can I setup the ‘old’ router as wireless so it will connect to my home wifi. I know that the TP-Link Wireless N Nano Router WR802N can act as a client and connect directly to an existing home wifi, or maybe setup as a wireless hotspot?

    When I do the quick setup in TP Link, it gives me a choice of modes (wireless router, hotspot router, access point, range extender, and client). I choose client (which I think was right), then select my 2.4Ghz wifi, confirm the SSID and MAC addresses to be bridged, then it lets me choose LAN type (Smart IP or Static), and then its configured. I tried both Smart IP and Static, but when I try to access the PVS6, it won’t connect. Am I doing something wrong? I thought maybe instead of setting the operation mode to ‘Client’, setting it something else like ‘wireless router’ and figuring out another way to bridge the two. Any tips or help would be appreciated

    1. Peter,
      Have you figured out how to get your NANO bridged from your home network to the PVS? If so, can you share the settings? Thanks.

      1. No I still haven’t… I’ve settled to just connecting to the wifi directly and pulling the data once a month just to see how its producing

        1. No problem.
          Has anyone noticed the change in the SP monitor data reporting? It looks like data/monitor is shut off for 15 mins or so, then turned on and for 10 mins, or so. But the data is still not posted until several hours after it’s measured. Seems the system it was changed circa Nov 12/13.

          1. It appears that they pushed an update to the PVS6.

            "SWVER": "2020.9, Build 6415"

            I have no idea what the changes are; it would be nice if it added a direct local interface, but I doubt it.

    2. Something you might try to increase your production is to clean your panels. Mine were quite dirty with ash from all the fires and some construction dust from my neighbors. I cleaned mine and thanks to panel level monitoring there is a 30 watt per panel increase which on my system means almost a 1000 watt increase overall which is significant! I cleaned two panels at first and compared the production to the dirty panels. I almost couldn’t believe there was a 30 watt per panel difference. I had read somewhere that cleaning wasn’t that important but in my case it sure made a difference. My system is about 1.5 years old and this was the first cleaning. I will clean them once a year from now on.

  20. I have the same question as Peter, I believe. I’m trying to set up to connect wirelessly to the monitor.
    Using my old TP-Link N450 (TL-WR940N) to make the bridge. I believe I have it set up with the necessary pointing, but I can’t get my LAN router (Netgear R7400) to establish a static IP to 172.27.153.0. I believe the R7400 must see the device on the network before a static IP can be assigned to it. In any event, I’m using the TP-Link MAC address and it tells me 172.27.153.0 is an invalid IP. Any recommendations?

    1. Sorry. Ignore my prior post. It was easier than I thought. I set up my old router as an ACCESS POINT, gave the WAN the necessary static IP address, named the resulting wifi net and VOILA! I can access the data on the new network . Although it’s not on my main network, it’s accessible all the same.
      Excel 2013 won’t access the url directly ( …I don’t know why), but I can save the .json file and import it to Excel from there with the proper delimiter removal.

  21. It seems that even tho the WR802N supports WISP and will wirelessly connect to “Public” wifi, it won’t connect wirelessly to a home/private network. Is that right??

    1. Hi Prateek,

      Thats great that it worked! I actually don’t calculate From Grid and To Grid. I use a box from Rainforest Automation that talks to my electric meter. If the number from it is positive, that is from grid; if it is negative, it is to grid. So for total usage, I combine it with the solar production to get usage.

      1. Aha..Thanks for the clarification. I do have a consumption and production meter hooked up with my solar. Wondering which “key” from json would give me those values.

          1. Found the JSON node, but would you know which tells the information about grid usages?

            ISDETAIL : true
            SERIAL : “PVS6xxc”
            TYPE : “PVS5-METER-C”
            STATE : “working”
            STATEDESCR : “Working”
            MODEL : “PVS6xxc”
            DESCR : “Power Meter PVS6xxc”
            DEVICE_TYPE : “Power Meter”
            SWVER : “3000”
            PORT : “”
            DATATIME : “2020,11,10,18,48,13”
            ct_scl_fctr : “100”
            net_ltea_3phsum_kwh : “976.23”
            p_3phsum_kw : “0.4642”
            q_3phsum_kvar : “-0.111”
            s_3phsum_kva : “0.5667”
            tot_pf_rto : “0.8202”
            freq_hz : “60”
            CAL0 : “100”
            origin : “data_logger”
            OPERATION : “noop”
            CURTIME : “2020,11,10,18,48,14”

  22. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this and thank you to everyone who provided such helpful comments!

    I was able to follow the instruction and get this up and running with my PVS6 and home assistant.

    1. Hi Pat,

      Unfortunately I don’t know if this works with the PVS5X. You could give it a try, but I have no idea if it runs the same firmware as the PVS6 and if this monitoring is possible. Sorry I don’t have better news.

      1. Thank you Scott. I will give it a try. By the way, how does SunPower knows that you were monitoring your own panels and are you able to view to this day?

        1. Hi Pat,

          I don’t know if SunPower knows about my monitoring; I suspect they don’t, but could change things via a firmware update later. I’m still able to monitor on the SunPower site as well as my local monitoring.

Leave a Reply to Deo A Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.