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MPP 4048 inverter software for data display and control

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1. What is LŪCIBUS


LŪCIBUS is a software created for some inverters made by MPP SOLAR. It was developed in VB6.

Specifically it has been tested on the PIP 4048 model, but many people use it successfully with lower amperage models.

 


2. The main reason for which it was created


First we need to say, that for these inverters there are various displays and control software.
Among the many, I remember WATCHPOWER, that is the one provided in the kit, and another, named PATROL, created (by an Italian customer) basing on the example of  watchpower basic but much more dynamic and complete.
At the moment (June 2016) both are missing of the ability to change the type of charge dynamically and automatically basing on your personal needs.
Usually the charge of the batteries is set to "solar", that indicates the sun as the only source of recharge. If it rains (especially in winter), the batteries are not charged or are not sufficiently recharged.
This situation, with time, damages the batteries due to their natural self-discharge.
During the night, you should manually change the way of charging, selecting "line" option, in order to refresh batteries, but only when and if needed.

 

 


3. What it does


LŪCIBUS, on the basis of such needs, makes this change automatically and transparently by putting the inverter in "line charge", and then allowing it to charge the batteries, but only in an specific time slot and only if batteries voltage is below a predetermined minimum threshold. When the schedule is no longer included in the one configured or the maximum threshold has been exceeded, LŪCIBUS comes back to "solar charge".
Later, I added some other features, mainly based on data visualization.
At the beginning  I programmed data to be recorded every fifteen minutes, so to obtain and store a sufficiently large but at the same time not too heavy history log.
Then, I tried to rationalize and insert on main page the most important data, leaving out those not necessary.
The result is a very light and visible user interface, together with a web visualization. In fact, I installed a mini-web server within the code, which gives the situation in real time on any connected smartphone.
Finally I added some graphs: battery voltage, peak panels, consumption, production and others.

 

 


4. How it works 


LŪCIBUS works connected to the serial port that is available on the inverter.
This serial port is designed to connect the remote display, which - in humble my opinion - should be a mandatory and not optional purchase .
In fact the inverter, usually, is not usually located in a convenient or easily accessible location: attic, garage ...
The frequent necessary controls are mentally tiring if you have to perform them by going every time in front of the inverter.
Said that, even if we don't own an external display, we can obtain updated information connecting the inverter to a serial port and executing watchpower.
How does it happen?
Quite simply, watchpower cyclically sends specific commands and inverter answers.
The command list is contained in the PDF document that you can find at the end of this page.
The most used and important ones are:
QMOD: it answers providing status of the inverter (mains or battery-only);
QPIGS: it answers providing a number of data such as voltages, frequencies, types of load, ampere discharge, current consumption etc.;
QPIRI: it answers providing the current configurations present in relation to batteries, ways of charging, etc.
For example, if I send the QMOD string through the serial port, the inverter will answer in various ways, two of which are: L, to indicate that loads are powered by LINE or B, to indicate that we are disconnected from line and loads are powered by BATTERY or SOLAR.
To understand this further difference, you have to send QPIGS command, that contains a value indicating how many amps the inverter is using from the batteries. If this value is 0 (no battery consumption), it means that "we are using sun power." If it is> 0 means that "we are using battery power".
The record layout of the inverter answer is fortunately fixed therefore at specific column position is always present the same information.
Known this, it's not difficult to create a software suitable for our needs: it is only a matter of time ...

 

 

Here you can see some program screenshots

main

battery daily graph

loads monthly graph

tool used to send direct commands

timer for setting line charge

web page example on smartphone

 


5. Files  


You can find all info about available files, releases and news on

 

 

 

 

(sorry - only italian language)

 


6. Contacts


This is my contact :

 

E-mail : gidel@homoandroidus.com

 


6. Disclaimer


THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

 

 

 

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