Hi first off I’m Danny im from Oklahoma USA and have always been in the diy side of energy.
I have many cobbled together systems including 8k in solar panels 4k in Grid-ties 2 Battery banks one lifepo4 at 930ah at 24v and the other experimental 256v 60ah li-ion 18650 bank. and a 3kw air-cooled diesel gen with plans on wind also. My home is a 1920 2 story home at 2300sqft all done is the wireless hating stucco concrete wire-mesh. almost finished replacing all the ceramic single cloth wrapped wire in the house so now its time to get in to the monitoring which is why im here.
SO with all that being said I’m really looking to make my system wired not wireless if possible and I would like to monitor everything. Solar, battery’s, generator, even control of those items also if possible. so far all my breakers are broken down by room and most have 2 breakers. my electrical is the typical 3 wire 240 200amp service.
My questions to start with is where should I start.
1 what is the difference in the Base-station vs emonpi
2 If I don’t want to use the wireless option Hardwired connection only can I get modules with out it and is that easily done? Has anyone else only done hardwired only?
3 does this system offer things like control routines like disconnects and what not? like pump on of controls and battery disconnect and reconnect.
and lastly is there anyone that likes helping new people that would be willing to help me learn through this whole system. Maybe even use discord or phone to talk about the setup and project?
Also anyone in the US near Oklahoma that maybe we could meet up and share projects? and/or help each other out. Its hard to run in to people with the same engineering mindset.
THX in advance Danny
Welcome, Danny, to the OEM forum.
I’ll answer just the first two questions, because the rest are outside my area of knowledge.
The emonTx is the fundamental device for sensing - principally current and voltage (hence power and energy) but throw in pulses and temperature as well. It sends its data primarily by ISM band radio, but you can hard-wire it (but only one) over a short distance, or use a serial-to-Ethernet adapter, or have the version with a Wi-Fi adapter built-in - and yes, it’s well-hidden in the Shop website.
The emonBase is the base station to receive, primarily by radio, the data from sensing nodes such as the emonTx’s and emonTHs. It comprises a Raspberry Pi with a radio receiver attached.
The emonPi combines the two - it senses current (but only 2 channels) and one voltage, pulses and temperature, has a radio to receive the data, and the Raspberry Pi.
In the emonPi and the emonBase, the Raspberry Pi is a server that runs the emonCMS software, making the data and graphs etc available on your LAN.
So that description pretty much answers the first two questions, I think. The emonTx isn’t available without the ISM band radio, but the radio can be disabled in software. And if you’re not using the ISM band radio, a bare Raspberry Pi will do the job of the emonBase.
One tip I heard many years ago - put in pipes linking strategic places in your house, into which you can run cables, both now and in the future as your needs and technology changes.
One of my colleagues lives in Oklahoma, so he might be willing to help with his local knowledge - I’m in the UK.
I’m the “colleague” Robert mention in the post above this one.
Shoot me a PM and we’ll take it from there.
I appreciate the clarity and information. you did answer the questions clearly I believe. and Im one step ahead of you already have ran extra wires. appreciate the tip.
So would either you for see any issues going non wireless or would it just be easier to stay in the ism band? it just seems silly if I was using multiple units in my panel box and having them all less than a foot apart. My current plan is to have at least one CT per circuit breaker which means I need a minimum of 24 total that would be 6 emonTXes in less than a foot apart which in its self may cause issues. wish they had modules that had more than 4 I guess I just want more control than most.
I wouldn’t recommend 6 emonTx’s all trying to transmit on the same frequency (which they must). Even though the modern software tries to check that the band is free before it transmits, there’s no guarantee there won’t be collisions, and with 6, the risk is significant.
That’s a fair observation - it was looking hopeful that there might be at some point, but now I’m not holding my breath.