So I recently got an emonPI and an emonTX with the idea of monitoring both electric consumption for my house and electric generation from my solar panels.
Quick details on the setup:
I have the emonTX running off batteries attached to the house meter outside in its box transmitting to the emonPI.
The emonPI is connected to the input (DC+?) of the solar panel inverter. I can’t however access the generation output, it feeds via I think a multi-core cable into a cut-off switch and meter and then off somewhere into the house. There is a separate meter for FIT export so I’ve added a pulse sensor here.
First question is how to set this up in emonCMS so I get actual generation, import and export values (especially in things like My Electric).
I can’t answer your questions about setting up emonCMS, but one thing struck me immediately:
Have you attached the emonPi’s current transformer to the d.c. cable between the panels and the inverter?
Because if you have, I’ve got some bad news for you: NO transformer - and that includes your current transformer - can work on direct current. The laws of nature simply don’t allow it. That would explain your reading of 8 W - it is just noise picked up out of the air, or coming in via the emonPi’s power supply.
If you want or need to actually measure the actual generation, you’ll need to find a single core cable leaving the inverter and clip the c.t. on that, before it joins the rest of the house wiring. Does your FIT meter have 4 single-core cables in and out? That’s one place where you might be able to clip a c.t. The pulses from your FIT meter will be the best you can get if you cannot find a suitable cable.
That will give you the current, it will give you an approximation of apparent power (because it assumes a nominal voltage, and your voltage will fluctuate, possibly quite widely, over the course of the day, but unfortunately it cannot tell you real power (what your meter shows) nor the direction of power flow, so you cannot tell whether you are importing or exporting power.
All in all, I think you’re going to have to look carefully at your wiring and find places where you can monitor so that you can gather rather more meaningful data. If you’re not completely confident with electricity, I’d advise consulting a qualified electrician.
That’s correct. You can think of your house wiring as one pool of electricity. Once your panels generate some electricity, it goes in, and it’s got to go somewhere. If you don’t use it, it goes out to the grid. If you want to use some and your panels aren’t generating enough, it flows in from the grid. The grid will always supply or absorb the difference between what you generate and what you use.