Category: Raspberry Pi

SolarRiver, PVOutput and the Raspberry Pi

By , 5 December, 2013 3:10 pm

SamilPowerI originally had my PV solar panels and inverter installed on the 12th August 2012 (15 months ago) and since then I have always wanted to get all the statistics logged.  I was originally planing on logging to a local database which would then require a custom application written to pull the information from the inverter and to then pull that data into usable information.

SolarRiver

since then I came across PVOutput which looked fantastic and offered the facility to upload the statistics from your inverter allowing you to access a WEB site that presented the information to you in good looking graphs.  When I stumbled across this site I just had to use it rather than going to the effort of producing my own.

One problem I contended with was I could not justify the cost of leaving a computer on for the six to eight hours a day just to obtain the statistics form the inverter.  My computer seems to use on average 120 watts per hour, meaning it would coast at current electricity prices nearly $300 every year just to accumulate the data.

Raspberry Pi

Some time ago I came across the Raspberry Pi which is a small computer utilising the ARM chipset. This device only uses two watts per hour meaning the yearly cost is well under $10 per year for eight hours a day of operation or under $20 per year to run 24*7.  So this became a real viable option.  I currently use the Raspberry Pi for my home PBX system and for running my own private cloud solution which uses BitTorrent Sync.

Three and a half weeks have passed since I have configured my rPi to gather the logs from my Inverters and the data is starting to produce some useful information.

I have two individual systems.  A 2kW and a 3kW.  The 2kW is facing North East and the 3kW is facing North West.

If you are interested in building your own system I do have a document on how to build and configure your own.  Please go to PVOutput_with_the_Raspberry_Pi_and_SolarRiver_Inverters on my Wiki for details.

Raspberry Pi and Asterisk. A PBX for Under AU$75.

By , 27 October, 2012 9:45 pm

Raspberry PiWell how about this, a fully functional PBX system for under $75, now that is crazy.  My PBX was running as a virtual machine, I have now installed a Raspberry Pi and I am one happy chappy.  The unit draws no more than 3 watts of power which is about AU$6 per year based on current electricity prices.

So what is a Raspberry Pi I hear you ask.  Well it is a Linux based computer (can run many flavours) with 2 USB ports, a 10/100 NIC, HDMI and RCA video out running an ARM processor.

There is also a XBMC image out there anyone wanting a cheap media centre, but I digress.

I’ve install Arch Linux, with Asterisk, along with some other utilities to make a fully functional enterprise level PBX system.  I haven’t done any upper limit testing but from what I can see you should be able to run 25 extensions with about 10 simultinous SIP calls or PRI if you want to purchase a Digium G100 device.

As the processor is not like a desktop or file server you are not able to transcode between the g729 codec so I have configured my PBX to use only ulaw, which is not a big deal.  It just means it uses slightly more bandwidth on phone calls using your Internet connection.

Anyone wanting to build thier own PBX can accomplish this by:

  1. AU$38. Purchasing the Raspberry Pi from element14
  2. AU$8.72. Purchase a case from element14 (black, white, clear)
  3. AU$12. Purchase a SD Card. (class 10)
  4. AU$1. Purchase a micro USB cable.
  5. AU$15. Purchase a good quality USB adapter that supports a minimum of 1.5A. (1500 ma)Raspberry Pi, PCB.

eBay is the best place to purchase the SD card, USB cable (you may already have a spare) and a power adapter.

I have also created instructions on how to build your own.  You can do it manually by following the instructions on my Wiki at the Asterisk for Raspberry Pi page or you can download an image, copy it to a SD card, boot and away you go withing minutes.  You can view the instructions and image download from my Wiki page Asterisk for Raspberry Pi Image.

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