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Thursday, 23 May 2019 Dereel Images for 23 May 2019
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Understanding solar electricity charge transitions
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

I'm still trying to come to terms with the solar electricity inverter. As I've noted a number of times over the last month, it doesn't make sense to start charging from the grid when the battery charge level drops to 20%. So how about getting it to start at 19% and stop at 20%? That way it would only charge when it had been off the grid, which is what I would want.

But that doesn't work. There's no way to explicitly tell it when to start. There seem to be the following parameters:

So would it to make sense to set SOCmin or SOCrecx to 19%? Tried the former, without much success. It still switched in at 20%. And I'm concerned that if I do things wrong, I may end up with no power. In the end set the charge power to 50 W and the charge limit to 30%. The battery has a capacity of 6.4 kWh, so this means 640 Wh at 50 W, or 12.8 hours to charge.

That seemed to work, but when I came into the office this morning I had:

 
This should be Ingeteam-dashboard-1-detail.png.  Is it missing?
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Oh. Charge was below 30%, so it looks like it was charging from both. In the database I had:

+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status  | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-23 08:34:32 |  -55 | On-grid |   29 |  268 |       0 |  -1331 |  1276 | 0      | 2562 |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

But why? Once it becomes feasible to charge from the PV array, it should stop charging from the grid, even if the limit hasn't been reached.

In passing, it's worth comparing these numbers. PacPV is 1276, matching “PV Generation” in the display. PacBat is -1331, matching “Battery charge from Grid” in the display. W1 is 2562, matching “Grid Consumption” in the display. But what's the relationship between the number in the middle and Pac? The number in the middle is the sum of PacPV and W1. Pac is PacPV + PacBat. The power supplied to the house is clearly PacPV + PacBat + W1, or 2507, a number that shows up nowhere.

While I was scratching my head, I got this:

 
This should be Ingeteam-dashboard-2-detail.png.  Is it missing?
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+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status  | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-23 08:38:18 | 2437 | On-grid |   29 |  263 |       0 |    874 |  1250 | 0      |  145 |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

Now PacPV, PacBat and W1 are as before, but Pac is the number in the middle + W1, and it matches the power actually being provided to the house. Again the “dashboard” doesn't show this value.

Still below 30%, but now it's discharging the battery! It took me a while to realize that we had had a state transition in between:

+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status  | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-23 08:37:20 |  -52 | On-grid |   29 |  267 |       0 |  -1365 |  1312 | 0      | 2159 |
| 2019-05-23 08:37:21 | 1904 | On-grid |   30 |  267 |       0 |    225 |  1264 | 0      |  206 |
| 2019-05-23 08:37:23 | 2437 | On-grid |   30 |  267 |       0 |   1222 |  1215 | 0      |   93 |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

So that probably makes sense after all.

And then there's this:

 
This should be dashboard-4-detail.png.  Is it missing?
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+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status  | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1    |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------+
| 2019-05-23 11:46:33 | 3738 | On-grid |   92 |  269 |       0 |   -540 |  4278 | 0      | -2788 |
+---------------------+------+---------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+-------+

Now PacPV, PacBat and W1 are as before. The number in the dashboard is the power being supplied to the house (for once!), and Pac is PacPV + PacBat.

The battery isn't fully charged, but it is only charging at a little over 500 W (from the PV array). It has enough power over to export the maximum permissible power to the grid. Why isn't it charging any faster? Some slow-down because it's nearly full? I have the feeling that I've seen it charging faster at this level.

Returning to the analysis of the various variables and displays: the values Pac and the number in the middle of the dashboard display are meaningless. There is no variable that returns the amount of power being consumed in the household, but that can be calculated: it's the sum of the values PacPV, PacBat and W1.

As I had suspected, the battery's Wi-Fi network has gone away again. Finally I have found the network display I was looking for yesterday:

 
This should be Wi-Fi-networks.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Wi Fi networks
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From left to right we have the Marriott's network from next door, my own and the inverter. The inverter is so much stronger because I'm right next to it. But the battery is nowhere to be seen.

Apart from all that, there's the issue of how much charge. Basically I have two conflicting uses of the battery:

  1. Keep power from the day for use during the night. For this, I need as low a discharge cutoff as possible.
  2. Keep power to guard against a potential failure. For this, I need as high a discharge cutoff as possible.

Fixing the gas cooker
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

Why is the “low” setting on the gas cooker so high? It was exactly the same problem with the last cooker, but I've never seen the issue before we came here.

Potentially there are three causes, by no means mutually exclusive:

  1. It could be a general problem with LPG. But that's what we had in Wantadilla and Kleins Road, which makes it unlikely.
  2. It could be a problem with the cooktops themselves. This is what I had assumed when it happened with the first cooktop, but now we have a second.
  3. It could be a problem with the pressure regulator.

The fact that the pressure regulator is the only thing in common makes it suspect. Out to take some photos:


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Is the text embossed on the body intended to be read? It's very difficult, which is probably why it states “DO NOT ATTEMPT PREPAIR” [sic]. And “INSIST YOUR GAS CO. REGULARLY SERVICE REGULATOR” sounds like a non-starter, especially since there is none.

Even while I was taking the photos it occurred to me that they had already tested the gas pressure when I first complained about the issue. Is that enough reason to discount the cause? Somewhere I have an adjustable regulator. Maybe I should play around with that.


Where's my wine?
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

On Monday this week I finally managed to get my way through the Mclaren Vale Cellars web site and order and pay for some wine. At the time I had received a confirmation along with tracking numbers. And Australia Post told me that the numbers were invalid.

The next morning, ha ha, only joking, we have now received shipping information.

And today? So nice, so nice, we do it twice:

Shipping information approved by Australia Post, Tue 21 May • 9:21am
Shipping information received by Australia Post, Tue 21 May • 8:51am

No time zone, of course. We don't need no steenking time zones. But it looks as if the second entry (on top, of course could be Victorian time (UTC+10), while the first was South Australian time (UTC+9:30). Approved? Received? Believe that who may.

And that was all. Decided against calling them up and asking what was going on. Probably Australia Post is just confused again.


Revisiting the Big Oak
Topic: general, animals Link here

For a change, took the dogs for a walk to the „Dicke Eiche“ (“Big Oak”), really a clump of rather thin eucalypts to the south of our old house in Kleins Road:


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Went quite some distance from the eagle's nest via Kleins Paddock:

 
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Or at least it seemed quite a way. On return and processing, discovered that it was only 2.01 km, coincidentally 10 m shorter than yesterday's walk.


Air-fried ćevapčići
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Ćevapčići for dinner tonight (really left-overs from making Bratwurst). In the past I had done this sort of thing in the toaster oven, but it sounded like an ideal match for the new “Air fryer”. After 10 minutes at 210° I had:


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That's actually quite good, and for once we didn't have lots of juice underneath the meat.


Friday, 24 May 2019 Dereel → Napoleons → Dereel Images for 24 May 2019
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Inverter configuration error?
Topic: Stones Road house, technology Link here

I've been playing a little with inverter settings. Today I set the “charge from grid” rate to 1000 W and a maximum charge of 40%, pretty much the opposite of what I did last time. When trying to save the configuration, I got a message: “Error writing config”, an indication of how modern this inverter is.

What went wrong? Hard to say. A retry worked.


Wine!
Topic: technology, food and drink, opinion Link here

Message from Australia Post today: my wine is waiting for me in Napoleons.

But yesterday it still hadn't been picked up. How did it come so fast? Clearly by net transfer. It still hasn't been picked up. The tracking information reads (upside down, of course):


Awaiting collection at NAPOLEON CPA
NAPOLEONS VIC Fri 24 May • 10:14am

In transit
WENDOUREE VIC
Fri 24 May • 5:53am

Unable to deliver - Item carded and transferred to post office for collection
WENDOUREE VIC
Fri 24 May • 5:52am

Shipping information approved by Australia Post
Tue 21 May • 9:21am

Shipping information received by Australia Post
Tue 21 May • 8:51am

Is it really worth the trouble to maintain such superficial “tracking information”?


More clever error messages
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

While trying to create maps of yesterday's dog walk, got an unexpected error message:

 
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Yes, that was a link from the same site. But on closer examination it proved to be a new way of saying “we can't find your input file”.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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