data acquisition

photonboyphotonboy Registered Users Posts: 16 ✭✭
What is a good way to monitor to get current and/or voltage output from a micro inverter. I would like to data log, and have good success with a RadioShack DVM with rs232/USB output to my pc. This is battery operated and would prefer something plugged in. I will look at the data in excel so the graphical interface doesn't need to be great so long as I can get the text data. Two separate channels would also be great so I can monitor voltage and current simultaneously without connecting/disconnecting for series/ parallel measurements. An o-scope with USB can be expensive, but not out of the question. Any suggestions would be great?



  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: data acquisition
    What is a good way to monitor to get current and/or voltage output from a micro inverter
    This might work for you if you use a current shunt for amps measures
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: data acquisition

    Photonboy, can you expand on what it this you are doing this for?
    Do you have mains power?
    what is the output of the 'micro inverter'?

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  • photonboyphotonboy Registered Users Posts: 16 ✭✭
    Re: data acquisition

    thanks for the interest.....I have dual purposes, one for my own curiosity in building my own system and the second for education...I take a complete solar system on wheels to schools for educational purposes....I let the kids build the system and monitor various electrical parameters. There is a battery and cheepo inverter, so when they generate enough electricity they can run some things off the inverter. The radio shack DVM works well but I go through a lot of batteries. The unit Mikeo suggest would be great with the shunt for output from the panel, if I wanted to look at the output from the micro inverter, approximately 200 watts at 240V I will need a unit for the higher voltage. I plan on using the micro inverter at home and build a grid tie system one panel at a time
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: data acquisition

    Monitoring both AC and DC real time is not simple or cheap ... the linked logger would only work for DC side, not AC which is what your post was looking for?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,143 admin
    Re: data acquisition

    Displaying the AC side may be a bit complex for anyone who has not had high school physics (AC sine waves, phase angles between them, etc.).

    A Kill-a-Watt meter (or equivalent) can demonstrate loads and give Volts, Amps, Hz, VA, PF, kWHr, etc... Using video/handouts/etc. about AC power is probably enough for most people (unless you have "lab" classes too). An AC output (such as O'scope) may not really give much useful "extra" information (I found meters to be more useful than AC Voltage/Current readings on a scope unless I was looking for anomalies).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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