A fine day for playing with solar panels


Please note – this blog is WELL out of date and all of my blog items and much, much more have now been moved to https://tech.scargill.net

7am here in Bedrock as we start our second full day in Andalucía.

It’s starting to look good already and this morning Maureen is off with some of the ladies to have fun while I sort out some tech work I have to complete via Skype with my friend Aidan in the UK.

testing solar panels

My jobs for this weekend include getting the watering system back up and tested this time using an ESP8266 board with the Raspberry Pi controller which I’ve just spent several hours getting working thanks to a router that amazingly by default isolated users from each other (believe me that took some finding).. I’ve brought much more meaty power supplies (12v 6amp) with me to Spain this time to handle the rather unpredictable power here – though I suspect I’ve not brought enough.  As an experiment I brought another solar regulator along with an alarm 12v battery and panel –I want to see if I can run the router and  Raspberry Pi controller off the sun entirely. I suspect that’ll have to wait for our June/July run in which we’re bringing the car from the UK as I just could not fit my largest (40w) solar panel into the travel case!!

I’m quite excited today as the tech Facebook page just tipped 1000 likes…  but first, we need to get into that lake and enjoy the fine weather Andalucía is having right now, t was a little misty at 7am but already as 9am approaches, the sky is clear blue and will typically sail past 30c in the afternoon with peaks around 40c which might sound a bit much to Brits starved of sunshine but trust me – you get used to it if you’re neck-deep in a lake.

As you see below, my Arduino/NRF24L01 network has been working reliably over here, tracking temperature and humidity as well as giving me remote access to lighting etc. I have been logging temperature and humidity for a some time now) and the humidity is finally dropping rapidly – we picked a good time to arrive.

Graph of temperature and humidity

Just put the latest “Esp8266 unofficial” development kit on my laptop,  developed a MYSQL logging protocol for the little ESP boards and just about ready to start populating the place with controllers. I just need a little clearer understanding of the MQSQL  “Insert into… on Duplicate” code I’m playing around with here http://sqlfiddle.com/#!9/04c6c/1

For now I’m off with my OWNCLOUD-backed-up mobile phone, thanks to THREE network I have access to my unlimited data while abroad so no problem syncing up with servers. Nice.

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