Greg
animals brewing
food and drink gardening
general health
history language
music multimedia
opinion photography
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
recent entries
Translate this page
Select day in May 2019:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Select month:
2018 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2019 Jan Feb Mar Apr
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Monday, 20 May 2019 Dereel Images for 20 May 2019
Top of page
next day
last day

More power insights
Topic: Stones Road house, technology Link here

After yesterday's fun with the solar electricity installation, spent a lot of time observing and analysing the results. About the only definite conclusions were that it happened again, this time during normal charging:

+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-20 12:39:13 |  862 | On-grid              |   74 |  268 |       0 |   -209 |  1071 | 0      |    2 |
| 2019-05-20 12:39:14 | -378 | On-grid (calibrating |   74 |  268 |       0 |  -1469 |  1091 | 0      | 1169 |
| 2019-05-20 12:39:15 | -491 | On-grid (calibrating |   74 |  268 |       0 |  -1573 |  1082 | 0      | 1360 |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

It's interesting to note the changes in the fields Pac and W1. At the very least it means that the inverter has started charging the battery from the grid, although there was plenty of power to spare from the PV array. Took a screen shot shortly later:


This should be Ingecon-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Ingecon 2          Dimensions:          1216 x 1020, 143 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 20 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

This corresponds to this status from the inverter:

+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-20 12:40:41 | -496 | On-grid (calibrating |   75 |  271 |       0 |  -1760 |  1265 | 0      | 1366 |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

OK, it's clear that W1, PacPV and PacBat are power to the inverter from grid, PV array and battery respectively. PacBat is negative because the battery is charging. But what's Pac? I thought that it was the power output of the inverter (positive meaning output in this case). Why is it showing a negative value? Does this always correspond with the “calibrating (batteries - 1)” status?

My first thought, though, was that I didn't want to charge a nearly full battery from the grid. So I disconnected from the grid, and a couple of minutes later I had:


This should be Ingecon-3.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Ingecon 3          Dimensions:          1216 x 1020, 137 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 20 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

 

+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-20 12:43:17 |  818 | Off-grid (calibratin |   76 |  270 |       0 |  -1198 |  2012 | 0      |    0 |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

Now Pac does resemble the power output to the house. The minor difference of 4 W is probably because the requests to the inverter are asynchronous and the status is thus not completely identical.

Still later the status changed:

+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| tstamp              | Pac  | Status               | SOC  | VBat | PacGrid | PacBat | PacPV | FromPV | W1   |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+
| 2019-05-20 14:01:29 | 3119 | On-grid (calibrating |   99 |  271 |       0 |   -531 |  3650 | 0      | -2400 |
| 2019-05-20 14:01:31 | 2443 | On-grid (calibrating |   99 |  270 |       0 |   -527 |  2970 | 0      | -1620 |
| 2019-05-20 14:01:32 | 2321 | On-grid              |   99 |  270 |       0 |   -525 |  2846 | 0      |  -738 |
| 2019-05-20 14:01:33 | 2610 | On-grid              |   99 |  270 |       0 |   -525 |  3135 | 0      |  -496 |
+---------------------+------+----------------------+------+------+---------+--------+-------+--------+------+

Here once again the values are strange. Pac is back into normal positive territory, so my hypothesis that negative Pac corresponds with the “calibrating (batteries - 1)” status is clearly incorrect. But now W1 is negative. That doesn't mean that it's feeding power back into the grid: that's the PacGrid value, currently 0. And the change in W1 after the status change isn't reflected in any other value. On the other hand, the “dashboard” display continues to display marginally plausible values.

So what do these values mean? Still more thinking to do. About the only other insight is that the “calibrating...” status and the lack of input from the PV array are not completely related.

Also sent a mail message to Fyodor (since it looks like a software bug to me) and Tomas (since he's the supplier and may need to send somebody out). But in fact Fyodor said that he would be along tomorrow to take a look. Now that's service.

Also calls from Red Energy, my grid power supplier, asking me to allow them to pay me for energy I forward to the grid. Sometimes I wonder what the world is coming to: after all, I did apply for it. But at any rate they took my word for it. Now Powercor has 20 business days to reconfigure the meter, for which they will charge me some apparently random sum a little over $60, or about the equivalent of 400 kWh feedin.


Game of Thrones!
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

Everybody's talking about Game of Thrones lately. It would be easy to assume relieft that it's because it has just broadcast its final episode, but the world-wide admiration it evoked surprises me. IMDB gives it a score of 9.5, very high.

I took a look at it a while back and decided that it wasn't for us. But I had forgotten the details, so I thought we should have another look. Grabbed the first season and started watching this evening.

We managed about 8 minutes, by which time the second head had been sliced off in defiance of the laws of physics. What is it about US American films that are so horror-oriented and unrealistic? It doesn't say anything good about their society.


Sprinkler revival
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Writing up yesterday's diary, went to check the messages from the netsprinkle program when it tried to contact the dead sprinkler relay. The simple answer: there weren't any, and it's not clear why not. It fires up a curl process, which is normally unnecessarily verbose, but here it said nothing at all.

The more complicated answer, though: it did say something. The relay is working again. What happened yesterday? It was clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the thing was non-responsive. Only sleeping? Pining for the fjords?


Random power issues
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Apart from the issues with the solar inverter and the sprinkler, for some reason my office UPS was screaming on random occasions all morning. That's related to the Easton UPS behind it, and the voltages alternately showed 224 V (apparently what it shows for 230 V) and round 245 V (which would thus be 252 V). Are we having problems with overvoltage? First disconnected the grid, which left the voltage at “224 V”, but the screaming continued. Why? What is that UPS trying to tell me? Disconnected the office UPS and connected it to a non-UPS power point, after which I had peace, if not enlightenment.


Tuesday, 21 May 2019 Dereel Images for 21 May 2019
Top of page
previous day

Finally the kitchen stoves
Topic: general, food and drink Link here

Mike Simpson (“Mike for odd jobs”, phone 0419 935 147) along today to finally install the new stoves that I bought 6 months ago. That all went much faster than I had expected, only just over an hour. The change is obvious:


This should be Kitchen-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kitchen 2          Dimensions:          4424 x 4040, 2001 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Monday, 20 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Monday, 20 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Kitchen-3.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Kitchen 3          Dimensions:          3961 x 3927, 3514 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 21 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

In some ways, discovered that “it's just what I asked for and not what I want”: the contrast between the gas cooker on the left and the induction cooker on the right is rather more than I had expected:


This should be Cookers-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Cookers 1          Dimensions:          4940 x 1489, 1128 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 22 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

And of course the minimum setting on the gas flames is too high, just like it was with the previous cooktop:


This should be Gas-stove-big-max.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Gas stove big max          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2099 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 22 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Gas-stove-big-min.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Gas stove big min          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 2161 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 22 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

 


This should be Gas-stove-small-max.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Gas stove small max          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1812 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 22 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Gas-stove-small-min.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Gas stove small min          Dimensions:          5184 x 3888, 1562 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 22 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 22 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

In case that's not clear, these are the maximum and minimum settings.

Took a quick look at the “operation manual”, which described installation and adjustment of 5 different models, one of which looked somewhat like ours. They referred to “Fig. 8” for adjustments. Where's “Fig. 8”? Not in this “manual”. Mañana.

The interesting thing is that we now have space round the cooktops, for the first time in three years, and maybe since we moved in to Stones Road; after getting my first induction cooker, I've had one to the right of the cooktop area. And before that, at least for much of the year that had elapsed between moving in and getting the induction cooker, I had had a toaster oven there. The toaster oven is now in a cupboard; for the number of times I use it it doesn't seem worth having it take up worktop space.


Gas and plumbing: talk to the experts
Topic: general, opinion Link here

One of the issues in installing the new cooktops was that the gas hose was no longer long enough. Looking at the prospect of having to call in three different specialists (Mike, the joiner, for the carpentry, a plumber for the gas and an electrician for the electrics), I asked Yvonne (coincidentally in town) to drop in at The Haymarket in Ballarat and pick up a hose that could connect the stove to a gas bottle until the plumber came. I gave her the threaded protective cover of the connector as an indication of what we're looking for.

She called me from there and put me on to Cheryl, who told me that she couldn't do anything without knowing the thread. A plastic cover wasn't enough. I pointed out to her that the thing had a thread, but it seems that she neither checked nor believed me. In any case it would have to be a special order.

Told her to forget it, and off to tell Mike of my amazement. He was surprised, too: it's a perfectly standard ½" thread, just the same as the one for the old cooktop. He removed the old hose and confirmed that the other end, too, had a male ½" thread. Told me (indirectly Yvonne) to go to Ballarat Gas and Plumbing (for once a sensible name), where she found the item with no difficulty. Brought it back home, and Mike fitted it for us. No plumber needed. But I'm still amazed at the incompetence at The Haymarket. I won't forget that one in a hurry.


Firmware updates for solar electricity system
Topic: Stones Road house, technology, opinion Link here

Fyodor Torgovnikov along this morning and took a look at the solar electricity installation. My main concern had been that the inverter had stopped charging from the PV array, but his main concern was the battery. He had some reason: like all modern equipment that uses networks, it had to be its own Wi-Fi access point rather than join in to an existing network. I found an Android app that displayed network cells, but I lost my way through the maze of twisty little passages past the flood of advertisements, and couldn't find it again. What I did see was my own network, the inverter's private network (though it does exactly the same thing as http://inverter.lemis.com/) and the battery network—but only after Fyodor had power cycled the battery.

He installed new firmware both on the battery and in the inverter, and showed me ways through another maze of little twisty menus, the one that brought me to some limited configurability of the inverter.

In particular, I'm now able to set limits for at what SOC (state of charge) level to turn battery charge from the grid on and off. It had been on at 20% and off at 30%, but it seems that Fyodor changed it remotely some time in the last 24 hours. In the evening I discovered that it turned on and off at 20%, which effectively mean that it started charging when the charge dropped to 20% and turned off again when it hit 21%. That seemed even less sensible. Adjusted it to stop at 25%, but I think I need to start it at 19%, so it only ever comes on if there has been a grid outage that takes it below 20%.

One thing that did come out of of the discussion was that our issues in the last couple of days don't appear to be related to overvoltage: we barely hit the maximum of 253 V; Fyodor has seen others as high as 270 V.


Chicken filo “air fried”
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne bought some chicken filo parcels recently. They're intended to be baked in a conventional oven (and nothing else, according to the label): 25-30 minutes at 180° in a normal oven and 160° in a fan-forced oven.

What settings do I use in an “air fryer”? Decided to set it as a conventional fan-forced oven and keep an eye on it. That proved to be a good idea:


This should be Chicken-filo-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Chicken filo 1          Dimensions:          4608 x 3457, 4935 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, small
Diary entry for Tuesday, 21 May 2019 Complete exposure details

 

Apart from the fact that it leaked filling, the only issue was the food itself: about an appetizer portion, though Yvonne thought it was plenty. I sometimes wonder how she survives on the little that she eats.


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.


Greg's home page This month Greg's photos Greg's links

RSS 2.0 Valid XHTML 1.0!