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Anyone familiar with SMA cellular LTE modem?

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    Anyone familiar with SMA cellular LTE modem?

    I have searched and searched and am still unclear on a few important details:

    1. Can this serve multiple inverters or do I need one modem for each?
    2. Is the data this sends limited compared to other networking methods? The parts of description in red seem to imply that is the case:

    The SMA Cellular LTE Modem Kit allows the direct data transmission between the inverter and the internet portal Sunny Portal via the cellular network as an alternative to data transmission via Ethernet or WLAN. In addition, the SMA Cellular LTE Modem Kit enables the communication between the inverter and the energy meter.

    The SMA Cellular LTE Modem Kit transmits up to four times a day a limited amount of data to Sunny Portal. The standard term of the mobile data plan for the SMA Cellular LTE Modem Kit is five years. All costs are covered within the term. No additional costs will be incurred. You have the possibility to extend the term of the mobile data plan. For this purpose, contact SMA Solar Technology AG. By using the SMA Cellular LTE Modem Kits, a local network connection is not absolutely necessary. However, it is recommended to be able to view all information regarding the system in Sunny Portal.
    So if so what do I not get to see if the modem is the only source? It sounds like I wouldnt be able to see the data "real time" since it says "four times a day", but what else?
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

    #2
    Have you not asked SMA?

    Guessing from my experience using cellular modems for other brands...

    - You may be able to gang together multiple inverters using RS-485.
    - Yes, the modem basically makes a phone call four times a day to upload data. It will not be satisfying if you want close-to-realtime viewing. I doubt that the standard uploaded data is more limited than other methods, but the ability to talk back to the inverter in order to use full diagnostic features might be.

    I think that last bit of text you highlighted in red is basically just saying 'you don't need an interconnection at the site to upload data, but you'll still need one wherever you want to view the data'.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by electrofelon View Post
      I have searched and searched and am still unclear on a few important details:

      1. Can this serve multiple inverters or do I need one modem for each?
      2. Is the data this sends limited compared to other networking methods? The parts of description in red seem to imply that is the case:



      So if so what do I not get to see if the modem is the only source? It sounds like I wouldnt be able to see the data "real time" since it says "four times a day", but what else?
      One question, one answer.


      You can have multiple devices in a network.. . . you don’t need more than one modem for an array of inverters. This system follows the principles of networking.
      In every LAN or WAN, you need a modem to communicate with the outside world. Every modem that was manufactured on earth has an ID which is unique, meaning “no two modems are the same”. Think of your vehicle VIN (vehicle identification number.)


      This method of control is administered by INTERNIC. It doesn’t matter what country manufactures the modem. . . it has to comply with rules of the INTERNIC.
      This organization is now called ICANN. (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers)
      You can still access information through INTERNIC.


      Without this control-- modems would not be able to TALK to each other.
      Again, think of your house address. Your ZIP Code identifies where you are—and recognized all over the world..


      The URL (Universal Resource Locator) is responsible for this capability.
      When you setup your SMA SUNNY BOY that comes with your inverter—it automatically connects (well you need to set it up with your router/ modem) in order to have access the internet though your SMA SUNNY PORTAL.


      I can cite several topics related to your query but may sound irrelevant to your needs at present.


      I have heard so many unfavorable comments regarding this monitoring capability when applied to homeowners.
      It is different when applied at a commercial level because installers have intensive training . . . unlike solar installers for homes.
      They get their license to install mostly the hardware eg solar panels, inverters, filters, brackets etc. . .but when it comes to the principles of networking/computers-- the homeowners are left to figure for themselves when problems arise on their monitoring systems.


      The usual complaint from homeowners when they call the installer. . . the installer’s response is:

      "I don’t know anything about it--call the manufacturer." (duh)


      SMA, I believe is made in Germany. They do speak and understand English. . . no need to learn German if you have to talk to an engineer. LOL


      Now, that answers your first question why you only need one modem.

      You can connect multiple devices through your router. . .not with a special cable that one suggested.


      There are a few solar experts who are aching to offer (or show off) their expertise, so, I’ll give them the opportunity.


      As an aside:
      You can access the web without connecting through your Router/Modem. You can do this by using your cell phone or wireless devices like tablet or laptop when you are away from home. . . where your are out of reach of your modem's WIFI signal.

      Comment


        #4
        Do any of the cell modem and cloud-based monitoring solutions for the photovoltaic market include near real time alarms if programmed limits have been exceeded?
        I know this capability is offered for systems monitoring temperature, humidity, and other parameters. A certain number of alarms per month are typically allowed before extra charges accrue

        By the way, designers of cellular data radios that I knew hated when people called them "modems".

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by myspark View Post
          This method of control is administered by INTERNIC. It doesn’t matter what country manufactures the modem. . . it has to comply with rules of the INTERNIC.
          This organization is now called ICANN. (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers)
          Depends on which number you're referring. IEEE assigns things like Ethertypes and OIDs (the first part of an Ethernet address), regional bodies assign the first part of an IMEI and manufactures assign the rest. It's a little complicated. I think ICANN assigns IP protocol numbers.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jaggedben View Post
            Have you not asked SMA?
            Well, I come to this forum FIRST, unlike some people I guess who think other forum members are chopped liver so they call the manufacturer FIRST But seriously I was thinking of calling them but I didnt feel like trying to get a hold of anyone so I thought I would ask here first.

            Not having real time data is kinda a deal breaker for me, that would be the whole point. I dont have dedicated internet at my place. Too bad it cant just send power data every minute or so. The modem is $255 which includes 5 years of data. I dont know how much it costs after the 5 years. I would pay the $255 if I could get power data every few minutes or so.

            Synchro, not sure about that but it seems like it would be good design if they sent 'important' alerts as they happen.
            Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

            "You can't generalize"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by zbang View Post
              Depends on which number you're referring. IEEE assigns things like Ethertypes and OIDs (the first part of an Ethernet address), regional bodies assign the first part of an IMEI and manufactures assign the rest. It's a little complicated. I think ICANN assigns IP protocol numbers.
              IEEE works under the guidance of ICANN in terms of computer hardware.
              In the early days of internet , there were no standards to follow and manufacturers were doing their own thing. It was a hodge podge affair and software writers try hard to keep up with interoperability between platforms.

              This mess prompted software engineers to come up with something to handle the problem. . .hence, API (application programming interface) came into being..
              This allowed hardware manufacturers to have their product operate with other platforms.

              Reliability was still touchy that INTERNIC (now ICANN) had to get in the act to achieve standardization. Naming and addressing were a part of their project.

              Programming belongs to the upper level of data architecture (OSI), it belongs to the intelligent layer while hardware belongs to least intelligent layer.

              So, ICANN can bully them into submission. (so to speak) LOL.

              Comment


                #8
                Have you considered egauge or something similar?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ggunn View Post
                  Have you considered egauge or something similar?
                  I had to google what that is, but I dont think that would get me what I need. I can connect to the inverters when I am home and turn on my phone's wifi. Also I could set up a dedicated server and network at home so the inverters would constantly send data, but of course without a connection the outside world, I could not see the data from elsewhere.
                  Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                  "You can't generalize"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Perhaps you could use a remote desktop client on a laptop or smartphone to access and control the PC at home that's connected to the inverters.
                    If using a laptop it could be connected with a hot spot to access a cellular provider when wi-fi is not available where you are at the time.

                    How remote of a location is the home? I'm assuming that their is at least 3G if not 4G cellular service available if you don't have a connection to an internet service provider.
                    Last edited by synchro; 07-17-19, 09:39 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by synchro View Post
                      Perhaps you could use a remote desktop client on a laptop or smartphone to access and control the PC at home that's connected to the inverters.
                      If using a laptop it could be connected with a hot spot to access a cellular provider when wi-fi is not available where you are at the time.

                      How remote of a location is the home? I'm assuming that their is at least 3G if not 4G cellular service available if you don't have a connection to an internet service provider.
                      I have good 4G cell service, I just dont want to pay for another account.
                      Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                      "You can't generalize"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by electrofelon View Post
                        I have good 4G cell service, I just dont want to pay for another account.
                        You might just check with your cellular provider what a hot spot would cost for the device and per month (which might be just a line charge if your have a package deal with other cell phones and a total data limit between them all). I'm not sure how reliable a mobile hot spot is for continuous use at the home, but I haven't found a problem when I've been using it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by synchro View Post
                          You might just check with your cellular provider what a hot spot would cost for the device and per month (which might be just a line charge if your have a package deal with other cell phones and a total data limit between them all). I'm not sure how reliable a mobile hot spot is for continuous use at the home, but I haven't found a problem when I've been using it.
                          Yeah I'll check into it. It would be nice to have dedicated internet and not have to turn my phone's hot spot on and off all the time
                          Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

                          "You can't generalize"

                          Comment

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