SolarThing - A way to monitor an Outback MATE2 or Renogy Rover


I wanted to share a project I’ve had working for almost two years now: SolarThing. I’ve been using it to monitor an Outback MATE2 connected to two outback FX inverters and two outback MX charge controllers plus a Renogy Rover charge controller.

SolarThing can be configured to upload to PVOutput every 5 minutes and is made to work with multiple instances of SolarThing running (so you can monitor multiple charge controllers or inverters and have a total for their daily kWh generation)

I also created a Mycroft Skill that is not required to be used with SolarThing and can work with any PVOutput set up:

If anyone finds this useful and needs help setting any of these things up, I’d be happy to help.

I have a fifteen-year-old Outback system with 4.4kw of panels. I installed SolarThing on my Raspberry Pi to send the output to PVoutput. It was a good practice exercise, but when done I realized my Pi was too old to run Java. I have a new one coming in this week. I’m pretty comfortable with the install, but may need some help in setting up the output from my Mate to PVoutput. I have a serail to USB cable so I am good to go with that.

For what it’s worth, the original Raspberry Pi can run Java, but you have to jump through some hoops. I have SolarThing running on an RPi 1 for temperature sensor monitoring. SolarThing has an undocumented feature to use and install a JDK through SDKMAN as long as the install directory is /opt/solarthing/program/.downloads/sdkman. I don’t recommend this, though. Plus, CouchDB cannot run on a Raspberry Pi 1 or Zero.

At the time of writing this, using the PVOutput feature of SolarThing requires that you have a CouchDB database setup. Once you have CouchDB and everything set up and working, then you can start here: PVOutput Uploader — SolarThing documentation. Also, about installing CouchDB, I recommend that you install it on a computer other than the Raspberry Pi. I have not run CouchDB on a Raspberry Pi before, but I suspect it will not be kind to the SD card.

I can help out as much as you need, but you should be able to follow the documentation starting here: Installation — SolarThing documentation. Also, make sure that you have the timezone on your Raspberry Pi correct. In the end, you’ll have a SolarThing mate instance running on your Pi, a CouchDB database running on the RPi or another computer, and then a SolarThing pvoutput instance running on the same computer or RPi hosting CouchDB.