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peter12381 avatar image
peter12381 asked

Can I start my generator from my phone?

I have an EasySolar-II managing my home’s off-grid solar power supply. Backup power to the EasySolar is provided by a Honda EU30iS generator with a two-wire remote start. In VE Configure I have set the virtual switch to start the generator if the battery state of charge is low or the current load is high and that works fine. However, sometimes when I am away from home I would like to manually start and stop the generator from my phone. I can’t see a way to do this. Is it possible? Thanks

GeneratorEasySolar All-in-One
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3 Answers
JohnC avatar image
JohnC answered ·

Hi @peter12381

It's probably possible, but VS is too clunky for remote use. Take a look at the GX genset control, which is more comprehensive anyway.. https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/Automatic_Generator_start-stop/en/which-relay-and-control-to-use-.html#idm45613941743872

If you can access the GX remotely, then it's right there. I haven't done this myself, so you'll need to work out the details of how best to do it. You'll need to use the GX relay rather than the Multi's. See how you go..

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trevor-bird avatar image
trevor-bird answered ·

Hello @peter12381 …if you install a CerboGX and access it through the VRM you can access the “remote console”. You can then work through the Cerbo menus to reach the generator start section. From there you can start the generator from your phone.

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The Eastsolar II should have a GX aboard, and presumably a GX relay too.
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peter12381 avatar image
peter12381 answered ·

Thanks for the responses. I've looked at the Easysolar II manual and it appears that the Easysolar GX doesn't include a programable relay. I haven't investigated installing a CerboGX, but they are quite expensive (around $500 in Australia).

After a bit of googling I discovered wifi relays like this one:

https://shelly.cloud/knowledge-base/devices/shelly-plus-1/

It sells for under $30 and looks like a nifty little device. My idea is to connect it in parallel to the existing two-wire generator start circuit, so that the generator will turn on when either the VS or wifi relay is closed. I can control the wifi relay via Google Home, and power it with 240V AC or possibly DC from the Easysolar. I've ordered one online and we'll see how it goes.

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I've connected the Shelly Plus 1 as described above and it is working excellently. I've powered it from the 48V battery terminals inside the Easysolar, with a 1A inline fuse (don't want to risk shorting the battery!). I can use either Google Home or the Shelly app to start and stop the generator. The app also has a scheduler function, so I might be able to set it to ''exercise" the generator once a week in order to keep its starter battery fully charged.
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