This article defines how to connect and import data from external devices (like sensors, meters, etc), via Modbus Protocol.
Modbus is a data communications protocol that is used to connect industrial electronic devices. In most cases, metering devices (like: Inverters, Weather Stations, Pyranometers and Revenue Grade Meters) can share their data (through a wired connection), to a secondary device. If wired to a Tigo Data Logger, this data can be displayed in the Tigo Portal/Account as a simple dial (or widget) on the System View page.
To import this data, a physical connection to Tigo Data-Logger must be made, and the Modbus Information for the metering device (Register Map, Baud Rate, etc), must be registered with the Data Logger (via the Tigo EI App). Once successfully connected, the data will imported directly from the registers that are reading the bus.
There are two types of Modbus data connections that Tigo's Data Loggers support:
Ethernet / LAN connection via TCP/IP (internet) protocol
RS-485 cable connection via
If you are setting up a TCP connection, there is no additional wiring required. The Meter (or Inverter) only needs to be connected to the same Network (and sub-network) as the data logger, in order for the 2 devices to communicate.
If you are setting up an RTU connection (via RS-485), the metering device must be wired directly to the RS-485 Port on the Data Logger. TIgo's CCA offers 2 separate RS-485 ports, for wiring up different metering devices (for example: you can add a Revenue Grade Meter, and an Inverter):
The Modbus protocol supports up to 247 data streams from daisy-chain-connected devices (meters, sensors, inverters, etc). However, the maximum number of devices that can be connected, is determined by the communications link that is chosen.
- RS485 is limited to 31 connected devices
- Ethernet / TCP can accept up to 256 connected devices.
Inbound data streams are divided from addresses 1 to 247 (JBUS 1 to 255) - as the address 0 is reserved for broadcast messages.
NOTE: Both the physical wiring and Tigo EI App connection process, require you to be onsite while completing the setup. Once you have completed the wiring, you will use the Tigo EI App to connect to the Data Logger so that you may input the necessary information (per the chosen connection method), and select which meter you would like to display on the System View page.
Once you have wired the metering device to the Data Logger, the necessary Modbus information must be entered into the EI App. If you do not have this information, you may be able to find it in the manual or by reaching out to the manufacturer.
However, if the Meter (or inverter) is Network (TCP/IP) connected, it will have it's own accessible data or IP page where you can gather the necessary modbus Information and activate it's TCP Server (connection via Network).
Note: The images in the example (shown below) are from SMA's Sunny Portal page. However, the process is similar for nearly all manufacturers of Meters and Inverters.
- Collect the Meter's IP address (usually printed on front panel), and enter it into the URL Field of an internet browser (Google, Safari, etc).
Sign-in to the metering device's Status (or home) Page, using same username/password established during meter installation.
Example - Login web page for SMA Sunny Boy inverter
Once signed in, the metering device's Status Page will show.
- Select Device Parameters and choose Modbus
Take note of both the Unit ID and Port number
For Example - Unit ID for this inverter is 3, and Port is 502
Check TCP Server connection, and activate if necessary (usually not the default setting)
For Example - The word "Yes" indicates the status has been activated.
Note: If there are multiple inverters on the system (that need to be added), each inverter will have it's own IP Address and Sign-in. The TCP Server on each of the Inverter's pages must be individually activated, and each inverter's Unit ID must be noted in the App.
Connect App to Data Logger
Once you have wired the device to the Data Logger (via modbus TCP or RTU), you must complete the setup on your Tigo EI App. In order to accomplish this, you will need to be on-site (within 15 ft of the Data Logger and monitoring device), and be signed into the App:
- Download and Install the Tigo EI App
- Sign-in and choose desired system from the Installations page
- Connect to EI App to the Data Logger via Bluetooth
After Tigo EI App is connected to the Data Logger, you can input the necessary information gathered from the metering device. This will enable the EI App to receive the modbus data transfer.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is one of the main communication protocols (languages), of the Internet. It provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of data between applications, via an IP network.
Important: Make sure that the Meter and CCA's IP Addresses are both connected to the same Network, and sub-network (LAN). Otherwise, a router with Packet Forwarding (between subnets), may be required.
To access the metering data via TCP protocol, follow these directions from the primary System Status page of the EI App:
- Press Settings icon (lower right)
- Press Edit System
- Press Select Equipment
- Press the + bubble (bottom right), and select the Add bubble that appears
- Choose Meters and Sensors (or Inverters and PV Modules if adding inverter)
- Name your metering device
Press Manufacturer and select the correct manufacturer
Press Model and select the correct model
Press Managed by and choose the Data Logger that is wired to the Meter
Press ADD (bottom) to complete
If the Metering Device does not appear in the list of Manufacturers or Model:
Contact the manufacturer of the metering device, to request its meter register information. Then, Contact the Tigo Support Team to initiate a meter addition request.
- Serial Number (mac ID) of Metering Device
- Serial Number (mac ID) of Tigo Data Logger
- Metering Device Manufacturer, Model and Type (AC Meter, Inverter, etc)
Physical connection method:
If TCP: IP address of Metering Device If RTU: Port Number its wired to (on the Data Logger) - RS485-1 / RS485-2
- Metering Device Modbus Address = *(1 to 247)*
- Metering Device Baud Rate (Example: 1200 / 9600 / 19200)
- Metering Device Parity (Example: None / Even / Odd)
- Metering Device Stop Bits (Example: 1 / 2)
- Metering Device CT Current Rating (Example: 1 to 4000 amps)
Tigo's Engineers will add the Metering Device to the List, and it will be selectable within the Tigo EI App.
Configuring Modbus TCP or RTU
This process may vary, depending on the chosen method of connection.
- Press VIEW DETAILS button
Select Inverters or Meters (depending on which you are connecting)
Press CONFIGURE button (lower right) to Configure the metering device
- Press Protocol to choose TCP or RTU and enter the necessary Modbus information.
Enter the necessary Modbus information:
- Press Modbus Address and enter Unit ID (from the Meter or Inverter setup screen)
- Press Baud Rate and enter the Baud Rate information from the meter
- Press Serial to enter serial number of device
- Press Parity and Stop Bits to make any necessary changes (or leave as Default)
When completed, press the SAVE button to return to the Meter Details Page. If you receive a message at the top of the page that says An error was encountered setting up your meter, proceed to: Run a Monitoring Test.
Run a Monitoring Test
- Return to the Settings page
- Choose Configure Communication
- Tap on Meters Configuration
Press the Test button. You will receive a success or failure for your Modbus connection.
- Success - indicates the connection is complete.
Failure - can indicate:
- Issue with the communication values gathered
- Inverter/Meter's TCP Server not enabled
- Cable connection problem
It may help to power-cycle the inverter/Meter and the CCA. Allow a full minute before restarting, and then run the test again.
Make sure that you have a good connection to the Network. A computer could be added to this subnet and used to PING the Inverter's IP to ensure it is configured and communicating.
Add Meter to Layout
Adding a meter to the layout can be done in APP or on the Webpage. The Meter Icon is used to display the monitored value of any Modbus connected metering device. This includes: Inverters, Revenue Grade Meters, Weather Stations, and Pyranometers
Using the APP
- Return to Settings > Edit System and press Configure Layout
- Press Meter Icon button (top right)
- Press anywhere on Layout Grid to place Meter icon
Add Register to Layout Field appears
- Select the Unit Sensor (in our example the device is called "slx")
- Select the Available Register (type of data that is imported), in our case PvVoltage1
Select the Object type (unit of the data that is imported), in our case Voltage Sensor.
- Select the Cross Arrow button (top),
to be able to press and drag the item(s) around on the Layout grid.
- Press the Back Arrow (top right) when complete
Using the Webpage
Once you have wired your Metering device to the Data Logger and completed the App Configuring process, you can use the Online Web Portal to add the Meter to your Layout.
Go to Edit > Edit Layout
Click Meter Icon button (top right)
- Click anywhere on Layout Grid to place Meter icon
Add Register To Layout pop up appears
- Select Unit Sensor (in our example the device is called "slx")
- Select Available Register (type of data imported), in our example its is PvVoltage1
- Select Object type (unit of the data imported), in our example it is Voltage Sensor
- Click ADD to save it
If you require assistance, please Contact Tigo Support when on site.