Early while researching the parts for the system, someone suggested a control from the Austrian Firm Technische Alternative ("Technical Alternative"). After searching their web site, it was hard to decide between UVR 61-3 and UVR 1611. The first being the minimal solution, the latter one the flexible one-for-all.

In the end, the price decided, and the background idea is to replace it by an own controller board using a microcontroller with own software, to be as flexible as possible. But starting with that task was too complicated in addition to the installation, thus delayed as "future enhancement".

The UVR 1611 seems like a control that can do everything I could ever need, but given the price of about 600 EUR for the control and 200 EUR for the bootloader, it's just not worth it. For 150 EUR, I can buy a controller and development environment myself (but this is only comparable, of course, if I don't bill my hours...).

The UVR 61-3 is not perfect (actually it can not do everything I would like it to do), but a good bargain for that price. And I'm still convinced after over a half year that it was the correct choice, which means something.

The manual:

The whole program from Technische Alternative can be viewed in their Download section.

The software that can be downloaded from them is a bare minimum, in my eyes - so I wrote an own. Thanks to the folks at Technische Alternative, who were very helpful and supplied the data protocol, I succeeded.

This software creates the graphs described in the "Base Design" part. Anyone interested can write me.

The 'solar' station, and the control, can be seen here.

(No, I don't get anything from them for this kind of advertisement (though I'd not say 'no' to an UVR 1611 if offered to include it in my application <grin>)... I'm just positive that they do their job the right way --- and they are customer friendly, their support answers reliably! Unfortunately, this is outstanding and deserves a special remark.)