New user question re uploading to pvoutput

Topics: 5. Support
Jan 25, 2015 at 5:11 AM
I am running Linux Mint 17.1, have successfully compiled SBFspot v3.0.3 and can connect to my SMA SunnyBoy 5000TL inverter. Unfortunately, the documentation that people keep pointing to here doesn't reflect my version of SBFspot - there is nothing in the config file about uploading to pvoutput.
  1. Is there a simple guide to using pvoutput with SBFspot?
  2. Is it possible to just extract data and upload it manually to pvoutput?
  3. My PC is not all that powerful and I would prefer not having to run a dB. Is this even a sensible requirement when using SBFspot?
I would appreciate any help given. Thanks
Jan 25, 2015 at 12:47 PM
  1. Is there a simple guide to using pvoutput with SBFspot?
This is the only guide
  1. Is it possible to just extract data and upload it manually to pvoutput?
Yes, use the -loadlive commandline argument
  1. My PC is not all that powerful and I would prefer not having to run a dB. Is this even a sensible requirement when using SBFspot?
You don't need a powerful PC to use SQLite.
Since V3 it is a requirement, V2.4.5 uploads without DB
Jan 26, 2015 at 10:18 AM
Thanks very much - it will probably be next weekend before I get another chance to have a good go at following the notes and giving feedback.

Feb 1, 2015 at 6:43 PM
Worked perfectly - I stuck with v3 and SQLite. Took me a little while to figure out the values to put in SBFspotUpload.cfg for PVoutput_SID and PVoutput_Key. For those coming after me, this is what I did to get it working with sqlite (I run an Intel NUC, so wanted the lightweight dB).

You must first create an account on for your installation. Once this is done, go to the Settings page and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the section labelled "Registered Systems". Here you will see the name you allocated to your system and beside it a "System Id" number. You need this number to put in the .cfg file.

In the .cfg file, PVoutput_Key is where you map your inverter to your pvoutput system. The setting can contain more than one invert/pvoutput combination; I have just one. You also need the serial number of your inverter. The easiest way to get it is to query the inverter (/usr/local/bin/sbfspot.3/SBFspot -v -finq) and note the integer string in brackets shown against "Serial Nr:".

Now, make up PVoutput_SID as shown by the example in the .cfg file with your inverter's serial number first, then a colon, then your system ID.

The next setting you have to change is PVoutput_Key. This is a unique string generated by for external systems to use to connect without needing to use a login and password. On the same Settings page as before, just above "Registered Systems" is a section labelled "API Settings". Next to "API Access" it will show "Disabled" - change the value in the drop down list to "Enabled". Below that is a grey field with the label "API Key" and a button "New Key". Press the button and the field will be filled with a unique key for your system. Copy this string.

In SBFspotUpload.cfg you must now paste/type the generated API Key string after the equals sign for PVoutput_Key.

One more simple change you have to make - change the path to your SQLite dB to where you made it when you followed the instructions referred to in the initial reply to this post.

Make sure you have decided how often you want data collected and stored in your dB, so that the upload daemon can send it to I use cron - follow the instructions in the main SBFspot installation guide for this - the example there has it sampling every 5 minutes. The upload daemon we have just configured will pick up the newly added data and send it to

Excellent - thanks very much for this. Hope these notes help someone like me in the future.
Marked as answer by SBF on 2/2/2015 at 2:35 AM
Feb 2, 2015 at 9:35 AM
Hi Peter,
Thanks for this comprehensive feedback. Didn't realise it wasn't clear for everybody.
I will use this as a base for a documentation page
Feb 26, 2015 at 4:41 PM
Peter, may I use your text in the SBFspot on a Raspberry Pi documentation?
Mar 13, 2015 at 11:03 AM
As a new user I had a very similiar experience - and appreciate pjayb notes. (I am also a former SMAspot data which worked well before stopping for unknown reasons). So I have rebuilt from scratch, but I have old config files.)

But it worked.
My suggestions on documentation are in addition to pjaybs:
  • Ensure one has the clock and local time set correctly (this thread helped identify this as an issue and have a debug to text file to confirm things were working
  • the Documentation SBFspot install on a Raspberry Pi (English)" is actually the old changelog of SMAspot on a Raspberry PI. This is confusing in naming - but some of the general info is quite relevant.
  • The SBFspot V3 Linux quick reference guide is good but terse when it comes to the Upload Daemon. Hard to figure out what was happening when it wasn't uploading (it seems to be related to the wrong system time, but I dont know....)
  • having the logs and upload db at /home/pi/smaspot/ seemed slightly strange...
Overall though, it is a step ahead of SMAspot and I appreciate all your work.
Mar 16, 2015 at 11:58 AM
Edited Mar 16, 2015 at 11:59 AM
Snowmiss, I missed this - of course you can use these notes. I hope they help. Additionally, I have just moved my implementation from my NUC to a new Raspberry Pi and the current documentation was fine for the implementation.