SolarNetwork is hosted by the SolarNetwork Foundation (SNF), a registered charity in New Zealand. To get started, hop over to SolarUser and create an account. SolarNetwork is free for personal use and development testing. For other use, SNF offers a very reasonable pricing plan based on the amount of data you collect. Flick an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
All that being said, this page will tell you all you need to know to get started with your own SolarNode.
Check out the node supported devices page to see what devices SolarNetwork can talk to. Don't see something you wish was supported? Submit a feature request or better yet become a developer and contribute the support yourself (you'll be helping make the world a better place)!
Currently the Raspberry Pi is the best supported hardware for a SolarNode. We have complete OS images with SolarNode pre-installed; you just copy the image to a SD card and power on the device to have a fully functional SolarNode. See the SolarNode Prebuilt OS Images page to get started.
If you'd like to deploy SolarNode onto your own device, SolarNode has three basic requirements:
The SolarNode application is written in Java, and requires a minimum of a Java 8 runtime environment. Thus your SolarNode can be any hardware that supports Java 8.
Beyond that the SolarNode needs ways to talk to the devices you want to monitor or control, for example: serial ports, USB ports, or WiFi.
The SolarNode needs internet connectivity to be able to post the data up to SolarNet, for example: ethernet or WiFi connection to your home network, 3G mobile via USB stick, etc.
The SolarNet service provides many easy ways to visualize your data using just a web browser. If you'd like to build a kiosk, for example to display information about your SolarNode on a lobby TV screen, see the SolarKiosk image page for some example kiosk disk images.