Raspberry Pi Setup to monitor Aurora PVI-5000 Solar Inverter – Part 3

Click here to read Part 1 of this setup guide.

Click here to read Part 2 of this setup guide.

This post is meant to provide additional information to the excellent work done by Whirlpool Forums user ‘goldiexxxx’ and the guides he has published. For full info and details see http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1965598 and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2116394

NB: these instructions might be helpful to anyone else who is running on Mac OS X

Visit the main Raspberry Pi website for additional information: http://www.raspberrypi.org/

If you have followed the steps in Part 2 of this guide, you should be ready to install the Aurora Monitoring software on your configured Raspberry Pi. You will have remote access setup and configured via SSH (command line) and VNC (graphical). Lets dive straight in.

Install Aurora Monitor Software

Connect to your Raspberry Pi using VNC Viewer and open the web browser (Midori), then type in the following URL:

Download Aurora Monitor

Across the top of the screen you will see the download link for the latest version (v1.07 at the time of writing).

Download Aurora Monitor Software

Download Aurora Monitor Software

Click the download link. You will be taken to the Sourceforge project page:

Aurora Monitor Zip File Download

Aurora Monitor Zip File Download

Click on the auroramon-1.07.zip to start the download process. You will then be presented with a Save As… dialog box. Click the “Save As” button. This will allow you to choose where to save the file.

Save As Dialog

Save As Dialog

Next you will see the following File Manager style window. Make sure that the ‘pi’ username is selected in the left hand panel. This is whats called the Home directory of the current user – you should be logged in as the username ‘pi’ (this is the default). Click the “Save” button to save the zip file to this folder.

Save Folder

Save Folder

Unzip Aurora Monitor .Zip File

Next, open an LXTerminal window… we’re going back to the command line for a while. Type the command (note: it’s a lower case ‘L’ character followed by an ‘s’):

This will list all the files in the current folder – which should be your home folder, for the user ‘pi’:

ls command output

ls command output

You should see the downloaded zip file in the list:  auroramon-1.07.zip.

Install Zip Tools

If there isn’t a compatible zip/unzip tool installed on the Raspberry Pi, we can install one first. Skip ahead to the next paragraph below to try the unzip step and if it says “Zip: command not found“, come back here and type the following command to download and install the zip and unzip tools. Then repeat the unzip step again. Note: running this command if you already have the zip tools installed will not damage anything. It will check the version installed and upgrade it if necessary.

Already Have Zip Tools

If you have the unzip tool installed, or you want to test it out first, type the following command to unzip the downloaded file:

You should see some text scroll by as the tool runs. If there are now errors, run the ‘ls’ command again, this time with these extra arguments (lower case ‘L’ again):

You should see more detailed file listing:

Detailed File Listing

Detailed File Listing

At the top of the listing you will see the existing zip file, but there will also be a new directory with the same name, minus the .zip extension: auroramon-1.07. This directory is where the Aurora Monitoring software has been extracted to. Our next task will be to download a package that is required for Aurora Monitor to run, and then we will finish the installation of the Aurora software.

Download WX Widgets Packages

Type the following commands in the open LXTerminal window:

Check to see if any of the files in the WX package require updating or missing. This will actually check for any missing packages on the whole system, so might take a little while:

Get the next required package:

You should be able to continue straight to the next section but if you encounter any issues, try doing a reboot make sure all the changes are applied correctly and then try to continue again.

Compile Aurora Monitor Software

Open LXTerminal once again. We are going to change directory to the /src folder in the auroramon-1.07 directory. Type the following command:

Now we compile the source code ready for running. This can take a while so be patient for it to finish:

You should see something like this:

Compile Aurora Monitor Source Code

Compile Aurora Monitor Source Code

Start Aurora Monitor

Now you are ready to run Aurora Monitor for the first time. If this fails, try rebooting again (sudo reboot). Make sure you are in the auroramon/src directory again if you reboot the system.

If all goes well you should see something this:

Aurora Monitor - 1st Run

Aurora Monitor – 1st Run

Close Aurora Monitor by clicking on the ‘File | Quit’ menu option.

Configure Aurora Monitor to Start at System Bootup

You should still be in the auroramon-1.07/src directory. Copy the “auroramon” executable file (this is what was created by the compile step above) to system programs directory:

Change directory to the ‘autostart’ directory under the ‘pi’ home directory:

Create a new file called ‘auroramon.desktop’:

and add the following contents:

Save the file by pressing Ctrl+X, and then ‘Y’ to confirm the save, and finally press ‘enter’ to confirm the filename ‘auroramon.desktop’.

Lastly reboot the system so make sure that Aurora Monitor starts up automatically upon reboot. Give it a minute or two for the system to startup and then reconnect with VNC Viewer.

 

Configure Aurora Monitor Settings

If Aurora Monitor is not running when you reconnect with VNC Viewer, you will need to go back and review the previous steps and try to find out where the error is.

Serial Port Setup

The first thing you will want to do is determine the Serial Port that the RS-485 to USB Converter is registered under. This is required when configuring the Aurora Monitor. Type the following command in an LXTerminal window:

Note that the character between the dmesg and grep is the pipe symbol. It is often found on the same key as the backslash (\) character, but requires the Shift to be pressed as well. You should see something like the following output:

List Serial Ports

List Serial Ports

You want to take note of the port name for the USB connected FTDI Converter. On my computer the port is:

In Aurora Monitor click on the “Settings | Setup” menu item.

Aurora Monitor Setup Menu

Aurora Monitor Setup Menu

This will open the Setup dialog box:

Aurora Monitor Setup Dialog

Aurora Monitor Setup Dialog

Change the Serial Port to the correct one that was displayed in the ‘dmesg’ output. eg: /dev/ttyUSB0. The Inverter address is 2 by default on Aurora Solar inverters. Click OK to save the settings.

Location Setup

Click the “Settings | Location” menu item. The Location dialog will open.

Location Config Dialog

Location Config Dialog

You need to enter the Latitude and Longitude for your current location to allow for correct plotting of the solar insolation graph.

How do you find out your latitude and longitude? That’s a good question! I used this blog post as a guide.

  • Go to Google Maps (http://maps.google.com.au)
  • Type in your address and then zoom in to a decent level so you can see your house or building nice and easily in the centre of the screen.
  • Right click on your house and choose the option “What’s Here?”
  • A green arrow should appear where you right clicked. Click it!!
  • The latitude and longitude will be displayed above the arrow
Latitude & Longitude

Latitude & Longitude

Note: Aurora Monitor lists the longitude first and then the latitude, but in Google Maps they are listed with latitude first, then longitude.

You want to use the values in the red square. These are measurements in Degrees, Minutes and Seconds. So using the values above, I would set my location as follows:

  • Latitude:  -31:57:28
  • Longitude:  115:51:49

Enter your values and click OK to save them.

Latitude & Longitude Values

Latitude & Longitude Values

Inverter Setup

Click the “Settings | Inverter” menu item. The Inverter dialog will open.

Inverter Settings

Inverter Settings

Clicking the checkbox will auto retrieve energy data from the inverter in 5 minute intervals.

PVOutput.org Setup

Click the “Settings | PVOutput.org” menu item. The PVOutput dialog will open.

PVOutput.org Configuration

PVOutput.org Configuration

Once you have configured your own PVOutput account from the website, then you can enter your account ID and API key. Aurora Monitor will automatically upload your data to your website account every 5 mins while the inverter is working during daylight hours. Please donate to PVOutput.org to show your support for this [currently] free service.

As for the remaining settings – Charts, Historgrams & Extra Readings – feel free to investigate them and play around with these settings.

Final Configuration Setting

In the original setup guide by ‘goldiexxxx’ he makes mention about a USB/Comms lockup issue with conflicting ports. This was in part to the session that the VNC viewer was connecting to the Raspberry Pi with. The following fix resolves this issue.

Open a new LXTerminal window and enter the following command:

Add this text:

immediately after the opening config setting:

Here is my edited file contents:

Edit /boot/cmdline.txt

Edit /boot/cmdline.txt

Now lets reboot the system and you should be ready to start monitoring!!

Final Steps

All that’s left to do now is hook up your Raspberry Pi to your inverter via the Serial to USB Converter so that it can start monitoring your power output.

The images and notes that ‘goldiexxxx’ has in his setup guide covers this brilliantly, so I won’t duplicate his work here. Whether you are on a Mac, Windows or other system, the physical hardware setup is essentially the same. You can connect with a modified RJ-45 cable or directly into the RS-485 terminal block. This really is just personal preference.

Good luck with your setup and Happy Generation!!

 

Photos of Final Setup

My inverter is mounted in the carport on the wall. There is a power point on the wall just nearby so I was keen to make use of this in the most efficient way. When you have the Raspberry Pi setup with a keyboard, mouse and screen, you need to have a powered USB hub connected to be able to utilise all these different peripherals. Not to mention that you also have the Wireless Adapter to plug in and the RS-485 to USB adapter.

Once you have remote access to the Pi setup (via the wireless adapter), the only other cables or connections you need are:

  • Power Cable (from a USB enabled power source)
  • RS-485 to USB Adapter

With the wireless adapter already taking up 1 USB port, your RS-485 to USB will fill the remaining one. If we set things up this way though, we somehow need to power the device from another USB based power source. I could have used the powered USB hub that was provided with the kit, but that means that there is a large power brick to be plugged into the power point on the carport wall, plus there is extra cabling to connect the hub to the Pi and then the hub itself.

So I thought I would try something different… what about my spare iPhone 5 charger brick? This is a very small USB charger but it works perfectly well.

iPhone 5 Power Brick

iPhone 5 Power Brick

 

You could also use an iPhone 4 charger brick too.

iPhone 4 Charger

iPhone 4 Charger

I could plug it straight into the wall, run the cable directly to the inverter and plug it into the Raspberry Pi inside. This would remove the need for the hub to be included in the deployment. It would save on space too. So here is what the final setup looks like:

Final Setup

Final Setup

NOTE: In this photo, you can see that the Inverter is powered on. This was only during final testing and at no time was I reaching inside or touching anything with it turned on and the cover off. This is definitely dangerous and you are risking electric shock if you do so. At all times make sure the AC Isolator switch is turned off, as well as the DC Isolator switch before opening the front panel and reaching inside the Inverter!!

With the front panel closed on the inverter, there is no wireless signal, so I positioned the wireless antenna to poke down through the cable gland. This works fine and I can connect from anywhere in the house to check on its health.

Wireless Antenna exposed through cable gland

Wireless Antenna exposed through cable gland

This is what it looks like inside the inverter. There isn’t a whole lot of room to move, but it fits nicely:

Raspberry Pi inside Inverter

Raspberry Pi inside Inverter

RS-485 Cable Setup

This is often a source of frustration and confusion. For connecting from the Inverter motherboard to the RS-485 to USB converter I used a generic computer network cable (CAT 5). This has by default the RJ-45 connectors on each end. This is the correct size to fit in the two adapter ports on the motherboard, however if you do this, some network cables don’t have the correct pins wired up that are needed for data communication from the inverter.

So instead I snipped off each plug at the end of the cable and used 3 of the 4 available wires:

Cable Connection Options

Cable Connection Options

NOTE: Don’t forget to push the termination switch on the left of the RJ-45 sockets into the DOWN position, as shown in the image above. 

  • Terminal Block Position 3 – RTN – White and Blue Striped Wire
  • Terminal Block Position 4 – +T/R – Solid Orange Wire
  • Terminal Block Position 5 – -T/R – Solid Blue Wire
  • The Orange and White Striped Wire is unused and I actually ended up clipping it off from each end so it wasn’t in the way.
Wiring Hookup RS-485 Adapter Plug

Wiring Hookup RS-485 Adapter Plug

RS-485 to USB Wiring Orientation

RS-485 to USB Wiring Orientation

Once I figured out which wire was meant to go into which plug on the RS-485 to USB adapter everything worked perfectly. Data will start flowing immediately to your Raspberry Pi and Aurora Monitor will start graphing it, and if configured, start sending it up to the pvoutput.org website too.

Aurora Monitor Live Data

Aurora Monitor Live Data

Hopefully if you’re bothered reading this far, you also have a screen in Aurora Monitor something similar the one above. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, drop me a line on twitter or via email (jenart at gmail dot com).

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  • Dave Marriott

    Thanks for an awesome write-up. I have been inspired! Off to buy all the bits and pieces and have a crack at it for myself. Cheers mate.
    PS: are you also in Perth? I notice the google map set to Perth Concert Hall….if so, small world hey!

    • Stuart Clement

      Hi Dave, Yes I’m in Perth. Northern Suburbs. Good spot with the concert hall. Good luck with your setup. Feel free to contact me if you run into problems.

      • Dave Marriott

        Hi Stuart,
        Where did you buy the USB to RS485 adaptor from?

        • Stuart Clement

          I used Alibaba:
          http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PCS-New-USB-to-RS485-FTDI-interface-Board-FT232RL-75176-New-Free-Shipping/536725844.html
          I paid extra for shipping via DHL and it arrived within a week. Good quick service.

          • Dave Marriott

            Thanks buddy

          • Dave Marriott

            Hi Stuart, I just wanted to say another thank you for a great setup guide. I finally finished off my Pi installation this morning and have it all working perfectly. I certainly couldn’t have done it without this guide as I’m completely new to Linux. Cheers

            (SparkyDave1981 on PVOutput)

          • Stuart Clement

            Awesome! I hope it all goes well for you.

          • Dave Marriott

            Hi Stuart, do you have troubles with the Raspberry Pi hanging after a while, say a few weeks or so? I have noticed that I have to reboot mine every month or so to keep it updating. Once it crashes, I cant even connect to it with remote desktop… it’s IP address still shows up when I do a scan of my home network, its rather strange. I’m thinking of creating an auto reboot on the Pi each night while it isnt needing to send any data to PVOutput but that seems like a rather dodgy solution. I dont know why it semi-crashes. I havent yet used a local mouse / keyboard to see if I can get local control yet. I will try that before using the auto reboot, just wondering if you have had a similar issue at all. Cheers, Dave

          • Stuart Clement

            Yes, my Pi seems to hang and crash regularly. It seems to drop off the wireless network more frequently too. I’m not sure what is causing it to crash. I’ve gotten into the habit of power cycling it as I walk past the power point every few days. Lazy I know. :o) If I find a solution I’ll do a post on it and let you know.

          • Dave Marriott

            Hi Stuart,

            I can save you some time there, I have already looked into a way to get the Pi to auto reboot. I havent set this up yet as I am out of the country at the moment but if you follow this tutorial, it should work:

            https://quaintproject.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/how-to-schedule-a-job-on-the-raspberry-pi/

            I plan to do this when I get home

          • Stuart Clement

            I followed the instructions on the link but tonight after work I attempted to login again via VNC and it was locked up again. I’ll monitor it over the next few days and see if it improves.

            Stu

          • Kevin Spiteri

            Hi David,

            Did you ever solve this issue?

            Thanks

          • Dave Marriott

            For the most part I think I have. The auto reboot seems to keep it happy most of the time but every now and then I find it locked up and not rebooting. I just power cycle it and it plays the game for a few more months or whatever

          • Kevin Spiteri

            Thanks. I need to bed this down somehow. If with the auto reboot is not enough then what I need to do an external watchdog to monitor the PI, which will power cycle every time is crashes.

            Having said that, there still seems to be another problem. Sometime when the PI is power cycled, it loses the ttyUSB0 and PVOUTPUT settings.

            I think that this can be solved by setting all Aurora Monitor settings in a script and run the it on every boot up.

          • Dave Marriott

            Hi Stuart,

            I have found what looks like a good solution here:

            http://iqjar.com/jar/raspberry-pi-rebooting-itself-when-it-becomes-unreachable-from-outside-networks/
            I’m yet to set it up myself but will do soon to see if it solves the issue

  • Belconnen Weather

    Thank you for the instructions. Worked a treat no issues at all. Will be adding into a waterproof box and mount it all next to the inverter shortly.

    • Stuart Clement

      Glad things worked well for you! Good luck with the mounting.

    • Stuart Clement

      Glad it worked well for you! Good luck with the mounting.

  • Andy

    Just finished my setup as well! Thanks for your excellent instructions 🙂

    My pi is running off a cell tower so i needed to setup dynamic dns to be able to remote in when the ip changed

    — this is a good tutorial if anyone else needs it!

    http://www.techjawab.com/2013/06/setup-dynamic-dns-dyndns-for-free-on.html

    • Stuart Clement

      Sounds cool. Thanks for the feedback.

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  • Gronhund

    Hi.
    I have the RS485-to-USB connected to my raspberry and my solar inverter. However my solar inverteres RS485 output is only two-wire. Does your system still Work if you don’t connect the return?
    Best regards
    Mikkel

    • Stuart Clement

      Hey Mikkel,

      In one of the original docs on the Whirlpool forum by goldiexxxx it says:

      The system will/may work without the GND connected but you may have problems with communications dropouts, especially on long runs. Ensure you use a twisted pair cable for the T+ and T- connections. Use one pair (eg Brown/White with Brown) for the T+ and T-. Twist the rest of the pairs together for the RTN/GND as it is not good practise to leave pairs unterminated in a multi-pair cable as you can get induced noise
      from external sources; creating interference to the data signal.

      I’m not sure if this will work with the RS485 to USB that you’re using. I haven’t tried it on mine. Be sure to make sure the termination switch to the left of the TJ-45 plugs is in the down position too.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/nu0rxj0j3yy0za8/Aurora%20PV%20Inverter%20Monitoring%20with%20HXSP%202108F.doc

      Let me know how you get on. If no joy, I’ll give it a try on my system.

      Stu

  • Fidel Gruber

    Hi,

    I just notice that if for some reason the rpi reboots the Aurora Monitor won’t gather the information from the inverter so if you do not login you got no info. However, as soon as you login into the rpi the Aurora Monitor will launch and start to plot the information.

    Is there a way to make the rpi to launch the Aurora Monitor without the user intervention. As you can see I’m a noob so sample will help others too.

    Thanks

    • Stuart Clement

      Hi Fidel,

      The steps to automatically starting Aurora Monitor are detailed under the heading “Configure Aurora Monitor to Start at System Bootup” in this post. Double check you followed all the steps outlined and then reboot the rpi to make sure it’s up and running correctly.

      cheers

      Stu

  • Daryl McDougall

    Hi Stuart
    Thankyou for the work you have done to assist other to set up Aurora Monitor on the pi.
    I am using a serial add on board called Raspicomm.
    Aurora Monitor is showing a green light for connection intermittently.
    Do you have any suggestions where to look at what might be the problem.
    Thanks
    Daryl

  • Hi Stuart,
    Thanks a lot for your instructions! I would have been pretty lost without your help. With your detailed instructions everything works absolutely perfect!
    I am using the new Raspberry Pi B+ with my Aurora PVI-2000-OUTD-AU. The inverter is connected over a HXSP-2108G (PL-2303) USB-RS485 interface (which is automatically recognized as ttyUSB0 in the current Raspbian, so it does not need any extra driver). The USB interface and the Pi are installed in my attic and connected by Ethernet to the router which is next to it. I can control the Pi in my study from my iMac over VNC and it is set up to automatically upload to pvoutput.org.
    The only (tiny) issue I had was when I tried to start the new compiled auroramon via SSH from my iMac (./auroramon in the auroramon/src directory). Over SSH it responds: “Error: Unable to initialize gtk, is DISPLAY set properly?”
    I could not solve this, but it was not a big issue, because at that point I still had an USB keyboard connected, so I could do this directly which works fine. After setting it all up, auroramon starts automatically at reboot, so it is not necessary to start it over SSH from the iMac. What a great system for little cost!
    Thanks again!
    Gunter
    (Sydney)

    • Stuart Clement

      Hi Gunter,
      I’m glad these tutorials helped you get your system all setup. It sounds like you’ve got it all working nicely. I’m no SSH guru, but it’s only a command line tool so it’s logical to me that you’d see the error you’re getting when you attempt to start a GUI program like Auroramon. That’s why it’s asking if the DISPLAY is set properly etc… The VNC option works the best for me. I have it in my dock with my credentials saved so I can login quickly and simply with a single click!

      All the best.
      Stuart

  • Terry Carter

    Fantastic set of instructions. I have wanted for some time to stop using Windows and Aurora monitor. This does a much better job. I used an original pi that was lying in the cupboard. What a great use for it.

    Thank you

    Terry Carter

    • Stuart Clement

      Great to hear it was helpful for you!

  • enzo scozzaro

    This technology I liked so much, just yesterday broke the solar-log 500,
    which displayed data inverter 10, I wanted to ask, if this software
    with raspberry can handle 10 inverters?

    Thank you
    Vincenzo

    • Stuart Clement

      Unfortunately no. The software is configured to read from only a single input port. Unless you can figure out a way to have the data from multiple inverters combined into a single data stream and then mount that device on the single listening pot. eg: /dev/ttyUSB0

      • enzo scozzaro

        The inverters are connected in cascade from 1 to 10.
        It should be seen as a single inverter with 10 channels.
        You think that’s possible?
        Thanks
        Vincenzo

        • Stuart Clement

          If they can be chained together in series, so as to appear as a single input, then I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.

          • enzo scozzaro

            The Solar – Log 500 , I access to channels that range from 0 to 9 , so we have only one plant , but we can also read the data of each channel , you believe that you can do this ?.

            Thanks for all
            Vincenzo

  • Ian Beeby

    Trouble with serial adapters…

    Great installation guide – I have used a Raspberry pi Model A with 256MB RAM running Raspbian Jessie and auroramon v1.7 – it ran for a while and stopped with a PL2303 general purpose USB/RS422/485 adapter and just receives basic data for about 30s with a USB FTDI RS485 adapter.

    There were clearly problems with earlier firmware for the raspberry pi and USB devices but these are supposed to be sorted in Jessie – I have tried the usual mods to /boot/cmdline.txt and they make no difference. I have tried with and without powered hubs.

    Any thoughts?

    Best Regards

    • Stuart Clement

      Sorry Ian, I really don’t have anything to suggest in regards to your problem. I still have intermittent problems with my setup. I just power cycle it when I walk by every once and a while. Not exactly a sustainable solution I know. :o)

      • Ian Beeby

        Stuart,

        Thank you for your reply.

        The problem appears to have been resolved by replacing the 256Mbyte Model B with a 512Mbyte Model B (manufactured about 8 months after the first unit so I expect some hardware tweaks were included).

        Getting either the Prolific or FTDI adapters to be recognised by the machine is easy in both cases but the new board seems to have vastly reduced link errors on the FTDI adapter when used with auroramon. The main errors encountered are CRC errors reported in the log. When the program is running (see below) there are a couple of entries at startup and nothing further but otherwise eventually (after 3-5 minutes) the log entries stop and no data is received.

        I also found a USB1.1 hub and use that to power and connect to the FTDI serial adapter – which helped with the new board but made no difference with the older Raspberry Pi board. I used the same SD card for each so it was just the hardware changed. I have an Edimax WiFi adapter plugged directly in to the Raspberry Pi. With the older model, where there were known power issues, combinations of adapters plugged directly and via powered USB 2.0 hubs made no difference to the problems that I was having.

        Seems to me that there are issues with earlier lower performance Raspberry PIs and USB – many reports on a number of forums – and while I cannot see why adding more memory and a bit more CPU grunt to a system which was already only running at 2% CPU occupancy and with heaps of spare RAM could have made any difference, it does seem to have helped.

        So far new RPi and USB1.1 Hub and FTDI serial adapter has been running unattended for 12 days. Fingers crossed.

        Best Regards,

        • Ian Beeby

          To be clear in my first post I said that I was using a Model A. On further investigation it appears to be a Model B with 256Mbyte of RAM. I have had it since early releases of the Raspberry Pi. In any event it is a base model.

  • Jijil

    Thank you VERY MUCH for this interesting tutorial, very useful very well written.

    A small addition that may help a lot on the long term (at least for me it did 😉 ) is to use this trick to ensure that the RS485 USB stick keeps the same address whatever happens:
    http://hintshop.ludvig.co.nz/show/persistent-names-usb-serial-devices/

    • Stuart Clement

      Thanks for the link Jijil, I think that will go a long way to solving a number of peoples issues with the RS485 – USB adapter falling “off the grid”. I will give it a try and report back.
      Stuart

  • Jijil

    I don’t know exactly why but on my RPi, since “Pixel” Raspbian update, I encountered instabilities with auroramon, which closed unexpectedly. I hope this will further be solved by some real fixes, but meanwhile I successfully sat up a workaround.
    This consist in checking if auroramon task is alive and if not, restarting it.

    I wrote this bash script (startaurora.sh in /usr/local/bin ) (with “sudo nano /usr/local/bin/startaurora.sh” ):

    #!/bin/sh
    A=pidof /usr/local/bin/auroramon
    #echo $A
    if [ -z “$A” ]; then
    #echo “there is no active Auroramon, let’s restart it”
    env DISPLAY=:1 /usr/local/bin/auroramon >>~/aurora/auroramon.log &
    fi

    save and close.
    give it execution rights: sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/startaurora.sh

    Then, I edited a new planned task. This tasks launches the above script every minute. Just start “crontab -e” and add this line:
    */2 * * * * env DISPLAY:=0 /usr/local/bin/startaurora.sh

    save and close.

    There IS something wrong with the DISPLAY settings, but at least it works OK with VNC on my installation.
    I’m curious to know if I’m the only one. Be free to suggest improvements (especially about the DISPLAY problem).

  • Malcolm Mackay

    I’ve been running this setup successfully for about a year, but just recently it stopped working and would no longer boot to Auroramon.
    I tried to run from the command line in auroramon-1.07/src, but got a ‘segmentation fault’.
    I reformatted the sd card, reinstalled everything from scratch and got it going again. It lasted for a day and now I’m back to not booting to Auroramon and getting the ‘segmentation fault’.
    Any ideas what I could do to fix this that doesn’t require a complete re-install?

    • Malcolm Mackay

      I saw on Whirpool someone else mentioned that they could get it to run with root, so I changed line 6 of the ./auroramon.desktop from:
      Exec=auroramon
      to
      Exec=sudo auroramon
      and it appears to be worming again.

      • Malcolm Mackay

        Actually this wasn’t strictly true in my circumstances. It would only run with sudo because it started a fresh instance of Aurora Monitor with no settings. I later found that the reason for crashing was that the download of the 10 second data at the start of each day caused the crash.
        It was not able to restart until the next new day, or if I changed the calendar to appear to be a new day.
        So I’ve just switched off the download 5 minute data in Inverter settings and it no longer crashes.

  • Michel Remacle

    Very great tutorial, thank you very much.
    No reboot since installation, it works flawlessly! See my output here : http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=55865&sid=50622
    ( I just chose the wrong raspbian version and had to install the GUI myself. Not as straightforward as I would have liked ;))

    • Stuart Clement

      Awesome. Happy generating!

  • Timothy Burgher

    I have this inverter through SolarCity. They are using the RS485 port. Do you think I can use the RS485 terminal block at the same time?

    • Timothy Burgher

      picture above answers my question hahaha

  • Giulio Salvioni

    I have one question; the software do not upload the inverter temperature and voltage although data are correctly present in the e5min_yyyymmdd.txt in the directory yyyy_out. As you can see temperature is always at -1 and voltage at 0,00.
    Any idea to fix this? Thanks

  • Tony

    Hello, does this work with ABB inverters please ???