Aurora PV Inverter-->(RS485 to USB)-->Raspberry Pi-->EmonCMS?

I am working on a project to get the energy generation data from our 8 rooftop solar panels online. We currently have an old Magnetek Aurora 3600-US-OUT inverter, which stores the data internally, and there is an Aurora Monitoring dashboard to graphically display the readings, but it only hooks up to a local computer...we need this information online. I found an option ... hack the Aurora Monitoring software and get it online to the website, but I prefer emonCMS visually, so I would like to know if any one has a hack to get it running on emonCMS instead, by hooking up directly to the inverter.

The current design is to directly connect to the inverter through its' RS485 connection. The RS485 will connect to a Raspberry Pi through an RS485 to USB cable. The RS485 to USB cable transfers the logged data from the Magnetek Aurora inverter to the Raspberry Pi. The raspbery Pi will be hooked up to the network via ethernet cable to a LAN port, and we will use the LAN's IP address to connect to the open source software, and get this data online. Does this seem doable to any one who has experience with the Aurora Monitoring software?

I appreciate any and all advice, as I don't exactly know what I'm doing at all, and need this project completed for a class project at Humboldt State University, monitoring the solar panel data online for all to enjoy.

TrystanLea's picture

Re: Aurora PV Inverter-->(RS485 to USB)-->Raspberry Pi-->EmonCMS?

jBad, do you know if the aurora one just spits out data periodically over rs485? or do you need to send commands to the inverter to get readings?

If it does just print out readings periodically it would be interesting to see what its outputting. It looks like the baud rate might be 19200, you could use a tool called minicom to read the output, I think the command is:

$ minicom -b 19200 -D /dev/ttyUSB0

jBad's picture

Re: Aurora PV Inverter-->(RS485 to USB)-->Raspberry Pi-->EmonCMS?

Hey, the inverter only logs data locally, and there is an RS485 connection to get the readings onto a PC computer. No commands are sent to the inverter to get the readings, but with this Raspberry Pi, I am hoping to take the locally documented data from the inverter onto the internet. 

By locally, I mean the inverter has a small LCD display where you can flip through with up and down arrows to view the real-time readings of Watts, kWh's, Voltage, etc. This information is only visible in graphical form when the inverter is hooked up to a laptop computer, then it runs the Aurora Monitoring software, similar to these images.

I am a beginner at encoding devices such as the raspberry pi, and could use any and all advice.

This command you typed above, what would that go into? ...I'm just now at the point of downloading Wheezy for Raspberry Pi, and am teaching myelf how to do this project as I go along...What is minicom? I will investigate and see if I can figure this out, but any advice/resource is always appreciated!

Thanks for your quick response!

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