Aurora Monitor

1. Introduction

The Aurora Monitor graphical application program continuously monitors the power output and other information from either one or two Power-One Aurora inverters. It displays continuously updated graphs, numerical values, and alarm status.

It also stores the data so that graphs from previous days can be displayed.

Author:   Jonathan Duddington

2. Installation

2.1. Windows

Run the installer: setup_auroramon.exe.

2.2. Linux

You will need to have the wxWidgets libraries installed on your computer.

For Debian, Ubuntu and similar distributions, you need package libwxgtk2.8-0 to run the Aurora Monitor program. You will also need package libwxgtk2.8-dev to compile it from the program source code.

Alternatively, wxWidgets is available from

Run make in the src directory to produce the auroramon executable file.

After you have run auroramon and created its data directory, you can copy the help.html file into the system sub-directory so that it can be accessed from within the Aurora Monitor program.

3. Setup

Settings -> Setup dialog

Serial port

This is the serial port to which the inverters are connected. For example COM1 on Windows or /dev/ttyS0 on Linux.
If you use a USB to RS-485 converter plugged into a USB port on the computer then this will be available as virtual serial port (as a higher numbered COM port on Windows, or as a device such as /dev/ttyUSB0 on Linux).
Inverter addresses

Aurora Monitor can manage either one or two Aurora inverters. Enter the address of each inverter here.
For a single inverter system, the inverter address (which is usually the default value 2) should be put into the first address field, and the other field is left blank.
Data directory

This is the directory where Aurora Monitor creates data files which contain the power and other information from the inverters. Within this directory, Aurora Monitor creates directories named 2012, 2013 etc for each year during which data is received.

Settings -> Location dialog

Longitude , Latitude
These are used to calculate the sun elevation curve and the sunrise and sunset times at your location. Values can be entered either as fractions of degrees or as degrees:minutes:seconds.
Longitudes west of longitude zero are negative. Latitudes in the southern hemisphere are negative.
Time zone

If the auto button is checked then the timezone will be set automatically from the computer's clock each day. This timezone value is only used to calculate the sun position and times. It does not affect the times in data logs. Timezone values are hours east of 0 degrees longitude. For example North American EST is -5.0.
Panel groups

You can enter the tilt angle (degrees from horizontal) and the facing direction (degrees clockwise from north) for one or two groups of solar panels. This information (along with Longitude and Latitude) is used to calculate Solar Intensity graphs.

Settings -> Inverter dialog

Auto retrieve 5 minute energy data

When Aurora Monitor is run for the first time each day, it retrives the 10 second energy data from the inverter. It stores it as a file yyyy_out/rA_yyyymmdd (where A is the inverter address and yyyymmdd is today's date), as 5 minute data suitable for use with The 10 second energy data is also used to fill in any gaps in the power output chart.

Settings ->

Aurora monitor can send regular data updates to the website. The default URL is for sending data which needs a System Id and API Key to gain access.

If an internet connection to is not available, the Aurora Monitor stores the data and sends it later when a connection is established.

4. Inverter Menu

Inverter information

This displays:

  1. Inverter model information.
  2. Total time that the inverter has been running.
  3. Partial running time, since the partial counts were last reset.
  4. Total time that the inverter has been connected to the grid.
  5. The difference between computer time and inverter time.

Set inverter time

This displays the current computer time and inverter time. It allows the inverter time to be set to either a specified time, or to match the computer time.

Reset partial energy and time

This resets the partial energy total, and the partial running time count.

Retrieve daily energy

This retrieves the daily energy totals which are stored in the inverter.

The verbose option reads the contents of the entire data area, whether or not it contains valid data.

Retrieve 10 second energy

This retrieves the 10 second energy totals which are stored in the inverter. These are given as average power levels for each 10 second period.

If the 5 minute data option is set, then average power levels are given for 5 minute periods, in a form which is suitable for uploading to

The menu option Settings -> Inverter -> Auto_retrieve_5_minute_energy_data tells Aurora Monitor to automatically retrieve the energy data (with the 5 minute data option) the first time that it runs each day. It stores the information in a file: yyyy_out/rA_yyyymmdd where A is the inverter address and yyyymmdd is today's date.

Whenever the 10 second (or 5 minute) energy data is retrieved, it is also used to fill in any gaps in the power ouput graph, for example for periods during which Aurora Monitor was not collecting data from the inverter.

5. Keys

These keys can be used in the graph window:

F2 Display the continuously updated graphs of today's data from the inverters.
F3 Display a histogram of daily energy totals for past days.
F4 Display the inverter status and current alarm state.
F11 Toggle full-screen display.
Escape End full-screen display.
[ Show the charts for the previous day.
] Show the charts for the next day.
Page Up Display the next chart page.
Page Down Display the previous chart page.
Home Display the first chart page.
End Display the last chart page.
Up, Down Change the y-scale (for power graphs only).
Left, Right Horizontal scroll.
<   > Change the x-scale.

6. Files

Aurora Monitor creates files in the data directory which is specified in Settings -> Setup.

A year directory is created for each year during which data is received from the inverters. The names of these are the year names eg. 2012, 2013.

A year directory contains:

6.1. Inverter data files

There is a file for each inverter and for each day during which data is received. The file names are of the form:

dA_yyyymmdd.txt where A is the inverter address and yyyymmdd is the date.

Each line contains the fields.

  1. Time in the form: hh:mm:ss
  2. Output power, Watts
  3. Input power to string 1, Watts
  4. Input voltage to string 1, Volts
  5. Input power to string 2. Watts
  6. Input voltage to string 2, Volts
  7. Temperature, degrees C

Each line contains the average of the values which have been received from the inverter during a 10 second period. The time shown is the computer time at the start of the period.

Additional fields can be added by using the Settings -> Extra readings dialog (see 6.4 below). These are only read once for each 10 second period.

6.2. Daily totals files

There is a single text file for the year for each inverter. The file name is of the form: inverterN_A_yyyy.txt where N is inverter number 0 or 1, A is the inverter address, and yyyy is the year.

Each line contains the energy totals at the end of a day. This data is written to the file when the first power reading for the next day is received.

If there is a gap of one or more days when the Aurora Monitor program does not run, or does not receive any data, then those days will not be written to the file and the next day will have a today value which includes the totals for the missing days. In this case you could edit the file to add the date and today if you know the values, for example by using data from the aurora -k command on Linux, or exported from Aurora Communicator on Windows. This will enable the Aurora Monitor histogram to display correctly.

6.3. Five minute energy files

The directory yyyy_out (where yyyy is the year) contains a file e5min_yyyymmdd.txt for each inverter for each day during which data is received. These contain the total Energy Generated for the day, the instantaneous Power Generated, and the Grid Voltage at 5 minute intervals in a form which is suitable for pasting into the "Live Loader" form at

Alternatively, Settings-> can be used to send data to automatically every 5, 10, or 15 minutes.

Note that Power Generated data for can also be retrieved from the inverter using Inverter -> Retrieve 10sec energy from the menu-bar and ticking the 5 min data for option.

6.4. System directory

In addition to the year directories, a system directory may be created. This can contain:

These have filenames of the form InverterInfoA where A is the inverter address. They are text files which contain the inverter's serial number and version information and are produced and displayed when Help -> Inverter Information is chosen from the menu-bar.
This has the filename chartinfo. It is a text file which is produced when chart settings are changed by using Setting -> Charts from the menu-bar.
These have filenames of the form alarmsN_A.txt where N is the inverter number 0 or 1, and A is then inverter address. They list the time and type of alarms which occurred while Aurora Monitor was running.

7. Charts

Aurora Monitor provides several pages of charts which plot the power, temperature, voltage, etc. during the day. The default set of chart pages can be changed by using Settings -> Charts from the menu-bar. Some chart pages are only displayed if more than one inverter address has been entered in Settings -> Setup.

The Page Down, Page Up, Home, and End keys switch between chart pages.

The   [   and   ]   keys move between different days. The F2 key returns to today's chart.

7.1. Charts settings dialog

In the Charts settings dialog from Settings -> Charts each page can be given a name and up to 5 different graphs to display.

7.1.1. Graph Types

For each of the 5 graphs, the graph type is chosen from a menu at the left which contains the following options. For some options, an inverter (A or B) must also be specified.

none Indicates that this graph is not used.
Power Total Show the total power from both inverters.
This graph is only visible if 2 inverter addresses have been specified in Settings -> Setup.
Power Output The power output from the inverter.
Power Input1
Power Input2
These show the power input to string 1 and string 2 respectively of the inverter.
Power min of 1&2 This shows the lesser of the input power to string 1 and the input power to string 2.
Power Balance This shows the percentage of the power input to string 1 compared to the total power input.
Voltage 1
Voltage 2
These show the input voltage to string 1 and string 2 of the inverter.
Current 1
Current 2
These show the input current to string 1 and string 2 of the inverter.
Sun Elevation This shows how the angle of the sun above the horizon changes during the day. The Longitude, Latitude, and Time Zone, must be set correctly in Settings -> Setup. If the Max value is left at zero then it will automatically choose a scale to match the maximum elevation of the sun at your location.
Solar Intensity Shows the theoretical solar intensity in Watts per square metre, taking into account the elevation of the sun and the tilt and facing direction of the panels. Choose A or B to select which panel group. The calculation uses equations A.3 and I.1 from
Temperature The higher of the Inverter Temperature and Booster Temperature values from the inverter.

7.1.2. Colour and Style

Click on the coloured **Colour* button to the right of the graph type to change the colour in which the graph is drawn.

The Style option determines whether the graph is drawn as a line, a thick line, or as a solid filled area.

7.1.3. Status Bar type

For each page, the Status bar field in the chart dialog determines which data values are displayed numerically in the status bar under the graph. This only has an effect if more than one inverter address has been set.

all Shows all the fields for both inverters.
some     Shows fields for both inverters, but omits the energy totals (except the today total).
invA Only shows fields for Inverter A.
invB Only shows fields for Inverter B.

7.1.4. Scale

One of the graphs on chart page should have its Scale set to left. This will show a white vertical scale at the left side of the screen. The Min and Max fields give the range of the scale.

The right option can be used for another graph, and this will show a secondary scale on the right side of the screen, but without horizontal grid lines. This scale is shown in the same colour as the graph.

The backg option means that the graph is drawn underneath the scale grid.

7.2. The Default Charts

(These default settings are subject to change).

Page 1 shows the total power output as a solid graph. If two inverters are specified then the total solid area shows the combined power, while the output from Inverter A is shown as an area of darker colour.

Page 2 shows the power input for the 2 strings of Inverter A. Purple areas show where string 1 provides greater input power than string 2. Red areas show where string 2 provides greater power. If there is only pink and no purple or red, then both strings are receiving equal power. This chart is useful (in cases where both strings have the same number of panels) to show when one set of panels is shaded more than the other.

Page 3 shows line graphs of the inverter temperature and the percentage efficiency (power output / power input).

Page 4 shows the ratio of the power input from the two strings. This may be useful for showing shading of one or the other strings.

Page 5 shows line graphs of the input voltages from the 2 strings, and also a line graph of the grid voltage.

On pages 3, 4, and 5 the power output is also shown for reference as a solid dark grey graph underneath the grid lines.

If there are two inverters, then pages 2 to 5 are repeated for the second inverter.

7.3. Status Bar

The Status Bar is below the chart page. It shows continually updated numerical readings from the inverters.

If more than one inverter address has been set, then the contents of the Status Bar can be varied for each chart page to show the readings for either one or the other inverter, or both.

The large number at the far left shows the total output power from both inverters.

Next to this is a flashing light for each inverter.

It shows green when the inverter is responding. It flashes green whenever a response is received from that inverter. It flashes yellow if a request to the inverter had to be re-sent.

It shows yellow when the inverter has an alarm, or a status other than normal running.

It shows red when there is no communication with the inverter.

7.4. Extra Readings

Extra measurements form the inverters can be displayed, in addition to the graph types listed in 6.1.1 above, and the default set of numeric values on the Status Bar.

Open the Settings -> Extra readings dialog from the menu-bar. This allows you to add from a list of extra reading types. If you check the Numeric option then the reading is added to the Status Bar. If you check the Graph option then values for this item are stored in the Inverter Data files (see 5.1 above) and an additional item is added to the list of graph types in the Chart settings dialog.

Some of these extra readings may not produce data on some models of inverter.

8. Histograms

Display -> Histogram or F3 shows the Histogram display.

Page Down and Page Up changes the display to show Daily values, Weekly average values or Monthly average values of energy output.

The vertical scale can be set by specifying the maximum daily energy value in Settings -> Histogram.

If daily values are not available for some days (see Daily totals files above), then the Weekly average display shows averaged values in dark grey.

Double-click on a day in the Daily values display shows the charts for that day.