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Solar Radiation Data Measurement

Good quality, reliable solar radiation data is becoming increasingly important in the field of renewable energy with regard to both photovoltaic (PV) and thermal systems. It assists well-founded decision making on activities such as research and development, production quality control, determination of optimum locations, monitoring the efficiency of installed systems and predicting the system output under various sky conditions.

Maps are available showing the potential for solar electricity generation, however, such energy maps and satellite data are not localized enough or accurate enough, to provide a reliable basis on which to make technology and investment decisions. Due to micro-climate differences, changes of a few hundred kilometers can give a yearly change of several hundred sun shine hours.

The real available energy at a given location needs to be measured on-site over a full year or more. The differences in efficiency between PV technologies are often very small, so accurate measurements are essential to make meaningful price/performance comparisons.

Measurements of solar radiation are usually made using thermopile type radiometers with a flat spectral response. The types of instruments, performance specifications, and calibration methods are defined by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and International Standards Organisation (ISO). They provide accurate measurements of the total solar energy available under all sky conditions. The data can be compared with measurements from meteorological networks and satellites, across various locations and for different types of solar energy systems.  Individual sensors or sun trackers with multiple sensor configurations are typically used for these applications. Click here to download your copy of the Kipp & Zonen Make the most of the sun brochure.

For more information on the sensors or systems ideal for solar radiation monitoring please contact Tim Cookes or direct on 03 8420 8907.




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