Gathering reliable solar data is important to planners and developers looking to site systems for solar energy generation. Common systems include a Sunshine Duration Meter, which provides accurate measurement of sunshine duration as defined by the WMO (the time during which the direct solar radiation exceeds the level of 120 W/m2).
A variety of pyranometers can be used to measure the solar energy available. A wide range of pyranometers is available, each better suited to a particular task or to a type of location. Combining sunshine duration data with solar radiation measurements is vital to determining suitable locations of large photovoltaic generating stations.
On-going monitoring of the effectiveness of photovoltaic systems can be achieved by use of a Net Radiometer which provides the measurement of the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation, along with albedo analysis and sky and ground temperature measurements. One developer of new photovoltaic technology is using such a system to monitor the efficiency of new thermal solar systems.
Panel temperature can be monitored using the 110PV temperature sensor which directly mounts to the rear of the panel.
All these data need to be logged by a reliable datalogger and preferably transmitted to a base station or remote office PC. Campbell Scientific provide the logging, telemetry and software to ensure you get the most out of your solar sensors.