Pyranometer is a scientific instrument that measures the solar insolation that falls on the earth’s surface. In a scenario where a comparison of the solar radiation at different locations is to be made, a solar pyranometer comes in handy.

It measures the global solar irradiance on a planar surface, measured in W/m2.

Global Radiation = direct radiation + diffuse radiation

Direct radiation is the radiation arriving directly from the sun and diffuse radiation is that which is scattered by dust, dirt and clouds.



The 2 types of pyranometers are:

  • Thermopile
  • Photodetector
  • During the site assessment stage of a solar plant technology, a pyranometer is essential to find the optimal location
  • It also helps decide the best solar technology that can be employed at place whether it be PV or CSP
  • To optimise the design of a solar plant, the solar irradiance data is invaluable
  • It helps evaluate the performance of an operating solar plant, thereby indicating its’ efficiency in producing power and helps understand any associated problems leading to a reduction in performance

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