Speaking about the correct monitoring of Photovoltaic energy and PV systems performances, is it better using a silicon solarimeter or a pyranometer?

The answer is: it is more functional to use a solarimeter (or silicon cell irradiation sensor).

This idea is based on the following assumptions and concepts:

  1. The silicon cell surveys the same radiation that a Photovoltaic system is capable to convert in energy.
  2. Some solarimeters are able to return an irradiation value cleaned from the temperature effects.
  3. The solarimeters have a flat surface, similar to the one of the PV modules. Besides, they are placed with the same orientation and inclination of the plant Photovoltaic modules.
  4. High-end solarimeters have an output that is almost exempt from disturbances even in huge systems where many modules strings are present and electromagnetic induction phenomenons are frequent. On the contrary, pyranometers, designed for areas without disturbances such as the meteorological stations, have, usually, outputs of 10-20mV and the signal that passes on the wire up to the monitoring system is vulnerable to these disturbances.

Plus, solarimeters are cheaper than pyranometers.

Obviously, pyranometers have some advantages. In the downloadable PDF below, each of these four points is deeply analyzed.

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