How to Measure Sunlight Intensity for Efficient Solar Panel Installations?Metravi Instruments
Solar panel installations are quite an expensive capital investment, though they last for years on end. Hence, solar and photovoltaic professionals need to make the best decisions while designing, installing and commissioning solar panel photovoltaic systems, based on data and measurements that are relevant to the required location.
Geographical and physical locations determine the amount of sunlight reaching installed solar panels. To provide the highest solar efficiency possible, panels should be mounted and angled in the most efficient location at the time of installation. Hence, Solar Panel installers and maintenance teams need to measure and compare sunlight intensity at various points of the respective installation site – be it on ground or a roof. By measuring and comparing light intensity at various locations or points, the installers ensure that the panels are placed at the best location and angle on the chosen area.
Solar Power or Irradiance (Sunlight Intensity)
Solar irradiance is the power per unit area received from the Sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation as measured in the wavelength range of the measuring instrument. The solar irradiance is measured in watt per square metre (W/m2).
A portable Pyranometer or a Solar Power Meter is a light sensor made of silicon that measures the power per area incident on the sensor. This measurement is known as the solar irradiance – “a measurement of power (rate of energy/sunlight) per unit area”.
The Solar Power Meter used to do such measurements should have high-precision, be reliable and ideally have an extendable cable so that the sunlight intensity readings can also be taken from a bit of distance, such that any shadows don’t interfere with the readings. The instrument should preferably have a rugged body so that it can be used consistently on the field. It should also be stable for long use and have a long-lasting battery. A rapid response instrument will ensure quick and efficient assessment of optimal locations and angles for solar panel placements.
Metravi 207 Solar Power Meter
The Metravi 207 Solar Power Meter helps to measure the sunlight intensity falling on solar panels or on any surface exposed to sunlight, using a sensitive silicon sensor.
It measures up to 1999W/m2 or 634BTU /(Ft2*hr) irradiance. With high accuracy and fast Response, it also features Data Hold function. It takes direct readings and no adjustment of the instrument is needed. Measuring unit is selectable between W/m2 and BTU/(Ft2*hr) and it also features Max / Min value recording. It comes with a clear and bright 3-1/2 digits LCD, measurement resolution of 1W/m2/1 BTU (Ft2*hr) and high accuracy of ±10W/m2.
The 207 Solar Power Meter provides a fast, accurate, handy solution for sunlight measurement, enabling solar professionals and technicians to provide exceptional services to their customers while installing and commissioning solar panel power projects. The ±10 W/m2 of reading ±5 digits accuracy gives the confidence that the readings are accurate for installations.
Being a lightweight, easy-to-carry and portable unit, the Metravi 207 can be used to measure at multiple locations and at whatever angle the solar panels are laid out. Unlike a fixed Pyranometer, it need not be installed at only one place and thus the Metravi 207 proves to be an ideal carry-along instrument for all solar and photovoltaic professionals and technicians.
The Metravi 207 can also be used to measure solar energy and radiation for other typical applications, such as:
– transmission measurement for measuring the effectiveness of solar film
– measuring solar radiation
– checking & finding out the optimal incident angle for solar panels
– measurement of sunlight transmission through transparent & film glass
– checking performance for windows and calculate & verify heating or heat reduction caused by direct sunlight
– researching on solar power
– deciding on best location for solar panels or solar water heater
– for Physics & Optical Laboratories
– for Meteorology & Agriculture applications