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SOLAR RADIATION AND SUNSHINE HOURS

MEASURING INSTRUMENTS
PURPOSE:
For utilization of solar energy through solar collectors, measurements of solar radiation
and recording of sun shine hours in a day are important to predict the performance of
the solar energy devices.
It is important to measure solar radiation owing to the increasing number of solar
heating and cooling applications and necessity for accurate solar radiation data to
predict performance.
WORKING PRINCIPLE OF SOLAR RADIATION MEASURING INSTRUMENTS:
Presence of thermo-electric sensing elements (Thermocouple/Thermopile)
Thermo emf produced is proportional to the intensity of solar radiation
Presence of photo voltaic sensing elements (Silicon solar cell)
Electricity produced in solar cell is proportional to intensity of solar radiation
Advantage of photo voltaic sensing elements
i. They are less expensive than thermocouples
ii. Response is very small
iii. High current output
iv. Stable to environmental condition
Disadvantage of photo voltaic sensing elements
i. It is sensitive to red and near infrared (IR) components of solar radiations and
insensitive to the blue and violet radiations and IR radiations of wavelengths longer than
1.2 microns.
NAME OF SOLAR RADIATION AND SUNSHINE HOURS MEASURING
INSTRUMENTS
1. Pyrheliometer (i. Eppley Normal Incidence Pyrheliometer ii. Angstrom Pyrheliometer) (Both
instruments use thermo electric type sensing element)
Pyrheliometer= Greek words pyr means fire, helio sun or light, meter
measurement
Eppley Laboratories in USA
Angstrom after the name of Scientist, K.Angstrom in 1893.
Pyrheliometer is an instrument for measuring intensity of beam radiation at normal incidence
2. Pyranometer (Greek words pyr means fire, ano something up above, meter measurement
Pyranometer is an instrument for measuring the global solar radiation received from the entire
hemisphere on horizontal surface. Total hemispherical solar radiation means beam plus diffuse
radiation.
If pyranometer is shaded from the beam radiation by a shade ring, it measures diffuse radiation.
3. Sun shine Recorder: It is an instrument measuring the duration in hours of bright sunshine in a day.

In addition, the terms solarimeter and actinometer can be interpreted to mean the same as
pyranometer and pyrheliometer respectively

Collimator tube: A device for obtaining a beam of parallel rays of light


Collimate: To make parallel
Manganin: An alloy of 86 % copper, 12 % manganese and 2 % nickel. It has zero temperature coefficient
Thermo-Emf: If two dissimilar metals or alloys are in contact and form two junctions like hot or cold junction and
electrically connected , then emf is generated. This is called thermo-emf.
EPPLEY NORMAL INCIDENCE PYRHELIOMTER

Collimator Tube

It uses thin silver disc as absorber coated with parson optical black lacquer placed at the base of
the tube. Fifteen junctions of fine bismuth-silver thermocouples are used. The cold junctions of
thermopile are in contact with the brass or copper tube. A series of diaphragm inside the tube
limits the aperture to a circular cone of full angle of around 5.7 degrees. The voltage produced
from the thermopile is the function of the incident radiation.
EPPLEY NORMAL INCIDENCE
PYRHELIOMTER
ANGSTROM PYRHELIOMETER

Let I = Intensity of solar radiation


A = Area of strip; = absorptance of strip;
R = Resistance of strip; i = heating current
in amperes

IA = R i2
I =(R i2 )/(A)

A & B two identical blackened manganin strips. The strips are arranged in such a way that
either of them exposed to solar radiation at the base of the collimating tube by operating a
reversible shutter. One strip is exposed to the solar radiation and the other is shaded and
current is passed through it to heat it to same temperature as the exposed strip.
Thermocouples on the back of each strip connected in opposition through a sensitive
galvanometer are used to test the equality of temperature. When there is no difference in
temperature between two strips, the electrical energy absorbed by the shaded strip must
be equal to the solar energy absorbed by the exposed strip.
PYRANOMETER AND PYRANOMETER WITH SHADING RING

Pyranometer without shading ring


Global Solar Radiation

Diffuse Solar Radiation


Pyranometer with shading ring
SUN SHINE RECORDER
It consists of a glass sphere installed in a section of
spherical metal bowl having grooves for holding a
recorder card strip. The glass sphere acts as a
convex sphere focuses suns ray to a point on the
Spherical metal bowl card strip held in a groove in the spherical bowl
mounted concentrically with the sphere. Whenever
there is a bright sun shine, the image formed is
intense enough to burn a spot on the card strip.

As sun moves across the sky in a


aday, the images (burning spot)
moves along the srip. Thus a burnt
space whose length is proportional
to the duration of sunshine is
obtained in the strip. The burnt spots
are formed in the card strip bearing a
time scale.
SUN SHINE RECORDER
SUN SHINE RECORDER