Why Measure Solar Radiation?
Atmospheric circulation is driven by solar radiation. Determining the solar radiation and its interaction with the atmosphere and the Earth's surface is important, since solar radiation accounts for almost all of the energy available to the Earth. There are two ways solar radiation reaches the Earth's surface. The first is direct solar radiation where the solar radiation is directly transmitted throug the atmosphere. The second is diffuse solar radiation where the incoming solar radiation is scattered or reflected to the Earth's surface. Almost 50% of shortwave solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface and changed into thermal infrared radiation. Direct solar radiation is measured by using a pyranometer. This type of solar radiation sensor has a transparent hemisphere which measures the total amount of shortwave solar radiation. Pyranometers measure the total radiation or sum of the direct radiation and the diffuse solar radiation.
The solar radiation sensor or pyranometer is an instrument for measuring solar radiation received from a whole hemisphere. It is suitable for measuring global sun plus sky radiation. Solar radiation varies significantly among regions. Season and time of day are major considerations, but surrounding terrain elevation, man-made obstructions, and surrounding trees can also cause large variations in locations with a small area. Often, the required measurement is, energy flux density of both direct beam and diffuse sky radiation passing through a horizontal plane of known unit area (i.e., global sun plus sky radiation
Detector: LiCOR High-stability silicon photovoltaic detector (blue enhanced).
Output: 4-20 mA
Range: 0 to 1500W/m2
Accuracy: 1% of full scale
Operating Voltage: 10-36 VDC
Current Draw: Same as sensor output
Warm Up Time: 3 seconds minimum
Operating Temp: -40 to +55C
Sensor Size:3" diameter x 1 1/2"Weight: 1/4 lb.
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