Effects of solar height, cloudiness and temperature on silicon pyranometer measurements

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DOI: 10.3369/tethys.2007.4.02

pp.: 11 - 18


The objective of the paper is to improve the agreement between the global irradiance measurements taken with a Kipp & Zonen CM11 thermoelectric pyranometer, and several Li-Cor Li200SA photovoltaic (silicon) pyranometers. With this purpose, we propose some corrections for the angular response of the sensors, which in general moves away from the ideal cosine response. The 1-minute data corresponding to an annual cycle of irradiance measurements taken by both types of pyranometers in the radiometric station of the University of Girona have been analysed. Corrections suggested by the angular response of instruments are based on previous studies, as well as simulations made using a multi-layer and spectral radiative transfer model. The simulation allowed us to obtain corrections to compensate for the different angular and spectral responses of both types of instruments. For clear skies, angular and spectral corrections significantly improve the agreement between the measurements of both types of pyranometers. An empirically obtained correction of the effect of temperature on the measurement of silicon pyranometers is also suggested. Despite the fact that corrections have been obtained for clear skies, they have also been applied to cloudy sky conditions, objectively characterised through an algorithm based on global and diffuse irradiance measurements. Finally, it is verified that the corrections also improve the agreement between measurements of the two types of sensors independently from the cloud cover extension.

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Partially funded through grants CGL2007-29820-E/CLI, CGL2008-02804-E/, CGL2009-07417-E and CGL2011-14046-E of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation