Definition of Pyranometer

A pyranometer signifies a scientific instrument purposed for the quantification of broadband solar irradiance on a planar surface. Its design enables the measurement of solar radiation flux density (W/m²), capturing a 180-degree field of view.

Components of a Pyranometer

A conventional pyranometer incorporates the following elements:
Thermopile Sensor: The essential component of the instrument is a thermopile sensor, which produces a minute electrical signal commensurate with the sunlight absorbed.

Black Coating: Enveloping the thermopile sensor is a black coating that attracts incoming solar radiation.

Dome: One or two glass domes, protecting the sensor, allow solar radiation to access the black surface.

Working Principle of a Pyranometer

The operation of a pyranometer relies on the thermopile sensor that absorbs the inbound solar radiation, leading to a temperature differential across the thermopile. This temperature discrepancy creates a small electrical voltage, correlating to the solar radiation. Subsequently, the voltage translates into solar irradiance in Watts per square meter (W/m²).

Applications of Pyranometer

The primary applications of pyranometers span meteorology, climatology, solar energy research, and building physics. Weather stations, climate monitoring networks, and photovoltaic (PV) solar energy installations commonly feature pyranometers to quantify available solar radiation.

Meteorology and Climatology: In these fields, pyranometers contribute to the study of Earth's energy equilibrium and the forecasting of weather and climate fluctuations.

Solar Energy: Regarding solar energy endeavors, pyranometers serve to evaluate the efficacy of solar panels or identify prime locations for future solar installations.

By supplying precise measurements of solar radiation, pyranometers become an indispensable tool in these areas.
Updated: Jun 1, 2023
Published by: Weather U.S. | About Us