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NREL Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (ATI RSP)

NREL Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (ATI RSP)

Latitude: 39.7423o North
Longitude: 105.1785o West
Elevation: 1828.8 AMSL
Time Zone: MST

Data sets currently available on SRRL ATI RSP web site Additional information or data

*** Notice: This is an early generation device (Version 0) that may malfunction, please use the latest generation RSR2 device. ***

A rotating shadowband pyranometer (RSP) offers a low cost option of measuring solar radiation resources for renewable energy applications. The RSP uses a silicon-based photodiode to measure the global and diffuse solar irradiance. The control and data acquisition system computes the corresponding direct normal solar irradiance based on the geographic location of the RSP and the time of the data collection events.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has obtained an RSP from Ascension Technology, Inc. (ATI) in January 1991. The instrument was installed at the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (SRRL). The long-term performance of the RSP will be compared to traditional thermopile-based radiometers located at SRRL as well as the new model RSR version 2 now available from Irradiance Inc.

By design, the RSPs offer the potential advantages of lower maintenance and calibration costs because they use a single instrument with a diffuser for determining the direct, diffuse, and global solar irradiance rather than up to three radiometers with larger optical surfaces, more complex support equipment, or more maintenance-intensive support equipment. Their potential disadvantage is the higher estimated measurement uncertainty because of factors such as the restricted spectral response of the silicon-based detector used in the RSP. Postprocessing software to account for the limited spectral response of the silicon detector could also be developed and applied the ATI RSP data. Because the RSPs have moving parts, they should be periodically checked for slipping.

For more information about this website or the data contact: Afshin Andreas