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Experiment No.

Measurement of Solar radiation using solar radiation system
1. Pyranometer
2. Pyrheliometer
3. Scatter radiometer
4. Net radiometer
5. Data logger
Solar radiation:
Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the sun from a nuclear fusion reaction that creates
electromagnetic energy. The spectrum of solar radiation is close to that of a black body with a
temperature of about 5800 K. About half of the radiation is in the visible short-wave part of the
electromagnetic spectrum. The other half is mostly in the near-infrared part, with some in the
ultraviolet part of the spectrum. The units of measure are Watts per square meter.
Types of radiations:
a) Direct radiation:
Solar radiation traveling on a straight line from the sun down to the surface of the earth.
b) Diffuse radiation:
Sunlight that has been scattered by molecules and particles in the atmosphere but that has still
made it down to the surface of the earth
c) Reflected radiation:
Sunlight that is reflected from surrounding trees, buildings onto a surface exposed to the sky
d) Global radiation:
The total of direct solar radiation and diffuse sky radiation received by a horizontal surface of
unit area.
Solar radiation sensor:
A solar radiation sensor measures solar energy from the sun.
Measurement devices for solar radiation employ thermocouples, which use the thermoelectric
effect: Thermocouples contain two dissimilar metal conductors in contact, which produce a
voltage when heated.

The thermopile is composed of several thermocouples, connected in series.
Xenon lamp:
A xenon arc lamp is a specialized type of gas discharge lamp, an electric light that produces
light by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas at high pressure. It produces a bright white
light that closely mimics natural sunlight. In lab xenon lamp of power 3KW.

A pyranometer is a type of actinometer used to measure broadband solar irradiance on a plane
surface and is a sensor that is designed to measure the solar radiation flux density (W/m
) from a
field of view of 180 degrees. Pyranometers are used to measure global and diffuse solar

A pyrheliometer is an instrument for measurement of direct beam solar irradiance.. Sunlight
enters the instrument through a window and is directed onto a thermopile which converts heat to
an electrical signal that can be recorded. The signal voltage is converted via a formula to
measure watts per square meter. A pyrheliometer is often used in the same setup with
a pyranometer.

Scatter radiometer:
Scatter radiometer measure the diffuse solar radiations.

Net radiometer:
A net radiometer is a type of actinometer used to measure net radiation at the Earth's surface for
meteorological applications. The name net radiometer reflects the fact that it measures the
difference between incoming and outgoing radiation from Earth.

Data logger:
A data logger is an electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either
with a built in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors.

Working principle:
Working of pyranometer:
When sunlight falls on a pyranometer, the thermopile sensor produces a proportional response
typically in 30 seconds or less. The more sunlight, the hotter the sensor gets and the greater
the electric current it generates. The thermopile is designed to be precisely linear and also has a
directional response, it produces maximum output when the Sun is directly overhead and zero
output when the Sun is on the horizon. This is called a cosine response, because the electrical
signal from the pyranometer varies with the cosine of the angle between the Sun's rays and the

Working of pyrheliometer:
Solar irradiance enters the instrument through a sealed crystal-quartz window and the sunlight is
directed onto a thermopile which converts heat to an electrical signal that can be recorded. A
calibration factor is applied when converting the millivolt signal to an equivalent radiant energy
flux, measured in watts per square meter
Working of net radiometer:
It is used for measuring solar and far infrared radiation balance. Its upwards facing sensor
measures the solar energy and far infra-red energy that is received from the entire hemisphere
(180 field of view). Its downwards facing sensor measures the energy received from the
surface of the soil. The two readings are automatically subtracted and the result converted to a
single output signal. This output represents the net radiation, (which can be interpreted as
meaning the radioactive energy that is seen at the surface) and is expressed in Watts per square
meter (W m-2).
Working of data logger:
The output from a sensor is inputted or connected to a data logger channel. A channel consists of
circuitry designed to 'channel' a sensor signal (typically a voltage or current) from the sensor to
the data logger processor. A single data logger can have a variety of channel types and from one
to many channels one channel is required for every sensor signal output. On data logger we can
take the readings of direct, diffuse, global radiations.
Observations and calculations:
Time(s) Pyranometer
1 120 328 327 641 1195
2 120 329 328 639 1282
3 120 329 328 638 1192
4 120 326 323 635 1166
5 120 346 348 676 1102
6 120 347 349 679 1210

There is variety of products that uses solar energy. These products are called solar devices or
solar thermal collectors. Solar thermal technologies uses the solar heat energy to and businesses.
Let us look at the applications of solar energy in different sectors.
Residential Application:
Use of solar energy for homes has number of advantages. The solar energy is used in residential
homes for heating the water with the help of solar heater. The photovoltaic cell installed on the
roof of the house collects the solar energy and is used to warm the water. Solar energy can also
be used to generate electricity. Batteries store energy captured in day time and supply power
throughout the day. The use of solar appliances is one of the best ways to cut the expenditure on
Industrial Application:
Suns thermal energy is used in office, warehouse and industry to supply power. Solar energy is
used to power radio and TV stations. It is also used to supply power to lighthouse and warning
light for aircraft.
Remote Application:
Solar energy can be used for power generation in remotely situated places like schools, homes,
Clinics and buildings. Water pumps run on solar energy in remote areas. Large scale desalination
plant also use power generated from solar energy instead of electricity.
Solar energy is also used for public transportation such as trolleys, buses and light-rails.
Pool heating:
Solar heating system can be used to heat up water in pool during cold seasons.
It is concluded that the value of solar irradiance (power per unit area) remain
constant if the intensity of light, angle of solar rays with sensor and atmospheric
conditions is fixed. In lab intensity of light and rays angle with sensors is fixed but
there is minute change in values due to environment effects.