The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer is a meteorological class solar radiation measurement instrument with a built-in heater, and is designed for long-term outdoor exposure. It is an affordable and effective alternative to shade-ring pyranometers, pyrheliometers and traditional sunshine recorders. The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer is exceptionally easy to use; it needsno routine adjustment or polar alignment and works at any latitude.
The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer is protected by patents EP 1012633 and US 6417500.
An internal heater keeps the pyranometer dome clear of dew, ice and snow down to -20°C (in still air conditions), ensuring reliable readings in difficult climatic conditions.
Direct and Diffuse Radiation
The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer uses an array of seven miniature thermopile sensors and a computer-generated shading pattern to measure the direct and diffuse components of incident solar radiation. The SPN1 Pyranometer computes direct radiation by subtracting the diffuse from the global (total) radiation.
The WMO threshold for bright sunshine is 120 W.m-2 in a plane perpendicular to the direct solar beam. The SPN1 Pyranometer uses an algorithm based on the ratio of direct to diffuse radiation, combined with their absolute values, to estimate sunshine duration to within a few percent of the WMO standard.
The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer does not need to be adjusted or repositioned to track the sun - a distinct advantage over devices with shadow rings. There are no complex electro-mechanical assemblies and no burnt paper tracks to interpret.
Outputs and Logging
The SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer provides 2 analogue voltage outputs for global and diffuse radiation, and a digital output for sunshine duration, which can be connected to data loggers, such as the Delta-T Devices DL2e and the compact GP1.
Readings can also be obtained directly from the RS232 port and viewed/logged using the SunData software supplied.
The GP1 Data Logger from Delta-T Devices is a powerful general purpose data logger that provides a low cost logging solution for the SPN1 Sunshine Pyranometer.
The SPN1 is ideally suited to multiple solar radiation measurement application areas, including PV (photovoltaic) efficiency monitoring, air pollution studies, cloud cover research, ET and heat flux studies, canopy analysis, and building energy management systems.
Direct-Normal Irradiance (DNI) is the amount of solar radiation in unit time at the Earth's surface on a unit area perpendicular to the direction to the Sun. It is a common practice to compare solar panel efficiency to DNI, particularly in field trials. Output from an SPN1 allows calculation of DNI in sun tracking, horizontal and tilted installations.
Read more about the SPN1 Pyranometer and DNI Calculation in the 'SPN1 Technical Fact sheet' – downloadable from our Further Information section (SPN1 Datasheets) to the left.
Note: You can download an Excel spreadsheet add-in to calculate DNI from the output of a horizontally mounted SPN1 Pyranometer.
SPN1 Pyranometer - comparison with BF5 Sunshine Sensor
The SPN1 Pyranometer is a precision version of the BF5 Sunshine Sensor and although the two instruments have some features in common, there are important differences.