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PV performance monitoring technology

William Beutell, EKO, explains how innovation, research and experience contributed to the development of the new generation of pyranometers and pyrheliometers leading the way forward to more precise data collection ….

While the prevailing technologies have provided consistent results for decades, new approaches were needed to push sensor performance into a new realm. Starting with a new broadband sensor and moving to premiere outdoor spectral measurements. EKO is creating a new direction of sensor development. Combine these improvements with their recent work in cloud forecasting and they are a unique company changing the PV monitoring sensor technology for everyone.

Motivation for constant innovations
As of today, most of the existing solar sensors were developed for meteorological research purposes, meaning there is now a myriad of solar sensors available on the market. The PV industry originally turned to meteorologists for answers on what sensors to deploy. However, choosing the best sensor requires expert understanding of sensor properties, knowledge of the on-site environmental and atmospheric conditions and defining your acceptable uncertainty levels. These factors must be taken into account whilst remaining within your budget. As PV projects mature, performance ratios do not always match up. The predicted PV solar park power output may not match the actual produced power output. Finding the source of these mismatches leads more people to consider the sensors they were using and to try to understand the uncertainty of their measurements.


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