Solar and Infrared Radiation Measurements

Frank Vignola, Joseph Michalsky, Thomas Stoffel

June 25, 2012 by CRC Press
Reference - 418 Pages - 16 Color & 213 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439851890 - CAT# K12386
Series: Energy and the Environment


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  • Describes the strengths and weaknesses of irradiance instruments
  • Provides detailed information on how to assess uncertainty in measurements
  • Contains information on how to install, operate, and maintain a radiation measurement station
  • Offers comprehensive background information needed to understand the use of solar instrumentation
  • Makes recommendations on choosing pyranometers for photovoltaic monitoring stations
  • Includes chapter-end summaries, questions, references, and useful links


The rather specialized field of solar and infrared radiation measurement has become more and more important in the face of growing demands by the renewable energy and climate change research communities for data that are more accurate and have increased temporal and spatial resolution. Updating decades of acquired knowledge in the field, Solar and Infrared Radiation Measurements details the strengths and weaknesses of instruments used to conduct such solar and infrared radiation measurements.

Topics covered include:

  • Radiometer design and performance
  • Equipment calibration, installation, operation, and maintenance
  • Data quality assessment
  • Methods to use measured data to estimate irradiance for any surface

With a broad range of content that will benefit students and more experienced readers alike, this resource serves as a primer and technical reference that presents the basic terminology and fundamentals for resource assessment. It explores the history of solar radiation instruments and addresses direct normal, global, diffuse, and tilted measurements, as well as the characteristics of instruments used for these measurements. The authors consider methods of assessing the uncertainty of solar measurements and then cover albedo, infrared, net, and spectral irradiance measurements and instrumentation. The book devotes a section to other meteorological instruments, and another to the basics for installing and operating a solar monitoring station. Appendices include information on solar resource assessment modeling and satellite-derived irradiance, along with other useful material.

This book’s authors are experts who each have more than 30 years of experience developing and operating multiple measurement stations, working with industry to improve radiometry, and conducting various research projects.


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