In a Solar PV project especially for large Utility-scale installations or large rooftop installations monitoring the performance of an asset is very crucial as these installations are highly capital intensive and some of them maybe even be backed by third-party investors or banks.
Measurement & monitoring of accurate weather & solar irradiation is required to ensure your solar PV investment is performing to its optimum capacity or it is used to identify abnormal conditions in the performance of a PV plant. Unlike in a thermal power plant, the efficiency of the power plant is dependent on the quality of fuel, the type of systems, and the efficiency of the equipment. In Solar PV since we cannot really predict the sun radiation or weather conditions, the solar industry uses the concept of Performance ratio (PR). The performance ratio (PR) is stated as a percent and describes the relationship between the actual and theoretical energy outputs of the PV plant. It thus shows the proportion of the energy that is actually available for export to the grid after deduction of energy loss (e.g. due to thermal losses and conduction losses ) and of energy consumption for operation. The closer the PR value determined for a PV plant approaches 100 %, the more efficiently the respective PV plant is operating. . High-performance PV plants can however reach a performance ratio of up to 80 % based on the losses and the weather conditions.
To monitor the PR we need real-time accurate weather data for which there are quite a few tools and equipment available. If you belong to an industry where it is paramount to keep track of the weather and climate changes, choosing the right type of weather condition for your use case is very important. Even if you don’t belong to any such industry, and you simply want to know more about these really cool weather sensors, this article is going to help you understand them better.
What are weather sensors and who needs them?
Before we dive deeper, let us understand what weather sensors are and what they do. Weather sensors are devices that collect data related to weather and the environment using one or many different types of sensors. These can be used almost anywhere, from large-scale weather stations to even your personal weather monitoring systems. You could possibly argue that there is an app for that, and why would anybody invest in setting up a personal weather monitoring system? Well, that’s where it gets interesting. The weather details you get on any mobile application are most likely not going to be the exact weather of your location. That’s exactly what these weather sensors aim to solve, it gives you accurate, real-time data related to the weather of your location, along with many other interesting insights. And, if you are someone who has set up renewable energy plants like solar or wind energy, or if you are someone who needs such insights about your weather and environment, you are in the right place.
A few types of weather sensors:
A pyranometer is a device that measures the radiant solar energy at your location. It gives you real-time information about the solar energy that is available for generation at your location. This weather sensor is suitable for anyone who has set up a solar power plant or someone who has simply installed solar panels on their rooftops. There are quite a few options available and you can choose the best one for your needs.
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In a solar power system, each solar panel generates output based on the temperature of the solar panel. Having real-time information about the temperature of each of these solar panels can be helpful when you want to analyze the efficiency and performance ratio. Module Temperatures help measure the temperature of these solar panels.
To learn more about our range of Module Temperatures, click here.
Anemometers are devices that measure horizontal wind speed. They help control the power plants and are often essential in the functioning of wind power plants.
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These sensors help measure the humidity level in the atmosphere. In solar panels and wind turbines, the humidity level in the atmosphere has an effect on the generation of power. Hence, the information provided by Humidity sensors can be very helpful.
To learn more about our range of Relative Humidity Sensors, click here.
Solar Panels are devices that may lose their efficiency. The main reason for this is the accumulation of dirt and debris on the solar panels. Soiling Sensors detects the dirt on the panels and notifies when to clean them. This optimizes the Solar Panels for performance and ensures longer life.
To learn more about the Soiling Solution, click here.
This is a sensor that can almost do it all. This includes a pyrheliometer, pyranometer, and data logger. This is most suitable for remote locations and is very easy to maintain. It gives you on-site tracking data via Wi-Fi and has internal data logging over web access. These are future-proof and very reliable.
To know more about the All-in-one weather sensors, click here.
Weather sensors are definitely great tools when it comes to tracking data related to weather and the environment, and this is especially true when you want to set up a renewable energy power plant. We at Heydey Ventures offer a host of products and services concerning your energy needs. If you have any further queries, feel free to contact us.
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