Electrical Power & Protection


Pyranometer for monitoring small-scale PV installation efficiency

April 2022 Electrical Power & Protection Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

The increasing volume of photovoltaic (PV) solar panel installations across small to medium-sized businesses raises the question of how to monitor the energy efficiency of the PV system. Delta Ohm has addressed this with the launch of the LPPYRA-Lite pyranometer, which is specifically designed to monitor general solar radiation on small-scale PV installations.

“With PV panels being installed across smaller retail and commercial operations, it would make sense to track the efficiency levels. The compact LPPYRA-Lite, integrated in a Delta Ohm HD35 wireless data logger, will give you the ability to monitor the efficiencies of your small-scale PV system with what is the most cost-effective device available on the market,” claims Jan Grobler, managing director of GHM Messtechnik South Africa.

LPPYRA-Lite is a small and light pyranometer based on an accurate thermopile sensor for ordinary monitoring of smaller PV systems. Its remarkably compact dimensions make for easy installation and integration into any application. Being classified as ‘Class C Spectrally Flat’ according to the ISO 9060:2018 standard guarantees the accuracy, reliability and precision of its measurements and its compliance with the reference standards. Each sensor is characterised by its own calibration factor which is indicated on the body of the pyranometer.

Designed for direct tilted installation on a PV panel plane, the LPPYRA-Lite does not require any levelling device. For horizontal positioning, an optional fixing base with an integrated levelling device can be supplied. Two versions are available: the LPPYRA-Lite with μV/Wm-2 output and an impedance of 33-45 Ω; and the LPPYRA-LiteAC for 2-wire current loop output as a 4-20 mA signal.

The measurement range of the lightweight (140 gram) pyranometer is 0-2000 W/m2, its viewing angle is 2π sr and it comes with a 4-pole M12 connector. The LPPYRA-Lite passive model requires no power input while the LPPYRA-LiteAC requires 10-30 V DC.

“Small-scale PV plants can be seen everywhere, on parking and building roofs at retail and business parks. Industrial and engineering factories are also installing solar panels around selected parts of their premises. The investment for the establishment of a PV solar panel plant and the subsequent installation and maintenance is not insignificant, so the efficiencies and benefits achieved through accurate monitoring of the PV panel installations is the big plus of the LPPYRA-Lite technology. It is the most accurate and cost-effective technology available,” Grobler asserts.


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