Electrical Power & Protection


Is your solar plant optimised?

October 2023 Electrical Power & Protection

South African photovoltaic (PV) farms, industrial sites, and plants that have solar or renewable power installations installed or applied are legislatively obliged to meet certain NERSA grid codes. The key factors for legislation compliance are measurement and monitoring. These elements should be included in feasibility studies prior to project development, and continued throughout its lifespan.

Delta OHM, a member of the GHM Group, has launched its newly updated pyranometer instrumentation, PYRAsense, which comprises pyranometers with advanced solar radiation sensors. “The PYRAsense range of devices is based on smart technology, specifically designed to measure internal temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and solar radiation via their internal diagnostic sensors,” said Jan Grobler, managing director of GHM Messtechnik South Africa. “They are WMO compliant, and measure sun strength in watts per square metre.”

The PYRAsense is an advanced piece of instrumentation that meets three spectral classes. According to WMO recommendations and ISO 9060:2018 standards, these classes, are PYRAsense10 – Spectrally Flat Class A; PYRAsense02 – Spectrally Flat Class B; and PYRAsense03 – Spectrally Class C. They also meet IEC 61724-1 standard specifications for PV plant monitoring systems for large industrial or commercial PV systems (Class A), and small to medium sized systems (Class B).

The PYRAsense diagnostic sensors also monitor the operating conditions of the sensors, allowing for predictive maintenance to ensure that reliable measurement activities are not interrupted. The integrated bubble level remains visible when the UV radiation protection screen is utilised, and the pyranometer can be supplied with or without the tilt sensor. The pyranometers are easy to install and offer maximum flexibility for integration into any existing network. Sensors are available in RS485 Modbus-RTU output galvanically isolated, plus an optional analogue output, which is user configurable. The PYRAsense can be installed either flat on the ground, or mast mounted.

“The monitoring of weather conditions is critical for PV farms and industrial and commercial plants, as meteorological changes will impact the performance and efficiency of the plant. In addition to solar radiance, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, and wind speed and direction all play a role in solar cell efficiency. This is why the measurement and monitoring of solar efficiency is so important,” added Grobler. “Project consultants and design engineers involved in PV developments will find the high accuracy of the PYRAsense invaluable in meeting grid code requirements and other environmental considerations. The instrument provides the critical measurement and monitoring data that engineers and consultants need. The PYRAsense technology will also ensure that the PV development remains operationally efficient,” he concluded.


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