Improved Field Evaluation of Reference Cells Using Spectral Measurements

Frank Vignola, Josh Peterson, Richard Kessler, Vikram Sandhu, Sean Snider, Aron Habte, Peter Gotseff, Afshin Andreas, Manajit Sengupta, Fotis Mavromatakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


Output from an IMT reference solar cell mounted on a one-axis tracking surface is investigated using spectral measurements covering the 350–1650 nm range for selected days throughout the year. Comparisons are made to a Class-A pyranometer also mounted on the one-axis tracking surface. Systematic biases over the day and year are observed in the ratio of the reference cell's measurements to reference pyranometer measurements. This systematic bias is associated with the spectral, temperature, and angle-of-incident effects that differ between the reference cell and the reference pyranometer. The comparison is done for selected clear and totally cloudy days to determine the magnitude of the effects and to characterize the influence of these effects on the reference cell measurements. A model to calculate the reference cell output based on spectral irradiance and reference cell temperature is introduced.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)482-491
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-78845


  • One-axis tracking
  • Pyranometer
  • Reference solar cells
  • Resource assessment
  • Spectral measurements


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