Quantitative Analysis of Spectral Impacts on Silicon Photodiode Radiometers: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Inexpensive broadband pyranometers with silicon photodiode detectors have a non-uniform spectral response over the spectral range of 300-1100 nm. The response region includes only about 70% to 75% of the total energy in the terrestrial solar spectral distribution from 300 nm to 4000 nm. The solar spectrum constantly changes with solar position and atmospheric conditions. Relative spectraldistributions of diffuse hemispherical irradiance sky radiation and total global hemispherical irradiance are drastically different. This analysis convolves a typical photodiode response with SMARTS 2.9.5 spectral model spectra for different sites and atmospheric conditions. Differences in solar component spectra lead to differences on the order of 2% in global hemispherical and 5% or more indiffuse hemispherical irradiances from silicon radiometers. The result is that errors of more than 7% can occur in the computation of direct normal irradiance from global hemispherical irradiance and diffuse hemispherical irradiance using these radiometers.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2011
EventSOLAR 2011 - Raleigh, North Carolina
Duration: 16 May 201121 May 2011


ConferenceSOLAR 2011
CityRaleigh, North Carolina

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-50936


  • analysis
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • pyranometers
  • quantitative analysis
  • radiometers
  • silicon photodiode detectors
  • silicon photodiode radiometers
  • spectral distribution
  • spectral impacts
  • spectral response


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative Analysis of Spectral Impacts on Silicon Photodiode Radiometers: Preprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this