Uncertainty Evaluation of Measurements with Pyranometers and Pyrheliometers

Aron Habte, Jorgen Konings

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Evaluating photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules, arrays and systems performance of solar energy relies on accurate measurement of the available solar radiation resources. Solar radiation resources are measured using radiometers such as pyranometers (global horizontal irradiance) and pyrheliometers (direct normal irradiance). The accuracy of solar radiation data measured by radiometers depends not only on the specification of the instrument but also on a) the calibration procedure, b) the measurement conditions and maintenance, and c) the environmental conditions. Therefore, statements about the overall measurement uncertainty can only be made on an individual basis, taking all relevant factors into account. This paper provides guidelines and recommended procedures for estimating the uncertainty in measurements by radiometers using the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty (GUM) Method. Special attention is paid to the concept of data availability and its link to uncertainty evaluation.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2015
EventInternational Solar Energy Society, ISES Solar World Congress 2015, SWC 2015 - Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 8 Nov 201512 Nov 2015


ConferenceInternational Solar Energy Society, ISES Solar World Congress 2015, SWC 2015
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

Bibliographical note

The proceedings from the SWC2015 are available in an ISES open-access database: http://proceedings.ises.org/?conference=swc2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-68394


  • Data availability
  • Measurement
  • Pyranometer
  • Pyrheliometer
  • Uncertainty evaluation


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