Calibration methods for rotating shadowband irradiometers and optimizing the calibration duration
Abstract. Resource assessment for concentrated solar power (CSP) needs accurate direct normal irradiance (DNI) measurements. An option for such measurement campaigns is the use of thoroughly calibrated rotating shadowband irradiometers (RSIs). Calibration of RSIs and Si-sensors is complex because of the inhomogeneous spectral response of these sensors and incorporates the use of several correction functions. One calibration for a given atmospheric condition and air mass might not be suitable under different conditions. This paper covers procedures and requirements of two calibration methods for the calibration of rotating shadowband irradiometers. The necessary duration of acquisition of test measurements is examined with regard to the site-specific conditions at Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) in Spain. Seven data sets of long-term test measurements were collected. For each data set, calibration results of varying durations were compared to its respective long-term result. Our findings show that seasonal changes of environmental conditions are causing small but noticeable fluctuation of calibration results. Calibration results within certain periods (i.e. November to January and April to May) show a higher likelihood of deviation. These effects can partially be attenuated by including more measurements from outside these periods.
Consequently, the duration of calibrations at PSA can now be selected depending on the time of year in which measurements commence.