The solar-energy market is one of the most rapidly expanding renewable energy markets in the United States. At Campbell Scientific, we’ve seen a significant increase during the last few years in requests for remote monitoring and control equipment for solar-energy applications. Just like many of the other industries that use our products, the solar-energy industry relies on measurements both for day-to-day operations and to advance the field through research. Whether you are assessing a site’s potential for solar power generation, monitoring performance of existing solar installations, or advanced solar monitoring, reliable and accurate measurements are crucial. They aid in decision making, product development, system maintenance, and in many other ways.
Common meteorological measurements, including wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, barometric pressure, and precipitation, all have their use in solar applications. Of course, solar-radiation measurements are especially important and sensors are available for measuring all aspects of solar radiation, including global horizontal radiation, direct normal irradiance, and diffuse radiation. Specialized systems with solar trackers are also available for applications that require advanced monitoring. See the article below for a list of new solar products that we now offer.
The requirement for continuous, remote, stand-alone monitoring makes our systems a great fit for these applications; however, it is our flexibility and reliability that really make a difference. Just like solar arrays and other solar installations that have to withstand all sorts of weather, so do the measurement systems that monitor them. With proper maintenance, our systems will provide years of reliable operation. Versatility comes through our systems’ ability to measure nearly every available sensor, the high programmability of our dataloggers, and a wide range of telemetry options for retrieving data.
As a company, we have invested in our own solar-energy project involving the installation of a 13-kW photovoltaic array for both power generation and research purposes. (See article in this issue.) We look forward to future contributions to the solar-energy industry through our products and support.
Give our renewable-energy group a call if you have questions about how our measurement systems can benefit your application.