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Monitoring small scale PV installations for efficiency

Home Engineering Electrical Monitoring small scale PV installations for efficiency

THE increasing volume of photo voltaic (PV) solar panel installations across small-to-medium-sized businesses raises the question of how to monitor the energy efficiency of the PV system.

That’s according to Jan Grobler, MD of GHM Messtechnik, South Africa, who said Delta OHM’s newly launched LPPYRA-Lite pyranometer is specifically designed to monitor general solar radiation on small scale PV installations.

“With PV panels being installed across smaller retail and commercial operations it would make sense to track the efficiency levels. The compact LPPYRA-Lite integrated in a Delta OHM HD35 wireless data logger will give you the ability to monitor the efficiencies of your small-scale PV system with what is the most cost-effective device available on the market,” Grobler said.

He added that LPPYRA-Lite is a small and light pyranometer based on an accurate thermopile sensor for ordinary monitoring of smaller PV systems. “Its exceptionally compact dimensions make for an easy installation and integration into any application.”

Being classified as a Class C Spectrally Flat according to ISO 9060:2018 “guarantees” the accuracy, reliability and precision of its measurements and its compliance with the reference standards. Each sensor is characterised by its own calibration factor which is indicated on the body of the pyranometer.

Designed for direct tilted installation on a PV panel plane, it does not require any levelling device. For horizontal positioning an optional fixing base with an integrated levelling device can be supplied.

Two versions are available the LPPYRA-Lite: μV/Wm-2  with an impedance of 33-45 Ω and the LPPYRA-Lite AC: 2-wire (current loop) with 4-20 mA (RL ≤ 500 Ω).

The measurement range of the of the LPPYRA Lite is 0-2000 W/m2 and gives a viewing angle of 2π sr. Weighing 146 grams, its connection has a 4-pole M12 connector. LPPYRA-Lite passive version requires no power whilst the LPPYRA-Lite AC requires 10-30 Vdc.

“Small scale PV plants can be seen everywhere, on parking and building roofs at retail and business parks. Industrial and engineering factories are also installing solar panels around selected parts of their premises,” Grobler said.

“The investment for the establishment of a PV solar panel plant and the subsequent installation and maintenance is not insignificant, so the efficiencies and benefits achieved through accurate monitoring of the PV panel installations is the big plus of the LPPYRA-Lite technology. It is the most accurate and cost-effective technology available.

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