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Special Issue "Solar Irradiance Sensors"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Antonino Laudani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Università Degli Studi Roma Tre, Via Ostiense, 159, 00154 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: solar energy and photovoltaic systems; electrical power and energy system; artificial intelligence; renewable energy; smart grids and microgrids

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solar radiation is one of the most important quantities requiring monitoring for modern scenarios. This is for two important reasons. The first one is related to the large number of environmental characteristics directly or indirectly related to the solar irradiance reaching the Earth. The second is related to human activities, such as energy production and consumption, and their strict correlation with this quantity. For example, it is a key quantity to assess performance for a photovoltaic power plant. Moreover, research towards development of low-cost solutions to measure and predict solar irradiance could open interesting scenarios for applications such as PV plant reconfiguration or algorithms to optimize smart-building energy efficiency. This might create a larger market and a high demand for this kind of sensors/devices.

This Special Issue focuses on all the strategies for the development of novel solar irradiance sensors, going from technology issues to virtual sensors implementation, passing from the use of low-cost PV cells and their characterization. This number accepts high-quality articles that contain original research results and review articles and will allow readers to learn more about technological solutions related to solar irradiance sensors providing a benefit to the energy management system.

Therefore, articles reporting recent advances in solar irradiance sensor materials, sensor characteristics, properties, concepts, calibration and testing techniques, and application-oriented solar irradiance sensor systems, as well as closely-related topics, are welcome.

Dr. Antonino Laudani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Pyranometers
  • Reference PV cells
  • Irradiance spectrum and spectroscopy
  • Continuous monitoring and datalogging
  • Calibration of solar sensors
  • New applications of solar irradiance sensors

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Irradiance Sensing through PV Devices: A Sensitivity Analysis
Sensors 2021, 21(13), 4264; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21134264 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
In this work, a sensitivity analysis for the closed-form approach of irradiance sensing through photovoltaic devices is proposed. A lean expression to calculate irradiance on a photovoltaic device, given its operating point, temperature and equivalent circuit model, is proposed. On this expression, the [...] Read more.
In this work, a sensitivity analysis for the closed-form approach of irradiance sensing through photovoltaic devices is proposed. A lean expression to calculate irradiance on a photovoltaic device, given its operating point, temperature and equivalent circuit model, is proposed. On this expression, the sensitivity towards errors in the measurement of the photovoltaic device operating point and temperature is analyzed, determining optimal conditions to minimize sensitivity. The approach is studied for two scenarios, a stand-alone sensor and irradiance sensing on an operating power-producing photovoltaic device. A low-cost realization of a virtual sensor employing the closed form for monitoring performance of photovoltaic module is also presented, showing the advantage of this kind of simple solution. The proposed solution can be used to create a wireless sensor network for remote monitoring of a photovoltaic plant, assessing both electrical and environmental conditions of the devices in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Irradiance Sensors)
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Article
Solar Blue Light Radiation Enhancement during Mid to Low Solar Elevation Periods under Cloud Affected Skies
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4105; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154105 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
Solar blue-violet wavelengths (380−455 nm) are at the high energy end of the visible spectrum; referred to as “high energy visible” (HEV). Both chronic and acute exposure to these wavelengths has been often highlighted as a cause for concern with respect [...] Read more.
Solar blue-violet wavelengths (380−455 nm) are at the high energy end of the visible spectrum; referred to as “high energy visible” (HEV). Both chronic and acute exposure to these wavelengths has been often highlighted as a cause for concern with respect to ocular health. The sun is the source of HEV which reaches the Earth’s surface either directly or after scattering by the atmosphere and clouds. This research has investigated the effect of clouds on HEV for low solar elevation (solar zenith angles between 60° and 80°), simulating time periods when the opportunity for ocular exposure in global populations with office jobs is high during the early morning and late afternoon. The enhancement of “bluing” of the sky due to the influence of clouds was found to increase significantly with the amount of cloud. A method is presented for calculating HEV irradiance at sub-tropical latitudes from the more commonly measured global solar radiation (300–3000 nm) for all cases when clouds do and do not obscure the sun. The method; when applied to global solar radiation data correlates well with measured HEV within the solar zenith angle range 60° and 80° (R2 = 0.82; mean bias error (MBE) = −1.62%, mean absolute bias error (MABE) = 10.3% and root mean square error (RMSE) = 14.6%). The technique can be used to develop repeatable HEV hazard evaluations for human ocular health applications Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Irradiance Sensors)
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Article
Experimental Application of Methods to Compute Solar Irradiance and Cell Temperature of Photovoltaic Modules
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2490; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092490 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
Solar irradiance and cell temperature are the most significant aspects when assessing the production of a photovoltaic system. To avoid the need of specific sensors for quantifying such parameters, recent literature presents methods to estimate them through electrical measurements, using the photovoltaic module [...] Read more.
Solar irradiance and cell temperature are the most significant aspects when assessing the production of a photovoltaic system. To avoid the need of specific sensors for quantifying such parameters, recent literature presents methods to estimate them through electrical measurements, using the photovoltaic module itself as a sensor. This work presents an application of such methods to data recorded using a research platform at University of Corsica, in France. The methods and the platform are briefly presented and the results are shown and discussed in terms of normalized mean absolute errors (nMAE) and root mean square errors (nRMSE) for various irradiance and cell temperature levels. The nMAE (and nRMSE) for solar irradiance are respectively between 3.5% and 3.9% (4.2% and 4.7%). Such errors on computed irradiance are in the same order of magnitude as those found in the literature, with a simple implementation. For cell temperatures estimation, the nMAE and nRMSE were found to be in the range 3.4%–8.2% and 4.3%–10.7%. These results show that using such methods could provide an estimation for the values of irradiance and cell temperature, even if the modules are not new and are not regularly cleaned, but of course not partially shaded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Irradiance Sensors)
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Article
Correcting the Error in Measuring Radiation Received by a Person: Introducing Cylindrical Radiometers
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5085; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235085 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Most human energy budget models consider a person to be approximately cylindrical in shape when estimating or measuring the amount of radiation that they receive in a given environment. Yet, the most commonly used instrument for measuring the amount of radiation received by [...] Read more.
Most human energy budget models consider a person to be approximately cylindrical in shape when estimating or measuring the amount of radiation that they receive in a given environment. Yet, the most commonly used instrument for measuring the amount of radiation received by a person is the globe thermometer. The spherical shape of this instrument was designed to be used indoors where radiation is received approximately equally from all directions. But in outdoor environments, radiation can be strongly directional, making the sphere an inappropriate shape. The international standard for measuring radiation received by a person, the Integral Radiation Measurement (IRM) method, yields a measure of the Mean Radiant Temperature (Tmrt). This method uses radiometers oriented in the four cardinal directions, plus up and down. However, this setup essentially estimates the amount of energy received by a square peg, not a cylinder. This paper identifies the errors introduced by both the sphere and the peg, and introduces a set of two new instrument that can be used to directly measure the amount of radiation received by a vertical cylinder in outdoor environments. The Cylindrical Pyranometer measures the amount of solar radiation received by a vertical cylinder, and the Cylindrical Pyrgeometer measures the amount of terrestrial radiation received. While the globe thermometer is still valid for use in indoor environments, these two new instruments should become the standard for measuring radiation received by people in outdoor environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Irradiance Sensors)
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