UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory

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What's new?

On this Web page, we announce new software tools as they're added to our site, new solar monitoring stations or station upgrades, workshops or training we present, and other developments that might be of interest.

New Class A Hukseflux SR20 pyranometers were added to the Seattle-UW station and the Hermiston station in 2021. Also the Eppley PSP used for diffuse measurements in Seattle-UW was replaced by the Hukseflux SR20. This reduces the systematic bias in the data by using instruments with a better cosine response. Kipp & Zonen CM 11 pyranometers, also Class A instruements, were also added to most of the subsidiary stations. These instruments provide a second global measurement facilating the analysis and archiving of the data.

Frank Vignola received the Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society “For outstanding and sustained internationally recognized contributions to the field of solar resource assessment and monitoring, with ground-breaking monitoring, instrumentation development, and data archiving serving the world renewable energy R&D and industry communities.” The presentation was made at ASES Solar 20/20 virtual conference on June 24th, 2020.

July 2020 - The University of Oregon Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory enhanced its HF Absolute Cavity Radiometer (ACR) versatility by replacing the Agilent meter used to monitor the ACR by a new absolute cavity monitoring system developed by Campbell Scientific Inc. (CSI). We would like to thank CSI for their generous donation of this system to the UO SRML. This new system is highly portable and built with data-loggers that have a proven track record of working reliably in field conditions. The system is fully automated and runs on one of CSI's standard data-logger model CR1000X. The controller[1] allows more flexible control over the management of data collection from the HF ACR.

[1] Singh, Ajay and Matthew Perry. "Development of a new Controller for Absolute Cavity Radiometer for cavity calibration and solar irradiance measurement", 2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC). Published in: 2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC)

The second edition of Solar and Infrared Radiation Measurements by Frank Vignola, Joe Michalsky, and Tom Stoffel is now available at bookstores.

UO SRML funders no longer support solar monitoring efforts east of Oregon and Washington. This year we have had to decommissioned stations in Dillon, Montana, Twin Falls (Kimberly) and Challis, Idaho, Green River, Wyoming, and Moab, Utah. No problem is without its silver lining. The automatic sun trackers at Dillon and Twin Falls are now installed at Burns and Hermiston, Oregon. Burns and Hermiston now measure diffuse irradiance along with global and beam irradiance allowing a more comprehensive vetting and analysis of data from these stations. In addition, thanks to support from NewSun Energy, we were able to install a Class A pyranometer at Burns. This will significantly reduce the biases in the global measurements and provide a more accurate assessment of global irradiance.

OTT HydroMet donated an automatic sun tracker from Kipp & Zonen to the solar monitoring network and this equipment will enable another station to measure diffuse irradiance and improve the completeness and accuracy of the data from Seattle.
Mike Geyer at SolarPACES

At SolarPACES 2018, Frank Vignola met with Mike Geyer who was an international student who worked at the lab when Frank Vignola was just starting at the lab in the 1977-1978 time period. Mike went on to play a leading role in development of concentrating solar systems, overseeing the construction of half a dozen large solar facilities around the world.
Mike Dooraghi and Solar Tracker

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the UO SRML are involved in a joint project to evaluate the performance of reference solar cells and photodiode-based pyranometers on tracking surface. Picture of Mike Dooraghi, Rich Kessler, Josh Peterson, and Frank Vignola in front on a one-axis tracker with pyranometers, reference cells, and a spectroradiometer just installed in Eugene. Mike Dooraghi from NREL lead the installation with help from the UO crew.

New Sundial plotting program now available
May 17, 2010

We have added a Web-based sundial plotting tool to the plotting tools already available on our Web site. The program plots the tip of a shadow cast by a pole (or 'gnomon') as the earth spins under the sun. The plot can be used to determine when a shadow from an object will interfere with a PV system's performance. If the PV system is drawn on the plot and a line is drawn from the base of the pole [located at (0, 0)] to the tip of the shadow, one can see when the shadow from the object would block the PV system panel. Ideally, the system should be located where there would be minimal shading.
The sundial plotting application can be found here. Optional settings allow a variety of scales to be used along with an assortment of line colors and styles as desired. Charts can be created in either PDF format or PNG format for more versatile graphical use.
If an extended object like a roofline or a row of PV panels is visible in front, then a series of "poles" can be superimposed next to one other to show how the shadow would be cast. Note that the area boarded by, say, February 21 and March 20 between 7:00 and 8:00 am receives the same percentage of sunshine as the corresponding time period depicted on a shade analysis form, such as these. Therefore if the solar contribution on the shade analysis form is 1% of the annually PV system output, the same percentage production would occur during the corresponding time period on the sundial plot.

New monitoring station at Challis, ID
December 16, 2009

Soon we will have more details about this new station. Right now you can down load data just as you do from our other stations.

Custom shade forms
June 15, 2007

You can now download shade forms we created for the Eugene Water and Electric Board or those we made for the Emerald People's Utility District. We explain all about these kinds of forms and how they're used here.

BEST Winery Web site
February 9, 2007

The UO SRML now hosts a Web site where Oregon wine growers can learn about, and download, software to help them save energy and water resources.

Pacific Northwest solar resource maps
March 8, 2004

We now have a series of high-quality maps showing average annual and monthly global, direct normal, and diffuse irradiance throughout our region. You can see all the "thumbnail" graphic links to full size maps, such as the one below, on this page.

Revised map of SRML stations
March 8, 2004

Our map showing the locations of all our monitoring stations has been improved and we've added the newest stations to it (see below). You can see our new map here.

Many new monitoring stations
March 8, 2004

Solar data, along with photo-voltaic production data from eight monitoring stations that have come on-line within the last year, can now be downloaded from our Website. The new stations (some of which now augment previously existing stations located nearby) are in or near Cannon Beach, Portland, Salem, Eugene, Bend, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls and Richland. You can see where these stations are located on our monitoring station map, and you can download data from these stations through links on our main data page.

Silver Lake station data now available
July 23, 2003

Solar radiation data from our subsidiary station in Silver Lake, Oregon, is now available on our Web site. This station came on-line December 13, 2002.

SRML now in Montana
October 15, 2002

On October 12, 2002 the UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory installed a new reference-level solar monitoring station in Dillon, Montana on the campus of the University of Montana - Western. The station provides high quality solar radiation data for south western Montana and extend the line of high quality stations from Eugene, Oregon through Idaho and into Montana. This station was decomissioned in 2019 for lack of funding.

New educational solar monitoring program in Eugene
July 30, 2002

Students at Willamette High School in Eugene are gathering real-time data from a new solar monitoring station located prominently on the roof of their Administrative Office building. This project is the result of a joint effort by Willamette High, Eugene Water and Electric Board, and the UO SRML. Data from the station is now available on this Website.

Data plotting program
October 2, 2001

We're pleased to announce that you may now generate online charts of our archival (short interval) data. In addition to the general purpose program interface provided by the previous link, we've added special links, allowing you to display charts of the very latest data, from all of our Web pages that describe currently active SRML stations. We hope you find this facility as useful as we do.

Sun chart example

Sun chart program
July 2, 2001

Plot the path of the sun as it crosses the sky.
Create your own sun chart online.
Use the sun chart to evaluate your solar potential.
Determine which trees or buildings will block your access to direct sunlight.

All you need to know is the latitude and longitude of your location. Try out our new sun chart program

Sun chart example

Image map links to top of page and home page
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© 2022, UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.
Last revised: April 7, 2022.

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