Solar / UV Interface


Initially, the Solar Radiation / UV interface was designed to allow WeatherDuino weather stations to measure solar radiation and UV Index data at very low cost, using a small photovoltaic panel as a sensor. The concept is based on an article by Charles G. Wright, entitled Measuring Solar Radiation.
Despite its simplicity, a solar radiation sensor based on a photovoltaic panel works quite well, and its readings are comparable to those from expensive pyranometers.
The Solar Radiation / UV interface can also be used with commercially available pyranometers, provided their output voltage does not exceed 1.1V. This has been tested with the Apogee SP-110 Pyranometer.
For UV index, we have chosen to use the UVM-30A UV sensor.

Solar Radiation / UV interface - What is included?

Usually the Solar Radiation / UV interface is supplied as a kit that includes the fully assembled interface, plus a tested miniature photovoltaic panel. The op amp gain is pre-calibrated for the supplied photovoltaic panel, allowing solar radiation readings up to 1500 W/m2 .
Optionally it can be supplied without the photovoltaic panel.
The UVM-30A UV sensor for UV Index isn't included. This sensor is easy to find, costs around 5€, and can be bought from several sellers on eBay or other sources.


Considerations on Building

The easiest way to measure solar radiation data with your weather station is by using the Solar / UV interface with a ready made pyranometer, such as the Apogee SP-110.
For those who like a challenge, the use of the photovoltaic panel is a cheap alternative to a commercial pyranometer.
In the WeatherDuino support forum there is an extensive article on this topic which we strongly recommend you read: Measuring Solar Radiation based on Photovoltaic Cells.

Installing the photovoltaic panel and the UV sensor in a suitable weatherproof housing is not straightforward.
For instance, the material used to cover the sensors should not block or reduce UV radiation. You are recommended to use fused silica, a type of glass that its almost transparent to UV rays.

Example of a commercial pyranometer that uses a miniature photovoltaic panel. 240-150_3_detail.jpg
silicon-cell-pyranometer.jpgThe Apogee SP-110 Self-Powered Pyranometer.

Additional Info

… under construction …

QR Code
QR Code solar_uv_interface (generated for current page)