Whitepaper on the International Standards for Solar Energy

Whitepaper on the International Standards for Solar Energyarticle picture
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2020 For the solar energy industry a number of international standards have been defined. These are standards relating to PV plant operation and maintenance, but some are also applicable to the design, procurement and construction phases of your PV plant. If you design your solar project to meet a particular standard, be aware that the level of instruments required to monitor solar irradiance and environmental conditions is influenced by this standard.

To help you understand what these standards are all about and how they affect our pyranometers we issued a whitepaper on the relevant weather monitoring standards. This whitepaper is titled ‘Solar Energy International Standards’.

Below we are summarizing the principle ISO and IEC standards.

IEC 61724-1 PV System Performance Monitoring

This standard relates to performance monitoring and analysis of solar energy plants, from irradiance input to AC power output. It defines terminology and classifies instruments and methods. In our whitepaper ‘Solar Energy International Standards’ we explain how IEC 61724-1 applies to the specification of equipment for monitoring solar irradiance and other weather parameters, and what this means for the maintenance of this equipment.

ISO 9060 Pyranometers and Pyrheliometers

ISO 9060 is one of the major standards Kipp & Zonen, being the leading manufacturer of pyranometers and pyrheliometers, works with. ISO 9060 is titled ‘Solar energy - Specification and classification of instruments for measuring hemispherical solar and direct solar radiation’.

ISO 9060: 2018 Update

In November 2018 an updated standard replaced the 1990 standard. The main difference between the original 1990 standard and the 2018 update is a change in the classification. Pyranometer classes used to be Secondary Standard, First Class and Second Class, but have changed to class A, class B and class C respectively. The whitepaper will tell you more about the update, in it you will find what ‘Spectrally Flat’ means and how Kipp & Zonen pyranometers are classified under the update.

ISO Calibration Standards

A number of international standards related to solar energy require that pyranometers are calibrated in accordance with ISO 9846:1993 or ISO 9847:1992. IEC 61724-1 is one of these standards. Pyranometers can be calibrated indoors as well as outdoors. Both options are described in the whitepaper. It also explains how to make an on-site ‘confidence check’ of pyranometer performance between calibrations.

ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation

The ISO/IEC 17025 standard deals with the ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’. This accreditation is not easy to come by. After a thorough accreditation process Kipp & Zonen’s radiometric laboratory at the factory in Delft, the Netherlands, was accredited for the sensitivity calibration of pyranometers and pyrheliometers. The whitepaper explains what requirements we had to meet and what this means for the calibrations we can offer.

Get an overview of the most relevant international standards in solar energy by downloading the whitepaper.

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