The Ease of Use and High Accuracy of the SMP3 Smart Pyranometer Makes a Big Difference

The Ease of Use and High Accuracy of the SMP3 Smart Pyranometer Makes a Big Differencearticle picture
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 One of the first companies to work with the SMP3 smart pyranometer introduced last year is Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) of the United States. Now that they have finished their initial tests and have applied the SMP3 in six live Photovoltaic (PV) projects, they report back with their experiences. The accuracy of the instrument is extremely important because slight errors can have a huge impact on the data.

AGT is an International, full service Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor specializing in rooftop solar arrays from 100 KW to more than 5 MW. Working cooperatively with local utilities and inspection authorities is one of their key values to getting projects connected to the grid and maximizing the return on investment for their clients. AGT Solar works closely together with two leaders in renewable energy financing and investment; Moose Power in Canada and Nautilus Solar in the United States.

Marcelo Lorenzo, Project Manager at AGT Solar explains: “A large part of our job is measuring the production and efficiency of the systems we install. The accuracy of the devices we use for that is extremely important. Even slight variations can have a huge impact on the data. Kipp & Zonen pyranometers are unmatched in their level of accuracy and performance and are vital to our company for insuring each installation is performing at or above specification.

SMP3 AGT Solar in Wye ValleyWe have specified the SMP3 smart pyranometer for its Modbus output. Our systems are closely monitored through the use of Modbus RS-485 and Modbus TCP devices. Having a pyranometer that does not require an additional piece of equipment to translate the incoming millivolt and/or milliamp signals was the decisive factor.

We have now installed the instruments on 6 live projects. We left the irradiance sensor from a different supplier, which was originally installed on the projects, in place for comparison to the SMP3. We are extremely impressed with the results. While the competitor is fairly accurate in higher irradiance conditions, it is on the lower end of the scale (below 300 W/m²) that we are seeing a significant difference. The level of accuracy in these conditions has improved anywhere from 10 to 40 %. When contract value is tied to performance results, you can understand how much of an effect this might have on the bottom line.

We are very satisfied with the service and support we have received from Kipp & Zonen and the US sales office. With that in mind, and the unrivaled accuracy of the measurement and the ease of use, we decided to choose Kipp & Zonen.”.

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