Vattenval obtains highly accurate irradiance data thanks to Kipp & Zonen's SMP10

Vattenval obtains highly accurate irradiance data thanks to Kipp & Zonen's SMP10article picture
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2019 On October 13th the Delft University team will participate in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge for the 10th time! The goal is to cross the 3,000 km long trail through the outback of Australia with their solar car NunaX in the shortest possible time using the Sun as the sole energy source. The Vattenfall Solar Team of TU Delft is aiming to stay ahead of the other 50 contestants and bring home the world title in solar racing for the 8th time.

To finish first in Adelaide it is of great importance to monitor the local weather closely. ‘If we can drive in the Sun just a little longer than the competition, we can get more energy from our PV panel and stay ahead of the other solar cars.” Says Michael Aarts, strategist of the team. “But the local wind speed and direction also influence the car’s energy consumption. All the more reason to constantly monitor the weather closely with the different sensors and compare measurements with the forecasts and weather models.

Kipp & Zonen’s SMP10 pyranometers are an important part of our race strategy to provide us with solar irradiance measurement. Thanks to the digital interface the measurements are integrated into an application where the data is presented in graphs and compared to daily weather models. This enables the team to improve tactics based on real-time solar irradiance data. If the pyranometer tells us more energy is coming in than expected, we can increase the speed of NunaX.

Next to the comparison of the ground measurements to the weather forecast, we can also monitor the efficiency of the solar panel with the pyranometers. Especially in the Australian outback, where dust clouds are a common sight, the efficiency of the panel of NunaX can be at risk. When the difference between the SMP10 irradiance measurements and the forecasted energy output is too high, it’s a clear indication that a part of the panel is not working properly.

During the race our strategy is partially depending on the data measured with the pyranometers. It is really important that we can trust the irradiance measurements, and that is exactly why we prefer to rely on the pyranometers and expertise of Kipp & Zonen.”

Kipp & Zonen wishes the Vattenfall Solar Team an efficient race!

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