A device is proposed for the measurement of diffuse solar irradiance on tilted surfaces pointing-to as well as fixed on the equatorial direction. Most commercial devices are not designed for this purpose. Here, we present a specific design for a system based on a single multi-lobe shadow-ring that allows us to measure diffuse irradiance with several tilted pyranometers – from 60 to 90 degrees from the horizontal plane – and on different azimuth angles. This first prototype allows us to measure in the four cardinal directions. The ring is designed to minimize the covered celestial dome observed by each sensor. Moreover, the complete device needs a very small installation area and its simplicity means it is inexpensive and easy to operate. The measurements have subsequently to be corrected with a geometrical correction factor that takes into account the portion of the sky vault blocked by the shadow-ring. These measurements are essential for estimating solar potential on tilted surfaces – such as building façades – and for improving current anisotropic solar models, among many other applications.
Solar diffuse irradiance Shadow-ring Tilted surfaces Oriented surfaces Pyranometer Building integrated photovoltaic systems