Solar Irradiation Measurement Platform (SIMP)

May 11, 2020

The demand for high-quality continuous measurements of direct and diffuse irradiation dramatically increased in the last decades. These data are essential to climate sciences (to estimate surface and atmospheric radiation balances) and renewable energy research. Since 2012 the SIMP (merged with MIEMP in 2015) has hosted a complete suite of research grade irradiometers in one location for efficient operation including bi-weekly cleaning. Another indispensable SIMP function is calibration of field instruments, used in intensive monitoring campaigns across the country.

The SIMP provides high resolution (1 minute) measurements of Direct (DNI) and diffuse (DfHI), Fig 2.1 and global horizontal irradiation (GHI), Fig 2.2, based on 5-second sampling of the instruments. Data quality checks are performed monthly after which the data is archived and made available (along with cleaning records) to collaborators.


Fig 2.1: From top: Pyrgeometer measures effective sky temperature, SkyCam (black box) produces cloud mask images, PSP pyranometer measures diffuse irradiation, CHP1 pyrheliometer measures DNI. The first three instruments are shaded from direct sun by the black shading balls (left) articulated by azimuth and zenith angle motors operating within the central box. These motions also keep the Pyrhliometer pointed directly at the sun.
Fig 2.2: EKO Pyranometer at the Solar Irradiance Monitoring Platform (SIMP)