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Installation of a Variable-angle Spectrometer System for Monitoring Diffuse and Global Solar Radiation
Proceedings SPIE 8785, 8th Iberoamerican Optics Meeting and 11th Latin American Meeting on Optics, Lasers, and Applications
  • O. Ormachea, Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • A. Abrahamse, Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • N. Tolavi, Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • O. Urquidi, Universidad Privada Boliviana
  • Joshua M. Pearce, Michigan Technological University
  • R. Andrews, Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario
Document Type
Conference Paper/Presentation
Publication Date
We report on the design and installation of a spectrometer system for monitoring solar radiation in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Both the light intensity and the spectral distribution affect the power produced by a photovoltaic device. Local variations in the solar spectrum (especially compared to the AM1.5 standard) may have important implications for device optimization and energy yield estimation. The spectrometer system, based on an Ocean Optics USB4000 (300-900nm) spectrometer, was designed to increase functionality. Typically systems only record the global horizontal radiation. Our system moves a fiber-optic cable 0-90 degrees and takes measurements in 9 degree increments. Additionally, a shadow band allows measurement of the diffuse component of the radiation at each position. The electronic controls utilize an Arduino UNO microcontroller to synchronizes the movement of two PAP bipolar (stepper) motors with the activation of the spectrometer via an external trigger. The spectrometer was factory calibrated for wavelength and calibrated for absolute irradiance using a Sellarnet SL1-Cal light source. We present preliminary results from data taken March-June, 2013, and comment on implications for PV devices in Cochabamba.
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© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Citation Information
Ormachea, O., Abrahamse, A., Tolavi, N., Romero, F., Urquidi, O., Pearce, Joshua M., & Andrews, R. "Installation of a variable-angle spectrometer system for monitoring diffuse and global solar radiation," C3 - Proceedings of SPIE/ Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa, Editor, Proc. SPIE 8785, 87850 (2013).