Get to know your international standards for solar PV monitoring, measurement (like ISO/IEC 17025)


In solar energy there are a number of international standards to consider when it comes to PV plant operation and maintenance. To help make sense of a somewhat complicated subject, the solar radiation experts at Kipp & Zonen have summarized the most relevant ISO and IEC standards that apply to weather monitoring in a whitepaper: Solar Energy International Standards.

Some of these also apply in the earlier phases of design, procurement and construction. The standards and levels selected for a solar project also influence the products required to monitor solar irradiance and environmental conditions. These include…

IEC 61724-1 PV System Performance Monitoring. This standard defines terminology and classifies equipment and methods for the performance monitoring and analysis of solar energy plant systems, from irradiance input to AC power output.

ISO 9060 Pyranometers and Pyrheliometers. ISO 9060 is titled ‘Solar energy – Specification and classification of instruments for measuring hemispherical solar and direct solar radiation’. It defines what a pyranometer is for measuring global horizontal or tilted irradiance (GHI and POA) and, when shaded, DHI. It also defines what is a pyrheliometer for measuring DNI.

ISO 9060: 2018 Update. The original 1990 standard has been revised and was published in November 2018. The main difference is that the classes of pyranometer have changed from Secondary Standard, First Class and Second Class to A, B and C.

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ISO Calibration Standards. Various international standards related to solar energy, including IEC 61724-1, require that pyranometers are calibrated in accordance with ISO 9846:1993 or ISO 9847:1992. There are both indoor and outdoor possibilities for calibration.

ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation. This standard covers the ‘General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories’.

The whitepaper focuses on the measurement of irradiance and other weather parameters, and it also explains Kipp & Zonen calibration methods.

Kipp & Zonen is now promoting that its CMP series, SMP series and CM4 pyranometers and pyrheliometers, will all be delivered calibrated to ISO/IEC 17025.

“We are very proud that the radiometric calibration laboratory at our factory in Delft, the Netherlands has been accredited to the EN ISO/IEC 17025 quality management standard for all new pyranometers and pyrheliometers leaving the factory will have a calibration certificate stating ISO/IEC 17025,” the company states.

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