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ASTM G213-17

ASTM G213-17

Standard Guide for Evaluating Uncertainty in Calibration and Field Measurements of Broadband Irradiance with Pyranometers and Pyrheliometers

2017-05-24 /Active
Significance and Use:

5.1 The uncertainty in outdoor solar irradiance measurement has a significant impact on weathering and durability and the service lifetime of materials systems. Accurate solar irradiance measurement with known uncertainty will assist in determining the performance over time of component materials systems, including polymer encapsulants, mirrors, Photovoltaic modules, coatings, etc. Furthermore, uncertainty estimates in the radiometric data have a significant effect on the uncertainty of the expected electrical output of a solar energy installation.

5.1.1 This influences the economic risk analysis of these systems. Solar irradiance data are widely used, and the economic importance of these data is rapidly growing. For proper risk analysis, a clear indication of measurement uncertainty should therefore be required.

5.2 At present, the tendency is to refer to instrument datasheets only and take the instrument calibration uncertainty as the field measurement uncertainty. This leads to over-optimistic estimates. This guide provides a more realistic approach to this issue and in doing so will also assists users to make a choice as to the instrumentation that should be used and the measurement procedure that should be followed.

5.3 The availability of the adjunct (ADJG021317)5 uncertainty spreadsheet calculator provides real world example, implementation of the GUM method, and assists to understand the contribution of each source of uncertainty to the overall uncertainty estimate. Thus, the spreadsheet assists users or manufacturers to seek methods to mitigate the uncertainty from the main uncertainty contributors to the overall uncertainty.


1.1 This guide provides guidance and recommended practices for evaluating uncertainties when calibrating and performing outdoor measurements with pyranometers and pyrheliometers used to measure total hemispherical- and direct solar irradiance. The approach follows the ISO procedure for evaluating uncertainty, the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) JCGM 100:2008 and that of the joint ISO/ASTM standard ISO/ASTM 51707 Standard Guide for Estimating Uncertainties in Dosimetry for Radiation Processing, but provides explicit examples of calculations. It is up to the user to modify the guide described here to their specific application, based on measurement equation and known sources of uncertainties. Further, the commonly used concepts of precision and bias are not used in this document. This guide quantifies the uncertainty in measuring the total (all angles of incidence), broadband (all 52 wavelengths of light) irradiance experienced either indoors or outdoors.

1.2 An interactive Excel spreadsheet is provided as adjunct, ADJG021317. The intent is to provide users real world examples and to illustrate the implementation of the GUM method.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

GUM; irradiance; pyranometers; pyrheliometers;
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