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EU sensor firms to build nationwide network for measuring solar energy radiation across India

Spain firm Geonica and Netherlands company Hukseflux Thermal Sensors chosen to install 60 measurement stations to assess solar energy radiation resource in India

The solar network will monitor and store measurements of nationwide solar energy radiation to help build up PV power plants in India

Sensor firms in Spain and the Netherlands have been chosen to supply and install a network of sixty solar energy technology stations to measure solar radiation in India. The team of Geonica S.A in Spain, Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V, based in the Netherlands, as well as India firm SGS Weather and Environmental Systems, have been chosen to supply measuring instruments and to install, commission and maintain a network of sixty measurement stations for solar energy radiation resource assessment across India.

The network will be used by C-WET Centre for Wind Energy Technology, an autonomous R&D institution under the India Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The news from the institution follows it undertaking an extensive wind resource survey programme to identify potential sites for wind power projects in India earlier this year.

The purpose of the solar energy network is to generate the "solar map" of India. Solar maps, showing expected yearly solar energy radiation levels, are used for design of PV power plants. Detailed historical data series are made available by C-WET as a commercial service.

The network continuously monitors and stores nationwide solar energy radiation and weather parameters and communicates these to a Central Receiving Station (CRS) located at C-WET Headquarters in Chennai, India. Each measurement station is equipped with high accuracy meteorological sensors. More specifically, every station includes a data logger/controller, a solar tracker and several solar power radiation sensors; a pyranometer, a shaded pyranometer and a pyrheliometer. Data will be transferred via GPRS cellular network to the CRS for analysis and final archiving.

C-WET said key to the selection of suppliers over competitors was a combination of factors: First, instruments with excellent technical specifications. These include a solar tracker working at very low power with integrated on-board datalogging/transmission capabilities and real time data quality assurance by Geonica. It also includes solar power sensors, with excellent temperature dependence and zero offset, by Hukseflux. Second, the proven record of SGS Weather in installation as well as after sales service and maintenance. Third, a competitive price level. Installation and commissioning of the first stations is scheduled for September 2013. Commissioning of the complete project is expected in April 2014.