UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory

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SRML frequently asked questions

Questions

1. How do I get the data in units other than watt hours/meter2 per hour?
2. Where can I get information on the format of the data files?
3. Is solar radiation harmful?
4. What are PVs?

Answers

1. How do I get the data in units other than watt hours/meter2 per hour?

Appendix C of our Pacific Northwest Solar Radiation Data book contains a table of useful conversion factors. One project scheduled for 2001 is to develop a tool to convert our data into other units.

2. Where can I get information on the format of the data files?

Check out our Web page on this subject. In general, our data contains a summary line that describes the station location id number, the year, and information about the data in each column. The rest of the data file contains lines for each time interval, followed by the data (with its quality control flag) that has been measured during that time interval.

3. Is solar radiation harmful?

Exposure to some sunlight is necessary for good health. However, overexposure to any radiation can be harmful. The most harmful portion of solar radiation is the ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is what causes sunburn even on cloudy days. Clouds block a considerable amount of visible solar radiation but only a fraction of the UV radiation.
The ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks most UV radiation from the sun. However, manmade chemicals and sunlight react to reduce the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere, and this allows more of the harmful UV radiation to reach the earth's surface. The depletion of ozone is so bad over Australia that there are public service announcements that recommend people wear a hat, sunglasses, and sun block when they expect to be out in the sun for any period of time.

4. What are PVs?

PVs are photovoltaic modules that are made up of solar cells connected together and encapsulated to form the PV module. PVs turn sunlight (or other light) into electricity.

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© 2000, UO Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory.
Last revised: January 21, 2001.


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