Alliant Energy EPRI: Electric Power Research Institute
Madison Solar Demonstration Project
Madison Solar Demonstration Project

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About this website

This website was designed and developed by EPRI in collaboration with Alliant Energy, EPRI's Integration of Distributed Energy Resources and Solar programs, and EPRI's Power Delivery and Generation sectors.

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Component Group View

This view presents a grouping of related components. Try interacting with the comparison chart on this page. Select a component tile to explore further.

Panels

This page contains several panels: Performance Snapshot, Overview, etc. Tap or click the "?" button in the upper right corner of a panel to see more information about its content.

Total Sky Solar Radiation Station

Overview

Four solar radiation components are commonly used when evaluating solar resource at a particular location:

  • direct normal irradiance (DNI)
  • diffuse horizontal irradiance (DHI)
  • global horizontal irradiance (GHI)
  • plane-of-array irradiance (POA)*

(*Plane-of-array irradiance represents the amount of sunlight that reaches a solar array. Global tilted irradiance (GTI) may be substituted for plane-of-array irradiance if assumptions are made about a solar array's tilt and orientation.)

Research Value

Solar radiation is an important measurement used to determine both operational performance of photovoltaic (PV) plants and expected performance when siting and designing new PV plants. Generally, a PV plant’s power generation is proportional to solar radiation received by the plant’s PV arrays. When measured properly, on-site solar radiation data can be used to quantify a PV plant’s exposure to sunlight and establish a robust baseline solar resource dataset.

Typical Values

Two common terms are used to describe solar radiation: irradiance and insolation.

  • Irradiance is the rate sunlight is received on a given surface, measured in watts per square meter (W/m²). Typical values range from 0 (nighttime) to 1,000 (direct sunlight), and irradiance may exceed 1,200 to 1,400 W/m² for short durations under certain cloud-enhancement conditions.
  • Insolation represents solar radiation received over time and is an energy-based metric. Insolation is calculated from the integration of irradiance during daytime, and it is often reported as a daily value. Typical values range from 1 to 8 kWh/m²/day for fixed-tilt arrays, and daily insolation may approach 12 kWh/m²/day for dual-axis tracking arrays. Climate, weather, season, and array design affect insolation levels for a given geographic location.
Components
Technology Tiles

Swipe or drag the row of tiles left and right or use the left/right "< >" arrows to see all available tiles.

Tap or click a tile to view more information and data.

Gauges show sampled measurements associated with each tile.

Time Series Comparison
Time Series Comparison

Chart (or charts) shows trends among comparable components. Each data point represents an aggregated value for the time interval indicated (e.g., 15-minute average).

Chart Navigation

Tap or click on the chart titles (if more than one shown) to switch the view between charts. The title of the displayed chart is highlighted in orange.

Zoom and Pan

To zoom in on and get a closer view of a plot area in a chart:

  • On a touchscreen: Use two fingers to spread apart (expand) the plot area, then use one finger to slide the plot area left and right.
  • Using a mouse: Click and drag to select a section of the plot area, then hold down the Shift key while dragging left and right.
  • Tap or click on the "Reset zoom" button to return the chart to its original size.

Toggle Legend Items

Tap or click on a legend item (if more than one shown) to hide or show its data in the plot area.

Components Defined

These components appear in at least one chart (indicated in the legend):

  • DNI: Direct Normal Irradiance (Pyrheliometer)
  • DHI: Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (Shaded Pyranometer)
  • GHI: Global Horizontal Irradiance (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • GTI: Global Tilted Irradiance: South 35° (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • DNI+DHI: Total Sky Irradiance
Measurements Plotted

Chart (or charts) includes one or more of the following measurements (indicated in the legend or title):

  • Direct normal irradiance
  • Diffuse horizontal irradiance
  • Global horizontal irradiance
  • Global tilted irradiance
  • Total sky irradiance (sum of direct normal irradiance and direct horizontal irradiance)

Preset Date Ranges


Custom Date Range

to
Data are available beginning 4/1/2016. Tip: clear the end date to view the most recent data available.

Download Chart Data

Save chart data as a comma-separated values (CSV) file:
Note: timestamps (first column in the CSV file) are adjusted to your computer's timezone and represent the beginning of each interval.
Warning: downloading data is intended for desktop and laptop computers. This feature may not work for smartphones or tablets.
IRRADIANCE
Daily Comparison
Daily Comparison

Chart (or charts) shows trends among comparable components. Each data point represents an aggregated value for the date indicated.

Chart Navigation

Tap or click on the chart titles (if more than one shown) to switch the view between charts. The title of the displayed chart is highlighted in orange.

Zoom and Pan

To zoom in on and get a closer view of a plot area in a chart:

  • On a touchscreen: Use two fingers to spread apart (expand) the plot area, then use one finger to slide the plot area left and right.
  • Using a mouse: Click and drag to select a section of the plot area, then hold down the Shift key while dragging left and right.
  • Tap or click on the "Reset zoom" button to return the chart to its original size.

Toggle Legend Items

Tap or click on a legend item (if more than one shown) to hide or show its data in the plot area.

Components Defined

These components appear in at least one chart (indicated in the legend):

  • DNI: Direct Normal Irradiance (Pyrheliometer)
  • DHI: Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (Shaded Pyranometer)
  • GHI: Global Horizontal Irradiance (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • GTI: Global Tilted Irradiance: South 35° (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • DNI+DHI: Total Sky Irradiance
Measurements Plotted

Chart (or charts) includes one or more of the following measurements (indicated in the legend or title):

  • Direct normal irradiance
  • Diffuse horizontal irradiance
  • Global horizontal irradiance
  • Global tilted irradiance
  • Total sky irradiance (sum of direct normal irradiance and direct horizontal irradiance)

Preset Date Ranges


Custom Date Range

to
Data are available beginning 4/1/2016. Tip: clear the end date to view the most recent data available.

Download Chart Data

Save chart data as a comma-separated values (CSV) file:
Warning: downloading data is intended for desktop and laptop computers. This feature may not work for smartphones or tablets.
IRRADIANCE
Monthly Comparison
Monthly Comparison

Chart (or charts) shows trends among comparable components. Each data point represents an aggregated value for the month indicated.

Chart Navigation

Tap or click on the chart titles (if more than one shown) to switch the view between charts. The title of the displayed chart is highlighted in orange.

Zoom and Pan

To zoom in on and get a closer view of a plot area in a chart:

  • On a touchscreen: Use two fingers to spread apart (expand) the plot area, then use one finger to slide the plot area left and right.
  • Using a mouse: Click and drag to select a section of the plot area, then hold down the Shift key while dragging left and right.
  • Tap or click on the "Reset zoom" button to return the chart to its original size.

Toggle Legend Items

Tap or click on a legend item (if more than one shown) to hide or show its data in the plot area.

Components Defined

These components appear in at least one chart (indicated in the legend):

  • DNI: Direct Normal Irradiance (Pyrheliometer)
  • DHI: Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (Shaded Pyranometer)
  • GHI: Global Horizontal Irradiance (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • GTI: Global Tilted Irradiance: South 35° (Unshaded Pyranometer)
  • DNI+DHI: Total Sky Irradiance
Measurements Plotted

Chart (or charts) includes one or more of the following measurements (indicated in the legend or title):

  • Direct normal irradiance
  • Diffuse horizontal irradiance
  • Global horizontal irradiance
  • Global tilted irradiance
  • Total sky irradiance (sum of direct normal irradiance and direct horizontal irradiance)

Preset Date Ranges


Custom Date Range

to
Data are available beginning 4/1/2016. Tip: clear the end date to view the most recent data available.

Download Chart Data

Save chart data as a comma-separated values (CSV) file:
Warning: downloading data is intended for desktop and laptop computers. This feature may not work for smartphones or tablets.
IRRADIANCE
Cumulative Comparison
Cumulative Comparison

Chart (or charts) shows an aggregated value for the entire date range indicated.

Chart Navigation

Tap or click on the chart titles (if more than one shown) to switch the view between charts. The title of the displayed chart is highlighted in orange.

Toggle Legend Items

Tap or click on a legend item (if more than one shown) to hide or show its data in the plot area.

Components Defined

These components appear in at least one chart (indicated in the legend):

    Measurements Plotted

    Chart (or charts) includes one or more of the following measurements (indicated in the legend or title):

      Image for Total Sky Solar Radiation Station