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Design, Construction and Calibration of a Solar Radiation Measuring Meter

Asiegbu A. Daniel


Echeweozo E. Odinakachi

Asiegbu A. Daniel 1 Echeweozo E. Odinakachi 1 

  1. Department of Physics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike 1

Pages: 1-8

DOI: 10.18488/journal.75/2014.1.1/

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A digital solar radiation measuring instrument has been designed, constructed and calibrated. It incorporates a small rectangular silicon photocell as the sensor. On exposure to solar radiation, electromotive force which  is proportional to radiation intensity is developed within the circuit. The device correlates voltage developed with available solar intensity. A standard solarimeter was therefore used to calibrate the device to translate the unit of its reading from Volt to Watt per square meter. Intensity spread obtained with respect to time of day agrees with various studies conducted previously on tropical environments. Results obtained generally conform with those obtained by Medugu, et al. [1] and Chiemeka [2]). With a calibration conversion factor of 877.19(V – 1.71) Wm-2, the device can be used to collect reliable irradiace data which are both comparable and compatible with that of a standard solarimeter.

Contribution/ Originality



  1. D. W. Medugu, F. W. Burari, and A. A. Abdulazeez, "Construction of a reliable model pyranometer for irradiance measurements," African Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 9, pp. 1719 – 1725, 2010.
  2. I. U. Chiemeka, "Estimation of solar radiation at Uturu, Nigeria," IJPS, vol. 3, p. 126, 2008.
  3. T. C. Chineke, "Renewable energy equation for estimating global solar radiation data spare regions science direct," pp. 1 – 13, 2007.
  4. A. O. C. Nwokoye, Solar energy technology other alternative energy resources and environmental science: Rex Charles and Partrick, 2006.
  5. M. Sanderson, UNESCO source book on climatology UNESCO publication: P16 Instrumentation Solar Energy Publication, 1990.
  6. O. Ojo, "The distribution of net radiation in Nigeria," Nigeria Geographical Journal, vol. 15, pp. 115 – 125, 1982.
  7. A. Anuforomu, "Construction, calibration of pyronometer and its uses in performance evaluation of silicon solar cell," Book Hall, p. 14, 2006.
  8. A. D. Asiegbu, "Design of a 3kVA solar energy plant for the campus community of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike," International Journal of Current Research, IJCR, vol. 11, pp. 058-061, 2010.
  9. A. D. Asiegbu and O. A. Nduka, "Determination of solar insolation in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, using a photo resistor," GJPAS, vol. 12, pp. 245 – 250, 2006.
  10. A. D. Asiegbu, "System sizing: Major reason for failure of most solar street lighting projects in Nigeria," IJCR, vol. 4, pp. 141-143, 2012.
  11. B. A. Eke, "Predication of option angle of inclination for flat plate collector in Zaria," CIGR Journal, vol. 13, pp. 16 – 20, 2011.
  12. O. A. Bamiro, "Empirical relation for the determination of solar radiation in Ibadan," Nigeria Solar Energy, vol. 31, pp. 85 – 94, 1981.
  13. D. Brooks and A. Minis, Definition of solar radiation intensity. New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.
  14. P. Okeke, J. Osuwa, A. Menkiti, C. Ofoegbu, C. Okeke, and H. Emereole, "Preliminary practical physics manual Nigeria University physics series," vol. 2, pp. 30 – 34, 2000.


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