Solar radiation can be divided into direct beam radiation, diffuse radiation and reflected radiation. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) applications can only collect the direct beam radiation. CSP includes parabolic troughs; parabolic dishes or heliostats. A Pyrheliometer is used to measure the direct beam radiation from the sun. The efficiency of the solar power plant can then be determined knowing the incoming direct beam radiation from the sun.
Pyrheliometers on the market today are extremely expensive making accurate CSP site data collection cost prohibitive. An affordable pyrheliometer would increase the ability for proper site selection and optimal design of a CSP system for specific sites. ESC is designing and implementing an affordable pyrheliometer that will provide the important data, allowing engineers to make better decisions when designing CSP applications.