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Apogee now offers two types of pyranometers, our original silicon-cell models and our new line of thermopile pyranometers. Our silicon-cell models are excellent for applications that do not require the higher accuracy and cost of a thermopile pyranometer. They are less expensive and have a faster response time, but have higher errors under cloudy conditions. Our new line of cost-effective thermopile pyranometers are not officially ISO classified, but feature a blackbody thermopile detector that provides a much broader and more uniform spectral response for better performance in all atmospheric conditions and that compares favorably to other thermopile pyranometers for a fraction of the cost. Applications include shortwave radiation measurement in agricultural, ecological, and hydrological weather networks. Sensors are also used to optimize photovoltaic systems.

Thermopile Pyranometers   Silicon-cell Pyranometers
Thermopile Pyranometer   Silicon-cell Pyranometer
  • Detector Type:
    Blackbody thermopile
  • Spectral Range:
    Upward-looking: 385 to 2105 nm
    Downward-looking: 295 to 2685 nm
  • Response Time:
    0.5 seconds
  • Error Due to Clouds: 
    ± 2 %
  • On-board Heater:
    Sensors have a 0.2 W heater.
  • Output Options:
    Available in multiple analog options and attached to a hand-held meter with a digital output.
  • Upward and Downward-looking Options
  • Detector Type:
  • Spectral Range:
    360 to 1120 nm
  • Response Time:
    Less than 1 ms
  • Error Due to Clouds: 
    + 10 to 15 %
    (common to all silicon-cell pyranometers)
  • Heated Option:
    SP-230 All-season has a 0.2 W heater.
  • Output Options: 
    Available in multiple analog options and attached to a hand-held meter with a digital output.
Learn More   Learn More


Case Studies

SP-230 Project Loon

Google's Project Loon
Apogee's SP-230 heated pyranometer was selected to monitor PV panels on Project Loon.
Read More >


Monitoring PV Panels on Jin Peop Library

Monitoring PV Panels on Jin Jeop Library
SP-110's are integrated as part of a PV monitoring system for a PV power generation facility on the roof of the Jin Jeop library in Korea.
Read More >


Solar Power Plants on Lakes and Dams

Solar Power Plants on Lakes and Dams
Studying solar radiation at different angles to determine locations for solar power plants.
Read More >

View all Case Studies >


How to Choose the Right Pyranometer

Apogee SP-510 Thermopile Pyranometer Introduction

Silicon-cell Pyranometers

Connecting an Apogee SP-214 Pyranometer to an SMA Cluster Controller


Lecture 3-Shortwave Radiation and Pyranometers

Apogee Instruments Meter User Guide

SP-230 Heated Pyranometer Time Lapse

Pyranometer User's Guide

How to Use the AL-120 Leveling System

Compare Models