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CS320 Digital Thermopile Pyranometer
Thermopile Accuracy, Digital Simplicity, Affordable Price
For measurement of global solar radiation under changing weather conditions
weather applications supported water applications supported energy applications supported gas flux & turbulence applications supported infrastructure applications supported soil applications supported

Overview

The CS320 is a digital thermopile pyranometer that measures broad-spectrum short-wave radiation and communicates over the simple SDI-12 protocol to the datalogger. This sensor design eliminates measurement error and programming errors that can adversely affect data quality.

This pyranometer has been designed to improve the global solar radiation measurement significantly without adding substantial cost. The CS320 is suitable for applications ranging from environmental research to agriculture to large mesoscale weather networks (mesonets).

The CS320 sensor is heated (on/off switchable under user control) and allows continuous operation in changing environmental conditions. The pyranometer's calibration data is stored on the sensor.

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Benefits and Features

  • Thermopile sensor eliminates spectral errors associated with silicon-cell pyranometers
  • Much lower price point than other thermopile sensors
  • On-board sensor automatically detects if the CS320 is level for installation, diagnostics, and remote troubleshooting
  • Designed for long-term stability and deployment
  • Dome-shape sensor head allows dew and rain runoff
  • Internal heater to reduce errors from dew, frost, rain, and snow
  • SDI-12 digital output
  • Detachable waterproof connector from sensor head for fast, easy servicing
  • Calibration data stored on sensor

Images

front view
front view
front view
front view
front tilt view
front tilt view
back view
back tilt view
left view
right view
top view
bottom view
CS320 attached to a leveling base (sold separately)
CS320 attached to a leveling base, mounting bracket, and pole (sold separately)

Technical Description

The CS320 combines a blackbody thermopile detector with an acrylic diffuser. This design is a significant improvement when compared with the spectral response of silicon photocell pyranometers, while offering a comparable price. Thermopile pyranometers use a series of thermoelectric junctions (multiple junctions of two dissimilar metals following the thermocouple principle) to provide a signal of several µV/W/m2 proportional to the temperature difference between a black absorbing surface and a reference. The thermopile pyranometer’s black surface uniformly absorbs solar radiation across the solar spectrum.

The 0.2 W heater keeps water (liquid and frozen) off the sensor to minimize errors caused by dew, frost, rain, and snow blocking the radiation path. Dew and rain runoff is faciliated by the dome-shaped sensor head (diffuser and body). This keeps the sensor clean and minimizes errors caused by dust blocking the radiation path. The sensor is housed in a rugged anodize aluminum body, and the electronics are fully potted.

The CS320 pyranometer has sensor-specific calibration coefficients determined during the custom calibration process. Coefficients are programmed into the microcontrollers at the factory. The CS320 has an SDI-12 output (SDI-12 version 1.4), where short-wave radiation (W m-2) is returned in digital format. Measurement of the CS320 pyranometer requires a measurement device with SDI-12 functionality that includes the M or C command.

Specifications

Calibration Uncertainty ± 5 %
Measurement Range 0 to 2000 W m-2 (net short-wave irradiance)
Measurement Repeatability < 1%
Long-Term Drift < 2% (per year)
Non-Linearity < 1%
Detector Type Blackbody thermopile
Detector Response Time 2 s
Field of View (FOV) 180°
Spectral Range 385 to 2105 nm (50% points)
Directional (Cosine) Response < ±20 W m-2 (at 80° solar zenith)
Temperature Response < 5% (from -15° to +45°C)
Output SDI-12 (version 1.4) 1200 bps
Zero Offset A 8 W m-2
Zero Offset B < 5 W m-2
Operating Environment -50° to +50°C (0 to 100% relative humidity)
Heater 0.2 W (on-board)
Heater Power Requirements 25 mA current drain (at 12 Vdc)
Input Voltage Requirements 6 to 24 Vdc
Current Drain
  • 5 mA (measurement)
  • 3 mA (standby)
Uncertainty in Daily Total < 5%
Error Due to Clouds ±2 %
Factory Calibrations Traceable to secondary standard blackbody thermopile pyranometers traceable to the world radiation reference in Davos, Switzerland.
Warranty 4 years against defects in materials and workmanship
Diameter 34.3 mm (1.35 in.)
Height 39.6 mm (1.56 in.)
Weight 64.9 g (2.29 oz)
May vary due to potting.

Compatibility

Measurement of the CS320 pyranometer requires a measurement device with SDI-12 functionality that includes the M or C command, as an analog version of the CS320 is not offered. 

The CS320 is compatible with the following contemporary dataloggers:

  • CR6
  • CR300
  • CR800
  • CR850
  • CR1000
  • CR3000

Resources and Links


FAQs for

Number of FAQs related to CS320: 9

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  1. Compare the sensor against a recently calibrated CS320 on a clear, sunny day with the sun overhead. Ensure that the sensor being used as a reference is also level.

  2. No. It’s not the range that makes a sensor a quantum sensor. It is the type of light filter used with the photocell that only allows specific wavelengths of light in the PAR frequency range to strike the photocell.

  3. The SDI-12 bus is capable of having at least 10 sensors connected to it, each with 200 feet of cable. With fewer sensors, longer cable lengths are possible.

  4. For maximum accuracy, Campbell Scientific generally recommends that all besensors be recalibrated every two years. Depending on the requirements of the application, it may be desirable to wait longer between recalibration cycles. To determine if recalibration is necessary for pyranometers, visit the Clear Sky Calculator web page

    For additional information, read the "How to Check the Accuracy of Your Solar Radiation Measurements" blog article.

  5. The leveling base provides physical stability and helps ensure the sensor is leveled correctly. It is not recommended to use the sensor without the base. The sensor mounts to the base with an included bolt. However, a user-supplied plate with a hole drilled in it could be used instead to accept the sensor’s mounting bolt.

    Note: Whatever mounting method is used, the sensor has to be levelled to operate correctly.

  6. For thermopile pyranometers, a thermopile is used within the instrument as the sensor, and the thermal gradients are measured across hot and cold areas (black and white). The radiation intensity is proportional to the temperature differences between the two sensing areas. Accuracy depends upon the sensitivity of the material used in the sensors, the response time, and the distortion characteristics of the material constituting the dome (if present) covering the sensors.

    For silicon photocell pyranometers, electric current is generated by a photo-sensitive diode in proportion to solar intensity. Ordinarily, silicon photocell pyranometers are not fully sensitive to the full spectrum of visible light, and they cannot “see” a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum such as under cloudy conditions or vegetative canopies. Silicon photocell pyranometers will introduce errors under these conditions. In full sunlight conditions, however, they are calibrated to properly output solar radiation measurements.

  7. Whenever possible, purchase a sensor with the desired cable length. Some sensors have a user-specified cable length, whereas other sensors have a set cable length.

    Sometimes, an old cable can be replaced with a new, longer cable.

    Generally, additional cable cannot be spliced onto the existing cable because:  

    • Some sensor cables have bridge completion resistors at the pigtail end
    • Some sensors are calibrated based on cable length
    • Sometimes the color in the insulation is not the same as that visible at the pigtail end
    • It is possible to introduce errors or malfunctions depending on the integrity of the splice

    Splicing cable together increases the likelihood that water may enter the cable and cause shorting, corrosion, and some other potential issues, which in turn can cause measurement issues.

    Because of the potential issues, do not splice any sensor cable without first contacting Campbell Scientific to discuss the sensor in detail.

  8. Not every sensor has different cable termination options. The options available for a particular sensor can be checked by looking in two places in the Ordering information area of the sensor product page:

    • Model number
    • Cable Termination Options list

    If a sensor is offered in an –ET, –ETM, –LC, –LQ, or –QD version, that option’s availability is reflected in the sensor model number. For example, the 034B is offered as the 034B-ET, 034B-ETM, 034B-LC, 034B-LQ, and 034B-QD.

    All of the other cable termination options, if available, are listed on the Ordering information area of the sensor product page under “Cable Termination Options.” For example, the 034B-L Wind Set is offered with the –CWS, –PT, and –PW options, as shown in the Ordering information area of the 034B-L product page.

    Note: As newer products are added to our inventory, typically, we will list multiple cable termination options under a single sensor model rather than creating multiple model numbers. For example, the HC2S3-L has a –C cable termination option for connecting it to a CS110 instead of offering an HC2S3-LC model. 


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