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This manual describes the BF5 Sunshine Sensor, and how to use it.

SunScan Users: If using the BF5 with the SunScan Canopy Analysis system refer to the Preliminary Checks on page 17 and Use with SunScan on page 17. See also the SunScan documents on the Software and Manuals CD.

Appendix 1 describes the BF5 design and includes a summary of the test results of several experimental trials of its predecessors, the BF3 & BF2.

See also:

  • BF5 Quick Start Guide
  • BF3 Optical Design v2
  • BF3 Evaluation
  • These are also on the Software and Manuals CD.

Description and Functions

What it measures

  • The BF5 Sunshine Sensor is one sensor with three output channels:-
    1. Total (global) solar radiation
    2. Diffuse radiation
    3. Sunshine status.
  • The Direct beam component of solar radiation can be calculated from the Total minus the Diffuse component.
  • You can set up the two radiation outputs to give millivolt signals scaled to the radiation units of your choice:
    1. For PAR, in mol.m-2.s-1
    2. For Energy, in W.m-2 ,or
    3. For Illuminance, in klux .
    4. The Sunshine status output is a logic level that corresponds to sun, or no sun. This can be processed to give sunshine hours duration.
  • The Sunshine status threshold corresponds to the World Meteorology Office (WMO) value of 120 W.m-2 in the direct beam, using an algorithm based on the Total radiation, and the ratio of Total to Diffuse radiation.
  • The radiation outputs have a cosine-corrected response.