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NIST Weather Station for Photovoltaic and Building System Research



Matthew Boyd


A weather station has been constructed on the Gaithersburg, Maryland campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of a research effort to assess performance of photovoltaic and building systems. This weather station includes research-grade instrumentation to measure all standard meteorological quantities plus various additional solar irradiance spectral bands, full spectrum curves, and directional components using multiple irradiance sensor technologies. Reference photovoltaic (PV) modules are also monitored on site to provide comprehensive baseline measurements for the PV arrays on campus. Images of the whole sky are captured, along with images of the instrumentation and reference modules to document any obstructions or anomalies. Nearly all measurements are sampled and saved every 1 second, with monitoring having started August 1, 2014. This report describes the instrumentation approach to measure the meteorological and photovoltaic quantities and acquire the images for use in computer model validation or weather monitoring.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1913
Report Number


meteorology, weather station, data acquisition, solar, photovoltaic


Boyd, M. (2016), NIST Weather Station for Photovoltaic and Building System Research, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created March 29, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018