The quest to locate the sun’s exact position in the sky is as old as humankind itself and a wide variety of devices have been developed for this purpose.

The Heliosensor sun position sensor developed by PSE AG in cooperation with Black Photon Instruments GmbH now allows us to measure the relative sun position with high resolution in a wide angle of incidence. The Heliosensor’s acceptance angle of ± 55° is unique. This cutting-edge sensor gives researchers a precise and reliable tool for product development.

The Heliosensor’s patented measuring principle uses a pattern displayed on a CCD camera chip. Depending on the direction in which the sun hits the sensor, a different part of the pattern is displayed on the CCD chip and analyzed to determine the relative sun position to the sensor.

Technical specifications

Acceptance angle ± 55 °
Resolution better than 0.02 °
Accuracy better than 0.05 ° (for ± 15°),
better than 0.5 % for the entire acceptance angle
Temperature range -20 °C to +60 °C
Data interface Ethernet
Communication protocol Modbus TCP
Power supply 12 – 24 V DC
Power consumption 2.4 W
Size diameter 95 mm / height 35 mm

Key facts

  • Acceptance angle of ± 55°
  • Monitoring and optimization of single and dual axis tracking systems
  • Monitoring of performance testing for perpendicular sun irradiation and IAM
  • Very high accuracy - better than 0.05° for angles ± 15°
  • Monitoring of incidence angles on surfaces (e.g. facades)
  • Measuring principle based on a pattern displayed on a CCD camera chip

Software features

  • Data file with time stamp, offset to azimuth and elevation angle
  • Modbus TCP communication interface connectable to other controllers or PLCs
  • Graphical user interface to configure data file and Modbus TCP interface

Included software for evaluating sensor data uses a graphical user interface for control, monitoring and graphical display of the relative sun position.