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Penrith Snow

A Cheap Clever Way To Record Sunshine Hours

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I was talking to a fellow weather geek recently and moaning about how difficult it is to record sunshine hours as equipment is very expensive and very few weather stations come with a sunshine sensor.

He then told me how he records sunshine for free! Basically he brought a spare temperature sensor for his weather station (which is able to record 4 separate temperature units) and put it in an upside down jam jar. When it was cloudy the jar thermometer was only a degree or two above the screen one but as soon as the sun comes out the temperature rockets to over 10c more than that in screen even during the winter.

This data is then recorded on a computer as a graph and the amount of sunshine is thus recorded by the temperature difference between the jar and screen! Small difference means it was cloudy, big difference meant it was sunny.

Ingenious or what, he reckons his sunshine 'readings' are within 10% of those at a nearby MetO station.

Can anyone see an obvious downside to this apart from the thermometer possibly melting during a heat wave Lol.

Andy

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Could we not just modify the type of solar cell you get with cheap garden lights? Any peak, once calibrated, in the amount of juice produced would indicate sun would it not?

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