Technician in solar system works on a sensor of the weather station

Acquisition of weather data Weather stations for photovoltaic systems

Operators of photovoltaic systems want to be kept informed about the energy efficiency and reliability of their ground-mounted system at all times. One possible measurement of this is the performance ratio, which indicates the ratio of the actual system yield to the yield that is theoretically possible.

If the value decreases unexpectedly, this indicates a system error. Weather stations measure important weather data, such as solar irradiation, wind speed, and temperature, around the clock. These data are included in the calculation of the performance ratio.

Solar park with setting sun


Operators of ground-mounted systems require the acquisition of all weather data provided by the sensors. The data must be transmitted to a central SCADA system for monitoring and control via suitable interfaces. Data acquisition and transmission must be guaranteed for all ambient conditions that may occur in the field.

Complete weather station: Combination of sensors and control cabinet

Complete solution for acquisition of weather data


Phoenix Contact offers everything you need for the acquisition of weather data from a single source. Standard 61724-1 describes the accuracy requirements for environmental sensors with respect to system classes A to C. Class A systems are photovoltaic power plants that must meet the strictest requirements. All of the sensors available from Phoenix Contact meet the requirements for this class.

Intelligent solution for measuring environmental data

Sensors as part of a weather station
Weather sensor at the solar panel
Weather station parameterization via web interface
Interfaces for data transmission to a SCADA system
Sensors as part of a weather station

With our extensive portfolio of environmental sensors, we provide you with compact weather stations tailored to your needs. The environmental sensors of the weather station are directly connected to our control system via Modbus. The preconfigured sensors are immediately available for transmitting weather data.

When requirements change, sensors can be easily added or even omitted without affecting the interface. This makes the application easy to replicate, even in the face of changing specifications.

Weather sensor at the solar panel

Instead of wiring each sensor individually, our M12 connections with Y distributors make it very simple to connect them in series. This significantly reduces the amount of wiring required on site and makes it easier to integrate the sensors into the overall system.

Weather station parameterization via web interface

The weather station from Phoenix Contact is designed for universal use and supports the connection of conventional sensors via standard interfaces. The sensors are configured easily via web interface. This means that no programming knowledge is required for commissioning the weather station.

Interfaces for data transmission to a SCADA system

To enable an easy connection to a higher-level SCADA system, the weather data is provided in a standardized data format such as Modbus, PROFINET or SunSpec®, if necessary, and transmitted via Ethernet.

Access to the weather station within the system network is possible at any time with the web interface.

Your advantages

  • All sensors meet the requirements of IEC 61724-1 for Class A systems
  • Minimal startup and configuration effort with plug-and-play connection of the weather sensors
  • Flexibility due to the individual selection of sensors
  • Easy connection with industrial-quality M12 circular connectors and support of standardized interfaces
  • Installation-friendly: Fast integration without programming knowledge
Structure and networking of meteorological data acquisition for ground-mounted systems

The weather station stores the acquired data locally and makes it available to the user via a web interface

Weather data acquisition for ground-mounted systems Universally applicable and easy integration into the overall system

Our weather station sensors are equipped with a Modbus interface, which brings a number of advantages along with it. First, only one interface is needed for data acquisition from all sensors, which minimizes system and interface costs. When requirements change, sensors can be easily added or even omitted without affecting the interface. This makes the application easy to replicate, even in the face of changing requirements.

As opposed to compact weather stations, the sensors available from Phoenix Contact are individual modules. This means that if an individual sensor fails, only that sensor needs to be replaced. Replacement is fast and easy with the M12 circular connectors from Phoenix Contact, which meet the industry‘s rigorous standards.

If you use our data acquisition station, you can connect directly to the switchgear and controlgear assembly using circular connectors. The system includes an uninterruptible power supply for bridging short power outages.

The application program we developed in-house features an integrated web-based management system, which makes it possible to commission the sensors without any programming knowledge. The auto-configuration function automatically detects all of the sensors connected in the bus and with the integrated controller, enables them to transmit using common interfaces such as Modbus/TCP and PROFINET.
At a supply voltage of 24 V, all of the sensors have reverse-polarity protection, which minimizes your investment risk.

Interactive image map: Overview of a weather station installed in a solar park for continuous recording of all important weather data
PLCnext Technology
PLCnext Technology, the ecosystem for industrial automation, consists of open hardware, modular engineering software, a global community, and a digital software marketplace.
Find out more
PLCnext Technology
String combiner
Our monitoring system for photovoltaic string currents allows you to respond immediately to malfunctions and power losses, even when individual strings fail.
Find out more
String combiner