Solar Resource Data and Tools

NREL provides solar resource data and tools to help energy system designers, building architects and engineers, renewable energy analysts, and others accelerate the integration of solar technologies on the grid.

Baseline Measurement System

Offers live solar radiation data from approximately 70 instruments on NREL's campus and historical measurements dating to 1981.

Measurement and Instrumentation Data Center

Provides irradiance and meteorological data from stations throughout the United States.

National Solar Radiation Database

Offers a serially complete collection of meteorological and solar irradiance data sets for the United States and a growing list of international locations.

Circumsolar Radiation Data: The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Reduced Data Base

Provides detailed intensity profiles of the solar and circumsolar region, direct normal radiation data, and total hemispherical solar radiation data for 11 U.S. locations from 1976 to 1981.

Cooperative Networks for Renewable Resource Measurements Solar Energy Resource Data

Provides solar radiation and wind measurement data for select U.S. locations.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Solar Radiation Monitoring Network

Provides five-minute measurements of solar irradiance for six stations in the southeastern United States from 1985 to 1996.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Remote Sensing Validation Data: Saudi Arabia

Offers high-quality solar radiation monitoring data from a network of 12 stations in Saudi Arabia from 1995 to 2001.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solar Data

Provides archived solar radiation information from a network of 39 stations throughout the United States.

Solar Energy Meteorological Research and Training Sites Data Set

Provides solar resource data for five sites across the United States for dates ranging from 1979 to 1984.

Solar Resource Variability Data

Demonstrates the variability in both time and space of the solar resource across the United States.

Solar Spectra

Provides integrated standard spectral irradiance data for the United States from a variety of sources.

Spectral Solar Radiation Data Base

Provides spectral solar radiation data for several U.S. sites for 1986–1988.

WEST Associates Solar Monitoring Network

Provides solar resource data for 52 stations in six Western U.S. states for 1976–1980.

Bird Clear Sky Model

Estimates clear sky direct beam, hemispherical diffuse, and total hemispherical solar radiation for horizontal planes.

Bird Simple Spectral Model

Computes clear sky spectral direct beam, hemispherical diffuse, and hemispherical total irradiances on tilted or horizontal planes.

DISC Model

Estimates direct beam irradiance from user-supplied hourly average measured global horizontal data.

Simple Model of the Atmospheric Radiative Transfer of Sunshine (SMARTS)

Computes clear sky spectral irradiances for a set of user-specified atmospheric conditions.

Solar and Moon Position Algorithm (SAMPA)

Calculates the sun and moon position with very low uncertainty based on location, date, and time inputs for the years -2000–6000.

Solar Position Algorithm (SPA)

Calculates the solar position with very low uncertainty based on location, date, and time inputs for the years -2000–6000.

Solar Position and Intensity (SOLPOS)

Calculates the solar position and intensity based on location, date, and time inputs for the years 1950–2050.

Quality Assessment with SERI QC

Provides a quality-control method for global horizontal, diffuse horizontal, and direct normal solar radiation data.

SERI Standard Broadband Format: A Solar and Meteorological Data Archive Format, NREL Technical Report (1988)

Describes a tape archival format appropriate for use with research-level solar radiation data.

Solar Resource Glossary

Defines solar radiation resource terms found in the data and tools collection.