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NREL updates solar radiation database
Date:11/27/2012

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and collaborators released a 20-year updated version of the U.S. National Solar Radiation Database, a web-based technical report that provides critical information about solar and meteorological data for 1,454 locations in the U.S. and its territories.

The updated database covers 1991-2010 and includes data from 2006-2010 for the first time. It also features improved cloud algorithms for modeling solar radiation data, and an improved State University of New York (SUNY) model for gridded data based on satellite observations.

The database, which tracks hourly solar and meteorological parameters, is widely used by solar system designers, building architects and engineers, renewable energy analysts and others to plan, size and site solar electric systems.

The National Solar Radiation Database (NSRD) provides solar resource information to industry in support of central solar power plant and distributed rooftop feasibility studies, economic analyses and research. The database also underlies other industry data and tools, including NREL's Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data sets, PVWattsTM calculator, Solar Power Prospector and System Advisor Model (SAM).

The project was completed in collaboration with Clean Power Research and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). This update, which supersedes the 1961-1990 and 1991-2005 NSRDB releases, is available in three forms:

  • A station-based data set at the 1, 454 Weather Service stations (860 of the stations have serially complete data records).

  • A 10 km gridded data set (the Clean Power Research SolarAnywhere v2.2 product based on the SUNY model) for the continental U.S and Hawaii from 1998-2009 (solar radiation values only). NREL has filled gaps in this data set, and the NSRDB version is serially complete.

  • A solar-only enhanced research data set for the 1,45
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Contact: David Glickson
david.glickson@nrel.gov
303-275-4097
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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