NREL Releases Updated U.S. Solar Radiation Database


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

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

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 NSRD provides solar resource information to the industry in support of central solar power plant and distributed rooftop feasibility studies, economic analyses and research.
The project was completed in collaboration with Clean Power Research and the National Climatic Data Center.

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