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GHI data


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Hi everyone, wondering if anyone can help me in acquiring some GHI data, for a purely imaginary PV installation model that I'm trying to put together for a school project.

I chose Julian, California as a small region to focus my model on to build imaginary PV arrays. Anyways, since the ground data sources are scarce in that region, I'm focusing on acquiring free satellite derived data from that last 10 years.

Hope you folks can point me to the right direction. Thanks!

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The meteonorm program (included in PVsyst) holds measured meteo data (10-30 years averages) for about 1'200 sites in the world, named "Stations". But it allows also to get meteo data for any location on the earth, either by interpolation (between the 3 nearest stations) or on the basis of satellite data.

The "native" database of PVsyst is based on these 1'200 Meteonorm "stations".

However in the PVsyst "Geographical sites" option, you can choose any location on a google map, and get meteo data for this location either from Meteonorm or from the NASA-SSE database.

Now you have tools in the software for easily importing data from many well-known irradiation databases (Meteonorm, Satellight, PVGIS, Nasa-SSE, Soda-Helioclim, Retscreen, TMY3 or SolarAnywhere(SUNY) in the US, EPW in Canada, etc). For this, please open "Tools" / "Import Meteo Data", and press F1 for more details, a description of each source and the procedure for importing them.

For California, you can probably find a TMY3 file near to your location, or SolarAnywhere satellite data for your exact location and for about the 10 past years.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone,

I'd like re-energize this post, as I have another question. I'm looking to include pyranometers into my project. Assuming that I will eventually derive my GHI data in (W/m^2). How do I literally take these values and format then in a way that can be observed visually? Is there free software? Are there ways to input this data to Google Earth, to get a visual?

Thanks in advance,


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  • 2 weeks later...

I might be a little late in my reply on this post, however, I'd like to point out that using measured data will have pros and cons.

If you'd like to estimate PV production for a possible future project you would have to take your measured data (of a limited time period) and create a long term data set using other data sets with longer overlapping data record period (several years preferred). You could for example correlate your measured data with a long term satellite data set (for example solar anywhere or Solar GIS). This way you will have a much more reliable picture of the long term solar resource rather than a very limited snap shot of the solar resource during your measurement period.

If you however already have solar PV installation in place and you would like to compare the actual production with the modeled production (for example to verify that the system runs properly), then using the measured data would be perfect.

Hope these thoughts help. Cheers

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