J1.3 The National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 4:30 PM
606 (Washington State Convention Center )
Manajit Sengupta, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Understanding long-term spatial and temporal availability and variability of solar resource is fundamental for energy policy decisions, the optimal design of solar energy conversion systems, transmission interconnection planning, power system integration, solar energy market operations, and reducing uncertainty in investments. Historical solar resource data can be provided by ground-based in situ measurements and satellite remote sensing. The existing surface radiation networks are sparsely distributed and insufficient to meet the needs by the rapid growth of solar energy that leads to numerous large-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants across the US. In contrast, geostationary satellites can provide continuous solar radiation data over a wide spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has an extensive history on developing solar resource data of the US using various sources of observations and modeling tools. This study reviews the evolution of NREL’s National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB), our recent efforts on developing satellite-based NSRDB from a Physical Solar Model (PSM), and validation of the latest NSRDB using surface-based solar radiation measurements. GIS-based web service for dissemination of the NSRDB and future work to further improve the NSRDB will also be discussed.
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