19th Conference on IIPS


Energy Design Software using NASA Meteorology and Solar Energy Data

William S. Chandler, SAIC, Hampton, VA; and D. E. Brown, C. H. Whitlock, and P. W. Stackhouse

NASA's Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) Project is developing data sets from Earth Science Enterprise research to support design software from Energy sector industries. One such data set is the Surface meteorology and Solar Energy (SSE) data set. The SSE data set is a 10-year global climatology (1983-1993) of satellite-derived insolation and meteorology data on a one-degree latitude by one-degree longitude grid. There are parameters for sizing and pointing solar panels, solar thermal applications, and energy-storage systems. Information is also provided for clouds, temperature, humidity, and wind parameters. The data are considered accurate for preliminary feasibility studies of renewable energy projects. Collaboration with renewable energy industry partners has resulted in co-developed applications for easy insertion of the SSE data into renewable energy design software.

Developers at the Natural Resources Canada's CANMET Energy Diversification Research Laboratory desired an SSE web application designed to meet the specific needs of RETScreen®, a renewable energy project analysis software tool. Cooling and heating design temperatures, heating degree days and average summer daily temperature range are a few of the new parameters calculated and presented in a format that can easily be inserted into RETScreen®. Several potential users, including Solar Energy International and the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST), suggested additional useful parameters and web site content. The developer of SolarSizer, CREST's professional tool for designing and sizing photovoltaic systems, wished to design new modules that could directly use the SSE data set. We co-developed applications on the SSE web site and in SolarSizer. The latest version of SolarSizer seamlessly ingests time series and monthly averaged insolation data from the SSE web site.

The SSE web site delivers all web documents on the fly. Users can access data by entering a particular latitude and longitude location, or panning on an image of the globe and zooming into the area of interest. Users can create customized data tables by choosing from an extensive list of over 150 solar energy and meteorology parameters. Dynamic data mapping allows users the freedom of displaying global color maps or zooming in on any region as small as six by six degrees of latitude and longitude. Additional resources on the SSE web site include accuracy, methodology, usage statistics and a form for submitting questions.

RETScreen® and SolarSizer have become integral SSE web site applications. The POWER project group wishes to partner with more smart building, wind power and solar energy software developers that would benefit from NASA satellite-derived data.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (144K)

Supplementary URL: http://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/sse/

Thursday, 13 February 2003, 8:30 AM-1:45 PM

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