Home » Historical Data » File Formats

File Formats

SolarAnywhere® Data can be downloaded or emailed in spreadsheet-friendly, comma separated value (CSV) files from the SolarAnywhere data website. SolarAnywhere time-series, typical year and probability of exceedance files are produced in one of two basic formats: SolarAnywhere and TMY3.

Both SolarAnywhere irradiance file formats are compatible with commonly used PV simulation software products such as PVsyst, NREL System Advisor Model (SAM) and Folsom Labs Helioscope. You can self-register for no-cost access to SolarAnywhere Public to view and test each of these formats. Here are descriptions of each:

  • TMY3: The TMY3 format used by SolarAnywhere is described in the Users Manual for TMY3 Data Sets published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Note that SolarAnywhere TMY3 files only include the fields described below; the remaining fields as described in the NREL users guide are unfilled. For convenience, the TMY3 header also includes the average elevation of the selected location.
  • SolarAnywhere: The native SolarAnywhere file format contains the following fields in the order they are presented.


Meta Data

The first row in SolarAnywhere-format data files contains standard TMY3 format header information, plus a summary comment. From left to right, the columns correspond to:

  1. Site identifier code – Because SolarAnywhere data covers areas where no TMY3 site exists, we report all site identifier codes as ‘0.’
  2. Site name – This is the site name specified by the user before downloading the data. If a site name is not specified, this will default to the coordinates of the site. Edit the site name by clicking the pencil icon that appears beside it when you mouse-over the current name.
  3. Station state – Always listed as “NA” since our data tiles can include multiple states.
  4. Site time zone – Listed in hours offset from GMT; time zones west of Greenwich are negative (e.g., PST is 8 hours behind UTC, therefore PST is listed as -8).
  5. Site latitude – In decimal degrees.
  6. Site longitude – In decimal degrees.
  7. Site elevation – In meters.
  8. Summary comment:
    1. Data version – The SolarAnywhere data version.
    2. File type – Typical Year, Timeseries or PXX (1-99) file types.
    3. Latitude/Longitude resolution – Spatial resolution of the selected tile in decimal degrees.
    4. Time resolution – Period between data points.
    5. Averaging method – Will always be end-of-period.
    6. Copyright information

File Naming

Files downloaded from the SolarAnywhere data website will have one of the following naming conventions:


Typical Year

{Site Name} SolarAnywhere Typical {GHI or DNI} Year Lat_{Site Latitude} Lon_{Site Longitude} {Format}.csv

Average Year Summary

{Site Name} SolarAnywhere Average Year Summary Lat_{Site Latitude} Lon_{Site Longitude}.csv

Example: Montana Site SolarAnywhere Average Year Summary Lat_46_365 Lon_-108_275.csv


Time Series

{Site Name} SolarAnywhere Time Series {Date Range} Lat_{Site Latitude} Lon_{Site Longitude} {Format}.csv

Probability of Exceedance

{Site Name} SolarAnywhere {Probability of Exceedance Level} Lat_{Site Latitude} Lon_{Site Longitude} {Format}.csv


{Site Name} SolarAnywhere Hindcast {Date Range} Lat_{Site Latitude} Lon_{Site Longitude} {Format}.csv