File Formats

Available File Formats

When accessing SolarAnywhere® data, irradiance and PV output datasets can be downloaded or emailed in spreadsheet-friendly, comma separated value (CSV) files.

SolarAnywhere irradiance file formats are compatible with most commonly used PV simulation software products such as PVSyst, NREL System Advisor Model (SAM) and Folsom Labs Helioscope.

The SolarAnywhere time-series and typical year files are produced in one of two basic formats: SolarAnywhere and TMY3.

  • SolarAnywhere: The native SolarAnywhere format is either provided centered on the satellite measurement time, or top-of-hour averaged from the previous hour to accommodate different common modeling conventions.
  • TMY3: The TMY3 format is the default format, and is supported directly by PVsyst and the NREL System Advisor Model (SAM). 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.
Data Type Description Available In Native SolarAnywhere Format Available in TMY3 Format
StandardTime Standard Time not adjusted for Daylight Savings, at the selected geographic location Yes Yes
Greenwich Mean Time Greenwich mean time for the observation Yes Yes
Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) Irradiance in Watts/m2 on a surface normal to the sun Yes Yes
Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) Total irradiance in Watts/m2 on a horizontal surface Yes Yes
Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DIF) Total irradiance in Watts/m2 that does not arrive on a direct path from the sun Yes Yes
Windspeed m/s wind speed at 10-meter height Yes Yes
AmbientTemperature Degrees C ambient air temperature at 2-meter height Yes Yes
IrradianceObservationType Prefix
F: Forecast – predicted
M: Month – current month
A: Archive – over one month old
U: Unlicensed
Suffix
D: Day
N: Night
M: Missing
F: Filled – by selected missing data fill option
E: Estimated
L: Long Range Estimate
S: Short Range Estimate
Yes  No
WindSpeedObservationType, AmbientTemperatureObservationType O: Observed
M: Missing
F: Filled by the selected missing data fill option
Yes  No
LeadTime The number of hours between the start of the forecast calculation, and the forecast-s target hour Yes  No
DataVersion Version of the SolarAnywhere model. See the release notes for information on the differences between model versions. Yes Yes

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