What Is the NSRDB?
The NSRDB is a serially complete collection of hourly and half-hourly values of the three most common measurements of solar radiation—global horizontal, direct normal, and diffuse horizontal irradiance—and meteorological data. The current NSRDB is modeled using multi-channel measurements from geostationary satellites. The older versions of the NSRDB were modeled using cloud and weather information primarily collected at airports. Sufficient number of locations and temporal and spatial scales were used to represent regional solar radiation climates accurately.
Using the NSRDB data, it is possible to estimate the amount of solar energy that has been historically available at a given time and location anywhere in the United States. The NSRDB is also expanding to encompass a growing list of international locations. Using the long-term NSRDB data in various models, it is possible to predict the potential future availability of solar energy in a location based on past conditions.
Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data can be derived from the NSRDB time series datasets. Visit the TMY page for detailed information about this data type and its uses.
The latest addition to the NSRDB is spectral datasets. Spectral datasets are calculated on demand based on user specifications of tilt and orientation. Please visit the Spectral Datasets page to learn more.
The NSRDB and TMY data are compatible with many system performance and economic models, including the following products created by NREL:
Data collection for the NSRDB is a collaborative effort. Contributors include:
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- U.S. Department of Energy
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- University of Wisconsin
- Solar Consulting Services, Colebrook, New Hampshire
- Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York at Albany
- National Climatic Data Center, U.S. Department of Commerce
- Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory, University of Oregon.