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Physical Solar Model version 3 Global Horizontal Irradiance Multi-year Annual Average

Metadata Updated: April 3, 2023

This data provides annual average daily total solar resource averaged over surface cells of 0.038 degrees in both latitude and longitude, or nominally 4 km in size. The solar radiation values represent the resource available to solar energy systems. The data was created using cloud properties which are generated using the AVHRR Pathfinder Atmospheres-Extended (PATMOS-x) algorithms. Fast all-sky radiation model for solar applications (FARMS) in conjunction with the cloud properties, and aerosol optical depth (AOD) and precipitable water vapor (PWV) from ancillary source are used to estimate direct normal irradiance (DNI) and global horizontal irradiance (GHI). The DNI and GHI are computed for clear skies using the REST2 model. For cloud scenes identified by the cloud mask, the FARMS is used to compute the GHI. The DNI for cloud scenes is then computed using the DISC model. The data are averaged from hourly model output over 19 years (1998-2016). The PATMOS-X model uses half-hourly radiance images in visible and infrared channels from the GOES series of geostationary weather satellites, daily snow cover data from the NSIDC and mixing ratio, temperature and pressure profiles from the Modern Era-Retrospective Analysis (MERRA-2) dataset. The REST2 model uses hourly aerosol optical depth from MERRA-2 to calculate GHI and DNI; water vapor and other inputs for REST 2 are obtained from the MERRA-2.

This dataset was derived from the NSRDB and may be used with the following citation:

Sengupta, M., Xie, Y., Lopez, A., Habte, A., Maclaurin, G., & Shelby, J. (2018). The national solar radiation data base (NSRDB). Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 89, 51-60.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date April 3, 2023
Metadata Updated Date April 3, 2023
Data Update Frequency irregular

Metadata Source

Harvested from Energy JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date April 3, 2023
Metadata Updated Date April 3, 2023
Publisher National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Identifier GHI_annavg_1998-2016
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2023-01-11T22:40:07.448Z
Rights true
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Data Update Frequency irregular
Bureau Code 015:11
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Data Quality True
Harvest Object Id da528b6d-0e23-42c3-bdba-bdb8c063fdf5
Harvest Source Id f77dd4c2-ab3d-4bc7-8b3f-2aaa2e411d70
Harvest Source Title Energy JSON
Homepage URL
Metadata Type geospatial
Program Code 015:001
Publisher Hierarchy Department of Energy > National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash b6a43cfc2aa48227675bbf83ddc9c8e00feabf6b
Source Schema Version 1.1
Temporal 1998-01-01/2016-12-31

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