Case Studies and Validation

The following SAM files and documents describe analyses that compare SAM results to data from actual systems.

If you have done similar comparisons and would like to share them here, or if you have measured data from a system that you would be willing to share with us to develop a case study, please contact us.

Photovoltaic Systems

Case study of behind-the-meter photovoltaic-battery systems in California and Tennessee.

DiOrio, N.; Dobos, A.; Janzou, S. (2015). Economic Case Studies of Battery Energy Storage with SAM. NREL/TP-6A20-64987. 22 pp. (550 KB)

NREL Comparison of SAM, PVsyst, PV*SOL, and PVWatts Results to Measured Data 2014

Freeman, J., Whitmore, J., Kaffine, L., Blair, N., Dobos, A.. (2014). Validation of Multiple Tools for Flat Plate Photovoltaic Modeling Against Measured Data. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-61497. (PDF 488 KB)

Locus Energy SAM Performance Modeling Validation Report 2014

Rudié, E., Thornton, A., Rajendra, N., Kerrigan, S. (2014). System Advisor Model Performance Modeling Validation Report: Analysis of 100 Sites. Locus Energy. (PDF 1.5 MB)

NREL PV Validation 2013

Freeman, J., Whitmore, J., Kaffine, L., Blair, N., Dobos, A.. (2013). System Advisor Model: Flat Plate Photovoltaic Performance Modeling Validation Report. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-60204. (PDF 4.3 MB)

SAM Webinar. (2013). "PV Model Validation using Measured Performance Data."

The following files are for NREL facilities as described in the 2013 PV validation documents above, and will run with SAM 2014.1.14:

NREL PV Validation 2012

Blair, N., Dobos, A., Sather, N. (2012). Case Studies Comparing System Advisor Model (SAM) Results to Real Performance Data, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-6A20-54676. (PDF 360 KB)

The following files are from the 2012 PV validation analysis, which was performed using SAM 2011.6.30. If you would like to run one of the .zsam files to compare results with those shown in the documents, please download and install the legacy version for your comparison.

Concentrating Solar Power Systems

The following files are for analyses comparing SAM results for the physical trough model and molten salt power tower model to data from real systems in Spain. These analyses were performed using SAM 2013.1.15. If you would like to run one of the .zsam files to compare results with those shown in the documents, please be sure to download and install the same version of SAM as the one used for these case studies.

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