Leap Years in Solar Prospector Data

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Paul Gilman
Leap Years in Solar Prospector Data

If you download a typical year weather file from the Solar Prospector website for the years 2000 or 2004, please be aware that the Solar Prospector files include data for February 29th. The standard TMY2 files in the NSRDB database do not include February 29 data for leap years.

SAM does not account for leap years, so if you simulate a system with Solar Prospector weather file for 2000 or 2004, SAM will use the February 29th data for March 1, March 1 data for March 2, etc., and truncate the December 31 data from the end of file. This should not have a significant impact on annual production or LCOE estimates for most analyses.

If you would like to remove the February 29 data, you can do so as follows:

  1. Download the Solar Prospector .tm2 file for 2000 or 2004.
  2. Open the file in a text editor.
  3. Delete Rows 1418 through 1441. Those rows should begin with either 000229 (YYMMDD for 2000) or 040229 (YYMMDD for 2004).
  4. Save the file.

After you delete the rows, the file should contain 8,761 rows like a standard TMY2 file.

Best regards,

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