Download SAM

The current version of System Advisor Model is SAM 2016.3.14 Revision 2. It requires about 800 MB of disk space, and runs on Windows 10/8/7, OS X 10.8 Intel, and Linux x84-64 operating systems. On Windows, SAM's installation program automatically installs both the 32-bit and 64-bit version on your computer, and the desktop and Start menu shortcuts point to the version of SAM that matches your computer's operating system.  Only 64-bit versions are available for OSX and Linux.

The first time you start SAM, you must provide a vaild email address to request a free registration key that NREL will automatically email to you. This registration system gives NREL a way to collect information about the number of people using SAM for project reports to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Installation Instructions

If your browser prompts you to open or save the file, you should save the file instead of opening it. Be sure that the download is complete before continuing to the next step.

  1. Click one of the buttons above to download either the Windows or OS X installation program.
  2. Completely download the installation file for your operating system to your computer:
    • For Windows, the file is sam-windows-2016-3-14-r1.exe.
    • For OS X, the file is sam-osx-2016-3-14-r1.dmg.
    • For Linux, the file is sam-linux-2016-3-14-r1.run.
  3. Locate the downloaded file and install the software:
    • In Windows, double-click the installation file to run it and follow the instructions in the installation wizard. By default, SAM will install in the c:\SAM\2016.3.14 folder.
    • In OS X, double-click the disk image (.dmg file) to open it, and drag the SAM icon to your applications folder. This adds the SAM.app application to your Applications folder. Alternatively, you can run the SAM application directly from the Downloads folder, or from any other folder to which you copy the disk image. If you see a message about verifying SAM that prevents you from starting SAM, open a Finder window and open the SAM disk image in the Applications folder (or other folder), and then control-click the SAM app icon, click Open in the shortcut menu, and follow the prompts to open the application from an unknown developer. This will save SAM as an exception to your security settings. For some older versions of OS X, a security feature called Gatekeeper may prevent you from starting SAM. For more on bypassing Gatekeeper, see this CNET article.
    • In Linux, the .run file is a self-extracting archive. Open a terminal window and add execute permissions to the file: chmod u+x ./sam-linux-2016-3-14.run. Then, run the installer by typing: ./sam-linux-2016-3-14.run. The installer will ask you for a path to install SAM.  If you are running as a normal user the default installation folder will be in /home/<username>/SAM/<version>.  If you have root permissions, the default will be /opt/SAM/<version>.  See below for more information on installing and running the Linux version of SAM.

Removing Old Versions of SAM

When you install SAM, it does not replace or remove older versions that may be on your computer. Each SAM installation is separate, so you can have more than one version installed on your computer without causing problems. If you want to remove old versions of SAM, in Windows, use the Windows uninstall program. Windows will not delete files in your SAM installation that were modified since the original installation, so you may need to delete the installation folder by hand after running the uninstall program. In OS X, drag the SAM app to the trash.   On Linux, simply delete the entire installation folder: rm -rf <path-to-SAM-install-folder>.

Release Notes

For a complete list of changes in each version, see the release notes, which are also available in SAM from the Help menu.

Known Issues

Please let us know if you have any trouble with by posting a description of the issue on the support forum or by contacting us. As we discover problems with the current version, we will fix them for the next release, and post descriptions with workaround solutions here.

  • The PDF report for photovoltaic systems displays an error when you choose either the "Single meter with no monthly rollover credits" or "Two meters with all generation sold an all load purchased" metering option on the Electricity Rates page. For a workaround solution, see this post on the SAM support forum.

Linux Version

The Linux version of SAM was first made available in the June 2015 release. For the 2016.3.14 release, we made changes to reduce the number of system dependencies to allow SAM to run out-of-the-box on more Linux distributions.   To run SAM:

$ cd <path-to-SAM-install-folder, e.g. /home/user/SAM/2016.3.14>
$ ./SAM

The program was compiled and tested on the Slackware 13.1 x64 distribution.  SAM is also known to work on Ubuntu 14 and Fedora 22 distributions. If you have problems running SAM on Linux, please contact us.

Planned New Features and Wish List

The following items are features that people have requested and that we are considering for a future version of SAM. If you would like to request a feature, please post your request on the SAM support forum.

  • Enhancements to notes: Mutiple notes per input page, note that is visible for all input pages in a case, and separate notes for tabs on the Results page (graphs, tables, cash flow, etc.).
  • Photovoltaic report with no financial data.
  • Income tax holiday, or define a period for which there is no income tax.

Legacy Versions

Legacy versions of SAM are versions older than the current version that are available for reference purposes.

To download a legacy version, log on to the website, and click the appropriate link in the Legacy Versions box that appears to the right of this paragraph.

Please note that older versions of SAM cannot open files saved with newer versions. When you use a newer version of SAM to open a file saved with an older version, SAM converts the file to the newer format, which may render it unreadable by the older version. When working with multiple versions of SAM, we recommend saving a copy of the file to work with each version of SAM. You can use the SAM version number in the file name to help you keep track of which file goes with which version.

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