SAM requires a registration key that you request by providing an email address the first time you start the software. The registration key is free and can be used on more than one computer and for different versions of SAM. The registration key does not expire.
When you start SAM for the first time after installing it, it displays the SAM Registration window where you provide an email address to register your copy of SAM. Registration is free, and allows us to keep count of how many people are using SAM. We use this information in our reports to the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds NREL's work on SAM, making it possible for you to use the software for free.
Note. Registering for a SAM software key as described here is different from registering for a user account on the SAM website. You do not need a website user account to use the SAM software. You only need a website account to post on this SAM user forum.
To register SAM:
If you have not yet installed SAM,
and install the software.
Start SAM, and type your email in the Registration window and click Register. You should receive an email from SAM Support with a registration key within a few minutes.
Paste the key from the email into the Registration window and click Confirm. Be careful not to include any spaces at the end of the key when you select it to copy.
In the Registration Information window, click OK to finish registering or Cancel to cancel the registration. If you do not see the OK and Cancel buttons, press the Enter key on your keyboard to register, or close the window to cancel.
SAM requires an internet connection to complete the registration process. The registration process may fail if your computer uses a firewall or proxy server to connect to the internet. If you have trouble registering SAM, please try the following to configure your firewall or to configure SAM to use your proxy server.
Configure your Firewall to Allow SAM to Connect to Registration Server
If your computer connects to the internet through a firewall, you may need to create an exception to allow SAM to connect to the NREL server that stores registration information. SAM uses standard HTTP, HTTPS, and SMTP mailto protocols to access the internet. The URL for the registration server is
If you plan to use other SAM features that connect to the internet, you may need to add other URLs to the list of firewall exceptions. You can find a list of all URLs SAM uses in SAM's Help system, under Reference, Web Access and Proxies, or in the webapis.conf file in the runtime folder of your SAM installation.
Configure SAM to Work with a Proxy Server
If your computer uses a web proxy server to connect to the internet, you can create a proxy configuration file that will allow SAM to connect using your proxy server address. You can either create the file in a text editor, or use SAM's proxy configuration window as described below. The file is named proxy.txt and contains a single line with the proxy server URL and optional custom port as described in the instructions below. The file should be in the folder that contains the SAM executable file in your SAM installation folder.
To remove the proxy configuration, either delete the proxy.txt file, or delete the proxy server URL from the proxy configuration window.
To create a proxy configuration file:
If you do not see the Registration window, click Registration in the bottom left corner of the Welcome page. If SAM is open, close the current project to display the Welcome page.
In the Registration window, type the email address and registration key if the fields are empty. If you do not have a key, register to request one as described above.
In the Configure Proxy window, type the proxy server's URL. For example, if the server's address is "proxy-server.myorganization.org," type:
To specify a custom port, add it to the name with a colon separator (no spaces). For example, if the server address is "proxy-server.myorganization.org," and the custom port number is 1234, type:
Click OK to close the Configure Proxy window, and Close to return to the SAM main window.