This page provides information about work done by the NREL SAM team and other organizations with a specific focus on features, sample files, and access to data for SAM in different regions of the U.S. and world.

For information about where to find weather data to use with SAM, please see the Weather Data page. You can also search this website to find support forum discussions about specific states, countries, or regions; or about other aspects of the model.

Spanish Language Materials

This draft Getting Started Guide is an introduction to using SAM translated into Spanish:

  • DRAFT Getting Started Guide, Spanish translation (PDF 1.1 MB)

Puerto Rico: Energy Planning Support

As part of the Multi-Lab Energy Planning Support for Puerto Rico project, the SAM team developed a SAM template file to use as a starting point for analysis of Residential, Commercial, and Utility-scale photovoltaic-battery projects in Puerto Rico. The SAM file is annotated with notes providing information and guidance on key input parameters that are specific to Puerto Rico.

You can download solar resource data for Puerto Rico from NREL's National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) directly from the Solar Resource page in SAM by typing a street address or location name under "Download Weather Files." The Puerto Rico Solar Data macro provides access to the special Puerto Rico SHR dataset: To find the macro in SAM, click Macros under the Simulate button.

India: Weather Data and Project Finance Models

The SAM team has participated in the  Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS) partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy Sunshot Initiative and India's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Energy Mission to support their vision of cooperation and innovation to develop solar electricity technologies.

This work has resulted in the following new features being added to SAM:

  • Access to NREL National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) weather data for India directly from the SAM user interface.
  • Modeling of  income tax holidays, receivables reserves, and return on equity in SAM's project cash flow models.
  • A getting started wizard that automatically populates SAM inputs with values appropriate for projects in India.

Mexico: Electricity Rate Data and Distributed Generation Research

NREL staff have been using SAM's electricity metering and billing capabilities to explore compensation mechanisms for Mexico designed to promote deployment of photovoltaic distributed generation projects. This work is part of the 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Clean Energy Ministerial.

  • Zinaman, O.; Aznar, A.; McCall, J. (2018) Informing Mexico's Distributed Generation Policy with System Advisor Model (SAM) Analysis. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-7A40-71038. (PDF 913 KB)
  • McCall, J. (2018) SAM International Case Studies: DPV Analysis in Mexico. Presented as part of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Webinar February 26, 2017.  (PDF 446 KB)
  • Annotated sample SAM file with input values for a typical residential photovoltaic system in Guadalajara, Mexico. Weather data is from the NREL National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB). Cost, loan parameters, electric load data, and tax parameters were collected in August 2017 in consultation with the Mexican Government Ministry of Energy (SENER) and the Trust for Energy Conservation (FIDE) and Mexico's electricity distribution company (CFE). All cost and electricity rate values in SAM are in pesos ($MXN). Note that the solar costs and electric load data are averages for the Guadalajara region. This file is a suitable starting point for analysis of a project in Mexico. Please review and modify the inputs as appropriate for your analysis. See notes in the file for more details. (SAM 120 KB)
  • Electricity rate data for Mexico is available on NREL's  OpenEI International Utility Rate Database, and can be downloaded directly from the SAM user interface.

Australia: Concentrating Solar Power Sample Files and Weather Data

The Australian Solar Thermal Energy Association (AUSTELA) with the support of Australian Renewable Energy Agency developed a guide with a set of sample files and solar resource data to support the development of concentrating solar power projects in Australia. ITP Renewables developed the materials, and the SAM team reviewed documents and tested SAM files.