The SAM web site will be upgrading Monday, May 23 from 4:00-5:00pm (Denver/mountain time). 

After doing a major change to our infrastructure, we have found a minor issue that we have corrected but will need to reboot the web site for it to take affect.

To make it as convenient as possible, we have scheduled it for Monday, May 23rd at 4:00pm (mountain). The process takes 15-20 minutes, but the site will only be unavailable for a short time. However, your session information will be lost (eg if you're writing a post, what you have written could be lost). 

SAM Weather File Format Descriptions

For descriptions of SAM's weather file formats, see the "Weather File Formats" topic in the software's Help system. The following excerpt is a copy of that topic from SAM 2020.2.29 r1:

  • SAM weather file format descriptons from Help (PDF 1 MB)

NREL Solar Resource Best Practices Handbook

Sengupta, M.; Habte, A.; Gueymard, C.; Wilbert, S.; Renne, D.; Stoffel, T. (2017). "Best Practices Handbook for the Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications: Second Edition." NREL Report No. TP-5D00-68886. (PDF 8.1 MB)

NREL National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB)

NSRDB Publications

Sengupta, M.; Habte, A.; Buster, G.; Rossol, M.; Xie, Y.; Foster, M. (2020) A Status Update on the National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB). PVPMC Webinar on Solar Resource Assessment, June 24, 2020. PV Performance Modelling Collaborative. (PDF 2.5 MB) Webinar recording available on PVPMC website.

P50/P90 Analysis in SAM

Dobos, A.; Gilman, P.; Kasberg, M. (2012). "P50/P90 Analysis for Solar Energy Systems Using the System Advisor Model." NREL Conference Paper Preprint No. CP-6A20-54488. (PDF 432 KB)

Other Publications Related to Weather Data

Habte, A.; Lopez, A.; Sengupta, M.; Wilcox, S. (2014). "Temporal and Spatial Comparison of Gridded TMY, TDY, and TGY Data Sets." NREL Report No. TP-5D00-60866. (PDF 17.4 MB)

National Solar Radiation Database. (1992). " National Solar Radiation Data Base User's Manual (1961-1990)." [TMY2 format description.]

Sengupta, M.; Habte, A.; Gueymard, C.; Wilbert, S.; Renne, D.; Stoffel, T. (2017). "Best Practices Handbook for the Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications: Second Edition." NREL Report No. TP-5D00-68886. (PDF 8.1 MB)

Sengupta, M.; Habte, A.; Kurtz, S.; Dobos, A.; Wilbert, S.; Lorenz, E.; Stoffel, T.; Renne, D.; Myers, D.; Wilcox, S.; Blanc, P.; Perez, R. (2015). "Best Practices Handbook for the Collection and Use of Solar Resource Data for Solar Energy Applications." NREL Report No. TP-5D00-63112. (PDF 8.9 MB) Note the the newer version of this handbook cited above.

Wilcox, S.; Marion, W. (2008). "Users Manual for TMY3 Data Sets (Revised)." 58 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-581-43156. (PDF 1.7 MB)