06 February 2019

FREE Solar Radiation Historical Data for Researchers

Solcast wants to give you the data you need for your research work for FREE (no cash required!). As a researcher, we'll provide you with access to our Recent and Historical Solar Irradiance Data for non-commercial research use.

Solcast is providing Free Access to Solar Irradiance Historical Data for Public Researchers and Students at public research institutions (ie universities).

solar-irradiance-global-coverage-map-RD-FREE-data copy.png Join researchers from around the world in using Solcast data to accomplish their solar mission & build the solar powered future

As a university researcher or student, when it comes accessing solar irradiance data for your academic research, it can be quite hard to obtain the right datasets to complete your work.

Paid datasets are prohibitively expensive and require grant funds to purchase them, which isn’t a great option for PhD students or graduates, nor for academics looking to establish proof of concept for a bigger idea.

Free data are often not maintained, scattered about and lack supporting information. Moreover, they can be of questionable quality and no one is around to answer your questions when you get stumped!

Our mission is to enable you to build the solar powered future

At Solcast, our purposes is to enable hard working people all around the world with the data and tools they need to accomplish their solar mission. In our view, this type of enablement is critical for building the solar powered future, now arriving more quickly than ever before!

The challenges of accessing solar radiation data are particularly problematic for the researchers who want to contribute to the incredible transformation occurring in our electricity sector, as their efforts will inherently require access to solar radiation and/or solar power generation data, at high spatial and temporal resolutions. But, up to now, those datasets have missed the mark. Either they are outdated, lack support or cost too much!

FREE solar irradiance data for your research project

We’ve aimed our resources directly at this problem, and want to give you the data you need for FREE (no cash required!). We’ll provide you with:

  • $650 of free historical data credits. These credits will allow you to access to our historical solar irradiance data for non-commercial research use. We will allocate these credits as soon as we can verify your public researcher or student status.
  • Free tier access to our live & forecast data. This includes access to our World Solar Radiation API and World PV Power API (retrieve forecasts and estimated actuals using a latitude and longitude), as well as the ability to create one solar radiation site and one rooftop PV power site in the API Toolkit. You’ll get 10x free API requests per day.

You also have the option to receive even more FREE data, if you acknowledge your use of Solcast data on your University webpage (or another related site). This will provide you with (at least) $5k of additional historical data credits and additional API calls for the live & forecast data. We review each of these on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us at support@solcast.com and let us know what your project requires.

How do you get your FREE solar radiation data?

To take advantage of our free research data offer, simply register for the Solcast API Toolkit using your University email address and select a ‘Student or public researcher’ account type.

We’ll first need to validate your university email address, which in most cases can happen instantly. If we don’t recognise your university email address automatically, we’ll prompt you to provide us with proof of enrolment/employment.

Research access terms of use

If you access data under a researcher account type, you firstly agree to our standard terms of use as well as the following:

  • To only use our data for non-commercial research or student use, and only in connection with a public research institution
  • To not share our data with any third parties without our explicit written permission
  • To not publish or submit for publication any study that could be reasonably be expected to harm our reputation
  • To send Solcast pre-prints of any presentations, theses, publications, reports or other materials at least one week prior to publication or other public or private dissemination
  • To correctly cite the use of our data in any presentations, theses, publications, reports or other materials using the following information “Solcast, 2019. Global solar irradiance data and PV system power output data. URL https://solcast.com/

Get started on your FREE data access now

That’s it! Go ahead and register now so you can get started (NOTE: we recommend using your university email address so we can confirm your research status and issue you additional credits straight away)!

Blog Author

Dr. Nick Engerer

Dr. Nick Engerer

Solcast CTO

Nick is an expert in the field of solar radiation and distributed solar PV modelling, and has co-founded Solcast out of a sincere desire to enable others to build the solar-powered future.

Read more about Dr. Engerer’s scientific papers

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