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 Either they are outdated, lack support or cost too much!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!). As a researcher, in addition to our Free tier live and forecast data, we’ll provide you with a substantial amount of free historical data credits that will allow you to access to our Historical solar irradiance data for non-commercial research use. If you use your university email address, or else once we can verify your public researcher or student status, you’ll instantly get USD $250 worth of free credits. You can receive a further USD $2500 worth of credits once we review your publication plan.

How do you get your FREE solar radiation data?

To take advantage of this offer, you have two options.

  1. Register for the Solcast API service using your University email address and get $250 of historical data credits.

  2. If you don’t have a university email address, or if we don’t recognise your university automatically, you can email us proof of your public researcher or student status and we will credit your account after reviewing this.

  3. If you wish to access the additional USD $2500 of historical data credits. (or propose to us why you need even more than this!) you will need to send us a publication plan that briefly details your research and what you plan to publish, and send us proof of a link and mention of Solcast. The link should reside on your University research group and/or project web page back to Solcast using the anchor text “solar irradiance data”. If you don’t have a project or research group web page, the link can be from your ResearchGate, Twitter or other account.

Historical data extracts are $50/year/site and include all the solar and weather parameters covered on our product page. Data are available at 5/10/15/30/60 minute resolution, for up to 15 years back.

Additional requirements of this offer include:

If you access data under a Public Researcher account type, including but not limited to data you obtain using the free credits we offer public researcher accounts, in addition to our other terms of use, you also agree to:

  • Only use our data for non-commercial research use, and you don’t share our data with any third parties without our explicit written permission; and
  • Not publish or submit for publication any study that could be reasonably be expected to harm our reputation; and
  • Provide a link from your University research group and/or project web page back to Solcast using the anchor text “solar irradiance data” (if you have such a web page); and
  • 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; and
  • 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/”.

Need even more free data, or need a large amount of forecasting data rather than historical data?

If you need data for new sites, or for many sites, talk to us about options. Don’t worry, even if it’s significant work for us, we will create a proposal for you based solely on cost recovery.

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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