Solar Radiation Data Manual
There are two types of stations in the NSRDB: primary (denoted by asterisks on the station map) and secondary (denoted by dots on the station map). Primary stations, of which there are 56, measured solar radiation for a part (from 1 to 27 years) of the 30-year period. The remaining 183 stations made no solar radiation measurements and have modeled solar radiation data that are derived from meteorological data such as cloud cover. They are designated secondary stations. Both primary and secondary stations are National Weather Service stations that collected meteorological data for the period of 1961-1990.
Succeeding the older 1952-1975 SOLMET/ERSATZ data base, the NSRDB accounts for any recent climate changes and provides more accurate values of solar radiation for several reasons:
This manual presents monthly and yearly average solar radiation values for various flat-plate and concentrating collectors to enable quick estimates of the incident solar energy for common collectors. The solar radiation values were computed using a model and NSRDB hourly values of direct beam and diffuse horizontal solar radiation. Climatic data were obtained from the NSRDB and from climatic data sets provided by the National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina. The Appendix describes in more detail how this manual was produced.
NSRDB-Vol. 1 (1992). User's Manual-National Solar
RadiationData Base (1961-1990). Version 1.0. Asheville, NC: National
Climatic Data Center.
Marion, W.; Myers, D. (1992). A Comparison of Data from SOLMET/ERSATZ and the National Solar Radiation Data Base, NREL/TP-463-5118, Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
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