YouSolar has developed its own historical and real-time hourly solar irradiance data service, SPOT™, that has global coverage and includes terrain shading. SPOT™ accesses historical and real-time meteorological and terrain data from multiple satellites to create a location-specific historical data set and real-time forecast.
SPOT™ uses a NASA forecast model that assimilates global observations from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites. Model forecasts are tuned with historical satellite observations from the NASA Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System datasets, which NASA validates against surface radiometer networks.
SPOT™ data is updated every 3 hours and sent to each PowerBloc™. The irradiance data is calculated for the plane of the solar array and converted to solar energy production by PowerBloc™’s energy management system and used in daily and day-ahead operations.
Hourly historical data is available globally from 2001 to the present. SPOT™ builds on the capabilities of the NREL datasets by offering global coverage and consistent historical and forecast data. SPOT™ continually improves by validating our predicted solar production against actual solar production from reference photovoltaic arrays.
SPOT™ is available for solar project operators and under a subscription license.
30-meter terrain grid
SPOT™ uses a 30-meter terrain grid from radar satellite data to calculate terrain shading of a solar array. The Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) is then recalculated to the orientation of each solar panel. The irradiance in the plane of the solar panel is then used to calculate the solar power production forecasts based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratory photovoltaic modeling software.