Global Solar Atlas

Global Solar Atlas

Data provided by Global Solar Atlas

The Global Solar Atlas (“Atlas”) supports solar power development in the phases of exploration, prospection, site selection and pre-feasibility evaluation.

The Atlas provides long-term averages of solar resource (global, diffuse and direct normal), the principal climate phenomena that determines solar power generation. Understanding solar resource is crucial for the development of solar energy applications. In particular for the solar power sector, Photovoltaic (PV) technologies typically require an analysis on Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) and Global Tilted Irradiation (GTI, i.e. solar radiation received by the surface of photovoltaic modules). On the other hand, solar thermal energy technologies, such as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Concentrated Photovoltaics (CPV), rely on Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI). Air temperature (TEMP) is also shown as it is the second most important climate variable determining the performance efficiency of solar power systems. Terrain elevation, relative to the sea level (ELE), also determines the choice of a site and performance of the solar energy system.

Photovoltaics (PV) is the most widely applied and also most versatile technology. Therefore this Atlas shows an indicative estimate of yearly average PV power generation values for three types of PV system: (i) small residential rooftop, (ii) distributed, or medium-size commercial roof-mounted system, and (iii) large or utility-scale PV power plant. The PV electricity simulation algorithm, incorporated in the Atlas, provides an approximate estimate of the potential photovoltaic energy (PVOUT), which can be produced at any location covered by the interactive map.

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