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Overview of Solargis API

The aim purpose of Solargis API is to provide programmatic access to Solargis database and services for computers over the web. API is a "user interface" for developers. Developers can automate getting Solargis products by using standard internet protocols (FTP, HTTP) and integrate data values into their processing chain (for evaluation. monitoring, forecasting, validation, calibration etc.). 

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Solargis API
Available data (PV, solar, meteorological)Technical features
historicaloperationalreal-time & nowcastNWP forecastlong-term averageweb protocoltype of communicationcontent type
FTP data deliveryYESYESYESYESNOFTP

asynchronous

CSV
DataDelivery Web Service

YES

YESYESYESNOHTTPsynchronousXML
pvPlanner Web ServiceNONONONOYESHTTPsynchronousXML

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  • FTP data delivery - The service can deliver regularly updated Solargis data to remote FTP directories. This service provides the most comprehensive set of input parameters. Request processing is asynchronous (client registers a CSV request, server handles processes the request lateraccording to schedule, client then checks for the response CSV files). Request processing can be scheduled regularly (e.g. once per an hour, 12 hours, day, month) or just occasionally. Both request and response are CSV delimited are delimited text files allowing multiple locations in one file. For pricing and setting up trial FTP user account, please contact us.
  • DataDelivery Web Service (WS later in text) - service for Solargis time series data in synchronous mode (client waits for server to deliver response). Both request and response are XML documents. the WS request The request parameters (represented as = XML elements and attributes) are formally described by XML Schema Definition documents (XSD). By using  the schema, request or response can be verified programmaticallyverified programmatically. For this service we provide two endpoints, standard SOAP or light REST-like access. Look for more technical information here Authentication and billing is based on API key registered with the user. Please contact us to discuss details and we will prepare , set up trial or ask for a quotation.
  • pvPlanner Web Service - service provides monthly long-term averaged data (including 1 yearly value) of PV, solar and meteorological data with global coverage. The service is targeted for site prospection and feasibilityprefeasibilityThe service call represents the click on Calculate button in the interactive Solargis pvPlanner application. Request and response for the service is not described in this user guide. Technical information can be found here.

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In case of solar and PV time series we use satellite data since available history up to present moment plus additional 4-5 hours ahead (in the regions where the real time & nowcasting model satellite data is available). Satellite data includes historical (archived) data, operational data, real-time and nowcasting data. Historical data spans ranges up to the last completed calendar month and can be considered as "definitive". Data in the current calendar month up to DAY-1 is "operational" and will be re-analysed in the next month using final versions of required data inputs (e.g. atmospheric data parameters). Important to note is that differences introduced with every update is typically small. Data in current day are from the "real-time" satellite model and will be updated when day is finished. Then, based on last latest satellite scenes images we predict cloud motion in period in vectors (CMV) in the range of next 4-5 hours ("nowcasting"). The present moment and short period before is covered by the nowcasting model data as the last satellite scene is still in progress. This delay can take up to 30 minutes (depends on the satellite scan scanning frequency). Later on, after nowcasting time range, we use post-processed outputs from Numerical Weather Prediction models (NWP). Satellite based data is seamlessly integrated with NWP forecasting data within one response. In case of locations where real-time & nowcasting data is not available, NWP data is used for the whole current day. Also, not every location on the globe is supplied by more accurate ECMWF IFS data. In such case NOAA GFS data is used for all forecasted values. Meteorological data (TEMP, WS, AP, RH...) is comprised of NWP (NOAA GFS) modeled data.

Schema below shows how data sources are integrated on an example of the the WS response having 9 days of data (generated at 12:00 of a given day).

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Satellite based PV and solar data

Spatial Current spatial coverage of satellite data available through API (valid for Dec 2017). Click image to enlarge:

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satellite regiondata sincelocal DAY-1 is available at

real-time/nowcasting

original satellite scan scanning frequency

GOES-E1999-01-0110:00 UTC (USA), 13:00 UTC (whole region)planned30 minutes
MFG/MSG PRIME2005-01-0103:45 UTC15-min resolution, update frequency 30min, 0-5 hours ahead15 minutes
MTSAT/HIMAWARI2006-07-0122:40 UTC

10-min resolution, update frequency 30min, 0-5 hours ahead

30 min. (10 min. since Jan 2016 onwards)
MFG/MSG IODC1999-01-0122:40 UTC 15-min resolution, update frequency 30min, 0-5 hours ahead30 min. (15 min. since Feb 2017 onwards) 
GOES-W1999-01-0113:00 UTC (Hawaii)planned30 minutes

Daily Each daily update of the data re-calculates data values for two days backwards (DAY-1 and DAY-2). Monthly update (on 3rd day of each calendar month) re-calculates the whole previous month as soon as it's completed. The purpose of these updates is described in this article. We gradually expands expand spatial coverage of satellite data accessible via API. To access operational and historical data in the grey areas on the map, please use Solargis climData online shop.

Note: the data from orange zones in the map is also available by using interactive application pvSpot (daily operational data) and is accessible within minutes after purchase via climData online shop (as historical multi-year archived data).

Meteorological data from re-analysed numerical weather models

Main data parameters include air temperature (TEMP), wind speed (WS), wind direction (WD), relative humidity (RH). Meteorological data comes from post-processed numerical weather models and is available globally. The DAY-1 and DAY-2 values are taken from NWP models - NOAA GFS (resp. ECMWF IFS) data source sources (they are forecasted values). The preliminary meteorological data from GFS model is later updated with data from the NOAA CFS v2 data source (re-analysed archive data). Meteorological data for period DAY-3 ( and older ) can be considered as definitive.

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  • violet regions: high resolution, higher reliability forecast data is available in the orange regions marked on the map. Upon request, we can start this kind of forecasting service for any other area. Source: IFS model from ECMWF, UK. Frequency of the update is once in 12 hours, forecasting today + 3 days ahead (4 days in total). The rest of days (up to 7 days ahead) is covered by GFS model. The light violet regions are our latest additions.
  • the rest of the map in white color: lower resolution forecast data is available globally. Source: GFS model from NOAA, USA is available globally with forecasting up to 7 days ahead (today + 7 days = 8 days in total). Frequency of the update is once in 12 hours.

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Most comprehensive set of parameters comes with FTP data delivery. Subset of the parameters is exposed via Web Services. Following list of parameters is created with regards to FTP data delivery (CSV request). The last column shows the parameter availability in the WS. The standard XPath notation is used to describe parameter location within XML request. More information about XML schema used in the WS can be found here.

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