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NREL Solar API - How To

The service provides data collected about potential and actual solar energy collection along with analytical services for evaluating solar resources. Mapping functions generate averages, both monthly and annually, for solar resources at a specified location. The toolset includes a mapping tool and performance data for photovoltaic (PV) arrays to support planning in light of the expected efficiency of solar electricity installations. Another tool calculates potential energy production and cost savings from PV arrays connected to conventional electrical energy grids. Its estimates describe hypothetical benefits of PV installations for individual residences and small businesses. API methods support calculation of an estimate for solar electricity generation, measured as watt-hours per square meter per day, for a location specified as latitude and longitude. Methods also give estimates of efficiency for PV panels at a specified site. Another tool evaluates productivity and cost savings of PV panels feeding power in excess of local needs back to a regional electrical power grid.