Home Hobbyists - FAQs

Home Hobbyists - FAQs

Frequently asked questions from home hobbyists

Learn more about Solcast’s home users toolkit account.

Account Access

Why can’t I get through the signup page?

A common error message you may encounter on signup is that ‘the webpage might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address’.

If you encounter difficulties on the signup page, please try using a different browser. The reason we ask this, is because if you have an adblocker, that may interfere with the page loading correctly. If that doesn't work, consider switching to another network. You can also try using your mobile device as a WiFi hotspot to see if that helps with the signup process. On the WiFi hotspot, it's worth attempting different browsers or using private/incognito mode. If all else fails, try accessing the signup process from another computer or a mobile phone.

Experiencing these issues might suggest that there is something on your network or browser preventing our website tools from enabling the signup. If problems persist, don't hesitate to contact us at support@solcast.com.au.

More account FAQ’s available here: https://kb.solcast.com.au/account-access-faqs

Hobbyist API Requests

I’ve run out of requests. How do I request for more data?

We appreciate your decision to sign up with Solcast for your solar data and forecasting requirements and for utilising your allotted requests.

If you require more requests, you will need to upgrade to our paid commercial plans. Please don't hesitate to inform us, and we can forward your request to our sales team. Alternatively, we hope you continue to find value in our free hobbyist tier.

Are the 10 API calls per site or in total?

Hobbyist users get a total of 10 API calls per 24 hours for one site. You can add maximum 2 sites in your account. Learn more about this in our user guide.

You used to provide 50 api calls per day, can I also get 50 api calls?

When we opened up our API to hobbyist we had provided our early adopters with 50 API calls to get them going. However over time, with the rapid adoption of home solar and batteries, we’ve seen a large uptick of hobbyist users, and in order for us to provide hobbyist users with access to our API, we made the decision to decrease this amount to 10 total API calls per UTC day. This will allow us to continue providing high quality data for all hobbyist users, for hopefully long into the future.

We hope that you continue to use Solcast, and if you have any feedback for our team, please feel free to fill out this form.

I get an error when I enter my Solcast details into GivEnergy

In this scenario, it’s more likely that you have entered the incorrect API key. Please follow this guide to obtaining your API key, and seeing if that resolves your issue.

If you are still having difficulties, please feel free to contact support@solcast.com

I’ve integrated with GivEnergy but it looks like I’ve used up all my daily 10 API request?

If you have 2 ‘sites’ or arrays set up with Solcast, that means you’ll only have 5 API calls per UTC day for each site. This may be one of the reason’s that your allocated API’s get used up quickly.

Alternatively if you think that is not the case, then you will need to reach out to GivEnergy to identify when they are making those API calls on your behalf.

I’m making API calls but the API no longer works.

There are many potential scenario’s when this could occur. Please check the logs if you are receiving an error message. Alternatively try the API URL call within your web browser and see what is returned. Possible Error Responses

Error Code: NotFound

The message for this error may be: Rooftop site does not exist or is not accessible.

There are three possible reasons.

  1. You dont have permissions for that specific resource ID.
  2. There may be a typo in the resource ID
  3. Your API URL is missing the resource ID. Please ensure that you add your resource ID within the API URL.

Available data for home user account

How can I find the power produced at a particular time on an hourly basis?

As per our Free data usage for Home Hobbyists (link here), we currently offer 10 API calls in 24 hours, which reset at UTC midnight. If you wish to calculate hourly data, you will need to do it manually. You can download the data in CSV format to perform the manual calculations.

Help, I’m getting a message that my updated latitude and longitude “is not within a close proximity to your existing rooftop site”

This is intentional as it restricts users from continuously modifying their site and obtaining data. If you get this message, please delete your site, and recreate it with the updated latitude and longitude.

The recommendation is to use the address bar or lat/long values rather than using the pin drop to set your array location. If using the pin drop, you are more likely to encounter the error, and if that occurs, please delete the array and re-add your array.

What can I do if my capacity is less than 1kW?

In the scenario where you have a system with a capacity of less than 1 kW, please multiply your system capacity by 10 to express it in kilowatts (kW), and then divide the result by 10 to return to the original system capacity.

For example, if you have a 600W system, you can enter a value of 6 kW for the capacity field and then divide the result by 10 to represent the 600W system accurately.

Can I have more than 2 sites (if you have multiple arrays or rooftop solar azimuths)

In this scenario, we recommend that you create one site and with the average azimuth if you want to utilise the full 10 API calls for the single site.

Alternatively if you have 2 sites, you can make 5 API calls per site, however this allows you to create two sites with different azimuths, so that you may get more accurate data results.

If you have more sites than 2, we recommend that you use setup the azimuth as the average of the two sites and use that as an estimate of power.

Can you please confirm that both sites will be aggregated, when sending data to an external system?

In the toolkit, the data is presented separately. However, if you are integrating it with an external system, the presentation may depend on that system's format and how it presents the data.

I’m using an external software application of which I’ve entered the Solcast API key, and needed to make changes to my Home PV site, will the data values exported update automatically?

Yes. When you update your site in Solcast, any API calls thereafter, or the data you download will be updated based on the new configuration you have saved.

What is the unit for the PvEstimate column?

Our Solcast data use kW as unit for PvEstimate. You can find the full list of live and forecast data parameters here.

kW vs kWh (Power vs Energy)

The terms "kW" and "kWh" are units of measurement used in the context of electrical power.

kW (Kilowatt)

A kilowatt (kW) is a unit of power. It measures the rate at which energy is used or produced. 1 kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts.

kWh (Kilowatt-hour)

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of energy. It represents the total amount of energy used or produced over a period of time. It is calculated by multiplying the power consumption (in kilowatts) by the time in hours.

The following formula could be used to determine kWh.

kWh = 1000 watts x 1 hour / 1000 The above example results in 1 kilowatt-hour as that is the amount of energy consumed by a 1-kilowatt device running for 1 hour.

In summary, kW is a measure of power (the rate of energy transfer), while kWh is a measure of energy (the total amount of energy used over time). To put it in perspective, if you have a 1 kW device running for 1 hour, it would consume 1 kWh of energy. If the same device runs for 2 hours, it would consume 2 kWh of energy.

Have questions that are not covered in our FAQs list? Reach out to Solcast’s support team (support@solcast.com.au) and we’ll help you with your inquiries.