Researcher User Guide

Researcher User Guide

Solcast Products

Grid Aggregations
Typical Meteorological Year (TMY)
Geographic Horizon Angles

Modelling

Modelling - FAQsModelling - FAQs

Solcast API

Third Party Applications

Hobbyists and Researchers

Troubleshooting and FAQs

FAQsFAQsTroubleshooting Data ErrorsTroubleshooting Data Errors

Useful Links

Postman API (Spec) Documentation

API Change LogAPI Change LogSubscription ManagementSubscription ManagementAccount FAQs

Using Solcast Reseacher Toolkit

Access free historical solar irradiance data for your academic research work

Our researcher toolkit aims to empower university researchers or students like you! We understand that accessing solar irradiance data for your academic research can be challenging. Many of the free datasets available are outdated and have low accuracy levels. On the other hand, paid datasets can be expensive and require grant funds to purchase.

At Solcast, we are proud to support ongoing research and academic developments in universities worldwide. We are offering you access to our historical solar irradiance data for non-commercial research purposes.

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Solcast Researcher toolkit inclusions Historic Time Series - Radiation and Weather
  • 6 months free access
  • 600 request months of data
  • Up to 20 locations per request

If you need more data than the toolkit’s standard inclusions, we may be able to provide additional access if the use of Solcast data is acknowledged on your university webpage (or another related site). We review each of these requests on a case-by-case basis, so please contact us at sales@solcast.com and let us know what your project requires.

Signing up for a Solcast researcher toolkit

Before we proceed with navigating the toolkit, it is important that you have already signed up for an account on this page. Make sure that you use your university email address when signing up. We will validate your email address before granting you access to free data. If your email address is not recognised, we will request proof of enrolment from you.

By signing up, you firstly agree to our standard terms of use as well as the following:

  • To only use our data for non-commercial research or student use, and only in connection with a public research institution
  • To not share our data with any third parties without our explicit written permission To not publish or submit for publication any study that could be reasonably be expected to harm our reputation
  • To send Solcast pre-prints of any presentations, theses, publications, reports or other materials at least one week prior to publication or other public or private dissemination
  • To correctly cite the use of our data in any presentations, theses, publications, reports or other materials using the following information "Solcast, 2019. Global solar irradiance data and PV system power output data. URL https://solcast.com/"

Getting started with Solcast Researcher Toolkit

A walk-through of your Solcast account

Our toolkit is a user-friendly platform that is easy to navigate. Let’s start with the basics!

In the header, you can find the Solcast data products. As a researcher account, you are only allowed to access data from ‘Historical and TMY’ tab. In addition to the products, your user account username is displayed here.

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Clicking the drop-down arrow next to your account username will display various action steps.

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Manage Subscription: Access and monitor your subscription details and data consumption.

Your API Key: Get your API key to access our servers. Learn more here.

Change Password: Click this button if you forget or need to update password.

API Documentation: Maximise the use of Solcast API with the detailed documentation here.

Contact Support: If you need any support, click on this tab or the sticky chat icon on the page. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can also find helpful articles at the bottom.

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Retrieve historical solar data with Solcast Historical Time Series

On the ‘Historical and TMY’ tab, your toolkit account can only access the Time Series data.

In your dashboard, you can do two actions: First, create Time Series requests based on your required data, and second, view all your data requests.

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Learn more about Solcast’s Historical Time Series data here.

Create a request for Time Series solar data

Time Series data is a historical record of solar radiation data, from 2007 to 7 days ago. There are 20+ weather parameters available for a specified location.

In your toolkit account, you add up to 20 locations at a time and have up to 50 request months data (total of 600 requests for 6 months) for Historic Radiation and Weather.

Time Series Request Form

Step 1: Select ‘Historical and TMY’ data product on your account header.

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Step 2: Click ‘Create a New Time Series Request’ and it will redirect you to the Time Series Request form.

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Step 3: Add your location(s) either on the ‘Map’ or ‘Upload CSV’ tab.

On the ‘Map’ tab, you can add in your location by searching or entering latitude/longitude fields. Then, click ‘Add location’ button.

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On the ‘Upload CSV’ tab, you have the option to upload your own CSV file. Make sure that each location includes latitude/longitude details.

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Step 4: Set up your output file specifications. Solcast Commercial Toolkit offers different options to ensure that it meets your required data.

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Request Type: Pick the standard data inclusion for your account - Radiation and Weather.

Time Granularity: Get data based on required time interval.

Parameters: Choose from Solcast’s 20+ weather parameters depending on your selected request type. Find the detailed list and description in our API documentation.

Date Period: Access data anytime from 2007 to 7 days ago only.

Timezone: Determine the UTC offset added to the date time returned in the dataset. Learn more about it [here: to be linked out to UTC KB article]

Step 5: At the bottom of the form, you can review your selected location/s. The number of equivalent requests and the remaining requests are also displayed below. Once you’re ready, you can click ‘Download data now’ to retrieve your file.

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View your Time Series solar data requests

You can still access historical solar data requests within your toolkit account. To find a specific request, enter the Batch Id or Request Id in the search bar. From your list of requests, select the desired one and click the 'View Downloads' button. This will take you to a page displaying details about your request, including parameters, probability, granularity, and locations.

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For a more detailed steps, you can read about it here.

You’re ready to use the Solcast Researcher toolkit!

If you have more questions about your researcher toolkit, contact Solcast’s support team within your toolkit account or email us at sales@solcast.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

How come I cannot request TMY or Monthly Average data?

We do not provide TMY data to researchers, due to their commercial sensitive nature and our Monthly Average data currently only exist for select commercial clients.

If for any reason you require TMY data, for a one off fee we can provide an extract of data. In this scenario please reach out to support@solcast.com.au and let us know your requirements and we will assist you as much as possible. If you need more than a one off extract, please contact us and let us know what you need.