An Evaluation of the Spectral Irradiance Data from the NSRDB

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


A recent effort by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has led to a new radiative transfer model, the Fast All-sky Radiation Model for Solar applications with Narrowband Irradiances on Tilted surfaces (FARMS-NIT), to efficiently compute spectral irradiances in the plane-of-array (POA). This model has been implemented in the National Solar Radiation Data Base (NSRDB) to provide photovoltaic (PV) resource in both narrowband and broadband wavelengths. This study conducts an evaluation of the spectral irradiances from the PV Resource dataset using surface-based observations at NREL’s Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (SRRL) and University of Oregon (UO). The results demonstrate that the PV resource has a generally good agreement with the long-term observations in both clear-sky and cloudy-sky conditions. Further research is needed to reduce the overestimation of visible irradiances in clear sky conditions and underestimation of near-infrared irradiances in cloudy-sky conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-80439


  • evaluation
  • solar radiation
  • spectral irradiance


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