Analysis of Solar Census Remote Solar Access Value Calculation Methodology

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The costs of photovoltaic (PV) system hardware (PV panels, inverters, racking, etc.) have fallen dramatically over the past few years. Nonhardware (soft) costs, however, have failed to keep pace with the decrease in hardware costs, and soft costs have become a major driver of U.S. PV system prices. Upfront or 'sunken' customer acquisition costs make up a portion of an installation's soft costsand can be addressed through software solutions that aim to streamline sales and system design aspects of customer acquisition. One of the key soft costs associated with sales and system design is collecting information on solar access for a particular site. Solar access, reported in solar access values (SAVs), is a measurement of the available clear sky over a site and is used to characterizethe impacts of local shading objects. Historically, onsite shading studies have been required to characterize the SAV of the proposed array and determine the potential energy production of a photovoltaic system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-63098


  • DOE
  • incubator
  • remote assessment
  • SAV
  • solar access values
  • solar census
  • SunEye
  • SunShot


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