P50/P90 Analysis for Solar Energy Systems Using the System Advisor Model: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


To secure competitive financing for a solar energy generation project, the economic risk associated with interannual solar resource variability must be quantified. One way to quantify this risk is to calculate exceedance probabilities representing the amount of energy expected to be produced by a plant. Many years of solar radiation and metereological data are required to determine these values,often called P50 or P90 values for the level of certainty they represent. This paper describes the two methods implemented in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's System Advisor Model (SAM) to calculate P50 and P90 exceedance probabilities for solar energy projects. The methodology and supporting data sets are applicable to photovoltaic, solar water heating, and concentrating solar power(CSP) systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 World Renewable Energy Forum - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 13 May 201217 May 2012


Conference2012 World Renewable Energy Forum
CityDenver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-54488


  • solar energy systems
  • System Advisor Model (SAM)


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