Solar Prospecting Tools


    Product Description

     Product Description

    ​Gain quick and easy access to critical information using Vaisala's Solar Prospecting Tools. This product enables developers, manufacturers, and installers to quickly explore solar potential worldwide with a user-friendly point and click interface. Now you can make more informed early-stage decisions before visiting sites or collecting observational data.

    Solar Prospecting Tools Screenshot 

    Unlimited Access

    With the click of your mouse you have access to solar irradiance data at any location across the globe. And you can share resource maps and data with colleagues and clients by printing professional reports directly from your browser.

    Solar Variability

    View both annual and monthly mean values of GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance), DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance), and DIF (Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance) from a 3km resolution dataset based on over a decade of satellite data.

    Global Consistency

    Vaisala's solar irradiance dataset is derived using the same model for the entire globe. Now whether you are comparing sites in California and New Jersey or Sydney and New Delhi, you can be confident that you are making reliable comparisons using a consistent dataset.​

    Technical Overview

    Product Features

    Product includes a Map Controller and tools providing annual and monthly mean values for:

    • Global Horizontal Irradiance
    • Direct Normal Irradiance
    • Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance​

    Solar Prospecting Monthly Mean

    Product Highlights

    Click and Compare

    • Multiple Locations: The Solar Prospecting Tools allow you evaluate multiple sites at once and make side-by-side comparisons.
    • Technology Options: Consider different technology types (solar thermal or photovoltaic) to install by comparing data for different types of irradiance.

    Print Reports and Share Data

    Now you can present resource maps and data to collegues and clients by printing professional reports directly from your browser.

    Unlimited Geographic Availability

    With global coverage from 60° N to 48° S, select the area you want to explore from the entire globe.

    Consistent Comparisons

    Evaluate and compare sites with confidence by accessing information from a consistent dataset developed using the same methodology for the entire globe.

    Access to Vaisala 3TIER ​​Services Dashboard tools

    Tailor the way you see information to the specific needs and demands of your work all within a seamless, drag and drop interface featuring customizable page layout options, scalable graphics, and multiple page views.

    Delivery Method

    Prospecting data tools are made available via a client-specific dashboard interface.


    Vaisala produced the first global solar irradiance map and time-series dataset at roughly three times the resolution of previous US solar datasets and at thirty times the resolution of global datasets available from NASA. Based on over a decade of satellite imagery and cutting-edge technology, our uniform methodology is supported by a large scientific and research community and results in a consistent map and dataset, enabling more accurate point-to-point comparisons.

    The dataset is based on actual, half-hourly, high-resolution visible satellite imagery observations via the broadband visible wavelength channel at a 2 arc minute resolution. These data have been processed to hourly GHI, DNI, and DIF values. Vaisala processes the satellite images based on a combination of in-house research and algorithms published in peer-reviewed scientific literature. These algorithms contain parameters and coefficients that are based on empirical fits to observational data. The specific satellites and length of time varies slightly by region due to differences in the availability of data from region to region. See the chart below for more details.

    RegionsSatellitesTemporal Coverage

    Western Hemisphere

    GOES 8 - 13

    January 1997 – last month

    South Asia & Middle East

    Meteosat 5, Meteosat 7

    January 1999 – last month

    East Asia & Oceania

    GMS 5, GOES 9, MTSAT 1-2

    December 1998 – last month

    Europe & Africa

    Meteosat 7, Meteosat 9

    July 1998 – last month

    To develop and validate our model, Vaisala used observations from:

    • SurfRad
    • Baseline Surface Radiation Networks
    • National Solar Radiation Database
    • Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)
    • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (New Zealand)
    • Indian Meteorology Department
    • NREL Annex II
    • Linke Turbidity Database from Ecole des Mines de Paris
    • National Snow and Ice Data Center (high-resolution snow dataset)
    • MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth and Water Vapor Datasets

    Find our validation papers here.

    If you are unfamiliar with the technical terminology on this page, please visit our Glossary for more information.​