Solar Tools

The Solar 4R Schools team would like to share some links to our favorite free online solar tools. We use these online resources daily to help design our school solar photovoltaic systems and predict how much electricity these systems will generate.

Deckmonitoring - Online data monitorig for many different inverter makes and models.

NREL PVWatts v.2 Viewer - PVWatts is one of the most useful tools available for determining the amount of solar resource available at your school. This new version is much easier to use than previous releases and allows you to find your school quicker and improves the method for sending your location information to the PVWatts calculator.

NREL System Advisory Model - This tool allows system designers and integrators to model the energy production and financial benefits of various equipment and settings.  This is an application, not a web tool, but is available for both MAC and PC.

MIT Photovoltaic Panel Simulation - This Java applet is made available by the MIT OpenCourseWare website. It has fewer built-in locations, but it allows you to enter a custom latitude and quickly determine your solar resource.

NOAA Geophysical Data Center - Do you know the magnetic declination where you are sitting? Visit this site and find true North.

PV Select - A nice PV module string sizing calculator provided by Blue Oak Energy.