Solar Energy Centre
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Government of India

 INDIA SOLAR RESOURCE MAPs

 

INTRODUCTION

Solar radiation which we receive as heat and light can be converted to useful thermal energy or for production of electricity either through solar photovoltaic route or through solar thermal route.  Availability of reliable solar radiation data is vital for the success of solar energy installations in different sites of the country. For solar collectors which are flat in nature, solar radiation data in the form of Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) is useful whereas for solar collectors which are concentrating in nature Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) data is required.  Solar thermal power plants are essentially Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) units. For designing solar thermal power plants, DNI data is therefore a pre-requisite.  

SOLAR RADIATION HANDBOOKS (1981:1982)

India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the principal government agency in matters relating to meteorology and over 45 ground stations are currently being maintained by IMD in its solar radiation network. Two solar radiation handbooks were published in 1981 and 1982 by IMD based on the data available from their ground stations. These handbooks mainly contain global and diffuse radiation data along with temperature and other meteorological parameters. These handbooks have so far been widely used for designing solar systems in the country.  

RECENT ACTIVITIES

In order to have detailed solar resource information, the following initiatives have further been taken by the Solar Energy Centre (SEC): 

  1. SEC-IMD Collaborative Project on the revised handbook on solar radiation:

A book entitled “Solar Radiant Energy over India” along with the CD containing various meteorological data is now available. The Handbook is available on MNRE website (http://mnre.gov.in/centers/about-sec-2/hand-book-on-energy-conscious-buildings/)

  1. SEC-NREL Collaborative Project on “Solar Resource Assessment” based on satellite imagery under Indo-US Energy Dialogue:

         Solar Resource Assessment based on satellite imagery (SEC- NREL Project):

First phase has been completed.

Output: Solar maps (DNI & GHI) of North-Western India are available on MNRE website (http://www.mnre.gov.in/sec/solar-resources.htm) and also available in NREL website.

         Solar Resource Assessment based on satellite imagery (SEC- NREL Project):

The Second phase of the SEC-NREL project for constructing solar maps for the rest of the country has now been completed.  The solar maps containing monthly and annual Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) and Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) data have been developed from hourly satellite data spanning from January 2002 to December 2008.  These maps cover the entire country at 10 km x10km spatial resolution. Final Solar Maps (DNI & GHI) are available on MNRE website (http://www.mnre.gov.in/sec/solar-resources.htm) and also available in NREL website (http://www.nrel.gov/international/ra_india.html)

  

  1. A further recent initiative taken by the Ministry includes expansion of the network of solar radiation stations, especially at sites which fall in the zones receiving high direct solar radiation with a view to generate investment grade solar radiation data to enable States and the developers to take investment decisions backed up by scientific rationale.  The MNRE has recently assigned the task of solar radiation monitoring to C-WET, Chennai, which is an autonomous organization of the Ministry carrying out wind resource assessment in the country amongst other activities in the Wind Energy sector.  The basic configuration of the solar radiation monitoring stations has already been worked out, and soon basic work for procurement of the hardware by C-WET through competitive bidding would be completed.  To begin with, setting up of 50 such stations is being envisaged with centralized collection of data at C-WET. 

Expected benefits of Solar Mapping based on satellite imagery (Collaborative Project between SEC and NREL): 

Solar mapping of the entire country based on satellite imagery and duly validated by ground truth data will provide information of both Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) and Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) on a continuum basis with an approximate accuracy of 15%.  It is possible to identify the areas with higher solar radiation and set up ground stations for more accurate measurement of solar radiation and other meteorological parameters.  It can thus avoid setting up a large number of ground stations throughout the country, which is an expensive proposition. Investors are however required to set up their own ground measurement unit at the actual project site for more accurate estimation of data of input resources for their investment decisions. 

 INDIA SOLAR RESOURCE MAPS 

This page contains high-resolution solar resource maps and data for India. The high-resolution (10-km) solar resource maps and data were developed using weather satellite data incorporated into a site-time specific solar mapping approach developed at the U.S. State University of New York at Albany. The data were output as data in geographic information system (GIS) format and as static maps.

These products were developed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in cooperation with India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Please contact Dr. Bibek Bandyopadhyay (bbibek@nic.in), Dr. Shannon Cowlin (shannon.cowlin@nrel.gov), Er. Alekhya Datta (alekhya.sec@gmail.com) for any additional information.

 SOLAR RESOURCES

 Solar Radiation Maps

 Direct Normal Irradiance

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Annual average (JPG 1.6 MB)

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 Monthly average (ZIP 9.3 MB)

 Global Horizontal Irradiance

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Annual average (JPG 1.6 MB)

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  Monthly average (ZIP 8.9 MB)

 GIS Data Layers

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Direct Normal Irradiance (ZIP 2.7 MB)

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 Global Horizontal Irradiance (ZIP 2.7 MB)

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  State & District Boundary of India (ZIP 3.6 MB)

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  Important Locations including State Capitals (ZIP 13 KB)

Solar Radiation Data (Monthly average, Lat/Long basis)

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Direct Normal Irradiance (EXCEL 8.9 MB)

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Global Horizontal Irradiance (EXCEL 8.9 MB)

 

README File

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 README (TXT 5 KB)