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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
PVGIS is a web site that gives you information about solar radiation and PhotoVoltaic (PV) system performance. You can use PVGIS to calculate how much energy you can get from different kinds of PV systems at nearly any place in the world.
This page is meant to give you an introduction to using PVGIS. There is a lot more information about PVGIS, for instance go here to learn more about how PVGIS calculations are made.
The PVGIS web interface looks like this:
There are many options in PVGIS, and for most of them you can get help by clicking on the text of the option. For instance, if you click on the text "Lat/Lon" below the map, you will get a help text on that topic.
At this point you can't make any calculations because you have not yet chosen the place for which you want to calculate! You can choose a place in three different ways:
The next figure shows you where to find these three options in the interface.
In some areas we don't yet have the necessary data, especially solar radiation data. If you choose a place where there are no data, you will get a message in red to the right of the map, saying "Location without data". In some areas we have data on the terrain but not solar radiation, so you can download the horizon height but nothing else. Then the warning will be: "Location without radiation data. Just horizon data available". The next shows a map of the extent of the different solar radiation data sets used in PVGIS.
You can make several different types of calculations with PVGIS. You choose which type by selecting one of the tabs to the right of the map (next figure). For each of the calculation types you can get help by clicking on the title of the calculation tab.
At the moment the calculations that can be made with PVGIS are:
For each of the calculation types you have to enter some information about the type of calculation you want to make. Once you have done this, you can do one of two things:
The general way to do this is to just click on one of the two buttons at the bottom of each calculation tab.
The results shown in the web page consists of graphs and statistical data, such as yearly averages. In many of the graphs you can see the values by letting the mouse hover above the graph. The graphs can be downloaded as graphics files (PNG format). It is also possible to get the output as a PDF file, showing graphs and tables of the values used to produce the graphs.