For live weather conditions, you might go to the government. (That is, if I can’t convince you to step outside.) Historical data can be found underground. But if “typical” conditions are what you’re after, the National Renewable Energy Lab has your answer: “data sets of hourly values of solar radiation and meteorological elements for a 1-year period” for 1,020 locations across the United States and its territories.
But as energy engineers, solar modelers, and armchair psychrometricists have likely already discovered, finding the best set of data for a specific location is a chore: the weather stations they correspond to are irregularly distributed, and not all offer data of the highest quality. You could puzzle over NREL’s own survey; hunt for a nearest airport, and cross your fingers for a corresponding data station; or cut to the chase and use this map, which plots every TMY3 data set location, color-coded by data quality.
Navigate the map directly, use the buttons above it, or go straight to a location using the search bar. When you’ve found your favored data station, click the marker to pull up its details—including a button to download the data directly, and a link to return to exactly that spot in the future.
Found your data? That was, of course, easy part. If you just downloaded a 1.5 gigabyte headache, Artisan Analysis can help. With years of energy analysis, solar evaluation, and spreadsheet optimization experience, we can automate, enhance, and validate whatever comes next.