PV POWER MAP
The PV Power Map is a report of national solar resource availability as illustrated by the monthly energy output of a nominal 1-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system by location. The May and June maps illustrate the Great Lakes dampening effect commonly seen in warmer months. By dampening cloud formation, the Great Lakes’ cold water results in greater solar potential than other regions, such as the Eastern seaboard. For example, total power output of a 1-kW system in New York City and Miami during this time period was approximately 250 kilowatt-hours (120 + 130 kWh) and 230 kWh (120 + 110 kWh) respectively. Compare that to Chicago, where a 1-kW system produced approximately 305 kWh (150 + 155 kWh).
PV Power Maps can be seen for the entire year at solartoday.org/pvpowermap. Taking a look at the first six months of the year, solar potential for cities as diverse as Chicago, New York, Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco were all very similar, with total estimated power output of a 1-kW system ranging from 715 to 765 kWh. Of these cities, Miami had the least variance from month to month, while Chicago saw the largest variance. The southwest region consistently experienced the highest potential, with a 1-kW system in Phoenix producing an estimated 960 kWh.
To use the PV Power Map to calculate the generation potential of a PV system in a given location, multiply the power output indicated on the map by a project’s capacity, in kilowatts. The result is the total estimated power output for the month.
The PV Power Map is created with power output estimates generated by SolarAnywhere services from Clean Power Research; these include simulation capabilities and hourly satellite-derived irradiance data with spatial resolutions from 1 to 10 kilometers. The calculations are based on a PV system with a total 1-kW nameplate rating that is configured as five 200-watt PV panels with a 1.5-kW inverter; fixed, south-facing panels with 30 degree tilt; no shading; panel PVUSA Test Conditions rating of 178 watts; and inverter efficiency of 95.5 percent. Visualization and mapping provided by GeoModel Solar. Access free historical irradiance data at solaranywhere.com.