From Open Energy Information


Photo Voltaic DataAcQuisition


Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by NREL

Comprehensive mapping tool to help industry and government planners study solar array performance.

Photovoltaic Data Acquisition (PVDAQ) Public Datasets

PVDAQ is a large-scale time-series database containing system metadata and performance data from a variety of experimental PV sites, residential and commercial public PV sites. The datasets are used to perform on-going performance and degradation analysis. Some of the sets can exhibit common elements that effect PV performance (e.g. soiling). The dataset consists of a series of files devoted to each of the systems and an associated set of metadata information that explains details about the system hardware and the site geo-location. Some system datasets also include environmental sensors that cover irradiance, temperatures, wind speeds, and precipitation at the site. More details on working with the data are given in the PVDAQ Primer.

Project Overview

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) PVDAQ project provides a data web portal to allow researchers and PV owners around the US to search and access data from dozens of small systems owned by NREL, commercial PV systems shared by upcoming 'data bounty' prize awards, and other publicly accessible data made available to NREL.

Objectives and Activities

The PVDAQ project provides data sets publicly, with various objectives:

  • Enable a data pipeline to efficiently ingest and qualify PV site details and production data
  • Provide an easy, standardized access point for researchers to view and download PV time series data
  • Promote this capability and drive recruitment of additional public PV data sets available to PV researchers, to facilitate public research and DOE programs
  • Serve up and highlight data acquired through DOE data prizes

Why is data acquisition important and challenging for PV?

Accurate and representative PV production data is useful for many research and industry applications. The development of novel analysis and machine learning techniques is supported by real-life performance data, as demonstrated in our Publications page. The role of high-quality data will only increase as PV systems become a larger part of the global electricity supply.

As the nature of deployed solar technology evolves, so too must the makeup of public datasets to reflect modern trends. Increasing the quality and diversity of available solar data requires concerted efforts in data collection, standardization, and accessibility. Initiatives like PVDAQ and the DOE Solar Data Prize play a crucial role in promoting data availability by establishing efficient data pipelines, standardized access points, and transparent evaluation processes.

PV analysts, stakeholders and data owners are encouraged to contribute to and leverage this public resource. For information on how to contribute, please Contact Us.



PVDAQ researchers and industry partners collaborate on a research and PV data acquisition
Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Chris Deline, Principal Investigator

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

| (303) 384-6359

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by NREL.