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Where can I get local weather data on solar intensity or whatever (for Toronto)

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by wayner, May 4, 2015.

  1. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I will soon be installing solar panels on my house and I am wondering if there is readily available data on the amount and intensity of sunshine that would correlate to daily potential solar energy production?

    When I look at my weather data from Environment Canada I don't see any sort of data for sunshine, or whatever.

    And what is the common measure for the amount of sunshine? Solar radiation, something else?

    Occasionally you will see a UV factor but I think this is a daily maximum number that likely wouldn't be what I am looking for.
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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  3. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Thanks - so where do I see how much solar radiation there was in my city today? Shouldn't this be part of the regular meteorological data like temperatures, precipitation, wind speed, etc? I can't find it.
     
  4. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Some stations reporting to Weather Underground report solar insolation...many don't. I did a quick check for a few Toronto stations and couldn't find one, but you can perform a more thorough search yourself:

    Toronto, Ontario Forecast | Weather Underground
    (Scroll all the way down for "Nearby Weather Stations")

    This station, for example:
    Central Waterfront Weather | Personal Weather Station: IONTORON189 by Wunderground.com | Weather Underground

    wunderground.png

    Shows a reading for "Solar" as "--" (either 'cause it's night, or the station doesn't have the sensor!).

    For the USA, NOAA has historical data (search "insolation"). Dunno about Canada.
     
  5. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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  6. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe S P232

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  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Thanks for the help guys but most of these sites tell you what the annual average solar production will be given the ratings of your panel. Very few of them give you data telling you what the solar intensity was today so that you can know in real-time, or near real-time, how much energy you should be producing. Why are temp, humidity, wind speed, etc all so available on a minute by minute basis but solar intensity (or whatever) is not. Shouldn't this be easy to determine using a photo cell of some sort? Or use a small, cheap PV cell and read the power output vs the rated power. Isn't that pretty simple to do? That might be what I end up doing by hooking up a small 12V cell to a Raspberry Pi with a digital voltmeter.
     
  8. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    FYI - I finally found what I was looking for thanks to Woof's reply. The weather station at Dorset Park is close to my house and they have a solarradiation reading. And it only takes a few lines of Python code to read all of the parameters from the JSON file that you can get access to via the Wunderground API.
     
  9. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    "Glad to be of service."
     

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