Solar information guide
The solar information portal can assist with using solar data; from helping understand what we measure and how, to providing examples of typical applications and an FAQ.Solar information portal
The Bureau of Meteorology maintains a network of high quality ground stations which provide one minute statistics on a range of solar parameters, including direct, diffuse and global solar irradiance and terrestrial (longwave) irradiance. This network is complemented by a system which provides global solar irradiance and derived products from satellite imagery. Apart from the one minute solar data, all solar data on this website have been derived from satellite observations.
Choosing the best data for your needs
Ground stations provide observations with lower uncertainty than satellite-derived data, but are are relatively sparsely distributed. Satellite data provide coverage across Australia, but fewer parameters are available. Satellite data are freely available on the web down to daily resolution, while hourly grids are available on request at cost recovery charges. In a typical agricultural area, such as that around Wagga Wagga, the satellite-derived data become more accurate than extrapolating surface station values at distance of around 40 km from the ground station.
Browse our online solar and related data
- Daily solar exposure and Monthly solar exposure data for thousands of locations across Australia.
- One minute solar data from twenty Bureau observing stations.
- Daily solar exposure maps covering a range of time periods.
- Average global solar exposure maps for monthly and annual periods.
- Sunshine duration maps derived from approximately 90 recording stations.
- Average solar ultraviolet (UV) Index maps provide a simple measure of the solar UV radiation level.
- Ultraviolet Index Data Services provides graphs and values for cities and towns around Australia.
- Average 9 am and 3 pm cloud maps showing morning and afternoon total cloud amount.
Solar data available by request
Gridded spatial data
- Daily solar exposure
- Monthly and annual solar exposure
- Monthly average hourly global and direct normal solar exposure
- Hourly direct normal & global solar irradiance
Measurements of thirty minute and daily total solar energy from a small network of specialised ground observation stations are available at a cost recovery charge. Please refer to the summary of available solar data before sending a request.
A USB drive containing all available one minute solar data from more recent ground-based solar observation stations, as well as one minute weather data (e.g. air temperature, wind speed, humidity, etc.) from each of those stations over the same period of time (if available) can also be obtained from the Bureau for a cost recovery charge.
- Daily solar maps and grids on the web are updated before sunrise the following day.
- Hourly solar grids and one minute solar data are updated at various times during the year. Please visit (or subscribe to) our Updates to One Minute Solar Data and Changes to Solar Data pages to keep informed of updates.
- All solar data may be intermittently updated as improvements become available, with significant updates described on the solar portal.