Skip to main content
EU Science Hub

PVGIS 5.2

We are pleased to announce the release of PVGIS 5.2 from 1 March 2022. The main features are explained below. PVGIS 5.2 will run in beta version for a short period while we complete checks. Feedback to JRC-PVGIS@ec.europa.eu is welcome.

New datasets

  • The new CMSAF solar radiation product SARAH-2.1 [1] (PVGIS-SARAH2) has been added to PVGIS with data from 2005 to 2020. SARAH-2 is the successor of the SARAH-1 surface radiation data record, which corresponds to PVGIS-SARAH in PVGIS 5.1.  Users are strongly encouraged to use the new PVGIS-SARAH2 instead of PVGIS-SARAH, as it is a more up-to-date and better product. Furthermore, PVGIS-SARAH will be removed in the future. 
  • The ERA5 and ERA5-Land reanalysis products from ECMWF [2] now provides the climatic variables such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, etc, whereas PVGIS 5.1 extracted these from ERA-Interim. ERA5 also provides irradiance values in areas where there is no coverage from satellite-based data sources.
  • A validation of the new PVGIS-SARAH2 and PVGIS-ERA5 datasets with BSRN ground station data was published last year [3]. Further analysis and inter-comparisons of PVGIS 5.2 with PVGIS 5.1 will be available shortly.

Default datasets

The new default radiation database is a combination of PVGIS-SARAH2 and PVGIS-SARAH (Europe, Africa, Central Asia), PVGIS-NSRDB (Americas) and PVGIS-ERA5 (Nordic countries above 60 N and the rest of the world).

 

PVGIS 5.2 default solar radiation databases
Default Solar Radiation Databases in PVGIS 5.2
European Union, 2022

 

Temporal coverage of the calculations (startyear, endyear)

The default data period for any calculations involving PVGIS-SARAH2 and PVGIS-ERA5 for the  PV grid-connected, tracking PV, and PV off-grid tools is sixteen years, from 2005 to 2020. Customised time periods are possible with the “hourly data” tool or in calls from the non-interactive interface (API). The temporal coverage of PVGIS-SARAH (2005-2016) and PVGIS-NSRDB (2005-2015) is maintained as before. 

API non-interactive interface calls

There's a dedicated API  entry point for PVGIS 5.2: https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/api/v5_2/tool_name?param1=value1&param2=value2&...

There's a also dedicated API  entry point for PVGIS 5.1: https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/api/v5_1/tool_name?param1=value1&param2=value2&...

The old entrypoint https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/api/tool_name?param1=value1&param2=value2&... will continue to serve PVGIS 5.1 for the time being. 

See the API support page for more info.

Graphic User Interface URLs

The standard PVGIS url https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/tools.html will link to PVGIS 5.2 (users can then switch between the two version on the tool itself)

Alternatively the two versions can be accessed by specific urls:

https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/#api_5.1

https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/#api_5.2

 

COSMO and CMSAF datasets removed

As previously announced, the PVGIS-COSMO (2005-2015 data set) and PVGIS –CMSAF (originally developed for PVGIS4, now superseded) datasets have been removed from PVGIS 5.2. 

 

Known Issues

  • In PVGIS 5.2 we extract climatic variables such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, humidity and infrared radiation downwards from ERA5-Land. We have now seen that some areas on the coast can show values of these variables that are zero or close to zero (see the dark areas along the coast on map below to get an idea of the extent). This seems to be linked to pixels that are partially over water and therefore not classified as land. We are working on a solution to replace these values with those from ERA5. In the meantime, for the affected areas PV power generation will be higher than expected (since the temperature is zero).  If you think a location you are looking at is affected by this, you can check the temperature values in the daily data tool.

 

Missing data issue in ERA5-Land coast
Missing data issue in coast areas from ERA5-Land
European Union, 2022

 

  • SOLVED We discovered some issues with tracking-mounting systems and the new irradiation data from PVGIS-ERA5, that causes some abnormal spikes towards the end of the day (as in the image below). The cause of this was an hour shift in the irradiation values from ERA5, which has now been solved.
     
    Issue with PVGIS-ERA5 and tracking-mounting options

     

References:

[1] Pfeifroth U., Trentmann J., Kothe S. Validation report Meteosat Solar Surface Radiation and Effective Cloud Albedo Climate Data Record. SARAH-2.1 climate data records (2019).

[2] Atmospheric Reanalysis ERA5 products. Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast.
Link to ECMWF ERA5 data documentation

[3] A.M. Gracia Amillo, N. Taylor, A.M. Martinez, E.D. Dunlop, P. Mavrogiorgios, F. Fahl, G. Arcaro, I. Pinedo, Adapting PVGIS to Trends in Climate, Technology and User Needs, Proc. 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, p. 907-911, DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-5BO.6.1