3TIER by Vaisala
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Solar Prospecting Tools

Solar Prospecting Tools

Designed for: Engineer/Consultant, Developer & Landowner
Use your 3TIER account to:
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Unlimited Access to Solar Irradiance Data

Primary Uses

  • Efficient and easy resource prospecting
  • Setting customer expectations
  • Integrating into your everyday workflow
  • Prioritizing leads and potential sites
  • Determining feasibility for small installations

Gain quick and easy access to critical information using 3TIER's Solar Prospecting Tools. This product enables developers, manufacturers, and installers to quickly explore solar potential worldwide with a user-friendly point and click interface. Now you can make more informed early-stage decisions before visiting sites or collecting observational data.

Solar Prospecting Tools Screenshot

Unlimited Access

With the click of your mouse you have access to solar irradiance data at any location across the globe. And you can share resource maps and data with colleagues and clients by printing professional reports directly from your browser.

Solar Variability

View both annual and monthly mean values of GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance), DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance), and DIF (Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance) from a 3 km resolution dataset based on over a decade of satellite data.

Global Consistancy

3TIER's solar irradiance dataset is derived using the same model for the entire globe. Now whether you are comparing sites in California and New Jersey or Sydney and New Delhi you can be confident that you are making reliable comparisons using a consistent dataset.

Technical Highlights

Product Features

Product includes a Map Controller and tools providing annual and monthly mean values for:
Solar Prospecting Monthly Mean
  • Global Horizontal Irradiance
  • Direct Normal Irradiance
  • Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance

Product Highlights

Click and Compare
  • Multiple Locations: The Solar Prospecting Tools allow you evaluate multiple sites at once and make side-by-side comparisons.
  • Technology Options: Consider different technology types (solar thermal or photovoltaic) to install by comparing data for different types of irradiance.
Print Reports and Share Data

Now you can present resource maps and data to collegues and clients by printing professional reports directly from your browser.

Unlimited Geographic Availability

With global coverage from 60° N to 48° S, select the area you want to explore from the entire globe.

Consistent Comparisons

Evaluate and compare sites with confidence by accessing information from a consistent dataset developed using the same methodology for the entire globe.

Access to 3TIER Dashboard tools

Tailor the way you see information to the specific needs and demands of your work all within a seamless, drag and drop interface featuring customizable page layout options, scalable graphics, and multiple page views.

Delivery Method

Prospecting data tools are made available via a client-specific dashboard interface.


3TIER produced the first global solar irradiance map and time-series dataset at roughly three times the resolution of previous US solar datasets and at thirty times the resolution of global datasets available from NASA. Based on over a decade of satellite imagery and cutting-edge technology, our uniform methodology is supported by a large scientific and research community and results in a consistent map and dataset, enabling more accurate point-to-point comparisons.

The dataset is based on actual, half-hourly, high-resolution visible satellite imagery observations via the broadband visible wavelength channel at a 2 arc minute resolution. These data have been processed to hourly GHI, DNI, and DIF values. 3TIER processes the satellite images based on a combination of in-house research and algorithms published in peer-reviewed scientific literature. These algorithms contain parameters and coefficients that are based on empirical fits to observational data. The specific satellites and length of time varies slightly by region due to differences in the availability of data from region to region. See the chart below for more details.

Regions Satellites Temporal Coverage
Western Hemisphere GOES 8 - 13 15 years
(January 1997 - present)
South Asia & Middle East Meteosat 5, Meteosat 7 13 years
(January 1999 – last quarter)
East Asia & Oceania GMS 5, GOES 9, MTSAT 1-2 13 years
(December 1998 – present)
Europe & Africa Meteosat 7, Meteosat 9 15 years
(July 1998 – last quarter)

To develop and validate our model, 3TIER used observations from:

  • SurfRad
  • Baseline Surface Radiation Networks
  • National Solar Radiation Database
  • Bureau of Meteorology (Australia)
  • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (New Zealand)
  • Indian Meteorology Department
  • NREL Annex II
  • Linke Turbidity Database from Ecole des Mines de Paris
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center (high-resolution snow dataset)
  • MODIS Aerosol Optical Depth and Water Vapor Datasets

Find our validation papers here.

If you are unfamiliar with the technical terminology on this page, please visit our Glossary for more information.

Solar Prospecting Tools Demonstration Video

Geographic Availability

Available for All Regions
Product Available
Coming Soon

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