solaR: Solar Radiation and Photovoltaic Systems with R


The solaR package allows for reproducible research both for photovoltaics (PV) systems performance and solar radiation. It includes a set of classes, methods and functions to calculate the sun geometry and the solar radiation incident on a photovoltaic generator and to simulate the performance of several applications of the photovoltaic energy. This package performs the whole calculation procedure from both daily and intradaily global horizontal irradiation to the final productivity of grid-connected PV systems and water pumping PV systems.

It is designed using a set of S4 classes whose core is a group of slots with multivariate time series. The classes share a variety of methods to access the information and several visualization methods. In addition, the package provides a tool for the visual statistical analysis of the performance of a large PV plant composed of several systems.

Although solaR is primarily designed for time series associated to a location defined by its latitude/longitude values and the temperature and irradiation conditions, it can be easily combined with spatial packages for space-time analysis.


The stable version of solaR is hosted at CRAN. The development version is available at GitHub.


The best place to learn how to use the package is the companion paper published by the Journal of Statistical Software:

This book (in Spanish) contains detailed information about solar radiation and photovoltaic systems. In my articles I frequently use solaR. Besides, I publish news and examples about solaR at this blog.


If you use solaR, please cite it in any publication reporting results obtained with this software:

  Oscar Perpiñán (2012). solaR: Solar Radiation and Photovoltaic
  Systems with R, Journal of Statistical Software, 50(9), 1-32. URL

A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is

    title = {{solaR}: Solar Radiation and Photovoltaic Systems with {R}},
    author = {Oscar Perpi{\~n}{\'a}n},
    journal = {Journal of Statistical Software},
    year = {2012},
    volume = {50},
    number = {9},
    pages = {1--32},
    url = {},


solaR has been cited in these publications:

  • de Souza, Erico N., Kristina Boerder, Stan Matwin, Boris Worm, BS Halpern, S Walbridge, KA Selkoe, et al. 2016. “Improving Fishing Pattern Detection from Satellite AIS Using Data Mining and Machine Learning.” Edited by Athanassios C. Tsikliras. PLOS ONE 11 (7). Public Library of Science: e0158248. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158248.
  • Urraca, R., J. Antonanzas, M. Alia-Martinez, F.J. Martinez-de-Pison, and F. Antonanzas-Torres. 2016. “Smart Baseline Models for Solar Irradiation Forecasting.” Energy Conversion and Management 108 (January): 539–48. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2015.11.033.
  • Antonanzas, J., M. Alia-Martinez, F. J. Martinez-De-Pison, and F. Antonanzas-Torres. 2015. “Towards the Hybridization of Gas-Fired Power Plants: A Case Study of Algeria.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 51: 116–24. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.019.
  • Ward, H. C., Kotthaus, S., Grimmond, C. S. B., Bjorkegren, A., Wilkinson, M., Morrison, W. T. J., Evans, J.G. Morison, J.I.L., Iamarino, M. (2015). Effects of urban density on carbon dioxide exchanges: Observations of dense urban, suburban and woodland areas of southern England. Environmental Pollution, 198, 186–200. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2014.12.031
  • Pebesma, E., Bivand, R., & Ribeiro, P. J. (2015). Software for Spatial Statistics. Journal of Statistical Software, 63(1). Retrieved from
  • Abdulla, K., & Wirth, Andrew Halgamuge, Saman K Steer, K. C. (2014). Selecting an Optimal Combination of Storage & Transmission Assets with a Non-Dispatchable Electricity Supply. In 7th International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability (ICIAfS). Retrieved from
  • Antonanzas, J., Jimenez, E., Blanco, J., & Antonanzas-Torres, F. (2014). Potential solar thermal integration in Spanish combined cycle gas turbines. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 37, 36–46. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2014.05.006
  • Davila-Gomez, L., Colmenar-Santos, A., Tawfik, M., & Castro-Gil, M. (2014). An accurate model for simulating energetic behavior of PV grid connected inverters. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 49, 57–72. doi:10.1016/j.simpat.2014.08.001
  • Gutierrez Corea, F. V. (2014, December 1). Predicción espacio-temporal de la irradiancia solar global a corto plazo en España mediante geoestadística y redes neuronales artificiales. E.T.S.I. en Topografía, Geodesia y Cartografía (UPM). Retrieved from
  • Gutierrez-Corea, F.-V., Manso-Callejo, M.-A., Moreno-Regidor, M.-P., & Velasco-Gómez, J. (2014). Spatial estimation of sub-hour Global Horizontal Irradiance based on official observations and remote sensors. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 14(4), 6758–87. doi:10.3390/s140406758
  • Rhodes, J. D., Upshaw, C. R., Cole, W. J., Holcomb, C. L., & Webber, M. E. (2014). A multi-objective assessment of the effect of solar PV array orientation and tilt on energy production and system economics. Solar Energy, 108, 28–40. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2014.06.032
  • Schmidt, J., Cancella, R., & Junior, A. O. P. (2014). An optimal mix of solar PV, wind and hydro power for a low-carbon electricity supply in Brazil. Retrieved from
  • Ploennigs, J., Chen, B., Schumann, A., & Brady, N. (2013). Exploiting Generalized Additive Models for Diagnosing Abnormal Energy Use in Buildings. In Proceedings of the 5th ACM Workshop on Embedded Systems For Energy-Efficient Buildings (pp. 17:1–17:8). New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/2528282.2528291
  • Street, M., Reinhart, C., Norford, L., & Ochsendorf, J. (2013). Urban heat island in Boston–an evaluation of urban air-temperature models for predicting building energy use. In Proceedings of BS2013: 13th Conference of International Building Per-formance Simulation Association, August (pp. 26–28).
  • Ummel, K. (2011). SEXPOT: A spatiotemporal linear programming model to simulate global deployment of renewable power technologies. Central European University.

Author: Oscar Perpiñán Lamigueiro

Created: 2016-07-05 mar 22:24