Part 1—Find, View, and Download the Data

Step 1 Locate and Download Data at the Soltrex Portal

Soltrex monitors photovoltaic (PV) solar panel installations, providing performance data on over 200 systems in 13 different states. This data can be viewed online or downloaded as a Microsoft Excel file.

  1. View the online data at the Soltrex portal by going to soltrex.com/index.cfm and clicking "Begin your journey now..." Guest access enables viewing of the most recent performance data. Explore the data available for Austin Lake Travis High School. Then explore the data at a site near where you live.


    1. View the online data at the Soltrex portal by going to soltrex.com/index.cfm and clicking "Begin your journey now..."


    2. Click the SITE link for Austin Lake Travis High School.


    3. A summary of information is displayed, including the location, capacity, dates of operation, and the specific model of solar panels at the site. An online graph shows a few days of the most recent hourly power output data for the site.


    4. The table below the graph shows actual vs. modeled monthly and annual power output totals. Energy/Pollution Equivalents are given below the graph. Click the yellow question marks to find out more about average American household electricity use or gasoline use when driving.


    5. To return to the listing of individual sites, click EXPLORE SYSTEMS on the menu at the top of the page. Think about your class's potential savings if solar panels were installed at your school. Look for a location near where you live to be realistic about how much solar energy you could achieve. Explore the data at that site.


  2. In order to download data, you must register at Soltrex. Registering also lets you compare more than one site by downloading more than one file. Furthermore, it provides access to the online custom graphing tool. Register and then return to the Austin Lake Travis High School site and download a year's worth of daily power output data.
    1. Go to soltrex.com/index.cfm and click the "Register" link in the lower right corner of the page.


    2. The registration page looks like the one pictured below. Fill in all the fields and then click the Register button.


    3. To return to the listing of individual sites, click EXPLORE SYSTEMS on the menu at the top of the page. Then click the SITE link for Austin Lake Travis High School.


    4. Next, choose the Custom... graph option. (Earlier, when accessing the site as a guest if you had chosen this graphing option, you would have been prompted to login or register.)


    5. A graph showing the most recent hourly power output is displayed, along with the option to download that data as an Excel spreadsheet. To the right are the Graph Controls.

    6. Change the Beginning date range to "01/01/2010" and the Ending date range to "12/31/2010." Select Day as the Interval and Energy Production (kWh) as the Data Set. Then click the Refresh Graph button. Last, download the Excel spreadsheet for this date range.


If you were unable to download the data, or would like to check what you downloaded, then look over the file below. It contains a year's worth (2010) of solar panel output data for Austin Lake Travis High School. Right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) the link below to download the file.
Austin Lake Travis High School Solar Panel Output 2010 (Excel 40kB May29 11)

Step 2 Locate and Download Data at the Solar Schoolhouse Portal

The Solar Schoolhouse provides performance data from (PV) solar panel installations at 130 locations in 13 different states. This data can be viewed online or downloaded as a (CSV) comma-separated values file.

  1. To access the data at the Solar Schoolhouse, go to the Solar Schoolhouse Home Page. Click Live Data Online from the left-hand menu to get to the online portal.



  2. Scroll the list of schools in the green box and choose Barnstable High School.



  3. This is what the summary page for the school looks like. To learn more, click see detailed view in the lower right of the page.


  4. This brings up the "Simple" and "Detail" tabs which provide more options.


  5. Click the "Detail" tab for specific output data.


  6. Click the back button in your browser to return to the school summary page. Then, click the "Compare and Contrast Historical Performance Data" link to graph, view a table, or download actual comma-separated values files for loading into Excel.


  7. Select From: "1, January 2008" To: 31, "March 2008" as the date range. Then check PV Output and click the Display Graphs button.



  8. The following graph is displayed.


  9. The Download Data button will give you a comma-separated values (CSV) file to load into Excel.


  10. Here is a table of two requested parameters: temperature and power (PV) for April, May, and June of 2009.




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