Last update: May 2017

    Presentation - Validation - Automatic access - Orientation of tilted planes - Plane mode


The HelioClim-3 database provides 15 min up to monthly time series of all the radiation components over the horizontal, fix-tilted and normal plane for the actual weather conditions.

To access the data between 2005 onwards, you must purchase either a one-shot request for one or a few time series, or opt for an annual subscription. More information on our SoDa products.

The Heliosat-2 method is used to update the database.


            \ Plane orientation

Time step

(GHI only)
(all components, horizontal and fix-tilted)
Normal - 2D tracker
(all components, horizontal and normal)
Monthly HCmonth HCmonthIncl HCmonthDNI
Weekly HCweek - -
Daily HCday HCdayIncl HCdayDNI
Hourly HChour HChourIncl HChourDNI
15 min (from 1 to 30 min) HC15 HC15Incl HC15DNI









Service names: HC stands for HelioClim + time step + plane orientation (default: horizontal). Example: HCdayIncl means HelioClim3 daily irradiation values over an inclined plane.

The annual subscription to a HC3 service offers an unlimited access to this product via the SoDa website during the twelve months following the opening of the account. The subscription to a product offers also access to products with a larger temporal step. For instance, the subscription to the HC15 service also allows to access to the products HCHour, HCDay, HCWeek and HCMonth. Moreover, the subscription of a product on an inclined (or normal) plane enables the access to the equivalent product on the horizontal plane. For instance, if you purchase HC15Incl, you will also be granted the possibility to assess to the services previously listed, as well as: HCmonthIncl, HCdayIncl and HChourIncl.

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  • Versions: the most recent versions are version 4 (available at d-1 and in real time) and version 5 (d-2). Anterior versions should NOT be used. More information on the HelioClim-3 versions.
  • Latitude and longitude: enter the values in decimal degrees, or directly click on the map to select your point, or you can also use the "Search Address" tool on the top of the map.
  • Altitude: enter your own altitude, or let us use our default high resolution elevation database SRTM (spatial resolution 90 m, uncertainty 10 m)
  • Compute relief shadows: take into account (or not) the shadowing effect due to the far horizon.
  • Start date and End date: format yyyy-mm-dd. Please pay attention to ask for complete months when asking for monthly values. If incomplete, the given monthly value results from an interpolation based on the selected days.
  • Time step: monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, 15 min, and 10 min. The 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 min time steps are limited to one month of data per delivery.
  • Time reference: UT or TST. More information on time references
  • Plane orientation: enter the tilt and azimuth of the plane. In our azimut conventions, 90° means Easts and 180° means South. Empty is 2D-sun tracking (-999 for both the tilt and the azimuth values). More information on the plane orientations and the radiation components.
  • Output format: CSV


The output format for the HelioClim-3 files is CSV. Click right on the link to retrieve your file.
NEW FORMAT! Please note that a new output format is now available. The description of the columns for all services is available on this page. Just select the service you have just launched to receive the adequate column description.

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Independant validation performed by P. Ineichen, University of Geneva - February 2016: Long term HelioClim-3 global, beam and diffuse irradiance validation

Take a look to the results of comparison between HC-3 version 4 and 5 against ground stations measurements:

More information on the protocol of validation and the used indices.

Automatic Access

The automatic (machine-to-machine) access to the HelioClim-3 (and HelioClim-1) dataset is restricted to the customers who have purchased an annual subscription to a HelioClim-3 service. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are interested.

Here is an example of automatic access using the wget command:   wget -O Madrid_HChourDNI_15to31Aug2014.csv "http://www.soda-is.com/pub/hc3v5_request.php?geopoint=40.4,-3.68&elevation=-999...

More information on the automatic access to HelioClim-3

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Orientation of tilted planes

Firstly, the SoDa azimuth convention is:

   Azimuth (degrees) Orientation
90° East
180° South
270° West

So a tilted plane is:

  • North-oriented if azimuth < 90° or azimuth > 270°
  • South-oriented if azimuth > 90° and azimuth < 270°

NB: A plane which is not facing the sun might either be a human error, or may also be due to infrastructure or environmental constraints (site north oriented).

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Plane mode             

(More information on plane orientations and radiation components)  

         Plane mode Tilt (degrees) Azimuth (degrees) Albedo Animations
June 21st Dec. 21st
Horizontal Plane 0 NA NA See animated GIF See animated GIF
Fixed tilted plane <user setting> <user setting> <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF
2D Sun Tracking (DNI) Sun Tracking Sun Tracking <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF
1D Sun Tracking (North-South axis) Sun Tracking 90° or 270° <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF
1D Sun Tracking (East-West axis) Sun Tracking 0° or 180° <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF
1D Sun Tracking (Tilt tracking) Sun Tracking <user setting> <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF
1D Sun Tracking (Azimuth tracking) <user setting> Sun Tracking <user setting> See animated GIF See animated GIF









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