The System Advisor Model (SAM) is a routine and financial model intended to enable decision making for individuals complicated in the renewable energy industry, extending from project managers and causes to incentive program engineers, expertise developers, and researchers. SAM computes the charge of producing electricity built on information you deliver about a scheme’s place, fixing and operating prices, kind of supporting, valid tax credits and enticements, and system stipulations. SAM as well computes the worth of protected energy from a local solar water warming system.

How SAM Works

SAM calculates a system’s entire electricity production in kilowatt-hours for the chief year founded on hourly weather data for a particular position, and corporeal stipulations of the power system mechanisms. It then computes the total manufacture for next years built on a yearly degradation issue, and yearly cash flows founded on economic and financial inputs to control the leveled charge of energy and other financial metrics.

Inputs and Outputs

Below are explanations of the inputs and outputs for the device.


SAM needs inputs labeling the weather at a scheme’s location, info about the project’s charge and economic assumptions, and stipulations of the scheme’s routine features. SAM input variables are settled with model values by default:

  • Weather Data: SAM’s replication engine usages data from hourly weather archives to model the solar supply at an assumed location. The weather case purchases fallout data for energy controls and wind haste, temperature, snow cover and other data to typical the effects of heat and ground reflectance on system routine.
  • Economic and financial inputs: SAM’s cash flow controls be contingent on a fixed of input variables relating the projects finances, such as the scrutiny period corresponding to the system lifespan, deduction rate, inflation ratio, loan quantity and loan ratio.
  • Incentives: SAM prototypes two kinds of incentives, due credits and incentive expenditures. Due credits can be delivered by a formal or federal rule. Incentive expenses can be delivered by a national or federal rule, efficacy, or other individual. An investment-built incentive or due credit is a one-time fee to the project through in time one of the plan cash flow that is whichever a static amount, measurement of entire installed rates, or a purpose of system size.
  • System performance: SAM pretends the hourly routine the rule system, consuming algorithms advanced at the National Renewable Vigor Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and the University of Wisconsin to adapt hourly weather data into hourly AC electrical output guesses.
  • Costs: SAM analyzes the cash flow and ensuing economic metrics built on two sorts of costs. Capital charges account for the fee of fixing components, inverters and balance-of-system mechanisms.


  • Razed cost of energy
  • Control buying price, level of return and other economic targets for utility-scale plans
  • Payback retro and net current value for domestic and profitable projects
  • Hourly, monthly and yearly average forecasts of system routine, with net electric output and module efficiencies
  • Yearly cash flow table with charge details
  • Customizable charts