Area Solar Radiation Tool - Large Raster Datasets & Computing Time

Discussion created by daniel.t on Jul 17, 2013
Latest reply on Aug 14, 2013 by Tesfay

I'd like to exchange experiences related to the "Area Solar Radiation" Tool.

We are using the tool to calculate direct and diffuse incoming solar radiation for a valley in the mountains. The cell size of the raster is 1 m x 1 m and it has around 45'000 columns by 42'000 rows - it's quite big.
We try to calculate the radiation for the period of a whole year with a time interval of 14 days and 0.5 hours. The output will be a single file.

The calculation runs on a Windows Server 2012 machine with 72 GB RAM. ArcGIS 10.1, SP1 and the Desktop Background Geoprocessing product are installed. It is running stable since more or less 4 weeks. Most of the time around 9 GB RAM and 10 % of the CPU are in use.

The whole thing is more an experiment to check the possibilities and the power of this tool. We already successfully used it for smaller areas with a lower resolution.

Does someone of you have experience with such large raster datasets used in the Area Solar Radiation Tool? Experience with computing time? Or in general does someone have interesting or helpful information/experiences to share?