Empirical models for estimation of global solar radiation using the monthly average daily sunshine hours data for Makurdi, Benue State
This paper proposes empirical correlation models for estimating global solar radiation using data of sunshine hours for the location of Makurdi in Benue State of Nigeria. The paper suggests extrapolation of the empirical models for other locations with similar climatic conditions. The proposed models are: Linear, Quadratic, Cubic, Exponential, Power and Logarithmic models. Each of the models is based on Angstrom-Prescott equations for estimating global solar radiation. Any of the models can ease the use of sophisticated equipments, which are expensive, delicate and sometimes develop faults during measurement. The results of the models show that the cubic model is the best with slightly higher coefficient of determination. The coefficient of determination of each of the models was found to be 0.952, 0.965, 0.967, 0.965, 0.948& 0.924 respectively, while the absolute correlation was found to be unity. Errors evaluated include MBE, RMSE and MPE with minimal values. The percentage diffuse and direct solar radiations, clearness index and the diffuse fraction were also estimated using the models. The results of the estimations done using the proposed models indicate that there is an estimated average annual global solar radiation of 6056MJm-2, monthly value of 505MJm-2 and daily insolation of 16.82MJm-2 sufficient enough for maximum solar radiation exploitation.
Keywords: Solar Radiation, Empirical Models, Diffuse Radiation, Direct Radiation