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International Journal of Green Energy

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The global solar radiation estimation and analysis

of solar energy: Case study for Osmaniye, Turkey

Bulent Yaniktepe, Osman Kara & Coskun Ozalp

To cite this article: Bulent Yaniktepe, Osman Kara & Coskun Ozalp (2017) The global solar
radiation estimation and analysis of solar energy: Case study for Osmaniye, Turkey, International
Journal of Green Energy, 14:9, 765-773, DOI: 10.1080/15435075.2017.1329148

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2017, VOL. 14, NO. 9, 765–773

The global solar radiation estimation and analysis of solar energy: Case study for
Osmaniye, Turkey
Bulent Yaniktepe, Osman Kara, and Coskun Ozalp
University of Osmaniye Korkut Ata, Engineering Faculty, Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Fakiusagi, Osmaniye, Turkey

This paper investigates the prediction of solar radiation model and actual solar energy in Osmaniye, Turkey. Angström-Prescot model;
Four models were used to estimate using the parameters of sunshine duration and average temperature. In estimated solar radiation;
order to obtain the statistical performance analysis of models, the coefficient of determination (R2), mean solar energy
absolute percentage error (MAPE), mean absolute bias error (MABE), and root mean square error (RMSE) were
used. Results obtained from the linear regression using the parameters of sunshine duration and average
temperature showed a good prediction of the monthly average daily global solar radiation on a horizontal
surface. In order to obtain solar energy, daily and monthly average solar radiation values were calculated from
the five minute average recorded values by using meteorological measuring device. As a result of this
measurement, the highest monthly and yearly mean solar radiation values were 698 (April in 2013) and 549
(2014 year) W/m2 respectively. On an annual scale the maximum global solar radiation changes from 26.38 MJ/
m2/day by June to 19.19 MJ/m2/day by September in 2013. Minimum global solar radiation changes from
14.05 MJ/m2/day by October to 7.20 MJ/m2/day by January in 2013. Yearly average energy potential during the
measurement period was 16.53 MJ/m2/day (in 2013). The results show that Osmaniye has a considerable solar
energy potential to produce electricity.

Introduction excessive use (Garg and Kandpal 1996). Therefore, solar

energy, as the fundamental renewable energy source, has
A subject of vital input for economic development of any
been considered in the future energy demand of any country
country is the issue of energy. Energy demand for countries
since it is abundant (naturally available), clean and cost-free.
especially in developing countries has risen up considerably
In this sense, the global solar radiation is the major energy
due to the growth in agricultural and industrial sectors. This
source for our ecosystem for designing and construction of
has meant rapid growth in the level of greenhouse gas emis-
solar energy system, architectural design, snowmelt, open
sions and increase in fuel prices, which are the main driving
water evaporation, evapotranspiration from land surface,
forces behind efforts to utilize renewable energy sources,
crop growth, plant photosynthesis, irrigation water yields,
which come from natural resources and are also naturally
design of irrigation drainage system and fluctuation at open
filled up (Baños et al. 2011), more effectively. For the last
water level. The availability of solar radiation measurements
two centuries, fossil fuel has been considered and utilized as
at a given location makes realistic projects and controls
the main source of energy. Researchers have been interested
achievement of these activities (Duzen and Aydin 2012). In
in the search for renewable energy sources to meet the needs
the studies of solar energy, data on solar radiation and its
of people because of continuously decreasing conventional
components at this given location are very essential. In other
energy sources known as fossil fuels, propagation in gas
words, a reasonably accurate knowledge of the availability of
emissions of CO2 released into the environment and conse-
the solar resource at any place is required by solar engineers,
quent impact on atmosphere (Islam et al. 2010). However, the
architects, agriculturists, and hydrologists for many applica-
negative impacts of burning fossil fuel on the environment
tions of solar energy such as solar furnaces, concentrating
have forced the energy research continuity to seriously con-
collectors, and interior illumination of buildings. In spite of
sider renewable sources of energy (Siddiqui and Said 2015).
the importance of solar radiation measurements, this infor-
Thus, energy systems in the future need to be based on
mation is not readily available due to cost, maintenance, and
renewable energy technologies for minimizing environmental
calibration requirements of the measuring equipment (Bakıcı
impacts and accounting for the finite supply of fossil fuels
(Hepbasli and Alsuhaibani 2011). So global interest has risen
Turkey has begun to invest in solar energy projects for the
in harnessing various renewable energy sources due to the
adoption of a renewable energy system due to the environ-
growing shortage of conventional fuels and the adverse eco-
mental, economical, and political reasons since the solar
logical and environmental impacts associated with their

CONTACT Bulent Yaniktepe University of Osmaniye Korkut Ata, Engineering Faculty, Department of Energy Systems
Engineering, 80000 Fakiusagi, Osmaniye, Turkey.
Color versions of one or more of the figures in the article can be found online at
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

energy law entered into force in the year of 2011. Solar energy 2014) and (4) other solar radiation studies such as estima-
plays an important role because of being safe, effective and tion and statistical analysis of Angström equation coeffi-
economic. Moreover, solar energy occupies one of the most cients, estimation of solar irradiation, determination of
important energy sources among various alternative renew- Turkey’s monthly clearness index values and estimation of
able energy sources, which may be practically inexhaustible, in solar energy gain (Sahin, Kadioglu, and Sen 2001).
the near future energy supply strategies of the Turkey. Turkey As can be understood from the literature, solar radia-
that has a land surface area of 774,815 km2 officially is located tion is a primary driver form for any physical, chemical,
in the Northern Hemisphere at the junction of Europe and and biological process on the earth’s surface. Solar energy
Asia. It is situated in Anatolia and south-eastern Europe engineers, architects, agriculturists, hydrologists, etc. often
bordering the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the require a reasonably accurate knowledge of the availability
Mediterranean Sea. Solar energy is being seriously considered of the solar resource for their relevant applications at their
to meet part of the energy demand in Turkey, as in the world. local. In solar applications, one of the most important
In Turkey, solar energy potential is very high. Turkey is parameters needed is the long-term average daily global
located in the Mediterranean region at 36° and 42°N latitudes radiation (Besharat, Dehghan, and Faghih 2013).
and has a typical Mediterranean climate. For this reason, most Knowledge of solar radiation data at a given location is
of the locations in Turkey receive abundant solar energy. The vital for the design and development of solar energy-based
yearly average solar radiation is 3.6 kWh/m2 day, and the total projects. This information is also necessary for the early
yearly radiation period is 2610 h (Sozen et al. 2005). Turkey is design stages of a project such as cost analysis and per-
a high insolation country in that the number of sunshine formance simulations of the system. In order to harvest
hours amounts to almost 2640 h per year. Average daily these energy sources, procuring data on their availability
solar energy density is 3.6 kWh/m2. The total gross solar in specific localities is an essential task (Islam et al. 2010).
energy potential of Turkey is about 8.8 Mtoe (WEC-TNC Osmaniye is a city which lies in the south of Turkey, and
2000, 2002). it has a remarkable potential of solar radiation. Therefore,
Some investigations in the world depending on the loca- this province can be considered as a suitable location for
tions and solar radiation data are given in four groups solar energy applications (photovoltaic or concentrating
(Ozgoren, Bilgili, and Sahin 2012); (1) solar radiation mea- solar power).
surements at weather stations (Hernández et al. 2015; In this context, the aim of this study is to explore; i) the
Khatib et al. 2011), (2) solar radiation models using other predicting of solar radiation model by using sunshine-based
more readily-available meteorological observations (Khatib, model, temperature-based model, both of them and a second
Mohamed, and Sopian 2012; Yao et al. 2014), (3) numerical order polynomial model, ii) the analysis of solar energy poten-
weather prediction models (Mesri 2015; Ramedani, Omid, tial to produce electric power using measured data in
and Keyhani 2013) and (4) satellite observations (Badescu Osmaniye, Turkey.
2015; Escobar et al. 2014). In this regard, the studies con-
ducted on the evaluation of solar radiation measurements
in Turkey may also be classified in 4 groups as follows Experimental system
(Ulgen and Hepbasli 2004): (1) developing empirical corre- Location, measurements and solar radiation data
lations for Turkey in general (Aksoy 1997; Togrul, Togrul,
and Evin 2000; Yilmaz 2010, 2011), (2) developing empiri- This investigation focuses on solar radiation over the pro-
cal correlations for some provinces of Turkey such as vince of Osmaniye (37.05 north latitude and 36.14 east
Gebze (Dincer et al. 1996), Trabzon (Kaygusuz 1999), longitude, distance from the Mediterranean Sea is 20 km,
Osmaniye (Yanıktepe and Genc 2014), (3) data used for 120 m altitude), located in southern Turkey. Solar radiation
estimating solar radiation and indicating the results graphi- data on a horizontal surface were evaluated for the project
cally (Ecevit, Akinoglu, and Aksoy 2002; Teke and Yıldırım which will be designed in the future on 5 min, hourly,


Figure 1. Location of Osmaniye province in Turkey (37.05 N and 36.14 E).


daily, monthly and yearly scales. Solar radiation data on a Finally, the last model, more advanced and accurate, is sug-
horizontal surface of Osmaniye (shown in Figure 1.) were gested by Aktağ and Yilmaz (2012), and it is known as a
measured by using meteorological measuring device which second order polynomial equation (Model 4), which is given
is called Vantage Pro2 Weather Stations, which was located bellow:
at the Department of Energy Systems Engineering in the    2
university campus of Osmaniye Korkut Ata. H S S
¼aþb þ c: (4)
The meteorological measuring device was established in H0 S0 S0
20 m high from the ground level. In addition, actual global Basic statistical error analyses which are coefficient of deter-
solar radiation data on horizontal surface of Osmaniye were mination (R2), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), mean
collected in five-minute time interval from 22 June 2012 to absolute bias error (MABE), root mean square error (RMSE),
15 June 2015. The device also measures the temperature, were tested to measure accuracy and performance of the
humidity, pressure, wind direction, speed and rain with an derived models.
interval of five minutes for each one. Its resolution and
range are 1 W/m2, 0–1800 W/m2 respectively, and nominal 1X  Hi;c  Hi;m 
MAPE ¼ x100 (5)
accuracy is 5% of full scale. The solar energy potential in x i¼1  Hi;m 
Osmaniye was calculated by using the actual measurements
1X x 
Hi;c  Hi;m 

data according to the averaged values of hourly, daily, MABE ¼ (6)
monthly and yearly. x i¼1
1X x  2
RMSE ¼ Hi;c  Hi;m (7)
Modeling of solar radiation x i¼1
Px  2
As mentioned before the main objective of this study is to i¼1 Hi;m  Hi;c
R ¼ 1  Px 
comprehensively investigate the global solar radiation i¼1 Hi;m  Hm
model and determine the feasibility of solar power potential
in Osmaniye, Turkey, based on the employed parameters Where Hi,c and Hi,m are the ith calculated and measured
which are sun-shine duration, temperature and both of values, respectively and x is the total number of observations.
them. As a result, four models were considered using mea- The monthly average daily extraterrestrial radiation on a hor-
sured data. izontal surface (Ho) can be computed by the following equation:
Angstrom—Prescott model (Almorox and Hontoria 2004) 24 360D
is the most widely used model, which has a linear relationship Ho ¼ Isc ð1 þ 0:033Cos Þ
π 365
between daily global solar radiation to the sunshine duration xðCosφCosδSinωs
(Model 1). The Angstrom–Prescott formula is as follows: 2πωs
þ SinφSinδÞ (9)
¼aþb (1) where Isc is the solar constant (1367 W/m2), φ the latitude of
H0 S0
the site, δ the solar declination, ωs the mean sunrise hour
where H (monthly mean daily) and H0 (daily) are global and angle for the given month and D the number of days of the
extraterrestrial radiation on a horizontal surface respectively. year starting from first January. For a given month, the solar
Moreover, S (monthly average daily) and S0 (monthly average declination (δ), the mean sunrise hour angle (ωs) and the
maximum possible daily) are both sunshine duration. maximum possible sunshine duration (So) can be calculated
Therefore, it is not always possible to predict the solar by the following equations, respectively:
radiation for a particular location of interest using solar radia- 
tion data. In this context, various available meteorological 360ðD þ 284Þ
δ ¼ 23:45Sin (10)
parameters were investigated by many researchers to predict 365
the amount of global solar radiation such as humidity, soil ωs ¼ Cos1 ½TanðδÞTanðφÞ (11)
temperature, evaporation, pressure, sunshine, air temperature
and cloudiness. 2
So ¼ ωs (12)
In this study, another equation model including only aver- 15
age temperature is also considered to predict solar radiation,
as well as the Angstrom–Prescott model. This equation
(Model 2) is given as follows; Results and discussions
¼ a þ b:Taverage (2) Linear regression was carried out for three models (Eqs. 1–3)
H0 using the parameters of sunshine duration and temperature,
The third model used in this study to predict solar radiation and second order polynomial model was conducted for one
using both average temperatures and the monthly average model (Eq. 4). Table 1 shows the coefficients of determination
daily sunshine duration (Model 3) is given below, (R2) results for the models in Osmaniye. R2 in all models gives
  higher than 90% and indicates a very good fitting according to
H S the parameters of sunshine duration, temperature and both of
¼aþb þ c:Taverage (3)
H0 S0 them.

Table 1. The regression coefficients of determination R2 results for four models. As a result of 3 years of data measured for this investigation, a
Models R2 a b c new model for solar energy potential in Osmaniye has been
1 0.991 −0.0288 0.7948 developed. This model is given below;
2 0.913 0.3672 0.0092
3 0.990 −0.0130 0.7630 0.0004  
4 0.992 0.2040 0.1400 0.4560 H S
¼ 0:0288 þ 0:7948 (13)
H0 S0

Table 2 presents the summary of all the statistical para- Using these models Eqs. (1–4), Table 3 shows not only mea-
meters. Statistical performance analysis of developed models sured and estimated monthly average daily global solar radia-
is evaluated by comparing each model. As a result of this tion H calculated for Osmaniye, but also the mean absolute
regression analysis, Model 1 and 4 give the higher accuracy percentage error calculated for each month and varies in
for only sunshine parameter than others because the values of between 3 and 6%. The second order polynominal regression
MAPE, MABE and RMSE should be closer to zero, and values also calculated using values of measured data for Osmaniye
of correlation coefficient (R2) are higher than the others are compared with some cities (Istanbul, Samsun, Trabzon) in
(0.991 and 0.992, respectively). Table 4 (Aktağ and Yilmaz 2012). Models for Istanbul,
The coefficient of determination (R2) index is used to Samsun and Trabzon, concluded by Aktağ and Yilmaz
determine how well the regression line approximates the (2012), and developed model for Osmaniye, Model 4, are
real data points. A model is more efficient when R2 is compared. According to this table, regression coefficient in
closer to 1. Therefore, from the statistical analysis, Model Model 4 is higher than other predicted models. Both coeffi-
4 involves sunshine parameter and it can be seen that it is cient of determination and regression coefficient are calcu-
the best fit due to the highest value of R2 in each model, lated as R2 (0.991), a (0.204), b (0.140) and c (0.456),
which is 0.992. In addition to this, when we consider only respectively.
one of the parameters of sunshine and average temperature, The mean hourly values were processed from the raw
according to the all statistical parameters model 1 is the data stored for every five minutes. From five minutes time
best choice as a good regression model. Because the most period solar radiation data set, hourly, daily, monthly and
commonly used parameter for predicting global solar radia- yearly radiation data were calculated in order to obtain how
tion is sun-shine duration in the literature, model 1 is the much solar energy with photovoltaic (PV) will be produced
best result for Osmaniye. in Osmaniye. The graph of H/H0 versus S/S0 is plotted
Yanıktepe and Genc (2014) determined his model for monthly in Figure 3. This figure gives the correlation coef-
Osmaniye using 1 year period measured data and obtained ficient and linear equations for 12 months. Predicted results
the coefficient of determination value of R2 as 0.88. Figure 2 based on the monthly data show acceptable values of cor-
shows the regression analysis of model 1, which is Angstrom relation coefficient. As can be seen from the figure, the
—Prescott model. R2 has been found as 0.991 in this investi- maximum and minimum values of correlation coefficient
gation. The difference between these coefficients of determi- (R2) are 0.848 in October and 0.9372 in November.
nation values occurred due to the number of measured data. Results from the estimations and measurements in terms
of four models are compared monthly in Figure 4. The values
from the models are very close to each other and they have
Table 2. The summary of all the statistical parameters. only slight differences.
Models RMSE MAPE MABE Our linear and quadratic model seems to be in agree-
1 0.173 3.158 0.139 ment with measured data giving only small variance. Both
2 0.167 3.214 0.135 of these Models have smaller errors than the others and are
3 0.205 3.878 0.166
4 0.051 0.691 0.037 found to be the most accurate models. Besides, as a result
of linear and second order polynomial regression analysis,
linear and quadratic models are well predicted, but when
they are compared with each other, linear model is simple,
not complex, and most commonly used. Therefore, it was
chosen as the best model for this investigation.
An example of hourly average solar radiation for each
day in a month in the year of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 is
shown in Figure 5. The reason for choosing the month of
June and January in these graphs is to show the maximum
and minimum values of a solar radiation data both in
winter and summer season. The maximum values of total
solar radiation compared with the months of January and
June for each figure are 3480 Wh/m2/day (31th January
shown in Figure 5b) and 8432 Wh/m2/day (30th June
shown in Figure 5a), respectively. In contrast to the max-
imum value, the minimum values of total solar radiation
Figure 2. Angstrom—Prescott Linear modeling of global solar energy for Osmaniye. for the months of January and June are 405 Wh/m2/day

Table 3. Comparison between measured and estimated values (H) of each equation predicted monthly in a year and error parameter.
H measured, Model 1, Model 2, Model 3, Model 4, Error in Model 1,
Months kWhm−2day−1 kWhm−2day−1 kWhm−2day−1 kWhm−2day−1 kWhm−2day−1 %
Jan 2.1509 2.0385 2.2363 2.1298 2.1437 5.2
Feb 3.0805 2.9797 2.9668 3.1003 3.0946 3.3
Mar 4.0746 3.9660 4.0372 4.1304 4.1160 2.7
Apr 5.4652 5.2428 5.3165 5.4593 5.4385 4.1
May 6.3106 6.1078 6.3354 6.3663 6.3431 3.2
Jun 7.2028 6.7809 6.9054 7.0625 7.0729 5.9
Jul 6.7555 6.5647 6.9907 6.8505 6.8408 2.8
Aug 6.4926 6.2467 6.4444 6.5098 6.5388 3.8
Sep 5.0983 4.8758 5.1768 5.0874 5.0694 4.4
Oct 3.7299 3.5735 3.7006 3.7244 3.7068 4.2
Nov 2.5034 2.3957 2.6644 2.5047 2.4935 4.3
Dec 2.0898 2.0072 2.0649 2.0912 2.0922 4.0

Table 4. Comparison among four cities in terms of second order polynomial regression (Aktağ and Yilmaz 2012).
Polynomials (y = ax2+bx+c) coefficients Istanbul Samsun Trabzon Osmaniye
y(I) = 0.046 + 1.122 x −0. 453 x2 a 0.046 0.073 0.032 0.204
y(S) = 0.073 + 1.295 x −0.936 x2 b 1.122 1.295 1.405 0.140
y(T) = 0.032 + 1.405 x −0.903 x2 c 0.453 0.936 0.903 0.456
y(O) = 0.204 + 0.140 x + 0.456 x2 R2 0.944 0.905 0.940 0.992

(23th January shown in Figure 5b) and 3330 Wh/m2/day solar radiation stays nearly constant every month for each
(05th June shown in Figure 5e), respectively. According to year. As a result, the total value of measured solar radiation
the graphs, the highest daily global solar radiation was based on the year of 2013 was about 1.7 MWh/m2/year for
observed as 985 W/m2 on 7 June 2014 although the total one complete year.
daily solar radiation was the highest value 30th June 2012.
Measured monthly averaged daily global solar radiation during
the period of June 2012—June 2015 is also shown in Figure 6. As
can be seen from these figures, highest and lowest values of
monthly averaged global solar radiation are 698 W/m2/month The purpose of this present investigation is to predict solar
on April in 2013 (illustrated in Figure 6b) and 345 W/m2/month radiation model and determine solar energy analysis for
on November (illustrated in Figure 6b) in 2013, respectively. photovoltaic and other solar hybrid applications in
Considering the monthly values, Figure 6 indicates that the daily Osmaniye, Turkey. When the sunshine duration parameter
mean and maximum solar radiation are generally higher values in as the most commonly used parameter for predicting global
summer (June-July-August), whereas comparatively lower values solar radiation is considered, Model 1 is the best choice with
are in winter months (November-December-January). The respect to average temperature model. This model is as
monthly averaged values of global solar radiation ranged from follows;
higher values of 624 W/m2 to lower values of 384 W/m2 in 2012,  
698 W/m2 to lower values of 345 W/m2 in 2013, and 695 W/m2 to ¼ 0:0288 þ 0:7948
lower values of 417 W/m2 in 2014 and 660 W/m2 to lower values H0 S0
of 456 W/m2 in 2015. Considering the periods of 3 years, the results indicate that
Moreover, variations of measured instantaneous daily the monthly highest value of total global solar radiation was
total solar radiation on a horizontal surface for a one determined as 220 kWh/m2/month on June in summer
complete year of 2013 are given for Osmaniye as an exam- season in 2013. On the contrary, lowest value of total
ple in Figure 7. It is observed from the result that solar solar radiation during winter was 48 kWh/m2/month on
radiation has higher value than 4500 W/m2 between the December in 2012. Furthermore, the monthly averaged
day of 91th and the day of 271th. values of global solar radiation ranged from higher values
The monthly averages of daily global solar radiation for of 624 W/m2 to lower values of 384 W/m2 in 2012, 698 W/
about 3 year’s period between June 2012 and June 2015 are m2 to lower values of 345 W/m2 in 2013, and 695 W/m2 to
shown graphically in Figure 8. As seen from the figure, the lower values of 417 W/m2 in 2014 and 660 W/m2 to lower
maximum and minimum total solar radiation occurred in values of 456 W/m2 in 2015. The total value of measured
2013 and 2012, and the highest monthly average daily solar radiation based on the year of 2013 was 1.7 MWh/m2/
radiation of 7.3 kWh/m2/day was recorded in the month year for one complete year. The highest monthly average
of June, while lowest monthly average solar radiation was daily radiation was occurred as 7.3 kWh/m2/day in the
1.6 kWh/m2/day in December in 2012. It is understood month of June in 2013. Besides, it was also determined as
from the Figure 8 that monthly averaged values of global 7.0 kWh/m2/day in the month of June in 2014. In addition

Figure 3. Evaluation of 12 months according to Angstrom—Prescott Linear modeling.


to this, the lowest daily solar radiation for 2013 and 2014
occurred as 2.0 kWh/m2/day in January and 2.0 kWh/m2/
day in December, respectively. As a result, this present
investigation indicates the suitability of solar-energy appli-
cations in Osmaniye.
As a result, the developed model (Model 1) in this region is
a good estimation of solar radiation, and this study will give
an opportunity to designers and users in solar energy applica-
tion areas for this region. This paper also shows that there is
an evident potential of the solar radiation considering all year
to produce electricity. The solar radiation on horizontal sur-
face in Osmaniye region is promising due to high potential of
solar radiation.
Figure 4. Comparison of measured and estimated H for a year.

Figure 5. Hourly average solar radiations for each day in January and June for 2012–2015.

Figure 6. Measured monthly average daily global radiation for 2012–2015.

The authors appreciate for the comments by reviewers.

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