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Energy and the Environment, 1999

ISSN:
1-56700-127-0 (Print)

MEASURED AND ESTIMATED SOLAR RADIATION IN THE ARABIAN GULF COAST

A. Aksakal
The Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Shafiq-ur-rehman
The Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

This paper presents the actual global solar radiation on a horizontal surface along with the prevailing meteorological conditions encountered during the measurement period from January 1st to December 31st, for one complete year, in the Arabian Gulf Coast near the city of Dhahran. High resolution, real time solar radiation and meteorological data were collected, and processed. Hourly, daily, and monthly statistics of solar radiation was made from the one-minute-averaged recorded values. The highest measured daily, and monthly mean solar radiation were found to be 351 and 328 Wm−2, respectively. The daily maximum amount of over 1000 Wm−2 solar radiation was observed in the summer season, from May to September. Beside the global solar radiation measurements, the main observed meteorological parameters were temperature, pressure, wind speed, precipitation, and relative humidity. On the other hand, the estimation of daily and monthly mean global solar radiation was performed based upon two empirical formulas which relate the solar radiation to the sunshine duration, relative humidity, maximum temperature, the latitude of the monitoring location, sunset hour and declination angles. The agreement between the measured and estimated solar radiation values was found to be satisfactory. Nevertheless, the empirical formula underestimates the solar radiation values during summer, and overestimates during winter.