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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 819307, 9 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Global Solar Irradiance over Climatic Zones in Nigeria for Solar Energy Applications

1Department of Marine Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure 340001, Nigeria
2Department of Meteorology, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure 340001, Nigeria
3Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 704, Akure 340001, Nigeria

Received 1 June 2015; Revised 4 September 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Ruijiang Hong

Copyright © 2015 Adekunle Ayodotun Osinowo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Satellite derived solar irradiance over 25 locations in the 5 climatic zones of Nigeria (tropical rainforest TRF, Guinea savannah GS, Sahel savannah SHS, Sudan savannah SUS, and Mangrove swamp forest MSF) was analyzed. To justify its use, the satellite data was tested for goodness of agreement with ground measured solar radiation data using 26-year mean monthly and daily data over 16 locations in the 5 climatic zones. The well-known R2, RMSE, MBE, and MPE statistical tests were used and good agreement was found. The 25 locations were grouped into the 5 climatic zones. Frequency distribution of global solar irradiance was done for each of the climatic zones. This showed that 46.88%, and 40.6% of the number of days (9794) over TRF and MSF, respectively, had irradiation within the range of 15.01–20.01 MJ/m2/day. For the GS, SHS, and SUS, 46.19%, 55.84% and 58.53% of the days had total irradiation within the range of 20.01–25.01 MJ/m2/day, respectively. Generally, in all the climatic zones, coefficients of variation of solar radiation were high and mean values were low in July and August. Contour maps showed that high and low values of global solar irradiance and clearness index were observed in the Northern and Southern locations of Nigeria, respectively.