Spatial modelling of solar energy potential of Mbale District
Wagoli, Donald Francis
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Solar radiation mainly emanates as electromagnetic radiation from the surface of the sun (photosphere). It is originated by several nuclear fusion processes in the interior of the sun (Biira and kilama, 2014). The accurate estimation of the resource is essential for effective utilization. Some studies presented in the measure of solar radiation use the measured meteorological data to estimate solar radiation at unmeasured locations, for instance (Almorox, 2011) measured meteorological data to analyze the relationship between daily global radiation and other meteorological and geographical factors. Other studies use concepts and data from remote sensing to estimate solar radiation (Hena et al., 2013) and (Hammer et al., 2003). Analysis on the factors that influence solar radiation especially atmospheric transmissivity and topography provide estimates on the solar potential of the study area and these are analyzed in this research. In this work, publicly available meteorological data was processed and combined the same with estimated global radiation surfaces which were modelled within a GIS environment. The result was a raster surface and statistics on the monthly and annual solar energy potential in Mbale. The plausibility of the main results from the study was confirmed by comparing the model results with measured data in cases where measured data was available.