Abstract This work focuses on estimation of global solar radiation and, in particular, it explores the effect of precipitation and temperature on solar radiation profile of Kathmandu (Nepal). An accurate knowledge of solar radiation distribution in each particular geographical location is crucial for the promotion of solar energy technology. The best way of knowing the amount of global solar radiation is to install quality instruments at many locations in the given region. This requires their day to day maintenance, recording and calibration, which is very costly in developing countries like Nepal. Thus, the alternative approach is to correlate meteorological measurements with appropriate models and investigate the key parameters. For the research activities the RadEst program has been used. It includes, for evaluating the daily global solar radiation values at a given latitudes, four models which estimate the atmospheric transmissivity by measurements of daily temperature range and precipitations. The model parameters are fitted in 2 years data by iterative procedures. The values obtained by these models are, then, compared with measured radiation data. The paper reports graphical and statistical evaluations suggesting that among the four models, the Modular DCBB is the best model for Kathmandu area. This result is useful for designing solar panels able to maximize the harvesting of solar energy and to reduce the chronic shortage of hydrocarbon fuel that Nepal imports in a significant amount each year.
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