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Insolation

Insolation

What is solar insolation?
The amount of electromagnetic energy (solar radiation) incident on the surface of the earth. Basically that means how much sunlight is shining down on us.

Why is knowing the insolation level useful?
By knowing the insolation levels of a particular region we can determine the size of solar collector that is required. An area with poor insolation levels will need a larger collector than an area with high insolation levels. Once you know your region's insolation level you can more accurately calculate collector size and energy output.

What units are used to express Insolation levels?
The values are generally expressed in kWh/m2/day. This is the amount of solar energy that strikes a square metre of the earth's surface in a single day. Of course this value is averaged to account for differences in the days' length. There are several units that are used throughout the world.

The conversions based on surface area as follows:
1 kWh/m2/day = 317.1 btu/ft2/day = 3.6MJ/m2/day

The raw energy conversions are:
1kWh = 3412 Btu = 3.6MJ = 859.8kcal

Is my region's insolation level low, moderate or high?
The following scale is a basic guide for insolation levels. Although a value of 5 is not considered very high during the summer months, as an average annual value this is very high.

You will see that in central Australia, which is a hot, sunny place, the annual average insolation is 5.89.
You may compare you location to the following two extreme locations.
Average annual insolation levels:
Central Australia = 5.89 kWh/m2/day - Very High
Helsinki, Finland = 2.41 kWh/m2/day - Very Low

 
Now I know my insolation level, how do I calculate my collector's size?

 
Insolation Levels (Europe)
Average Insolation (10 year average) kWh/m2/day
Country State/City Latitude Longitude Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Avg
AT Vienna 48° 13' N 16° 22' E 1.10 1.81 2.80 3.76 4.76 5.12 5.72 4.98 3.68 2.15 1.28 0.93 3.52
BE Bruxelles 50° 45' N 4° 30' E 0.74 1.31 2.29 3.68 4.67 4.48 4.82 4.20 2.86 1.73 0.92 0.56 3.02
BG Sofija 42° 40' N 23° 18' E 1.5 2.04 2.97 4.05 5 5.8 6.29 5.68 4.46 2.75 1.62 1.27 3.99
CY Limassol 34° 40' N 33° 03' E 2.52 3.26 4.54 6.00 6.85 7.81 7.80 7.18 6.11 4.43 3.02 2.31 5.61
CR Zagreb 45° 29' N 15° 35' E 1.30 2.00 2.94 3.91 5.03 5.37 5.93 5.19 3.94 2.39 1.39 1.09 3.72
DE Hamburg 53° 33' N 9° 59' E 0.54 1.11 2.09 3.68 4.86 4.47 4.47 3.89 2.59 1.48 0.69 0.40 2.52
DE Munich 48° 05' N 11° 23' E 1.05 1.80 2.82 3.95 4.84 4.65 5.14 4.46 3.20 2.00 1.02 0.79 2.98
ES Madrid 40° 25' N 3° 41' W 1.93 2.75 4.09 4.83 5.85 6.52 7.11 6.30 4.91 3.07 1.97 1.59 4.62
ES Malaga 36° 42' N 4° 42' W 2.52 3.24 4.51 5.40 6.35 7.09 7.64 6.81 5.39 3.70 2.58 2.14 5.16
ES Barcelona 41° 24' N 2° 9' E 1.89 2.71 3.97 4.99 5.82 6.56 7.01 6.07 4.72 3.11 2.04 1.70 4.60
ES Alicante 38° 40' N 0° 30' W 2.23 3.02 4.26 5.39 6.13 6.89 7.34 6.53 5.11 3.45 2.34 1.94 4.94
FX Lyon 45° 46' N 4° 50' E 1.26 1.97 3.02 4.08 4.97 5.40 6.03 5.23 3.93 2.27 1.43 1.08 3.74
FX Paris 48° 52' N 2° 20' E 0.89 1.62 2.62 3.95 4.90 4.83 5.35 4.61 3.33 2.00 1.12 0.72 3.34
FX Toulouse 43° 37' N 1° 26' E 1.39 2.14 3.19 4.03 4.82 5.16 5.86 5.07 4.09 2.48 1.58 1.25 3.75
GR Athens 38° N 23° 43' E 2.00 2.52 3.67 5.21 6.38 7.52 7.61 6.91 5.57 3.50 2.16 1.63 4.56
HU Budapest 47° 30' N 19° 3' E 1.00 1.71 2.76 3.90 5.03 5.30 5.62 4.84 3.57 2.24 1.17 0.88 3.17
IE Dublin 53° 20' N 6° 15' W 0.56 1.07 1.97 3.32 4.40 4.30 4.30 3.40 2.69 1.43 0.77 0.43 2.39
IT Milan 45° 28' N 9° 12' E 1.27 1.89 2.91 3.65 4.84 5.36 5.97 5.21 3.91 2.40 1.42 1.08 3.33
IT Rome 41° 53' N 12° 30' E 1.78 2.52 3.71 4.87 5.98 6.84 7.08 6.34 4.83 3.08 1.98 1.56 4.21
NL Amsterdam 52° 21' N 4° 54' E 0.61 1.21 2.27 3.76 4.88 4.73 4.78 4.13 2.80 1.60 0.78 0.45 2.67
NO Oslo 59° 56' N 10° 44' E 0.3 0.87 1.68 3.12 4.65 4.84 4.59 3.36 2.22 1.02 0.42 0.19 2.27
RO Bucharest 44° 26' N 26° 06' E 1.36 1.94 2.91 3.94 5.03 5.6 6.15 5.53 4.15 2.59 1.37 1.1 3.47
PT Lisboa 38° 42' N 9° 11' W 2.27 2.99 4.3 5.15 6.13 6.46 6.89 6.33 5.11 3.44 2.27 1.84 4.43
PT Oviedo 43° 21' N 5° 50' W 1.67 2.29 3.44 4.59 5.56 6.32 6.86 5.95 4.51 2.71 1.77 1.46 3.93
UA Odessa 46° 30' N 30° 46' E 1.08 1.78 2.68 3.87 5.4 5.7 6.39 5.63 3.96 2.45 1.06 0.87 3.41
UK Edinburgh 55° 55' N 3' 10' W 0.44 0.94 1.86 3.18 4.33 4.34 4.13 3.41 2.43 1.2 0.59 0.32 2.26
UK London 51° 32' N 0° 5' W 0.67 1.26 2.22 3.48 4.54 4.51 4.74 4.01 2.86 1.65 0.89 0.52 2.61
SZ Bern 46° 57' N 7° 26' E 1.1 1.77 2.74 3.6 4.7 5.07 5.68 4.95 3.66 2.18 1.26 0.92 3.14
SZ Lausanne 46° 32' N 6° 39' E 1.10 1.81 2.80 3.76 4.76 5.12 5.72 4.98 3.68 2.15 1.28 0.93 3.17
YU Beograd 44° 50' N 20° 30' E 1.29 1.89 2.92 3.86 4.88 5.45 6 5.3 4.05 2.5 1.4 1.11 3.39

Insolation Levels (Asia-Pacific)
Average Insolation (10 year average) kWh/m2/day
Country City Latitude Longitude Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Avg
AE Abu Dhabi 24° 28' N 54° 22' E 3.92 4.50 5.22 5.87 7.06 7.33 6.90 6.64 6.39 5.53 4.54 3.79 5.64
AU Adelaide 34° 55' S 138° 36' E 7.2 6.58 5.18 3.85 2.65 2.23 2.48 3.2 4.46 5.69 6.59 6.74 4.74
AU Brisbane 27° 99' S 153° 8' E 6.93 6.09 5.44 4.34 3.5 3.29 3.52 4.43 5.62 6.18 6.74 6.93 5.25
AU Hobart 42° 52' S 147° 19' E 5.97 5.33 4.05 2.73 1.79 1.44 1.68 2.41 3.6 4.78 5.92 6.18 3.82
AU Melbourne 37° 47' S 144° 58' E 6.78 6.22 4.76 3.4 2.29 1.84 2.04 2.79 3.94 5.27 6.28 6.46 4.34
AU Perth 31° 57' S 115° 52' E 7.7 6.75 5.41 4.16 3.06 2.67 2.89 3.66 4.76 6.09 7.04 7.76 5.16
AU Sydney 34° S 151° 0' E 6.34 5.68 4.87 3.6 2.74 2.5 2.67 3.53 4.67 5.61 6.32 6.6 4.59
BD Dhaka 23° 42' N 90° 22' E 4.44 5.08 5.87 6.06 5.50 4.41 4.09 4.37 4.17 4.50 4.37 4.13 4.75
CN Beijing 39° 55' N 116° 25' E 2.37 2.92 3.58 5.61 4.83 5.68 5.42 4.49 4.25 3.20 2.66 2.04 3.92
CN Nanjing 32° 03' N 118° 53' E 2.04 2.22 2.65 4.50 3.84 4.47 4.93 4.50 3.67 3.02 2.88 2.08 3.40
CN Shanghai 31° 10' N 121° 28' E 2.29 2.63 3.07 4.54 4.38 4.59 5.52 5.23 4.03 3.39 2.97 2.38 4.01
CN Hongkong 22° 18' N 114° 10' E 2.59 2.56 3.06 3.93 4.13 4.74 5.81 4.95 4.68 4.05 3.56 2.93 4.18
ID Jakarta 6° 11' S 106° 50' E 4.15 4.59 5.00 4.94 4.88 4.71 5.09 5.46 5.66 5.36 4.76 4.47 5.03
IL Tel Aviv 32° 05' N 34° 46' E 2.78 3.5 4.73 6.03 6.86 7.87 7.81 7.22 6.19 4.63 3.32 2.62 5.73
IR Tabriz 38° 48' N 46° 18' E 1.79 2.40 3.37 4.58 5.54 6.71 6.97 6.06 5.20 3.26 2.14 1.56 4.13
IR Tehran 35° 40' N 51° 26' E 2.23 2.84 3.72 5.12 5.99 7.32 7.20 6.41 5.59 3.90 2.61 2.02 4.58
IR Mashhad 36° 16' N 59° 34' E 2.22 2.97 3.88 5.21 6.29 7.49 7.41 6.78 5.70 4.13 2.78 2.06 4.74
IR Bandar' Abbas 27° 15' N 56° 15' E 3.63 4.43 5.14 6.29 7.43 7.96 7.41 6.97 6.58 5.51 4.29 3.37 5.75
IN New Delhi 28° N 77° E 3.68 4.47 5.50 6.60 7.08 6.55 5.01 4.62 5.11 4.99 4.15 3.42 5.10
IN Bombay 18° 33' N 72° 32' E 5.22 6.03 6.66 7.05 6.77 4.59 3.54 3.40 4.72 5.39 5.15 4.80 5.28
IN Bangalore 12° 57' N 77° 37' E 5.00 5.90 6.44 6.42 6.13 4.76 4.48 4.59 4.98 4.68 4.34 4.40 5.18
IQ Baghdad 33° 20' N 44° 24' E 2.79 3.64 4.59 5.76 6.83 8.10 7.97 7.29 6.25 4.44 3.04 2.52 5.27
JO Amman 31° 57' N 35° 57' E 2.93 3.67 4.83 6.04 6.88 7.91 7.86 7.27 6.25 4.71 3.47 2.76 5.80
JP Tokyo 35° 45' N 139° 38' E 2.31 2.99 3.70 4.90 5.07 4.47 4.88 5.42 3.82 2.98 2.50 2.23 4.00
KH Phnom penh 11° 33' N 104° 51' E 5.27 5.78 6.02 5.76 5.09 4.30 4.55 4.07 4.34 4.41 4.88 5.03 4.85
KP P' yongyang 39° N 125° 18' E 2.50 3.35 4.50 5.17 5.60 5.35 4.51 4.63 4.22 3.51 2.46 2.09 4.20
KR Seoul 37° 31' N 127° E 2.62 3.40 4.29 5.24 5.63 5.15 4.26 4.55 3.99 3.64 2.60 2.24 4.16
LA Vientiane 18° 07' N 102° 35' E 4.30 4.94 5.52 5.74 5.11 4.24 4.22 4.19 4.61 4.26 4.21 4.24 4.63
LB Beirut 33° 54N 35° 28E 2.64 3.4 4.63 6.03 6.96 7.9 7.84 7.19 6.13 4.5 3.14 2.44 5.68
MM Yangon 16° 47' N 96° 09' E 5.40 6.06 6.65 6.69 5.14 3.24 3.30 2.99 4.12 4.51 4.82 5.05 4.65
MN Ulaanbaatar 47° 55' N 106° 54' E 1.79 2.77 4.24 5.53 6.26 6.15 5.55 4.88 4.17 3.00 1.82 1.40 4.30
MY Kuala Lumpur 3° 07' N 101° 42' E 4.54 5.27 5.14 5.05 4.80 4.98 4.91 4.78 4.54 4.51 4.23 4.07 4.70
NZ Auckland 36° 52' S 174° 45' E 6.37 5.9 4.71 3.43 2.44 2 2.25 2.95 4.13 5.23 6.05 6.56 4.34
NZ Christchurch 43° 32s 172° 37e 5.9 4.95 3.86 2.75 1.72 1.31 1.47 2.15 3.3 4.34 5.43 5.64 3.57
NZ Wellington 41° 17' S 174° 47' E 6.27 5.31 4.17 3 1.95 1.54 1.74 2.46 3.66 4.7 5.73 6.01 3.88
OM Mascat 23° 37' N 58° 37' E 4.34 5.00 5.85 6.69 7.54 7.56 6.91 6.71 6.55 5.93 4.95 4.23 6.29
PH Cebu 10° 19' N 123° 54' E 4.53 5.15 5.83 6.25 5.90 4.83 4.76 4.93 4.96 4.75 4.49 4.44 5.07
PH Manila 14° 37' N 120° 58' E 4.82 5.62 6.42 6.75 6.19 4.96 4.94 4.41 4.86 4.63 4.59 4.50 5.22
SA Riyadh 24° 39' N 46° 42' E 4.03 4.92 5.56 6.24 7.27 7.99 7.86 7.46 6.83 5.80 4.58 3.82 6.03
SG Singapore City 1° N 103° E 4.43 5.52 5.05 5.05 4.62 4.66 4.51 4.61 4.49 4.50 3.98 3.93 4.61
TH Bang Kok 13° 45' N 100° 30' E 4.42 4.65 4.84 5.03 4.75 3.77 4.22 3.46 3.63 3.89 4.16 4.40 4.27
TH Chiang Mai 18° N 99° E 4.79 5.51 6.11 6.29 5.53 4.44 4.16 4.18 4.50 4.34 4.28 4.48 4.88
TR Ankara 39° 57' N 32° 53' E 1.77 2.38 3.69 4.54 5.53 6.63 6.99 6.55 5.22 3.24 1.99 1.51 4.17
VN Hanoi 21° N 105° 54' E 2.52 2.94 3.81 4.34 4.66 4.51 4.62 4.62 4.57 3.64 3.29 3.17 3.89
YE Aden 12° 50' N 45° 02' E 5.45 5.78 6.52 6.48 6.71 6.72 6.33 6.33 6.41 6.54 5.99 5.39 6.22

Insolation Levels (Africa)
Average Insolation (10 year average) kWh/m/2/day
Country State/City Latitude Longitude Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Avg
BF Ouagadougou 12° 24' N 1° 30' E 5.48 6.43 6.56 6.62 6.53 6.16 5.76 5.48 5.87 6.18 5.83 5.35 6.02
CF Bangui 18° 32' N 120° 36' E 4.13 4.97 5.99 6.61 6.17 5.53 5.73 4.87 5.07 4.55 4.07 3.81 5.12
CM Yaounde 3° 48' N 11° 30' W 4.94 5.38 5.16 4.68 4.46 4.42 5.17 5.07 5.03 5.4 5.29 4.83 4.98
DJ djibouti 11° 33' N 43° 09' E 5.6 5.77 6.59 6.81 6.85 6.87 6.46 6.47 6.56 6.77 6.22 5.55 6.37
DZ alger 36° 50' N 3° E 2.22 2.94 3.87 5 5.88 6.69 7.23 6.48 5.15 3.53 2.43 2.02 4.45
EG Cairo 29° 35' N 31° 09' E 3.39 4.17 5.24 6.49 7.11 8 7.88 7.4 6.42 5.07 3.86 3.19 5.68
ET addis abeba 9° 2' N 38° 42' E 5.96 5.8 6.23 6.31 6.11 5.79 5.03 5 5.64 6.31 6.15 5.75 5.84
GH accra 5° 36` N 0° 12` W 5.65 6.01 5.65 5.33 5 4.49 4.5 4.59 4.67 5.25 5.7 5.55 5.2
GM gambia 13° 28' N 16° 39' W 5.01 5.93 6.67 6.92 6.72 6.06 5.48 5.09 5.3 5.67 5.36 4.95 5.76
GN conakry 9° 36' N 13° 36' E 5.81 6.41 6.51 6.22 5.69 5.69 5.09 5.05 5.46 5.87 5.98 5.6 5.78
KE nairobi 1° 16' S 36° 48' E 6.05 6.24 6.07 5.7 5.42 5.14 4.88 5.09 5.78 6.03 5.48 5.6 5.62
LR liberia 6° 30' N 9° 30' W 5.43 5.72 5.59 5.31 5.11 4.61 4.25 4.19 4.67 5.13 5.24 5.2 5.03
LY tarabulus 32° 54' N 13° 11' E 3.1 4.03 5.19 6.48 6.89 7.77 8.11 7.45 6.12 4.58 3.35 2.76 5.48
MA rabat 32° 32' N 9° 17' W 3.13 3.86 5.09 6.08 6.89 7.31 7.34 6.8 5.69 4.37 3.25 2.82 5.21
ML bamako 12° 30' N 7° 54' E 5.61 6.35 6.64 6.78 6.42 6.47 5.87 5.65 6.04 6.13 5.85 5.36 6.09
MR nouakchott 17° 45' N 15° 45' E 5.31 6.21 6.8 7.54 7.57 7.63 7.2 6.9 6.78 6.34 5.49 4.88 6.55
NE niamey 13° 30' N 2° 12' W 5.42 6.39 6.72 6.79 6.75 6.31 6.07 5.78 6.07 6.16 5.79 5.29 6.12
NG abuja 9° 12' N 7° 11' E 5.57 6.33 6.22 6.1 5.89 5.47 4.92 4.65 5.12 5.82 5.81 5.42 5.61
SD al khur-tum 15° 33' N 32° 32' E 5.46 6.19 6.75 7.25 6.85 6.96 6.52 6.35 6.42 6.17 5.66 5.22 6.31
SL freetown 8° 29' N 13° 14' W 5.19 5.91 6.08 5.47 4.76 4.09 3.6 3.58 4.25 4.84 4.93 4.94 4.8
SN dakar 14° 38' N 17° 27' W 4.84 5.77 6.56 6.81 6.7 5.7 5.15 5.01 5.13 5.46 5.03 4.63 5.56
SO muqdisho 2° 02' N 45° 20' E 6.38 6.81 6.71 6.28 5.85 5.45 5.21 5.61 6.15 6.16 6 5.91 6.04
TN tunis 36° 47.8' N 10° 6.8' E 2.29 3.06 4.09 5.47 6.38 7.16 7.57 6.8 5.33 3.65 2.54 2.08 4.7

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