Solar potential in Saudi Arabia for inclined flat-plate surfaces of constant tilt tracking the sun

Ashraf Farahat, Harry D. Kambezidis, Mansour Almazroui, Mohammed Al Otaibi

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The objective of the present work is to investigate the optimally performing tilt angles in Saudi Arabia of solar panels that follow the daily motion of the Sun. To that end, the annual energy sums are estimated for surfaces with tilt angles in the range 5°–55° at 82 locations covering all Saudi Arabia. All calculations use a surface albedo of 0.2 and a near-real value, too. It is found that tilt angles of 40°, 45°, and 50°, respectively, are optimal for the three recently defined solar energy zones in Saudi Arabia. The variation of the energy sums in each energy zone on annual, seasonal and monthly basis is given for near-real ground albedos; the analysis provides regression equations for the energy sums as functions of time. A map of the annual global inclined solar energy for Saudi Arabia is derived and presented. The annual energy sums are found to vary between 2159 kWhm −2year −1 and 4078 kWhm −2year −1. Finally, a correction factor, introduced in a recent publica-tion, is used; it is confirmed that the relationship between the correction factor and either the tilt angle or the ground-albedo ratio has a general application and it may constitute a nomogram.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7105
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number15
Early online date31 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Inclined surfaces
  • Maximum energy
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Solar potential
  • Solar tracking

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