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An approach for mapping solar irradiation from ground and satellite-based data for Thailand was developed. A simple semi-empirical model relating normalized monthly average global solar irradiation to a normalized monthly average of visibility, precipitable water, total ozone column, and cloud index was proposed. Visibility data collected at 80 Thai meteorological stations were employed to represent the influence of aerosols on solar irradiation. Precipitable water was derived from air temperature and relative humidity measured at these stations. An interpolation technique was used to fill out the gaps between stations. Ozone data were acquired from OMI/AURA satellite data. A cloud index, which is used to represent the influence of clouds on irradiation, was calculated from MTSAT-1R satellite data. The model was based on global irradiation measured at four solar radiation monitoring stations located in the main regions of Thailand. The model validation using independent data at 36 stations revealed that the monthly average global solar irradiation computed from the model and that obtained from the measurements were in good agreement, with the root mean square difference being 6.9%. After its validation, the model was used to create solar irradiation maps. These maps are similar to those obtained from sophisticated irradiation models.
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