TECHNICAL CONSIDERATION OF THE EFFECT OF SOLAR RADIATION ON NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Solar radiation (a renewable energy resource) has direct impact on energy generation in addition to agriculture and water resources.
The energy resource was observed to be affected by climate changes induced by CO2 emissions (Pan et al., 2004). With enormous solar potential across Nigeria, a moderate seasonal effect of climate change can have significant socio-economic impacts; change of solar radiation in future climate is thus of considerable interest (Pan et al., 2004).
High resolution reliable projections of 21st century climate change are of great importance to assess related impacts on renewable energy resources (directly on solar energy and indirectly on wind and hydro power), human activities and natural ecosystem over the country. African countries are shown to be among the most vulnerable to climatic changes expected for the next decades of the 21st century due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2007; Mariotti et al., 2011).
Furthermore, among African regions, West Africa is found as one of the world most exposed to the negative effects of climate variability (Tchotchou and Kamga, 2010). In Nigeria, Climate change is the latest challenge to sustainable human development and is leading to more frequent and more severe climate-related impacts that may deter efforts to achieve the country’s development objectives, including the targets of the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) NEST and Tegler, 2011; NASPA-CCN, 2011; the challenges being multifaceted (social, economic, environmental), its impact on infrastructure will be significant because infrastructure provides a critical platform for the effective functioning of the Nigerian economy (NEST and Tegler, 2011).
Climate change is also expected to negatively affect the already limited electrical power supply through impacts on the existing hydroelectric and thermal generation; service interruption is also expected to result from damage to transmission lines and substation equipment impacted by sea level rise, flash floods, and other extreme weather events (NASPA-CCN, 2011). Climate change was discussed in (Li et al., 2012) to have effect on weather parameters (wind speed, solar radiation, precipitation, mean temperature, maximum and minimum temperatures etc.) that constitute the renewable resources.
Several authors have also shown that potential climatic changes due to increased atmospheric greenhouse gases might affect the availability of renewable resources in West Africa in the future. However, changes (increase or decrease) in resource potentials resulting from climate change consequences may affect power generation from renewable energy resources and can consequently affect the potential contribution to future electricity output.
There is also the tendency of a reduction or increase in magnitude of the several weather parameters (global solar radiation, dry-bulb temperature (mean, maximum and minimum), relative humidity, precipitation, and wind speeds) that contribute to building comforts (through heat gain and loss in buildings) in the advent of a changing climate (Ohunakin et al., 2013).
However, study of the physical mechanisms underlying climate variability and the quantification of the relative contributions of each of the driving factors; require long time series of observations. The long range of observed data is a disability in West Africa because of the relatively few observation stations, and most times, poor quality of available data; these necessitate the use of climate models whose outputs constitute consistent datasets of atmospheric variables.
Climate models (global and regional circulation models) are thus the primary tools that aid in our understanding of the many processes that govern the climate systems (Pal et al., 2007). A number of simulations have been carried out using Global Circulation Models (GCMs).
Climate models with GCMs have been found to have difficulties reproducing various atmospheric variables of interest and thus generating unrealistic outputs (some examples are in the results as given in the following: Community Climate Model version 3-CCM3 in the work of (Jenkins and Mikovitz, 2003); Laboratoire de Me´te´orologie Dynamique (LMD) GCM and also the Centre for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere (COLA) GCM as reviewed in the work of (Tchotchou and Kamga, 2010).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The sun is the source of most energy on the earth and is a primary factor in determining the thermal environment of a locality. The challenge about technical consideration on the effect of solar radiation could be as a result of incompetency of the engineers that may not be able to make estimates of solar radiation intensity and know how to make simple solar radiation measurements. It could also be that the instruments that are used for solar radiation measurement are not accurate thereby leading to a false result. More also, inability to understand the thermal effects of solar radiation and knowing how to control or utilize them. Finally, the several researches has been carried out on the effect of solar energy but not even a single research has been carried out on the technical consideration of the effect of solar radiation in Nigeria.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the study is to examine technical consideration of the effect of solar radiation. Other specific objectives of the study include;
To determine the extent to which technical radiation affects solar radiation in Nigeria.
To determine the impact of technical consideration on solar radiation in Nigeria.
To determine the factors affecting technical consideration on solar radiation in Nigeria.
To proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What is the extent to which technical radiation affects solar radiation in Nigeria?
What is the impact of technical consideration on solar radiation in Nigeria?
What are the factors affecting technical consideration on solar radiation in Nigeria?
To proffer possible solutions to the problems.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the technical consideration of the effect of solar radiation will be of immense benefit to the entire Nigeria in the sense that it will enable the solar technical engineers to be well equipped in order for them to be able to handle challenges of any sorts that has to do with solar radiation. The study will also educate the government to be fully aware of the kind of people they employ into this sector for the benefit of the citizens in the country. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of studies and basis for further research.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on consideration of the effect of solar radiation is limited to Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Technical Involving or concerned with applied and industrial sciences.
Consideration Careful thought, typically over a period of time.
Effect A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Solar Radiation Is radiant energy emitted by the sun, particularly electromagnetic energy.