Solar radiation data are required by solar engineers, architects, agriculturists, and hydrologists for many applications such as solar heating, cooking, drying, and interior illumination of buildings. In order to achieve this, numerous empirical models have been developed all over the world to predict solar radiation. The main objective of this study is to examine and compare 147 solar radiation models available in the literature for the prediction of monthly solar radiation at Ankara (Turkey) based on selected statistical measures such as percentage error, mean percentage error, root mean square error, mean bias error, and correlation coefficient. Our results showed that Ball et al. (Agron J 96:391-397, 2004) model and Chen et al. (Energy Convers Manag 47:2859-2866, 2006) model performed best in the estimation of solar radiation on a horizontal surface for Ankara.