Solar energy technologies offer a clean, renewable and domestic energy source, and are essential components of a sustainable energy future. This paper deals with the determination of the optimum tilt angle of solar collectors for building applications. The optimum angle is calculated by searching for the values for which the total radiation on the collector surface is a maximum for a particular day or a specific period. An application of the model is done using the experimental data measured for Izmir in Turkey. The best orientation for solar collectors in Izmir is due south. For increasing the utilization efficiency of solar collectors, it is recommended that, if it is possible, the solar collector should be mounted at the monthly average tilt angle and the slope adjusted once a month. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.