In this study, we investigated the effect of the sunny area ratios on thermal efficiency of model solar pond for different cases in Adiyaman, Turkey. For this purpose, we modeled the solar ponds to compute theoretical sunny area ratios of the zones and temperature distributions in order to find the performance of the model solar ponds. Incorporating the finite difference approach, one and two dimensional heat balances were written for inner zones and insulation side walls. Through, careful determination of the dimensions, insulation parameter and incoming solar radiation reaching the storage zone increased the efficiency of the solar pond. The efficiencies of the model solar pond were determined for case1a-2a-3a-4a to be maximum 14.93%, 20.42%, 23.51% and 27.84%, and for case1b-2b-3b-4b to be maximum 12.65%, 16.76%, 21.37% and 23.30% in August, respectively. With the increase of the sunny area ratio, the performance of the solar pond significantly increased. However, with the increasing rate of the surface area, performance increase rate decreased gradually. The results provide a strong perspective to determine the dimensions of the solar pond before starting the project of a solar pond. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.