Solar Thermal System and Components Test Protocol

Secondary Author(s)

Harrison, John

Report Number



Solar Thermal


These test protocols are intended to address the specific requirements for the testing of solar water heating systems and their auxiliary components. The results of these tests are intended to be used as input to TRNSYS for calculating annual performance using the best available model as required by the certification program. The intent of these protocols is to address system performance. Consequently, these tests shall be conducted at the conclusion of the specified qualification tests. FSEC Standards 102-05, 103-05, and 104-05 address performance and durability testing for flat plate collectors. This standard addresses system durability and performance. Auxiliary components (e.g. heat exchangers) used in systems shall be subjected to relevant durability tests (e.g. pressurization of the collector loop of the heat exchanger) before the system is tested for performance. Additional durability tests may be required as specified to determine operation under extreme conditions such as freezing or overheating.Where applicable (e.g. warm-up tests), these tests have been designed for outdoor conditions. Simulator conditions are indicated. However, the use of a simulator requires that considerations for infrared radiation, diffuse radiation, ambient airflow, sky temperature, and the view of the collector be made when taking and/or analyzing the data. These test methods have been developed as an alternative to the more extensive ISO methods. The intent is to accelerate and simplify the collection and analysis of data. Note that some of the methods have been adapted from the ISO tests.This set of protocols is intended to be an outline of the type of tests required for a particular class of generic systems. The decision upon which tests are to be conducted will be based upon a variety of factors including: 1. The generic system class being considered2. Uncertainty in the modeling of these systems in the current TRNSYS rating program3. Previous experience in the performance of a particular class of system4. The fundamental relationships regarding optics and thermodynamics that govern a system's performance.

Date Published



Solar Thermal

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