Category Archives: EuroSun2008-5

Tube radius

Calculations with different glass tube radius are carried out. Other parameters are here changed as well: For the collectors with the curved absorbers, the glass tube centre distance and the radius of the absorber fins are changed as well. For the collectors with the flat fins the glass tube centre distance and the width of the fins are changed as well. For Seido 5-8 and 1-8 the radius of the glass tubes is varied from 0.035 m to 0.070 m. For Seido 10-20 with curved and flat absorbers the glass radius is varied from 0.02 m to 0.05 m. The thermal performance is shown as a function of the glass tube radius for

Подпись: Nuussuaq in Fig 6. The results for Sisimiut and Copenhagen are similar. The higher the radius the higher the thermal performance, especially for Seido 10-20, which is expected since they consists of more tubes, resulting in a larger increase in the area. The effects on the optimum tilt are by changing the glass tube radius again most seen in Nuussuaq. The solar collectors should be mounted more vertically the higher the tube radius is. In Sisimiut and
Подпись: Performance of the solar collectors as a function of tube radius
Подпись: —A— Seido 5-8 -В- Seido 1-8 —©— Seido 10-20 with curved absorber —X— Seido 10-20 with flat absorber

image056image057Copenhagen the glass tube radius almost does not influence the optimum collector tilt. The change in the optimum orientation follows the same tendency as seen with a change in the other parameters. The collectors in Nuussuaq should be turned more towards east. In Sisimiut the collectors with the curved absorbers should be turned slightly from south towards west, and the collectors with flat absorbers should be turned 35° from south towards west. In Copenhagen the change in the orientation is only about 2° more from south towards west. In Fig 7 the thermal performance of the collectors in

image058 Подпись: Here a large increase in the thermal performance is seen for all the collectors, though highest for Seido 10-20 with curved and flat absorbers. If the result are viewed taking into account the increasing collector area the improvements are minimal for all the collectors in all the locations.

Nuussuaq is shown with an increased tube radius for all the collectors.

Mean collector fluid temperature [ Cl

Fig 7. Improvement of the thermal performance as a result of an increase
in tube radius in Nuussuaq.

5. Conclusion

The last simulations were done with the models using the improved centre distance, larger strip angle and width and larger transmittance-absorptance product. The thermal performance of the improved

collectors in Nuussuaq in seen in Fig 8. The overall improvement of the collectors results in an increase in thermal performance of up to 9 % with a mean collector fluid temperature of 60 ° for the collectors in Nuussuaq. For Sisimiut the improvement of the collectors is about 5 % for a mean collector fluid temperature of 60 °C. In Copenhagen the least overall improvement is detected. The highest improvement is in Copenhagen seen for Seido 10-20 with flat absorbers.


[1] L. J. Shah, S. Furbo, (2005). Theoretical investigations of differently designed heatpie evacuated tubular collectors, Denmark.

[2] L. J. Shah, S. Furbo (2005). Utilization of solar radiation at high latitudes with evacuated tubular collectors, Denmark.

[3] J. Fan, J. Dragsted, Rikke Jorgensen, S. Furbo (2006). B^redygtigt arktisk byggeri i det 21. arhundrede, Denmark.

[4] J. Fan, J. Dragsted, S. Furbo (2007). Validation of simulation models for differently designed heat-pipe evacuated tubular collectors, Denmark.

Collector tests according to ISO 9806 / EN 12975

In order to determine the efficiency parameters of solar thermal collectors according to ISO 9806 or EN 12975, two different procedures can be used: the steady state test method and the quasi dy­namic test method.

During the steady state test, all boundary conditions such as solar radiance, ambient temperature and collector inlet temperature must be constant. After recording data points over a representative range of operating conditions, the collector efficiency curve can be determined by means of multi­linear regression using the least square method.

During the quasi dynamic test the boundary conditions must vary. Based on a series of measure­ments, specific collector parameters are determined, as well. With the quasi dynamic test method, additional parameters such as the heat capacity of the collector and the incident angle modifier co­efficient can be determined in addition to the efficiency curve.

Case — studies

1.1. Case-study buildings

Two case study buildings were considered. Case-study 1 is a T1 apartment (with one bedroom) located in the ground floor of a 6-floor apartment building [4]. The second case-study is a T3 detached dwelling (three bedrooms). Table 2 presents for each the main characteristics influencing their thermal behaviour.

1.2. Climatic regions / locations analysed

As stated in the introduction, one of the aims of this study is to understand the influence of the climate in the resultant energy label, and what levels of envelope and equipment sophistication are needed to cope with the climate (first to fulfil the regulation and then to reach class A+) in each of the locations. To this purpose, a selection of locations was made in an attempt to represent the

diversity of climate of mainland Portugal. The locations selected were: Lisboa, Faro, Guarda, Penhas Douradas, Evora, Viana do Castelo and Bragan? a.

Table 3 shows the main characteristics of each zone in order to understand the difference between them.

Solar Keymark Certification

Подпись: Fig. 2: Keymark Label In order to remove trade barriers inside Europe and to support the establishment of a uniform European market the European standardisation bodies CEN and CENELEC[4] created a uniform methodology for the marking of products on the basis of European standards. The mark resulting from this approach is the so-called Keymark which aims to be accepted all over Europe (see Figure 2). For solar thermal products the corresponding label is named Solar Keymark.

The Solar Keymark is a voluntary third-party certification mark. By obtaining the Solar Keymark, the solar product qualifies for nearly all the different European member state regulatory and financial incentive schemes.

The elaboration of the specific Solar Keymark scheme rules /5/ which provides the basis for Solar Keymark certification started at the beginning of 2000 within the framework of a European project initiated by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF and co-financed by the European Commission. At the beginning of 2003 the final version of the Solar Keymark scheme rules were published. During the years 2006 and 2007 these scheme rules were revised within an other European project. In both projects representatives from the solar thermal industry, the leading solar thermal test institutions and certifications bodies co-operated.

The Solar Keymark for solar collectors requires that the products fulfil the requirements stated in the European Standard EN 12975-1 and are tested according to EN 12975-2.

In order to certify factory made solar thermal systems according to the Solar Keymark scheme rules they must be in line with the requirements of EN 12976-1 and must be tested according to EN 12976-2.

In order to obtain the Solar Keymark the following three major steps are required:

• Picking of random test samples from the factory production or the manufacturer’s stock by an accepted inspector.

• Successful type testing of the solar collectors or systems respectively by an accredited test lab

• Inspection of the manufacturer’s quality management system

If all the requirements mentioned above are fulfilled the Solar Keymark certification can be issued by certification bodies empowered by CEN Certification Board.

Stability of Absorber and Mirror Coatings

Modern selective absorber coatings usually are thin layer systems on metal substrates which selectively absorb short wavelength photons — a process which is enhanced by multiple scattering at small metal particles in a dielectric matrix (so-called Cermet layers). Long wavelengths average over the particle mix and do not resolve the particles of typical size (order of magnitude is 10nm). They experience an effective medium formed by the metal-dieelectric mixture. Interference effects are being used to maximize reflectance in the infrared range. Therefore the exact thickness, the volume fraction of the metal content of layers and the size of particles determines the optical and thermal performance — solar absorptivity and thermal emissivity. The high-temperatures as reached in concentrating collectors during operation on the other hand tend to increase the mobility of atoms in the layers. Therefore interdiffusion might deteriorate simple layer systems. Additional barrier layers therefore are used to restrict mobility. In some cases adhesive layers can improve the bonding stability of the system.


time in h

Figure 2: Change of absorptivity and emissivity of prototype coating

Within the project Fresnel-II Fraunhofer ISE developed a sputtered air-stable absorber coating on stainless steel that resists temperatures up to 450°C. When heated at 500°C after a relaxation time the coating did not change the properties even after weeks of heating. The obtained solar absorptivity is 94% (AM1.5 global) with an emissivity of 18% in respect of a black radiator at 450°C. The application of such a coating is the single-tube absorber of a Linear Fresnel Collector. Of course, other applications are conceivable.

Other thin layer systems can be used to produce mirror coatings for secondary concentrators. These mirrors have to withstand elevated temperatures due to the proximity to the absorber tube. The solar reflectance shall be high, therefore first surface mirrors were the aim of the project. On the basis of highly reflecting silver an optical layer system has been developed and improved. Again barrier and adhesion properties have to be taken into account. Also mirror coatings change their properties slightly upon heating. It could be shown that the reflectivity changes ceased after a few hours when being heated at 150°C and 250°C (which seems to be sufficient for a secondary reflector in a linear Fresnel collector), but not at 350°C. Therefore the application e. g. for tower receivers seems to be problematic. Further work is needed to develop mirror coatings which are stable at even higher temperature loads.


Figure 3: Change of solar reflectance (AM1.5 global) for first surface mirror due to heating

at different temperatures

The durability and resistance against several environmental factors, not only temperature but also UV, humidity, salt and air pollution, is a main concern with regard to the cost effectiveness of solar technologies. Large investments are needed in order to harvest the sun at nearly no cost. Longevity, performance and cost have to be considered in parallel. Innovative complex and possibly expensive new components cannot to be cost effective if their performance degrades after short time. However, cheap products might be replaced when disassembly and replacement can be standardized.

In climatic chambers and similarly in outdoor exposition components can be checked and qualified. Certainly unsuitable materials can be excluded. Relative comparisons between various development options are possible. However it is not trivial to translate results from accelerated indoor testing (using higher loads than experienced in reality) to a quantitative lifetime estimation. Comparisons with actual outdoor weathering need very long time and are not available for new products. Thus risk can only be minimized by understanding the material degradation processes and the real load factors during application. Combining this material and process specific knowledge with carefully designed accelerated indoor tests at least can minimize the risk of failure.

Application of the different test methods

A CPC collector having an aperture area of 1.87 m2 was analysed. The collector uses a circular absorber tube with an outer diameter of 19 mm. With an aperture width of 103 mm this results in a concentration ratio of C = 1.73.

Table 1 shows the results determined with the tests under quasi-dynamic and steady state conditions. The mean diffuse fraction during the test under steady state conditions was D = 0.3.

Figure 3 shows the power curves calculated using the collector parameters determined under quasi­dynamic conditions for diffuse fractions of 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 together with the power curve calculated with the collector parameters determined under steady state conditions.

Table 1. Collector parameters determined

















steady state




Figure 3 shows the significant dependency of the collector output on the diffuse fraction D. For a diffuse fraction of D = 0.5 the maximum collector output is reduced by 160 W/m2 and 11 % respectively compared to the collector output at a diffuse fraction of D = 0.1.


— •-D = 0.1 ………. D = 0.3 ——— D = 0.5 steady state

Fig. 3. Power curves (G = 1000 W/m2) for different diffuse fractions and under steady state conditions

The power curve determined using the test method under steady state conditions shows a similar appearance as the power curve determined for a diffuse fraction of D = 0.3. This attributes to the fact that the mean diffuse fraction during the test under steady state conditions has been D = 0.3.

From the presented investigation two main conclusions can be drawn:

1. The collector parameters gained from the test under quasi-dynamic conditions are very well suited to calculate the collector performance for different diffuse fractions. 2

3. Conclusion

The test method under quasi-dynamic conditions is, contrary to the test method under steady state conditions, very well suited to determine the thermal performance of CPC collectors having a concentration ratio larger than 1. Especially the differentiation between diffuse and beam irradiance permits a reliable modelling of the thermal performance under arbitrarily diffuse fractions. The level of detail provides a more exact estimation of the yearly energy gain and thus a better planning reliability during the dimensioning of solar thermal systems using CPC collectors.

Due to the poor reproduction of the incident irradiance the test method under steady state conditions is not suited for CPC collectors. The inaccuracy of the test method even grows with rising concentration factors.

The increasing efforts in the fields of solar thermal process heat and solar cooling have led to a rising number of concentrating collectors on the European market. Against this background it is appropriate to nominate the test method under quasi-dynamic conditions as the sole test method to be used for concentrating collectors within the next revision of the European standard EN 12975.




Heat loss coefficient



Temperature dependent heat loss coefficient



Aperture area



Concentration ratio



Effective heat capacity of the collector



Diffuse fraction



Hemispherical irradiance



Diffuse irradiance



Beam irradiance



Useful irradiance



Incidence angle modifier for hemispherical irradiance



Incidence angle modifier for beam irradiance



Incidence angle modifier for diffuse irradiance



Fraction of useful irradiance



Collector output



Conversion factor



Angle of incidence



Ambient temperature

0fl, m


Mean fluid temperature





[1] DIN EN 12975-2:2006, Thermal solar systems and components — Solar collectors — Part 2: Test methods -, 2006.

Improved new testing possibilities for air-collectors

image159 image160 image161

As explained in the abstract, Fraunhofer ISE has already operated a test facility for solar air collectors for some years. We have now started to extent and improve our testing possibilities. Our concept was to have a mobile testing facility. That means that either it may be used within the existing indoor test stand with the solar simulator. But additionally, we also made it possible to use the components of the air-collector testing loop at the outdoor testing facility with sun tracker. In both cases the testing facilities allow measurements with very high accuracy and reproducibility. Figure 1 shows the set-up of the air-collector testing loop. Exactly the same rules as described in EN12975 for the testing of water-collectors are used for the air-collector tests.

Fig. 1. Set-up of the air-collector testing loop for efficiency measurements

Information on the components of the loop are summarised here, and will be commented after the list:

• Two ventilator units, each with a flow rate performance between 0 — 500 m3/h, 400 Pa

• Two flow meters (MR) with a measurement range of 0 — 1000m3/h

• Two humidity sensors(FR) to measure the relative humidity of the air in the test loop

• four temperature sensor (TR) to measure the inlet — and outlet-temperature of the collectors, and temperature measurement points necessary to determine the density and the heat capacity of the air at the flow sensors

• water-to — air heat exchanger to condition the air in the test loop

• pressure difference sensor (PR)

• solar radiation (RR)

• Ambient air temperature (TR)

Compared to a water-collector test loop, we added some additional features due to our testing experience with air-collectors:

1. Not one, but two air ventilators are used. Although in principle solar air-collectors should be tight and do not have leakages in the absorber, many of them (especially at the beginning of a development process) are not air tight. This is disturbing the efficiency measurements. It is therefore very helpful, if two ventilators are installed in the test loop. Because they can be operated in such a way (one is pushing air, the other is sucking air) that with the proper adjustment as a result there is only a small difference between the absolute pressure of the air in the collector and the pressure of the ambient air. Thus, air leakage does only have a small influence on the efficiency measurement and development measurements can be carried out in a reproducible was. Of course, the air leakage rate is nevertheless important for the performance of a collector and should be measured and reported in separate measurements. And as mentioned already, the collector should be air tight.

2. Water is an incompressible fluid, but air is not. Therefore the influence of the absolute pressure of the fluid has to be taken into account. Figure 2 shows the dependence of air density on temperature and pressure. The variation within the typical measurement boundaries can be seen from Figure 2. In any case, the influence can easily be included in the measurement and evaluation procedures.








70 90 110

Temperatur in °C




-10 10

















Figure 2: Dependence of air density on pressure and temperature.

Figure 3: Dependence of specific heat capacity of air on temperature and humidity (xw20 denotes an

absolute humidity of 20 g/m[16]).

Automatic Control System

The whole automation system is mainly divided into two parts: one part is the hardware equipments consisted of all kinds of devices used in the testing system; the other part is the software program based on Labview language. I/O device is used to connect hardware with software. Through the automation system the test system need to be operated normally and accurate measurement is also acquired. Because of the strict requirements under the test conditions according to ISO 9459-2, the system needs to accurately identify solar time and determine the test process whether it is in a exactly true position in sequence. At the same time data acquisition system will be operated to collect and record data with real-time curve of all sorts of signals. After the whole test process is finished, all of data will be used to produce the test report. Therefore, the main purpose of automatic control system is to release the tedious labour work of the operator and develop a set of efficient and reliable system in order to measure and control the test system automatically. The system should also be reliable and stable in different conditions to guarantee the normal operation of the whole test system.

The application of the regulations minimal solar collector area

Following the new regulations, a three bedrooms autonomous zone must have a minimal collector area of 4 m2 independently of the climate zone were is located. From the simulations results mentioned in chapter 5.4 we took the maximum value for Esolar that was 2083kWh/year in Alandroal (I1V3). What happens if we would like to reach on the others localities the same energy achieved in this one? The results have showed that just one location can reach almost that value with the minimal required area (4 m2), the other need more area (Fig 2.). It was made also calculations to see what the maximal SCA without having significant energy dissipations (overheating). This means that adopting just the regulation minimal collector area we can be wasting solar energy in some climatic zones that could have more potential. Of course we could adopt more efficient collectors to reach a higher value but, as it usual, many designers are going to follow strictly the imposed area and even will try to reduce it to save in costs and to achieve an easily integration in roofs. Calculating the minimal collector area for the rest of the localities (maintaining the same collector efficiency) to reach the same Esolar of Alandroal, resulted, in most of them, panel area increments of 0,5 m2 to 2,5 m2. In face of this, it seems it would be more effective to evolve the requirements to a minimal Esolar value per household adapted to different climatic zones or groups of zones. This would permit a better energy efficient /cost collector selection with not less energy efficiency management.



■ maximum solar collector area


■ solar collector area to achieve the same Esolar value



Fig 2. — Maximum SCA / SCA to achieve the same Esolar in the nine different localities.

3. Conclusions

Without any doubts, the new Thermal Regulations brings new challenges for the building design and construction industry activities and represents a start point to further advances in building sustainability and energy efficiency. After analyse the critical aspects concerning the implementation of solar collectors in Portugal, it was noticed that collectors market has conditions nowadays to grow towards a solid and income-producing market. But other conclusions could be taken. Portuguese Civil Engineers project designers are still not sufficient prepared to deal with this new technology although they are struggling to adapt to regulations and looking for training. By other means, high education institutions should adapt their Civil Engineer courses to give more competencies in these matters. Also, an adequate selection of the equipment system turns out to be a very important procedure to meet the regulations requirements. The building water supply design project, principally for multi-residential buildings, is facing important conceptual changes. Also, a repair and maintenance building design project, so long discussed and requested, turns to be even more essential. Architects have also here a very important role on the integration of solar collector on buildings as they could, among other things, design roof tilt angles adapted to solar collector optimal angles. But we must not forget we need government polices to provide minimal guarantees to building sun exposure. Relatively to the minimal regulations collector area, it seems that adopting just this area we can be wasting solar energy in some climatic zones that have more potential. A minimal Esolar value per household adapted to different climatic zones could guide better the designers to get more project design quality. Finally, we realize that, much work must be done but the changes imposed by new regulations should be seen as an opportunity to take the initial steps to more effective energy efficient construction in buildings.


[1] European Union Directive 2002/91/CE of 4 of January 2003.

[2] Portuguese Government, Decree Law 80/2006 of 4th April.

[3] ADENE, INETI, SPES, APISOLAR, MEI, DGGE, Hot Water Program for Portugal (IP-AQSpP), www. aguaquentesolar. com.

[4] DGGE & Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI), (2008) Portugal Efficiency 2015 — National Plan for Energy Efficiency (PNAEE), DGGE & MEI, Lisbon.

[5] Weiss, W., Faninger, G, (2002) Solar Thermal Collector Market in IEA Member Countries, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme, Austria.

[6] Portuguese Observatory for Solar Thermal, (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) Characterization of Solar Thermal in Portugal, ADENE & IP-AQSpP, Lisbon.

[7] National Institution for Energy and Geology (DGGE), (2004) The Solar Collectors Use for Domestic Water Heating, DGGE & IP-AQSpP, Lisbon.

[8] NHBC (2007), Guide to Renewable Energy, NHBC Technical, Amersham, Bucks, UK.

Measured sequences used for validation purposes

The comparison of experimental and calculated instantaneous power results, obtained after the different approaches presented in the previous section, is based on instantaneous efficiency measurements for a CPC collector (C = 1.72), as well as on their corresponding steady-state and dynamic efficiency curve parameters. The measurements were made at the Institute for Thermodynamics and Thermal Engineering (ITW) of the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Two measurement periods were chosen, allowing the validation of power calculation methodologies under different radiation conditions. Values of radiation measured on the collector aperture plane (tilt = 48°, azimuth = 5°, latitude = 50°, albedo = 0.2) and measured instantaneous power values are represented in figures 1a) and b) for both periods. In the first measurement period, the collector was positioned on an EW orientation, whereas in the second period the collector was on a NS orientation.





Fig.1. Global, Beam and Diffuse irradiance values (Gcoi, Icoi, Dcoi) incident on collector aperture plane and measured power flux delivered by the solar collector (qmeas ) for a) May 2nd and b) May 29th measurements



Considering the use of the power correction methodology proposed by Horta et al. (2008) in power calculations after steady-state efficiency test parameters, average diffuse radiation fractions of 0.3 and 0.25 are estimated for the first and second measurement periods, respectively.

It is important to refer, at this point, that not all data presented in the previous figures would be usable for a steady-state test. Actually, as the name suggests, the steady-state test methodology is based upon a collector heat balance assuming stationary conditions.

Furthermore, it must be cleared that these same measurement periods based the determination of the dynamic efficiency curve parameters used in the calculations to follow.