Solar Thermal Testing
Solar Thermal Testing Facility
Coming to Raleigh, NC in late 2012
The North Carolina Solar Center (NCSC) will begin operating a facility to test flat-plate and evacuated tube solar thermal collectors for OG-100 certification in 2012.
The laboratory expects to hold the following accreditations:
- ISO 17025 Accreditation (In Process)
- SRCC Laboratory Accreditation (In Process)
The Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) certification serves as independent third-party verification of product quality and performance. SRCC certification is also required for consumers to receive the residential Federal Investment Tax Credit.
Why is it important?
- Protects consumers by serving as a national standardized method to compare solar equipment.
- Assists solar thermal system designers by providing accurate & dependable ratings of performance.
- Assists policy and planning at the government level by providing a means to manage the quality of an incentive program as well as the basis for setting codes and standards.
- A dependable measure of quality and function makes the solar thermal industry stronger, by providing an unbiased evaluation of a collector’s quality and performance.
How is certification obtained?
- A solar thermal collector manufacturer begins by contacting the Solar Rating and Certification Company (SRCC) and submitting an application. The manufacturer and the SRCC will work together to select collectors for submission to the testing laboratory.
- The testing laboratory will then evaluate the quality and performance of the collector through a series of tests specified by the SRCC. A final report is then sent to the SRCC for a decision on certification.
What is the testing like?
- Testing is a combination of quality and performance tests. In order for a collector to be certified by the SRCC, the collector must first pass a series of tests performed on a collector randomly selected by the SRCC. The series of tests are conducted according by an independent laboratory to the methods specified by SRCC Standard 100.
- Static Pressure Test
- Thirty-Day Exposure Test
- Thermal Shock/Water Spray Test
- Thermal Shock/Cold Fill Test
- Static Pressure Test
- Collector Time Constant Determination Test
- Post-Exposure Thermal Performance Test
- Incident Angle Modifier Test
More information regarding the definitions and methods of testing can be foundhere.
Tommy Cleveland, PE
North Carolina Solar Center
North Carolina State University