Solar Thermal Services


Testing for Solar Thermal Services

TÜV Rheinland offers performance, safety, and durability tests, inspection, and quality assurance for the manufacture, fabrication, and installation of residential and commercial solar thermal systems. The testing center performs in-service examination of solar thermal collectors, and associated systems and subsystems. In addition TUV Rheinland PTL tests and certifies systems for the European Union, Asian, and North American markets.TÜV Rheinland is recognized for SRCC and Solar Keymark Programs as well as various global and US safety standards for solar thermal systems.

Benefits at a Glance

With TÜV Rheinland as your partner for testing and certifying solar thermal products, you can:

  • Certify the quality of your products’ performance, reliability, safety, and functionality
  • Facilitate access to European and American markets, increasing your sales potential
  • Obtain certification of your products’ eligibility for subsidies in Germany

Overview of Solar Thermal Testing Services Offered

  • Collector testing on flat and vacuum tube collectors that comply with European standard EN 12975 and SRCC standard 100 includes:
    • Reliability and performance tests and manufacturing site inspections
    • Evaluation of open-air weathering in Arizona
    • Pressure testing
    • Temperature testing

  • Collector testing concentrating collectors according to SRCC 600 and EN 12975
    • Collector types including parabolic trough, dish, symmetric and asymmetric CPC, linear Fresnel, stationary and tracking.

  • Performance testing of warm water storage in compliance with European standard EN 12977-3 and US test method SRCC TM-1

  • SRCC 300 system certification application services
    • Document review, pre-simulation of ratings, certification interface

  • Inspection of absorbers and internal thermal shock test
  • Inspection of standardized systems
    • Performance and quality testing based on European standard EN 12976, for example, for integrated storage collectors and thermo-siphon systems
    • Testing of solar thermal subcomponents according to SRCC TM-1 for tanks, heat exchangers, etc.

  • Inspection of customer-specific systems
    • Testing of collectors, regulators, and storage systems with component testing system simulation (CTSS) based on the European EN 12977

Additional Services for Solar Thermal Systems

Solar Thermal technologies are tested according to a variety of standards. In many cases solar thermal systems require corresponding PV standards. In addition many states require certain testing and certification protocols for Solar Thermal Technologies:

  • Impact strength
  • Cyclical pressure and tensile stress
  • Material testing in climate chamber: freeze resistance
  • Material testing in UV chamber
  • Thermographic studies with infrared cameras
  • Verification of the safety and reliability of electrical components

SRCC 100: 2012

SRCC 100 applies to liquid and air heating collectors and provides a means forevaluating the durability of solar collectors as well as data for determining a thermal performance rating for solar collectors.

SRCC 600: 2012

SRCC 600 applies only to the thermal output performance of solar concentrating collectors utilizing a fluid for heat transfer from the collector, and establishes a procedure for evaluating concentrating collector durability. A solar concentrating collector is defined as a solar collector that uses reflectors, lenses or other optical elements to redirect and concentrate the solar radiation passing through the aperture onto an absorber. A flat plate collector provided with a mirror, or an evacuated tubular collector having a reflector behind the tubes, are examples of concentrating collectors. Other product tests not within the scope of this document may be required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for approval of products or system installations. This Standard may be used to measure the thermal performance characteristics of technologies which simultaneously produce usable thermal and non-thermal energy as a solar concentrating collector output.

EN 12975-2: 2006

This European Standard specifies test methods for validating the durability, reliability and safety requirements for liquid heating collectors as specified in EN 12975-1. This standard also includes three test methods for the thermal performance characterisation for liquid heating collectors.

It is not applicable to those collectors in which the thermal storage unit is an integral part of the collector to such an extent that the collection process cannot be separated from the storage process for the purpose of making measurements of these two processes.

It is basically applicable to tracking concentrating collectors, thermal performance testing as given in 6.3 (quasi dynamic testing) is also applicable to most concentrating collector designs, from stationary non-imaging concentrators as CPCs to high concentrating tracking designs. Parts of the solar radiation measurement should be adjusted in case of a tracking collector and in case a pyrheliometer is used to measure beam radiation.

Collectors that are custom built (built in; e.g. roof integrated collectors that do not compose of factory made modules and are assembled directly on the place of installation) cannot be tested in their actual form for durability, reliability and thermal performance according to this standard. Instead, a module with the same structure as the ready collector may be tested. The module gross area should be at least 2 m2. The test is valid only for larger collectors than the tested module.