Category Solar Heating Systems for Houses


In European standards EN 12976—1 and ENV 12977—1, many requirements are defined regarding safety, reliability and durability of solar heating systems. Their objective is to ensure that systems operate reliably, even under extreme conditions such as heavy snow or wind loads or extended stagnation periods during the summer. In addition, the documentation of the system, as well as the installation and operation manuals, has to fulfil certain requirements in order to ensure correct installation and operation by the installer and owner respectively.

The thermal performance of factory-made solar domestic hot water systems (for classification, see Section 10.1...

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Testing of hot water stores

Requirements on solar domestic hot water stores regarding safety, corrosion protection and drinking water quality are standardized among others in prEN 12897. In addition to these aspects, it is necessary, especially with regard to stores for solar heating systems, to have knowledge about their thermal behaviour. This information is quite important in order to be able:

• to determine the thermal performance of solar heating systems if component – based test procedures are used

• to compare and assess stores with regard to their intended application, i. e. selection of a suitable store.

With regard to the main aspect of the standard, i. e...

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10.2.1 Collectors

In the European standards, requirements for solar collectors regarding safety, reliability and durability have been specified in EN 12975—1. The scope of this standard includes both glazed and unglazed collectors operating with a fluid as the heat transfer medium. Test procedures described in EN 12975—2 for reliability and durability testing, as well as for determination of the thermal performance, are mainly based on the international collector test standard ISO 9806. The aim of performance testing for solar collectors is the determination of characteristic parameters describing their thermal behaviour. Knowledge of these parameters is essential for prediction of the annual energy output of the collector as well as of the whole system with the collector as a component...

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Current status of the European standards

Results of the work carried out by the Working Groups are prENs or prENVs (pr: preliminary;V: pre-standard). These proposed standards are put to a formal vote in the EU/EFTA countries, i. e. for approval of the proposal, to become a regular standard called EN or a pre-standard called ENV Within three months, these countries can accept or reject the documents. When approved, EN standards have to be published within six months by each CEN member country. At the same time, any national standard or part of a standard in conflict with the new EN has to be withdrawn and not used. In this way, uniform standards are being progressively introduced in all CEN member countries. CEN documents are available from each national standardization institute and are not published centrally by CEN in Brussels.

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Classification of solar heating systems

As can be seen from the titles of the standards, solar heating systems have been divided into two groups, factory-made and custom-built systems. This division was necessary in order to be able to include the whole spectrum of solar heating systems available on the European market, which ranges from small compact systems (thermosiphon and integral collector—storage systems) to very large systems individually designed by engineers. Classification of a system as factory-made or custom-built is a choice of the final supplier in accordance with the following definitions:

• Factory-made solar heating systems are batch products with one trade name, sold as complete and ready-to-instaU kits, with fixed configuration.

Systems in this class are considered as a single product and assessed as a wh...

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The three current standards for solar heating systems and components consist of seven parts (see Table 10.1) and consider most types of collectors, heat stores and solar heating systems commonly available on the European market. In addition,

there is a trilingual standard (English, German and French) standard that explains terminology used in solar engineering.

Table 10.7. Titles of the CENfTC 312 standards




Title: Thermal solar systems and components — …


EN 12975-1 EN 12975-2

Collectors – Part 1: General requirements Collectors ~ Part 2: Test methods


EN 12976-1 EN 12976-2

Factory-made systems – Part 1: General requirements Factory-made systems – Part 2: Test methods


ENV 12977-1 ENV 12977-2 ENV 12977-3

Custom-built systems – P...

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Testing and certification of solar combisystems

Hamid Driick and Huib Visser

During recent decades, considerable changes have been realized in the design and construction of solar heating systems. At the beginning, motivated builders usually designed their own ‘alternative’ systems to gain solar energy. In these cases, it was not uncommon to compensate for insufficient expertise with a lot of enthusiasm. Nowadays, components as well as whole systems are planned by experts and produced industrially. In Europe, the annual turnover for solar heating systems in the year 2000 amounted to approximately €1.5 billion, with an estimated annual increase of 20%. For the establishment of this market and its further development, the existence of uniform standards is quite important.

Hence, in 1994 the European Committee for Standardisation CEN/T...

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System description

The Klosterenga residence is a free-standing six-floor building complex with 35 flats and 2901 m2 of heating floor area. The project aims at implementing and demonstrating innovative solar-based technology for new urban housing in the older parts of Oslo.

The highlights of the Klosterenga residence are the utilization of active and passive solar energy, installed energy and water-saving devices, and individual energy meters in each flat. The largest fraction of the building’s total energy supply is covered by renewable energy resources. In Norway, electricity is generated by hydroelectric power plants, although a small fraction, in the range of 1—8%, has been imported in recent years.

The solar combisystem is a drainback system and consists of 80 collector modules of...

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