Description of the Specific Test and Test Procedure
The mechanical load tests are intended to assess the resistance against wind and snow loads. This is achieved by means of applying a positive (simulating wind and
snow load) and a negative force (simulating wind load) onto the collector. For flat plate collectors usually a set of pneumatically actuated suction cups are used to apply the forces. Other methods are, however, possible depending on the type of collector. Basically, though, the same tests are applied for all collectors. Although there are some problems in conducting the test for certain types of collectors (e. g., negative load for evacuated tube collectors) there is a basic and common sense that the test method itself is adequate to assess the resistance against wind and snow loads.
The currently required force according to EN12975 is 1000 Pa. Evidently, this load is not sufficient for most environments. For PV modules for instance a load of 2400 Pa is required. Depending on the application and/or location positive loads of up to 5400 Pa are recommended. It is reasonable to assume that these loads will be adapted for thermal collectors as well.