Solar Simulator

The EN13203-3 requires a 24 hours "solar cycle" to be performed in combination with tapping cycles on the sanitary circuit, in order to test the performance of hot water production by solar supported boilers. During the solar cycle a predefined amount of energy or of water having a predefined outlet temperature has to be supplied to the sanitary storage tank, simulating the different amount of energy/temperature supplied by a real solar collector during a day.

A solar collector simulator is a device delivering water, with these variable features, instead of a real solar collector.

Our solar simulator has a structure in aluminium profiles that includes the hydraulic section and a cabinet with the electronics. The hydraulic section includes a small tank fitted with electric resistances, a circulating pump, a heat exchanger, three temperature probes, a flow rate transducer, some automatic and manual valves.

The thermal power of the Solar Collector Simulator (SCS) is produced by a 4KW electric resistance of 4KW, single phase; different powers are available under request.

The circulating pump produces a continuous flow in the SCS circuit. The warm water flow can be switched to the sanitary tank or to a bypass: in this case a closed loop circulation happens. This allows the temperature of the water in the SCS circuit to be kept under control even during the intervals where no energy has to be transferred to the sanitary water; in this way the SCS simulates the real solar collector temperature also in the periods when it's not delivering energy. When energy is transferred to the sanitary tank, the flow rate and temperature measures allow the calculation of the relevant power and energy.

In the SCS circuit a heat exchanger is included; its secondary circuit has to be supplied by cold water. The software can open the flow on this side of the heat exchanger when the temperature of the water in the SCS circuit has to decrease. The minimum level of the temperature in the SCS circuit cannot, obviously, be less that the one of the cooling water.

The electric cabinet in the SCS includes the electric supplies for all the electric elements in the bench, including the pump, the valves and the transducers.

The electronic section is made up by electronic modules Ethernet connected to a control PC.

The SCS is made to be an add-on of a main EN13203 bench.