Solar Thermal Systems


The lab can test thermal performance of up to four individual solar thermal collectors.  The collectors currently being tested are

  1. Alternate Energy Technologies Morningstar MSC-32 (4' x 8' flat plate)
  2. Solar Collectors SCM15 (15 tube heat pipe)
  3. Solargenix Winston Series CPC (4' x 6' Compound Parabolic Concentrator)
  4. Sunqest (4' x 8' Tefzel-glazed flat plate)

All of these collectors are mounted at 40° altitude and 180° azimuth.

A 50%/50% Dowfrost/water mixture is actively circulated though each of the four collectors.  Heat is delivered to an AET 80 gallon stainless steel tank with an internal heat exchanger.  Heat will be dumped at night via active circulation through the collectors.


Collector inlet and outlet temperature is measured using Campbell Scientific 108 thermistors.  Flow is individually measured using Seametrics SB-050 paddle-type flow meters and controlled using Haas flow control valves.