Solar thermal simulation


There are various ways of figuring out how valuable a solar system will be, by estimating its future performance. To aid engineers there are two accepted software programs for solar thermal simulations, one is called T-Sol, a German program and the other is called Polysun, created by the University at Rapperswil in Switzerland. Both are available in English.

These are European solar simulation programs; you can buy them and try them out but in the hands of a novice it is easy to simulate nonsense. In each case the programs use weather data – you can choose a place that has weather data closest to where your system will operate – and the known characteristics of thermal solar panels as determined by the European Test standard EM12975 and various system design templates or you can make your own.

The European testing method is quite robust. Each manufacturer’s solar panel is measured using the same conditions so that the test data genuinely simulates known results with likely weather conditions. Continue reading