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Nouri Alkishriwi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tripoli, Tripoli. Libya.
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Christian A. Schorn
C.A. Schorn Engineering UG, Solar thermal development and implementation of test facilities
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Danjana Theis
Head of the test lab for solar thermal systems, TZSB der IZES gG1nbH, c/o
Hochscluil technologie zentrum {HTZ) Altenkesseler Str. 17, Gebiiude D2, D-66115 Saarbriicken-Germany
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Within this publication a detailed overview about the national and international solal‘t1lel1nai standards is made. The various tests are described and a cross reference list for comparing the different standards is given. Moreover a certification model is presented and the advantage of third party assessment is carried out. The requirement for a solar thermal test laboratory to conduct independent third party assessment by means of an ISO/IEC17065 accreditation is given. Finally the concept of a quality system for solar thermal markets is explained and major advantages are outlined.

Solar thermal systems and their components are described in various national and international standards. In Europe the standard EN12975 defines the regulations and requirements for solar thermal collectors. The standard EN12976 is established for the evaluation of factory made solar thermal systems. The EN12977 is the state of the art standard for the evaluation of custom build systems.

Nowadays in Libya the standard ISO9806 for solar collectors and the standard ISO9459 for domestic water heating systems define the regulations and requirements for solar thermal collectors and systems. In the meanwhile, empowered Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Certification Body is under construction. This body is working now to set the minimum requirements of the testing facilities of solar thermal systems.

The international standard for collector testing is the ISO9806 and the standard ISO9459 Part2,4,5 for domestic water heating systems. Within the year 2013 a revision of the ISO9806 will be published and, for the first time, a consistent harmonized standard for the main solar thermal markets will be set in force.

Besides the various standards for solar thermal products a meaningful element for the quality assurance and the customer protection is third party certification. Third party certification involves an independent assessment, declaring that specified requirements regarding a product are fulfilled. In a certification process based on specified certification rules an authorized certification body is confirming that a solar thermal product has passed performance tests, reliability tests and further requirements according to the standards. In Europe a certification body holds an accreditation according to EN45011. At international level the standard ISO/IEC17065 is in force.

Test results as a basis for product certification are determined by solar thermal test laboratories. The implementation and the business operation of such a solar thermal test laboratory is an important element within the national/regional solar thermal market. To ensure the quality of the products and to attend the role of an observer on the market, the test facility has to fulfill a number of requirements. Besides the necessary technical equipment and the implementation of tests in accordance with the various national and international standards, the laboratory shall realize a quality management system to guarantee the quality of tests and services. Based on the technical equipment, the testing scope and an implemented Quality Management System (QMS), the test laboratory can achieve an accreditation according to ISO/IEC17025 as basis for independent third party testing. Independent testing and evaluation of solar thermal collectors and components like hot water stores and controllers offers an important medium for quality assurance.

To guarantee a high degree of product quality and consumer protection a quality system for the solar thermal market is necessary. Core of the quality assurance of a functioning solar thermal market are the national standards body, which is developing standards and regulations as a working basis ill technical committees, the national metrology institute that guarantees the traceability of measurements on fundamental and natural constants, and finally the national accreditation body which ensures the conformity of the various actors to a specific standard.

Laboratories work closely with the certification authorities and apply the developed specific norms and standards. The certification bodies must ensure the conformance of their test laboratories with the standard ISO/IEC17025, which include the quality standard ISO 9001:2008 and also include additional requirements.

The traceability of the metrics of solar thermal testing laboratories is usually made with the help of calibration laboratories that are specialized on certain measurements. Those are also accredited and ensure the traceability of their measurements to the national meteorology institute.

Other stakeholders are the group of importers and exporters and foreign investors who are on the national market in entrepreneurial activities, as well as the group of consumer organizations that represent the interests of customers. By means of good networking of stakeholders and focusing 011 the quality process, a high-quality and flourishing solar thermal market can be created.


solar thermal standards, accreditation, certification 

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"The International Standards for Solar Thermal Collectors and Components as a Medium of Quality Assurance"