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Solar thermal system monitoring device

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Posted by Keith D on September 4, 2006, 9:31 pm
Is there a device on the market that can measure the effectiveness of a
solar thermal collector. Ideally I would have some way of being able to
quantify the actual output of the array and convert this into Kw hours.

Posted by Tamar on September 8, 2006, 2:15 pm

Keith D wrote:

Hey Keith,

You would need to measure how much the solar thermal collectors raised
the temperature of a body of water (or characteristic of some fluid).
Knowing how much you raise the temperature, you can determine the BTU
capacity, which can be converted into KWh.
I know that does not answer your question, but I do not think that it
is possible for "a device" to exist because you need to interface with
a heat sink or tank.

Posted by SJC on September 8, 2006, 2:26 pm

thermal collector. Ideally I would have some way of

  I think that since the output of the array can vary during the day with
sun and clouds and pump volume, etc. most people just look at how
much water they have, what the temperature was at the start and how
hot it got at the end. The other post mentioned calculating BTUs and

    As far as tuning your system, I don't know of any device that
can temperature monitor collectors, measure water flow and data log.
Maybe they have that stuff at SRCC where they measure the performance
of collectors, but I have never seen anything like that available on the
end user market.

Posted by Niels Lyck on September 13, 2006, 9:14 pm

Hello Keith,
a lot of the solar controllers sold here in 'continental Europe' have this
facility. The output is quantified using two temperature sensors (one in the
collector/feed line and one in the return line), and a flow measurement
device. The controller measures the yield in kWh. See eg. the UVR61-3 from
Technische Alternative - link to manual:
http://www.ta.co.at/files/UVR61/Manual_UVR61_V2_5_engl.pdf . Here in DK, the
controller + flow meas.device + temp.sensors costs around EUR 350 including

Niels Lyck

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