Performance Data Network for Solar Process Heat Systems

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    A solar process heat (SPH) data network has been developed to access remote-site performance data from operational solar heat systems. Each SPH system in the data network is outfitted with monitoring equipment and a datalogger. The datalogger is accessed via modem from the data network computer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The dataloggers collect both ten-minute and hourlydata and download it to the data network every 24-hours for archiving, processing, and plotting. The system data collected includes energy delivered (fluid temperatures and flow rates) and site meteorological conditions, such as solar insolation and ambient temperature. The SPH performance data network was created for collecting performance data from SPH systems that are serving in industrialapplications or from systems using technologies that show promise for industrial applications. The network will be used to identify areas of SPH technology needing further development, to correlate computer models with actual performance, and to improve the credibility of SPH technology. The SPH data network also provides a centralized bank of user-friendly performance data that will giveprospective SPH users an indication of how actual systems perform. There are currently three systems being monitored and archived under the SPH data network: two are parabolic trough systems and the third is a flat-plate system. The two trough systems both heat water for prisons; the hot water is used for personal hygiene, kitchen operations, and laundry. The flat plate system heats water formeat processing at a slaughter house. We plan to connect another parabolic trough system to the network during the first months of 1996. We continue to look for good examples of systems using other types of collector technologies and systems serving new applications (such as absorption chilling) to include in the SPH performance data network.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 1996

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-471-20313


    • data
    • solar
    • solar heat systems
    • solar process heat


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