The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has begun operation of its new testing station for solar thermal collectors.
With this test stand, the organization aims to simulate mechanical loads under extreme climate conditions – e.g., wind or snow loads – and analyze their effects on the solar collectors.
Fraunhofer ISE and PSE AG, both located in Freiburg, Germany, jointly developed this special mechanical load test stand housed in a climate chamber. The test results are expected to serve as input for new test procedures and improve the quality and safety standards for solar thermal collectors over the long term, according to the organizations.
The test stand can handle collectors up to a maximum of nine square meters and loads up to seven tons. Mechanical load tests can be carried out under extreme temperatures from -40 degrees C to 60 degrees C. Additionally, the test stand can, for the first time, simulate cyclical as well as asymmetric loads.