Friday, April 30, 2010

Andy's Solar Thermal Collector Power Output Simulation

Andy Schroder has made available a very useful simulation tool that allows you to estimate the heat output of an array of solar thermal collectors that you specify. 

The simulation takes into account the specific collector you are using, the collector orientation, the water temperatures you want to produce, and the hour by hour weather in your location.

The simulation uses weather for the period 1991 through 2005, and provides best year, worst year and median year daily heat energy outputs. 

This can be a very helpful tool for getting an estimate of how much energy, fuel, and CO2 a solar heating system will save.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only easy to use and widely available tool out there that can provide a good estimate of the output of a collector array for your location and setup -- its a very welcome addition to the tool inventory.  Thanks very much to Andy for developing this and making it widely available.

Link to the simulation page...

An example of using the simulation to estimate energy, fuel, and CO2 savings...

Andy's server has been having some problems just lately, which will be fixed, so if you have a problem getting to the simulation link, just wait a bit and try again.

The next blog entry will cover using a combination of Andy's simulation tool, and the Home Heat Loss Calculator to answer the age old question:

How much collector area do I need to heat my house?

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