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Design, Installation, and Performance Characterization of a Laboratory-Scale Solar Thermal System for Experiments in Solar Energy Utilization

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephanie Drozek, Christopher Damm, Ryan Enot, Andrew Hjortland, Brandon Jackson, Benjamin Steffes, Kevin Rode

Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI

Paper No. IMECE2012-86361, pp. 241-245; 5 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization; General Topics
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4521-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of a laboratory-scale solar thermal system for the Renewable Energy Systems Laboratory at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). The system development began as a student senior design project where students designed and fabricated a laboratory-scale solar thermal system to complement an existing commercial solar energy system on campus. The solar thermal system is designed specifically for educating engineers. This laboratory equipment, including a solar light simulator, allows for variation of operating parameters to investigate their impact on system performance. The equipment will be utilized in two courses: Applied Thermodynamics, and Renewable Energy Utilization. During the solar thermal laboratories performed in these courses, students conduct experiments based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 93-2010 standard for testing and performance characterization of solar thermal systems. Their measurements are then used to quantify energy output, efficiency and losses of the system and subsystem components.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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