Solar Energy Laboratory

Facilities > Solar heating and cooling

The Solar Energy Laboratory has extensive facilities for characterization of thermal performance of components for solar heating and hot water. The 2500 sq ft laboratory has humidity and temperature control, a chemical hood, and a wide range of standard laboratory equipment including transducers to measure pressure, flow, temperature, species concentration and density in liquid desiccants and computer and data acquisition equipment. An optical measurement system featuring Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Planar Laser Induced Florescence (PLIF) simultaneously measures velocity and a transported scalar (temperature or species concentration). The laboratory includes a unique facility to simulate the operating conditions of distributed solar thermal systems and to measure thermal transport processes in storage vessels and heat exchangers. Laboratory computers are networked and provide a wide range of standard and specialized software for data analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and finite element analysis.