Collector Certification Program
November of 1980 SRCC established its certification and rating
program for solar collectors. The program provides a means for
evaluating the maintainability of solar collectors and a thermal
performance rating characteristic of all-day energy output of
a solar collector under prescribed rating conditions.
The scope of the program includes swimming pool and recreational
heating, space heating, cooling, and water heating. The program
is administered according to SRCC Document OG-100, "Operating
Guidelines for Certifying Solar Collectors," and its companion
document, SRCC Standard 100, "Test Methods and Minimum Standards
for Certifying Solar Collectors."
Program participation is voluntary and all manufacturers of applicable
products are eligible to participate in the SRCC solar collector
order for a collector model to be certified and rated by SRCC,
the collector must first pass a series of tests performed on a
sample unit which has been randomly selected by SRCC from the
manufacturers production. The series of tests are conducted
according to the methods specified in SRCC Standard 100 by an
accredited by SRCC.
Testing is a combination of durability and performance with the
test procedures for performance being specified by the American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
(ASHRAE Standard 93, "Methods of Testing to Determine the
Thermal Performance of Solar Collectors," and ASHRAE Standard
96, "Methods to Testing to Determine the Thermal Performance
of Unglazed, Flat Plate, Liquid Solar Collectors.")
calculates collector ratings according to SRCC Document RM-1,
"Methodology for Determining the Thermal Performance Rating
for Solar Collectors." This rating methodology utilizes the
data from the ASHRAE test on the collector. The SRCC thermal performance
rating is an analytically derived set of number representing the
characteristic all-day energy output of the solar collector under
prescribed rating conditions. It is valid only when either of
the two ASHRAE standards sufficiently characterize the thermal
performance of the collector panel. The SRCC rating numbers are
valid only for the fluid and flow rate used to generate the test
data. The ratings are only measures of performance under a specified
set of conditions. Since the performance of a solar collector
will vary from minute to minute, depending upon the amount of
sunshine, the air temperature, the collectors tilt and orientation,
etc., the purpose of the rating is to show a consumer how two
or more collectors would perform under an assumed set of conditions.
SRCC collector performance ratings are, in some respects, analogous
to energy efficiency ratings as applied to household appliances
and mileage ratings as applied to automobiles. The numbers contained
on the SRCC label say to the solar user that under standard conditions
this collector will collect "x" number of Btus (British
Thermal Units), which may or may not be as many as a competing
System Certification Program
response to its industry participants, SRCC developed a solar
water heating system rating and certification program, short-titled
purpose of this solar water heating system certification and rating
program is to improve performance and reliability of solar products.
integrates results of collector tests and system tests with evaluations
against minimum standards of system durability, reliability, safety
and operation; as well as factors affecting total system design,
installation, maintenance and service.
suppliers the opportunity to submit their solar domestic hot water
(SDHW) system designs to an open-ended review encourages them
to produce the best products possible.
the OG-300 system rating and certification program:
must meet or exceed all criteria required to meet HUD Minimum
features of this certification program include:
of system design, safety, installation procedures, operation
and maintenance manuals and system performance.
label that is comparable to the Energy Guide Label required
by the Federal Trade Commission for most gas and electric
hot water heaters.
Process for rating and certifying systems
process for rating and certifying solar water heating systems
under the OG-300 protocol includes ten steps for each system.
The process is described below and illustrated in Table 1.
"Supplier" of a solar water heating system is the
entity responsible for the assembly and installation of the
system. The first step in the certification process is for
the Supplier to decide which components are to be included
in the system. These components must be listed on an OG-300
solar collecting portion of the system must be tested. The
testing to be done is determined by the system design:
The collectors which are part of the system must be tested
and rated under the OG-100 protocol.
Passive systems in which the collector can not be tested separately
must be rated and certified under a system test protocol.
diagram must be prepared showing the relative location and
interconnection of all system components.
must be written to describe installation, operation, and maintenance
of the system. The manuals must include a copy of the system
diagram as well as all information required in section 6.6
of the OG-300 document.
must be prepared in accordance with OG-300. A summary of the
required labels is attached to the application form.
application and all supporting documents are reviewed by SRCC
staff and then forwarded to the SRCC Design Review Team for
review and discussion. Major system components, the contents
of the manual delivered with the system, and the suppliers
instructions for system installation must be approved by SRCC.
from the OG-100 collector test, the system test and review
of design and installation guidelines are input to a computer
program called TRNSYS to calculate the performance rating.
all reviews have been completed, SRCC will notify the applicant
of any outstanding items to be submitted.
the application is complete and all fees have been paid, SRCC
will finalize the performance rating, prepare a new page for
the directory, and mail the program agreement and/or license(s)
to the Supplier for signature.
receipt of the signed document(s) SRCC will prepare a certification
award and rating label artwork and will publish the directory
Design & Guidelines Review
Certificate and Rating Label
SRCC OG-300 Test and Certification Process
system components, the contents of the manual delivered with the
system, and the suppliers instructions for system installation
must be approved by SRCC.
is based upon the determination by SRCC that the system successfully
meets its minimum criteria for design, reliability and durability,
safety, operation and servicing, installation, and operation and