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WP2 - Testing (Deliverable 2.1)

The full report is confidential and will not be distributed to the public. However, a brief summary of the contents are given here.

Accelerated quasi field-system test methods are an option to evaluate in the laboratory the performance of a heating system as a whole. Within these procedures, the boundary conditions of climate and a typical load from a reference year are applied in a test cycle to emulate realistic conditions over several test-days.

Research institutes that apply such whole system test procedures today are SERC and SP from Sweden, INES from France and SPF from Switzerland. Their test methods follow the same principle but are yet quite different in the details.

In order to achieve test results at the different testing institutes that can be compared with each other, three major aspects were identified where a common agreement is of utmost importance:

1.    The main purpose and general procedure of the test.

2.    The boundary conditions for climate, space heat load and domestic hot water demand that are applied for the test.

3.    The physical boundary of the tested system that determines which components and heat losses are considered to be part of the tested system.

Within the first phase of the MacSheep project a common agreement on these aspects has been obtained between the involved testing institutes. The harmonized test method is a benchmark that includes the storage tank(s), the solar group (pump, valves, heat exchangers etc.), the space heat distribution pump and temperature control devices, the domestic hot water preparation (inside tank or external heat exchanger) and all controllers. The domestic hot water demand is based on a draw-off profile and the space heat demand is based on a combination of a load file – to guarantee identical amount of energy delivered over the test – and the simulation and emulation of the heat distribution system and the building – to test also the effect of the systems hydraulics and control solution on the heat distribution, return temperatures, and comfort.

While the MacSheep project is going on, more detailed questions concerning the test procedures will be discussed and harmonized and the test methods will be further refined. Improved method definitions will be published at the end of the project.

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