Software and Training

Planning software for SWHS

Since the solar yield of a SWHS depends on the solar irradiation and the ambient temperature at the place of installation, the hydraulic design of the system, the efficiencies of the components, and the hot water demand profile, a computer program is needed to calculate the solar yield of a specific system precisely and support the optimisation of the system design. It further helps in informing the consumer on the expected energy yields. In some countries, the expected yield is used as a benchmark for calculating subsidies, for instance, in Germany it is currently (in 2016) being discussed if subsides could be linked with kWh solar heat which could be generated by the solar thermal system per year under reference conditions.

There are several software tools available internationally for SWHS calculations, including weather conditions from all over the world. These software tools are very well developed for typical applications, like domestic hot water heating (DHW). If they are applicable for specific configurations of SWHS for industrial processes, which are often individually designed, must be evaluated. In case of India, it needs to be evaluated if any of these software tools could be readily adopted and/or a totally new software developed, preferably as as open source, for easy access and utilisation.

In the following the two leading software tools for SWHS in Europe and the Canadian simulation software for energy systems RETScreen are introduced.

T*SOLŪ is the leading simulation software for SWHS in Germany and is provided by the German company Valentin. It calculates the solar yield of a SWHS dynamically over the annual cycle and helps to design SWHS, dimension collector arrays and storage tanks, and calculate the economic efficiency.

A large number of hydraulic system configurations are available, mainly for domestic hot water (DHW) and space heating for pressurised systems. Some process heating and air collector configurations are provided as well.

It must be evaluated, in which way T*SOL is applicable to Indian conditions and Indian SHIP system configurations.

Further information

Polysun is a simulation software for SWHS systems developed in Switzerland by the company Velasolaris. Polysun helps to design hydraulic schemes for DHW, space heating, and industrial process heating, with the focus on DHW and space heating. Predesigned schemes are provided. The solar yield and economic results of the SWHS are calculated by the software.

It must be evaluated, in which way Polysun is applicable to Indian conditions and Indian SHIP system configurations.

Further information

RETScreen is a Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis, provided by Natural Resources Canada, a governmental body.

RETScreen Software Suite can be downloaded for free and is composed of two separate programs. RETScreen 4 is an Excel-based clean energy project analysis software tool that helps decision makers to determine the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects. RETScreen Plus is a Windows-based energy management software tool that allows project owners to easily verify the ongoing energy performance of their facilities.

RETScreen 4 allows to calculate the energy yield and costs of SWHS, but with limited possibilities to adapt the system to the Indian conditions.

Further information