Online Tools & Software

Below are links to online tools produced under the IEA SHC Programme

Databases

Architectural Integration of Solar Thermal Energy Systems
Architectural Integration of Solar Thermal Energy Systems
Task 39
January 2014
By: Ingvild Skjelland et. al.

--- This database presents a range of buildings where solar thermal energy systems have been successfully integrated in the architecture. The core element of a solar thermal installation is solar collectors that convert the energy in sunlight directly into usable heat. These collectors can be aesthetically integrated with the building envelope or they can be mounted onto a building. Solar thermal installations have high energy capacity, and end users therefore benefit of an attractive pay back on their investment.

Databases for Large Solar Heating and Cooling Systems
Task 45
XLS 3.15MB

A database with detailed descriptions of large systems from all over the world has been established within Task 45.  The systems are listed in categories as defined in the T45.C.1 fact sheets.

SHIP Database on Existing Applications of Solar Heat Integration in Industrial Processes
Task 49

The Solar Heat for Industrial Processes – SHIP Database has been created within the framework of IEA SHC Task 49. This online database contains a worldwide overview on existing solar thermal plants which provide thermal energy for production processes for different industry sectors. Each plant description contains a number of informations about e.g. the size of the collector field, collector technology or integration point in the production process.

Solar District Heating (SDH) Database
Task 45

In European projects on Solar District Heating (SDH) a database for this specific type of systems has been made. 

Websites

Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN)
Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN)
April 2018 - PDF 0.12MB

The Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) is now in operation. This means that the industry members now can present solar collector test and inspection reports from one certification scheme to a certification body from another certification scheme – and obtain certification here – without re-testing of collector and re-inspection production facilities.

www.GSCN.SOLAR

Global Solar Certification Network Working Rules
A set of documents giving the rules and procedures for the Global Solar Certification Network
April 2018
By: Harald Drück, Jan Erik Nielsen, Eileen Prado, Jaime Fernández González-Granda, Les Nelson, Sören Scholz

The working rules are also available from: http://gscn.solar/documents.html

The Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) is now in operation. This means that the industry members now can present solar collector test and inspection reports from one certification scheme to a certification body from another certification scheme – and obtain certification here – without re-testing of collector and re-inspection production facilities.

 

 

Case Study Collection
Task 41
October 2014
By: See each case study
Editor: Karin Kappel, Olaf Bruun Jørgensen, Merete Hoff, Marja Lundgren, Rolf Hagen, Mark Snow, Kelsey Saunders

The Collection of Case Studies include a wide range of new built or retrofitted building types such as single and multi-family housing, offices, schools and universities, stadiums, culture buildings, etc. The case studies include active solar (photovoltaic and solar thermal) and passive solar. More than 230 case studies have been proposed and evaluated by a broad range of trained architects from universities, research institutes, dissemination organisations and professional practices. 50 projects from 11 countries have been selected to the Collection of Case Studies.

Innovative solar products for architectural integration
Task 51
June 2013
By: Maria Cristina Munari Probst, Christian Roecker, Laurent Deschamps (EPFL-LESO). Products updates June 2013 - June 2017: Pietro Florio, Maria Cristina Munari Probst.
Publisher: IEA SHC

This website shows in an attractive way the innovative/inspiring solar products for building integration now available on the market. The website is dedicated to architects and has three sections: photovoltaic, solar thermal and hybrid systems. By choosing a specific technology and integration approach (roof integration, facade integration, balcony etc) the user receives a selection of appropriate products, presented in the form of virtual A4 sheets. These sheets include dedicated information, contact details and pictures, both of the product alone and in situation on buildings. The website was developed by Task 41, Subtask A, and will continue to be updated within Subtask D in Task 51.

A Web-Based Expert System for Energy Efficiency in the Food Industry
Task 49
January 2013
By: Hans Schnitzer
Publisher: European Roundtable for Cleaner Productions and Consumption, Istanbul, June 2013
Innovative solar products for architectural integration
Task 41 Subtask A: Criteria for Architectural Integration
September 2012
By: MariaCristina Munari Probst, Christian Roecker, Laurent Deschamps (EPFL-LESO)

This website shows in an attractive way the innovative/inspiring solar products for building integration now available on the market. The website is dedicated to architects and has three sections: photovoltaic, solar thermal and hybrid systems. By choosing a specific technology and integration approach (roof integration, façade integration, balcony…) the user receives a selection of appropriate products, presented in the form of virtual A4 sheets. These sheets include dedicated information, contact details and pictures, both of the product alone and in situation on buildings.

Solar Dataset
Task36: United Nations Environment Programme
October 2011

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is hosting an online guide that ISES developed together with UNEP and partners from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the State University of New York at Albany. This guide helps users make an educated decision when deciding which solar dataset to use for a specific application and/or at a specific location. Knowledge of solar energy resources is essential for the planning and operation of solar energy systems. Different organisations provide several autonomous solar data covering various spatial and temporal periods with various resolutions. Solar data sets differ in spatial and temporal resolution, time period covered, and methodology used. Some of these datasets are available for free, while some are not, and they all may provide varying results. As a result, most users cannot verify the suitability of a given solar dataset or map for a specific application. This can lead users to abandon their search or make non-appropriate use of the information. This simple guide tool was developed to help alleviate this problem. The online user-friendly guide helps expert and non-expert users to decide which solar resource data sets are the most appropriate depending on a type of application that the user is interested in and the location. The programme relates information back to two information tables: one related to a compilation of a selection of existing satellite based solar datasets and their metadata and the other defines specific requirements a dataset should meet for specific solar application.

Solar Dataset
Task46: United Nations Environmental Programme
October 2011

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is hosting an online guide that ISES developed together with UNEP and partners from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the State University of New York at Albany. This guide helps users make an educated decision when deciding which solar dataset to use for a specific application and/or at a specific location. Knowledge of solar energy resources is essential for the planning and operation of solar energy systems. Different organisations provide several autonomous solar data covering various spatial and temporal periods with various resolutions. Solar data sets differ in spatial and temporal resolution, time period covered, and methodology used. Some of these datasets are available for free, while some are not, and they all may provide varying results. As a result, most users cannot verify the suitability of a given solar dataset or map for a specific application. This can lead users to abandon their search or make non-appropriate use of the information. This simple guide tool was developed to help alleviate this problem. The online user-friendly guide helps expert and non-expert users to decide which solar resource data sets are the most appropriate depending on a type of application that the user is interested in and the location. The programme relates information back to two information tables: one related to a compilation of a selection of existing satellite based solar datasets and their metadata and the other defines specific requirements a dataset should meet for specific solar application.

Net Zero-Energy Buildings – Map of International Projects
Task 40: Map Project
January 2010
By: Task 40

A research group within the IEA’s “Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings” project has analysed and evaluated the conceptual approaches and performance of almost 300 net zero-energy and energy-plus buildings worldwide. This Google Maps view presents and provides links for sample projects from around the world along with basic project data.

SHIP Database on Existing Applications of Solar Heat Integration in Industrial Processes
Task 33

The Solar Heat for Industrial Processes – SHIP Database has been created within the framework of IEA SHC Task 49. This online database contains a worldwide overview on existing solar thermal plants which provide thermal energy for production processes for different industry sectors. Each plant description contains a number of informations about e.g. the size of the collector field, collector technology or integration point in the production process.

Software

Levelized Cost of Heat (LCoH) Tool
November 2018 - XLS 0.25MB
Publisher: Task 54

The Task 54 LCoH-Tool provides an easy-to-use method for calculating the Levelized Cost of Heat (LCoH) of solar thermal systems and also other heating systems. The LCoH-Tool can be used to assess different strategies for cost reduction regarding their effects on the heat cost for the end-consumers.

Spreadsheet: Net ZEB Evaluation Tool
Task 40: Excel Spreadsheet
November 2012
By: Annamaria Belleri, Assunta Napolitano
The Net ZEB evaluation tool is an excel-based tool that enables energy balance, operating cost and load match index calculation for selected definition. It aims at evaluating solutions adopted in new building design with respect to different Net ZEB definitions (for building designers), assessing the balance in monitored buildings (for energy managers), and assisting the upcoming implementation process of Net ZEBs within the national normative framework (for decision makers).
LCA Task 48 Method Tool
Task 48 - Software

The LCA Method Tool is a tool for applying the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is a technique for assessing the energy and environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product’s life cycle from cradle to grave. LCA Method Tool can be used to create life cycle energy and environmental balances of SHC systems, to carry out simplified LCAs, and to compare the SHC systems with conventional ones.

Data on specific energy and environmental impacts of different components of SHC and conventional systems are provided with the tool. LCA Method Tool can easily be expanded with the life cycle data of new components or updated with new life cycle data for the existing components.

The visualization approach of the tool enables users to build the SHC system model by using a clear and transparent structure. Input data, specific impacts, total impacts are reported in separate worksheets; therefore, each worksheet can be easily consulted or compiled. The LCA results are displayed both in tables and in figures and are referred both to specific life cycle steps (manufacturing, operation and end-of-life steps) and to the total life cycle.

The tool is developed in xls format and contains the following worksheets:

  • Index;
  • SHC system;
  • Conventional system;
  • Specific impacts SHC system;
  • Specific impacts conventional system;
  • Calculation (hidden sheet used to make calculations);
  • Total impacts SHC system;
  • Total impacts conventional system;
  • Impacts comparison;
  • Payback indices.

The tool can be used only for academic and research activities.

The LCA method tool can be downloaded here.

4 examples can be found here.

PISTACHE Tool (Presizing tool for solar cooling, heating and domestic hot water production systems)
Task 48

The PISTACHE software is a tool to pre-size and evaluate the performances of solar installation for cooling, heating and domestic hot water preparation, with or without energy back-up system.

The tool aims to realize easy and quick calculation of solar installation for cooling, heating and DHW production. It helps the user to pre-size the installation and provides energy balance and annual performance indicators.
 
The tool is composed of a user interface to upload an input file, to fill the parameter and to choose the main component characteristics. The tool also includes the calculation tables, the material databases and a step by step help file.

To use PISTACHE, you need to get annual hourly data with meteorological data of the concerned site, cooling and heating loads and the net domestic hot water demand. The data must be provided in a text file with a specific format; the format is given in the step by step help of the software.

PISTACHE distribution is free of charge. It has been developped by TECSOL and the CEA at INES in the MeGaPICS project, partly financed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) in the framework of the HABISOL program.
To get more information, go directly to the following link: http://e-learning.ines-solaire.org/course/view.php?id=327&lang=en

Technical and Economic Key Figures Tool
Task 48 - Software

This Excel tool is permitting to go for an appropriate evaluation procedure for the technical and economic performance assessment of large systems is set up and tested with real cases.

It delivers the basis for a comparable assessment of the installed plants independently of installation site and the specific boundary conditions. Beside, a reflection will be carried out on minimum economical ratios to estimate the competitiveness of solar cooling against concurrent technologies.

 

The tool can be found here and a short description on its content is available here.

In addition of using this tool and for further information on the methodology, it is advised to read the Task 48 B7 final report on Collection of criteria to quantify the quality and cost competitiveness for solar cooling systems