How to Design and Simulate Solar Thermal Systems with TSOL Pro 5.0
Solar thermal systems are a great way to harness the power of the sun and reduce your energy bills. But how do you design and simulate a solar thermal system that meets your needs and expectations? That’s where TSOL Pro 5.0 comes in.
TSOL Pro 5.0 is a dynamic simulation program for the design, optimization and calculation of solar thermal systems. It can help you plan and design solar thermal systems for domestic water heating, heating support, swimming pools, process heat and more. You can choose from a large selection of predefined system configurations or create your own custom system. You can also dimension storage and collector arrays, calculate the solar yield and efficiency, and determine the economic feasibility of your project.
In this article, we will show you how to use TSOL Pro 5.0 to design and simulate a solar thermal system for domestic water heating. We will cover the following steps:
- Choosing a location and consumption profile
- Selecting a system configuration
- Adjusting the system parameters
- Running the simulation
- Analyzing the results
Choosing a location and consumption profile
The first step is to choose a location for your solar thermal system. TSOL Pro 5.0 has a database of more than 8,000 locations worldwide with climate data such as solar radiation, ambient temperature, wind speed and humidity. You can select a location from the list or enter your own coordinates.
The next step is to choose a consumption profile for your domestic water heating. TSOL Pro 5.0 has a database of more than 100 load profiles for different types of buildings, such as single-family houses, multi-family houses, hotels, industrial buildings, etc. You can select a load profile from the list or enter your own values for hot water demand, cold water temperature and hot water temperature.
Selecting a system configuration
The second step is to select a system configuration for your solar thermal system. TSOL Pro 5.0 has a database of more than 4,000 collectors (flat plate collectors, tube collectors, air collectors), 5,000 heat generators (condensing boilers, wood boilers, pellet boilers, district heating, etc.) and 600 storage tanks (combination and buffer storage, monovalent, bivalent, etc.). You can choose from a large number of predefined system configurations or create your own custom system.
For this example, we will choose a system configuration with two flat plate collectors connected in series to a combination storage tank with an auxiliary gas boiler. You can see the schematic diagram of the system on the screen.
Adjusting the system parameters
The third step is to adjust the system parameters according to your preferences and requirements. You can change the collector area, tilt angle, orientation, piping losses, pump power, storage volume, heat exchanger type and size, auxiliary heater type and capacity, controller settings and more.
TSOL Pro 5.0 also has a design assistant that can help you with the dimensioning of the system components. It can suggest optimal values for the collector area and storage volume based on your target variables such as efficiency, solar fraction, additional energy and solar yield.
For this example, we will use the design assistant to find the optimal collector area and storage volume for our system configuration. We will set our target variables as follows:
- Efficiency: at least 40%
- Solar fraction: at least 50%
- Additional energy: less than 1 MWh/year
- Solar yield: as high as possible
The design assistant will then run a parameter variation and show us the results in a table and a graph. We can see that the optimal values for our system are:
- Collector area: 4 m
- Storage volume: 300 L
Running the simulation
The fourth step is to run the simulation of our solar thermal system. TSOL