Solar thermal simulation software has been adapted to current funding applications

Creating an energy label with the new T*SOL 2016. (Photo: Valentin Software)
Creating an energy label with the new T*SOL 2016. (Photo: Valentin Software)

The Berlin company Valentin Software has released a new version of its simulation software T*SOL for solar thermal systems. The new version has been adapted to current funding regulations, enabling it to generate certificates of proof to apply for funding through the KfW as well as the Market Incentive Programme (German: Marktanreizprogramm, MAP). 

T*SOL 2016 enables the user to generate all necessary certificates of proof, for example for the solar coverage rate, to apply for funding through the programmes of the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) as well as the KfW. In order to achieve this, Valentin has increased the number of pre-configured systems in the software by adding equipment such as solar buffer storage units that are connected in series. The component databases have also been updated.

A simulation of a solar energy system is a prerequisite for obtaining funding through the Market Incentive Programme (MAP) for innovative applications such as process heat or multi-family houses, but not for the basic MAP funding for which no simulation is needed. In addition, such a simulation can also be used to provide proof in accordance with public law or KfW certificates. Climate data for the city of Potsdam may be used to generate certificates of proof in accordance with public law. For MAP funding, regional data can also be used.

Printing the energy label yourself

A suitability test for solar simulation programmes was carried out in 2014 as part of the research initiative 'Zukunft Bau' of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, the Sonnenhausinstitut and Econsult. The Solarsimu-EnEV project analysed the dynamic simulation of the thermal behaviour of buildings with high levels of solar thermal coverage.

T*SOL as well as two other programmes, Polysun from Vela Solaris and GetSolar from Hottgenroth Software, are validated simulation programmes for thermal solar installations. 

In addition, T*SOL 2016 can generate a printable composite label for heating systems with auxiliary solar thermal. This enables heating system installers to quickly create the energy label for individual systems that has been mandatory since September 2015. The ErP label can also be calculated using the competing programme Polysun.

Help with planning

The new version of T*SOL is also designed to assist in planning solar thermal systems. It allows many different input parameters (for example collector surface area or storage system sizes) to be configured, and the results of up to six different simulations can also be compared. This helps planners to find the optimal dimensions for individual components in order to maximise the efficiency, yield or economic viability of a system.

Tanja Peschel

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