The steady-state performance test of solar collectors using ANSI/ASHRAE 93-1986 Standard was revised and an automation for the testing was carried out in the present study in order that the test can be easily performed outdoors in areas with variable weather conditions. It was shown that the 95 percent settling time of the collector τ95 can be adopted as the time basis in the selection of steady-state period for the test. To make the best use of the time available for the testing, the steady-state period defined by ANSI/ASHRAE 93-1986 Standard was changed to the τ95 plus five minutes, or ten minutes, whichever is larger. To reduce scatter uncertainty in the test results, the test period for the efficiency calculation was chosen as the segment of the last five minutes in the steady-state period and a steadiness condition defined statistically was adopted. To shorten the time for each test run a PC-based expert testing system, which is completely automatic and requires no operator, was developed in the present study. Using this expert system associated with the modified ANSI/ASHRAE 93-1986 Standard, we can effectively carry out the collector test at variable weather conditions with small scatter uncertainty and can substantially shorten the duration of a test.

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