Short-term experimental tests of drain-back solar water heaters are compared to ratings obtained using TRNSYS to determine if computer simulations can effectively replace laboratory thermal ratings of solar domestic hot water heating systems. The effectiveness of TRNSYS in predicting changes in rating due to limited changes in collector area, collector flow rate, recirculation flow rate, storage tank volume, and storage tank design is validated to within ±10 percent. Storage tank design is varied by using a stratification manifold in place of the standard drop tube. Variations in other component sizes and operating factors are based on current industry standards.

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