A dimensionless coefficient is developed to characterize the level of mixing in solar water storage tanks. The MIX number, based on the height weighted energy, or moment of energy, in the tank, ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 representing a perfectly stratified (unmixed) tank and 1 representing a fully mixed tank. Limiting values are based on theoretical determinations of the maximum and minimum values of the moment of energy in a tank without mixing and a tank with complete mixing, respectively. Use of the new MIX number is illustrated by experimental data obtained in a 372-liter storage tank operated with both a conventional drop-tube inlet and a rigid, porous stratification manifold. The initial tank temperature profile, the temperature of the water entering the tank, and test duration are varied in three testing schemes. Fluid mixing is quantified by measured vertical temperature profiles and the dimensionless MIX number.

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