This paper presents a simplified test method that was developed to allow preconfigured solar domestic hot water systems that use natural convection/thermosyphon heat exchangers to be characterized. The results of this test method produce performance coefficients for simple empirical expressions that describe the fluid flow and heat transfer in the heat-exchange loop. These empirically derived coefficients can be used as an input to a general simulation routine that allows overall system performance to be determined for various loads and climatic conditions. To illustrate the test procedure, results are presented for a typical heat exchanger under a range of operational conditions.

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