IRE-271 Solar Thermal Energy Training System


  • Design and operation of a simple solar thermal system.
  • Determining the net power.
  • Energy balance on the solar collector.
  • Influence of illuminance, angle of incidence and flow rate.
  • Determining efficiency curves.
  • Influence of various absorbing surfaces.


Solar thermal systems convert solar energy into usable thermal energy.

This section of the apparatus allows you to demonstrate solar thermal heating of domestic water in an illustrative manner.

A lighting unit simulates natural solar radiation and allows a range of experiments to be carried out in the laboratory. The light is converted into heat in an absorber and transferred to a heat transfer fluid and the light can also used to charge battery using solar panel. A pump conveys the heat transfer fluid through a hot water tank. The heat is released to the water by an integrated heat exchanger in the tank.

This apparatus can be used to study a variety of angles of incidence and different illuminance. The pre-installed absorber with selective coating can be replaced for a more simple blackened absorber, so as to obtain comparative measurements of collector losses. External heat consumers can be attached to the tank via two connectors.

The apparatus also comes with the solar panel to convert energy of light into electrical energy. The trainer is fitted with sensors to detect the relevant temperatures (collector inlet, collector outlet, ambient air and tank) and the illuminance. The measured values are displayed on the device and can simultaneously be transferred to a PC via USB or Ethernet if the DAQ option is selected (DAQ optional).

Using the PC, the data can be clearly displayed in the software provided and analysed further (optional).


  • Functional demonstration model of a solar thermal system.
  • Lighting unit with virtually infiite intensity control using power of the lamps.
  • Distance and tilt adjustable collector.
  • 2 replaceable absorbers with different coating.
  • Solar circuit with pump and variable flow.
  • Hot water tank with tube coil as heat exchanger and electrical auxiliary heater.
  • Sensors detect temperature and illuminance.
  • Solar panel plate.

Technical Data

Flat collector

  • Tilt angle: -70~+70o
  • Obsorbing surface area: 0.194m2

 Lighting unit

  • Artificial light source, comprising many lamps .
  • Light intensity via ON/OFF type control in 6 selection and adjustable tilt angle control.


  • Adjustable flow: 0~12L/h

 Measuring ranges

  • Temperature: -100~400°C x 5
  • Flow: 0~20L/h
  • Illuminance: 0~1500

Software IRE-271SW (optional)

DAQ software specially designed in National Instrument™, LABVIEW™ environment to measure and calculate the results of apparatus. While using software a set of electronic sensors are included. Software can be run with any Windows™ environment.

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 experimental unit
  • 1 solar plate panel
  • 1 light source
  • 1 absorber unit
  • 1 set of cables
  • 1 instruction manual