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Testing of combined heating systems for small houses: Improved procedures for whole system test methods: Deliverable 2.3
Institute for Solar Technology SPF, HSR University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland.
Institute for Solar Technology SPF, HSR University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland.
CEA INES, France.
CEA INES, France.
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2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Dynamic system test methods for heating systems were developed and applied by the institutes SERC and SP from Sweden, INES from France and SPF from Switzerland already before the MacSheep project started. These test methods followed the same principle: a complete heating system – including heat generators, storage, control etc., is installed on the test rig; the test rig software and hardware simulates and emulates the heat load for space heating and domestic hot water of a single family house, while the unit under test has to act autonomously to cover the heat demand during a representative test cycle. Within the work package 2 of the MacSheep project these similar – but different – test methods were harmonized and improved. The work undertaken includes: 

• Harmonization of the physical boundaries of the unit under test.

• Harmonization of the boundary conditions of climate and load.

• Definition of an approach to reach identical space heat load in combination with an autonomous control of the space heat distribution by the unit under test.

• Derivation and validation of new six day and a twelve day test profiles for direct extrapolation of test results.


The new harmonized test method combines the advantages of the different methods that existed before the MacSheep project. The new method is a benchmark test, which means that the load for space heating and domestic hot water preparation will be identical for all tested systems, and that the result is representative for the performance of the system over a whole year. Thus, no modelling and simulation of the tested system is needed in order to obtain the benchmark results for a yearly cycle. The method is thus also applicable to products for which simulation models are not available yet.

Some of the advantages of the new whole system test method and performance rating compared to the testing and energy rating of single components are: 

• Interaction between the different components of a heating system, e.g. storage, solar collector circuit, heat pump, control, etc. are included and evaluated in this test.

• Dynamic effects are included and influence the result just as they influence the annual performance in the field.

• Heat losses are influencing the results in a more realistic way, since they are evaluated under "real installed" and representative part-load conditions rather than under single component steady state conditions.


The described method is also suited for the development process of new systems, where it replaces time-consuming and costly field testing with the advantage of a higher accuracy of the measured data (compared to the typically used measurement equipment in field tests) and identical, thus comparable boundary conditions. Thus, the method can be used for system optimization in the test bench under realistic operative conditions, i.e. under relevant operating environment in the lab.


This report describes the physical boundaries of the tested systems, as well as the test procedures and the requirements for both the unit under test and the test facility. The new six day and twelve day test profiles are also described as are the validation results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rapperswil, Switzerland, 2015.
National Category
Civil Engineering
Research subject
Energy, Forests and Built Environments, MacSheep
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-19973OAI: diva2:868615
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-11-11 Last updated: 2015-11-26Bibliographically approved

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