European Solar Thermal Industry Federation

A word from the partners

The ambitious European targets for 2020 require a strong uptake of solar heating and cooling. The potential to cover an important share of the heating and cooling demand is huge. Therefore it is essential to provide to markets, the consumers and public authorities with adequate quality assurance.

The QAiST project provided an invaluable contribution to this goal, by promoting the development of the existing European Standards and the European quality mark for solar thermal – the Solar Keymark - but also by contributing largely to groundbreaking developments in international standardization and certification.

Xavier Noyon
Secretary General
ESTIF - European Solar
Thermal Industry

The QAIST project achieves a huge improvement on the testing methods of the current European Standards. It allows to put in common the extended knowledge of the main European testing labs in the Solar thermal heating and cooling area and to write documents really useful for the industry. The round-robin organized between the 12 main European testing labs allowed to validate the current procedures. The project also improve and settle the testing procedure in new and emerging technologies that could be the future of solar thermal industry. Finally this project allows harmonizing the entire Standard in an international level in order to join the existing EN and ISO testing procedure.

Enric Mateu Serrats
Engineer – Solar Thermal
Energy Department
CENER – National
Renewable Energy Centre

Even if solar thermal heating and cooling is no longer an innovative technology, many actions remain to be done in order to make the solar thermal industry even more competitive.

The QAIST project has contributed to this goal by keeping EN standards and certification schemes up-to-date and improving quality assurance and reliability of thermal solar components and systems.

CSTB, as a research and evaluation centre, will take advantage of the harmonization in testing and certification, as well as of the broad promotion of the quality concept.

Dominique Caccavelli
Head of the RES section
CSTB – Centre Scientifique
et Technique du Bâtiment

Standards and certification are of critical importance for the broader dissemination of solar thermal technologies, to the degree that they enable the objective assessment of the efficiency and quality of the products, thus increasing the confidence of the potential users.

Within this context, the QAiST project provided the opportunity for experts in the field of solar thermal to work together on issues as the adaptation of standards to the current state-of-the art of the involved technologies or the verification of the level of excellence of the testing laboratories through the round-robin test.

Dr. Vassilis Belessiotis
Head of the
Solar & other Energy
Systems Laboratory

Solar thermal industry is a vibrant industry sector constantly improving existing products and / or introducing new ones in order to enter new markets or to supply their customers with new applications. This process requires not only cutting-edge R&D effort – it has to be accompanied by state-of-the-art quality assurance measures, both for single components and whole systems.

The QAiST project brought together leading European solar institutes to support the further development of the solar thermal industry by keeping standards and methods up-to-date with the technological advance and to prepare the framework for quality assurance measures for new solar thermal products and applications.

Franz Helminger
AIT – Austrian Institute of
Technology GmbH

Quality assurance in Solar Heating and Cooling technologies has been a major objective of solar energy European experts in this field since the 90´s. This has materialized into a set of standards (EN 12975; EN 12976; prEN 12977) and a certification scheme – Solar Keymark – supported by its Network of Testing Laboratories, Certification Bodies with the strong support of Industry in a way that may be exemplary to other technologies.

The QAiST project gave, during these three last years, a strong support to the work of experts towards the objective of achieving a framework of Standards and Certification Scheme Rules that will continue to assure the quality of Thermal Solar Systems.

Maria João Carvalho
Senior researcher
LNEG  - Laboratório Nacional de Energia e
Geologia, I.P

Solar heating and cooling has a strong position as a renewable energy source. It is crucial that we get to know and understand the opportunities to improve efficiency of the energy conversion processes.

 The essence of the QAiST project was the Quality Assurance. It gathered international experts and helped to develop an environment to determine the crucial information by tools as round-robin tests and standard development: where we are and where do we go from here.

I believe that the final results of the QAiST project already have a great impact on both the market/manufacturers and the certification/research sides of the industry.

Patryk Hirszler
Research engineer
PIMOT – Automotive
Industry Institute

Bringing such a big group of experts together and having them working on a big number of issues consequently and straightforward for three years was a great success. The project solved lots of problems and by the way established even a more cooperative network of solar thermal experts all over Europe.

From the technical point of view the work done in the project will prove its big impact in the coming years by applying the revised standard, the guidelines and the dissemination materials provided.

Korbinian Kramer
Head of TestLab Solar Thermal Systems,
Fraunhofer ISE 

The QAiST project brought together European experts for solar thermal in a very fruitful and constructive way.

New approaches concerning new techniques and test procedures to assure good quality of products were discussed and evaluated by the partners.

The project had a great accelerating effect in European standardization process for solar thermal related products and serious impact on international standardization.

Carsten Lampe
Head of Test Centre
ISFH – Institut für

Solar thermal heating and cooling are key elements to reach the target proposed by European Commission in 2020 with respect to the renewable energies contribution.

The QAiST project made possible the definition of appropriate requirements and test methods needed to evaluate the performance and to assure quality and safe implementation of recent and upcoming developments in solar thermal collector technology and of emerging application areas of solar thermal energy. The improvement in quality assurance and systems reliability will benefit the solar thermal market and the competitiveness of the European industry..

B. Nicolás Díaz-Chico
Managing Director
ITC – Technological Institute of Canary Island

Within the QAiST project major extensions and improvements of the solar thermal test standards and certification schemes were initiated. Additional to that the 12 participating test labs had the exceptional opportunity to validate and improve their test procedures based on an independent supervised Round Robin test for solar collectors and solar thermal systems.

QAiST was a huge step to provide a reliable basis for further involved certification bodies and test institutes.For customer confidence and marked growth of this highly efficient renewable energy source it is fundamental to assure the proper functioning and long term performance of the installed solar thermal systems. Future work should take the development of appropriate standards for function and yield control into the focus.

Danjana Theis
Head of solar test centre
IZES - Institut für

Important steps forward in international standardization have been taken due to the huge work done by the partners in the QAiST project:

·  European Standards for solar thermal products have been significantly improved and also expanded in order to include new products on the market.

·  The revised EN Standard for testing of solar collectors will be an ISO Standard too; this means that the same test procedures in the near future will be used (almost) all over the world.


These steps are important for the European and world market as they will assist in braking down trade and other barriers to an open market - for the benefit of deployment of quality solar products in Europe and other parts of the world.

Jan Erik Nielsen
Head of Dept

Proven product quality and reliable data on potential savings are prerequisites for a strong development of the Solar thermal market. This is particularly true for new products that are introduced at increasing speed on a market which is becoming more and more global.

In this context QAiST has made a difference. Global harmonization, improved test methods and extended scope of standards and certification schemes has been achieved, partly beyond our most optimistic expectations. I actually believe that Qaist has set an example for future work on Quality assurance in the field of renewables.  It has been a true privilege to be a part of this team!

Peter Kovács
Research Engineer
SP  -Technical Research
Institute of Sweden

We want to thank the commission for the purpose of enabling TÜV Rheinland to participate in this excellent project. It was a great experience to work together with the leading European experts in the field of solar thermal research and testing.

With the new draft for an international collector standard, we’ve made a big step forward towards the chance of an international certification scheme. The QAiST-Project had contributed to display the overall testing quality in Europe and it had shown us the fields for further improvements and work to do.

Ulrich Fritzsche
Director of Global
Competence Center Solar
Thermal Products

TEU  -TÜV Rheinland Energie
und Umwelt GmbH

The major tools to create and improve the quality of solar thermal products are well elaborated standards, a corresponding certification scheme and well established research centres and test laboratories.

The QAiST project added to all the mentioned requirements. The standards could be significantly improved. The certification scheme Solar Keymark and its network have gained a much higher acceptance and influence than before the project and serve as examples for an upcoming global certification scheme. Last but not least the established research and testing centres demonstrated their competence by the outstanding result of the Round Robin test on collectors and systems.

Stephan Fischer
Group leader testing
of Research and Testing
Centre for Thermal Solar
Systems (TZS)

ITW, Universität Stuttgart

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