Quality assurance in solar heating and cooling technology


This project is completed and its results are now available.  These have been divided into the following categories:


 The practical approach to quality assurance in solar thermal heating and cooling technology with regards to components and systems is standardisation and testing. It is very important for growth and development that the standards and test methods keep track with recent developments and allow maximum flexibility for future innovations.

Good, operational and generally accepted European Standards are an essential part of the market conditions and the basis for a large and open European market. Standards and pre-Standards are established, but work is still needed in order to keep track with recent technological developments in the direct use of solar thermal energy (i.e. new materials, concentrating devices,..) and in combination with other technologies (cooling, heat pumps,..).

New Member States also bring new opportunities to market development in order to make this development really strong and quality oriented it is eesential that the quality requirements and the public incentives and regulations for solar thermal technologies that rely on them are integrated with and adapted to the current  best practices.

To open the world market for European producers, coordination with activities in the international standardisation is required. Now is the ideal time to break down the barriers given that:

Sufficient experience with the certification process has been gained but updates should be incorporated to make the scheme more flexible and attractive to the industry

The EN 12975 [1] and the CEN/TS 12977 [3] series of product standards are being revised

Innovations and further developments are on the market where investors and consumers need quality standards and harmonised performance indicators to rely on.


The specific tasks of the QAiST project are:

  • Active participation in the revision of EN 12975, including scientific support to the implementation of revision aspects related to new developing products at short and medium term, in order that the standard is not a barrier to development of new technologies.
  • Development of aspects related to solar thermal systems (factory made and custom built) and adaptation of calculation procedures to Energy Labelling according to Mandate 324
  • Give continuity to the Solar Keymark activities, namely the Solar Keymark Network of laboratories and certification bodies
  • Extending Solar Keymark certification activities to new products, actors and countries within Europe
  • Strengthening the quality assurance on laboratory tests through inter laboratory comparisons (Round Robin) and development of guidelines and checklists
  • Identification of need for standardisation for solar thermal systems in association with heat pumps and cooling machines
  • Dissemination of project results


The long term objective of the QAiST project is to prepare the quality assurance framework so that the European solar thermal heating and cooling industry can sustainably contribute to the targets agreed by the Member states (20% of RES by 2020) and become a technological world leader.


Major expected outputs and Results:

  • Clarification on durability and reliability requirements in the existing European standards for solar thermal products
  • Continued assured quality of testing laboratories
  • Harmonised approach on Function & Yield Control for large solar thermal systems
  • Reduced testing costs for solar domestic hot water systems being part of a common “system family”
  • The ultimate goals for the longer term are:
  • Speeding-up of broad market penetration of solar thermal products through the removal of trade barriers and the general acceptance of the Solar Keymark
  • Increase in the share of quality products in the solar thermal market Increase of the uptake of new technologies and stimulation of new collector and system designs and materials  

Project duration: 36 Months (June 2009 - May 2012)






CENER, Spain
CSTB, France
AIT, Austria
LNEG/INETI, Portugal
IPIEO, Poland
ISE, Germany
ISFH, Germany
ITC, Spain
IZES, Germany
PlanEnergi, Denmark
SP, Sweden
TÜV, Germany


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