Research centres and industry need joint calibration facilities and agreed procedures to calibrate sensors which are used for thermal performance testing and for measuring the solar resource. These sensor calibrations lead to the required high measurement accuracy and reliable test results over all European research centres and industry. Only by achieving high accuracy in the European test facilities, innovative products (collectors, receivers, solar sensors, etc.) can be qualified and developed together with industry.


The largest sensitivity on uncertainty of CSP performance testing comes from the direct normal irradiance (DNI) measurement. Accurate solar irradiance measurements with less maintenance-intensive instruments are highly requested by industry and agreed standardized procedures are necessary.


For parabolic troughs, the second largest influence is the uncertainty in heat capacity of the heat transfer fluid. Two major areas are addressed:
Task 1 Standardized calibration of solar irradiance sensors.
• Joint facility to calibrate irradiance sensors with high accuracy
• Development of standardized and accepted procedures for Rotating Shadowband Irradiometers (RSI) calibrations.
Task 2: Calibration facility for heat transfer fluid mass flow sensors and thermal heat capacity.
The accurate knowledge of mass flow rates and thermal heat capacities of the heat transfer media in test facilities is necessary to improve the overall accuracy of thermal performance testing of CSP components (e.g. innovative collector structures, absorber tubes, etc.) Reliable performance figures are the basis for industrial innovation.
• Enhancement of measurement accuracy of heat capacity measurement facility
• Upgrading of heat capacity measurement facility to calibrate mass flow sensors in existing test facilities
• 1 Measurement campaign to increase accuracy at one testing facilities at European research centres.