The Solar Testing and Training Laboratory aims to become a Solar Ratings and Certification Corporation (SRCC) accredited testing laboratory for solar thermal collectors. The laboratory will provide services for manufacturers of solar products seeking SRCC OG-100 certification. Plans are in place to expand the laboratory's testing capabilities into solar photovoltaic and concentrating photovoltaic technologies.
As part of a Capstone senior design project, 11 engineering students, consisting of 1 Systems, 6 Mechanical, and 4 Electrical Engineering majors, were tasked with the responsibility of designing and constructing the equipment necessary to test solar thermal collectors to the SRCC 100 and ISO 9806-1&2 standards. Starting in the fall of 2010, the group of students began studying the test methods outlined in the above standards and began to make preliminary designs. After a trip to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) the designs were modified and finalized. The final design consisted of three mobile testing carts. Construction of the carts is currently underway as is validation of the systems.
Senator Joe Lieberman and former Senator Chris Dodd secured $500,000 for the University of New Haven Solar Testing and Training Lab through the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Senators Lieberman and Dodd directed this funding to the Department of Energy, the agency responsible for implementing the project.
In addition to the funding from the Department of Energy, the University received a $100,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to establish and maintain a training center for solar technologies.