The facility is able to conduct tests pertaining to mandatory standards NL EN 12975-1 and NL EN 12975-2. It has been operational since 2011.
The testing facility at the IRI is a big step towards achieving a prosperous solar water heating sector in Lebanon. Especially that it is implemented in a fertile market, with the existence of a financing mechanism, a governmental subsidy, Lebanese mandatory standards and a large-scale awareness campaign for SWHs.
Moreover, the testing facility allows the Lebanese Government to apply the mandatory standards and the SWHs companies to test and improve their products. It also highlights the importance of the set standards and the need for compliance in order to benefit from the support schemes and enter the Lebanese market.
The testing facility for solar collectors was implemented as part of the “Renewable Energy and Energy Saving Applications in the affected Regions of Lebanon via the installation of: Solar Collectors, Lamps of Low Consumption, Testing and Measurements facility of Solar Collectors with Simultaneous Transfer of Know-How” program The program was financed by the Hellenic Aid, jointly managed by the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) and the United Nations Development Programme in Lebanon (UNDP) and implemented by the LCEC.
The testing facility was designed, pre-assembled and commissioned by the Institute for Future Energy Systems, IZES, a German non–profit institute for renewable energy.The next step of is to expand the laboratory so that it can test all types of solar water heaters. According to a consultant report, Mr. Tiago Santos, the facility would need an additional investment of USD 260,000 so that it can start testing all types of solar water heaters including pre-assembled systems (as per mandatory standards NL EN 12976-1, NL EN 12976-2 and NL EN 12976-3). The value would be less, if local skills and parts were used in the construction.