Standards for collectors and components in the pipeline
The European Commission has in the White Paper (1997) set the target at 12 % of energy to come from renewable energy sources by 2010, which implies that an increased use of solar thermal systems will be an important contribution. In order to get a wide spreading of solar thermal products with an open European market it is necessary to have harmonised standards for testing and mutual accepted certification procedures. Therefore, a common EU quality label for solar thermal products was established in 2003 (Nielsen, 2003). The mark is a CEN/CENELEC Mark which is called .Solar Keymark. and it is based on testing according to the EN standards for solar collectors (EN 12975) that were introduced in the same period.
Even though the standard for solar collectors (EN 12975) is established it is not yet universal and there are still some conflicts remaining between the standard and national regulations or requirements. To solve the conflicts and break down the barriers for an open market the standard still need to be developed and specified in certain tasks. At the same time new products are introduced at the market which also involves standard development.
One part of the ongoing Intelligent Energy Europe project Solar Keymark II is to coordinate, develop and agree on procedures for development of the EN 12975 standard. The objective is to provide inputs to ongoing and future work of standardisation group CEN TC 312 .Thermal solar systems and components., which do revisions of solar thermal standards. The work has its focus pointed either at the EN 12975 standard or on new standards to be developed covering related products or sub components. In this respect, the input can be divided in three categories.