Publication | Reports | Potentiale, Bioenergiesysteme, Logistik

Efficient Gathering, Storing, Distributing and Validation of Data

Lukas Feierl, Sabine Putz, Viktor Unterberger, Mohamad S. Mortada, Yuvaraj Pandian, Adam R. Jensen, Thomas Natiesta, Stefan Mehnert, Daniel Tschopp, Philip Ohnewein

Published 2024

Citation: Feierl L, Putz S, Unterberger V, Mortada M.S, Pandian Y, Jensen A.R, Natiesta T, Mehnert S, Tschopp D, Ohnewein P. Efficient Gathering, Storing, Distributing and Validation of Data. This is a report from SHC Task 68: Efficient Solar District Heating and work performed in Subtask B: Data Preparation & Utilization. Published: 24.01.2024. Report number, DOI: 10.18777/ieashc-task68-2024-0001.


Solar thermal plants have proven to be a successful player in providing heat for district heating networks. However, to ensure the efficient operation of such plants and to achieve optimal coordination with other heat generation units, thorough monitoring, quality control, and system control are required. These tasks strongly depend on accessible and reliable measurement data, which are often unavailable.

Thus, this report focuses on efficient data gathering, storage, distribution, and validation, covering data
management topics- from sensor selection to permanent data storage. The report is mainly targeted at system designers and plant operators, aiming to provide checklists and recommendations on these topics.

The report considers a general solar district heating plant, as depicted by IEA SHC Task 55  – including a collector field, heat storage, and heating center (including a biomass boiler, heat pump, and other auxiliary heating) up to the interface to the district heating network. The topics are described on a summary level of detail while referring the reader to individual articles in case more information is needed. In addition, research groups may use this report to get an overview of data management in the solar-thermal field and identify related work.

The work consists of five sections: The Required Data section lists recommended measurements and discusses meta information required to interpret the data successfully. The Data Gathering section provides recommendations for data logging – e.g., sampling rate, encoding, and formatting. The Data-Distribution section shows proven examples of architectures for collecting and distributing data. Furthermore, the Data Storage section describes what data storage technologies (e.g., CSV files or relational databases) are currently used. The section also discusses the experiences, advantages, and challenges of the respective technologies. Finally, the Data Validation section lists common data-validation procedures that can be applied to solar-thermal data and links to open-source implementations where available.

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