Welcome to Solar Thermal Research Laboratory (STRL)

The Advanced Glazing System Laboratory (AGSL) started operation in the mid-1980s when it received official University of Waterloo status along with the Solar Thermal Research Laboratory (STRL) and the WATSUN Simulation Laboratory.

The STRL and WATSUN laboratory were already well established under the direction of Professor K.G.T. Hollands (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Adjunct, Mechanical Engineering) and Professor M. Chandrashekar (Systems Design Engineering), respectively. The AGSL was operated by Professor H.F. Sullivan (Professor Emeritus, Adjunct) with day-to-day management by John Wright. Professor Hollands was also responsible for an umbrella group comprised of the three laboratories - the Solar Thermal Engineering Centre (STEC).

STEC was very successful, and initially had an annual budget in the millions of dollars. To its credit, STEC's major accomplishments included such things as the:

  • Micro-flow solar hot water systems

  • WATSUN solar resource assessment software

  • VISION window analysis software

Other research areas include:

  • Solar concentrators
  • Thermal storage
  • Fundamental heat transfer research
  • Passive solar design

In all respects, the Centre excelled.

The AGSL and STRL are still very active. The AGSL is operated by Professor John Wright and the STRL is operated by Professor Michael Collins, both of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering (MME).

Explore this web site and you will discover that there is significant collaboration between the AGSL and the STRL, largely because of common technical content including solar optics and heat transfer. You will also find that there is a significant network of STEC alumni and associates working in related fields (energy-related research, energy efficient building design, solar energy, windows, energy efficient equipment, heat pumps, energy policy, software development, etc.) - in both the public and private sectors.

Meet our people