Description and characterization of adjustable flux solar simulator for solar thermal, thermochemical and photovoltaic applications
Sarwar, Jawad Georgakis, Grigoris LaChance, Robert Ozalp, Nesrin # ×
Solar Energy vol:100 pages:179-194
A high flux solar simulator for indoor performance assessment of systems in solar thermal, thermochemical and high concentration photovoltaic research offers repeatability under controlled climate conditions. This paper presents a new high flux solar simulator where a 7 kW xenon short arc lamp coupled with a truncated ellipsoid reflector is used as the light source. The flux mapping method is used to evaluate performance of this high flux solar simulator on the basis of flux distribution, temporal instability, spatial non-uniformity, peak flux, conversion efficiency and power intercepted on a circular target placed at the focal plane. The input current of the simulator is adjusted in the range of 113–153 A to quantify the maximum and minimum peak flux output per power settings of the solar simulator, which yield different flux distribution at different power level. A theoretical comparative analysis of manufacturer’s sensor scaling factor of the circular foil heat flux gage with literature is performed and an optimum scaling factor of 491.46 kW m−2/mV is selected to relate measured incident flux with CCD (charge-coupled device) camera’s greyscale value of acquired image. It was observed that at an input current of 153 A, the simulator delivers a peak flux of 3583 kW m−2, temporal instability of radiative output less than 3%, and cumulative beam power of 1.642 kW at a circular target radius of 110 mm placed at the focal plane. A conversion efficiency at 153 A and 110 mm radius was determined to be 47%. For a photovoltaic cell size of 1.5 mm radius, the solar simulator provides an average incident flux in the range of 1200–3000 suns with class ‘A’ temporal instability and class ‘B’ spatial non-uniformity. The simulator is capable of adjusting peak flux in the range of 2074–3583 kW m−2 and can produce a theoretical black body stagnation temperature of 1857 K.