9-13 July 2012
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
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Design, construction and characterization of a steady state solar simulator

Presented by Mr. Thabiso Vincent MTHIMUNYE on 12 Jul 2012 from 11:20 to 11:40
Type: Oral Presentation
Track: Track F - Applied Physics


Photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules are rated at standard test conditions (STC: 1000W/m2 irradiance, 250C temperature and AM1.5 global spectrum). This standard allows the measurement of PV performance only, without the effect of varying the temperature, irradiance and spectrum. Measuring the outdoor performance of photovoltaic cells and modules is important, but it’s unlikely that the outdoor conditions at any instant ever repeat itself. The aim of this study is therefore to design, construct and characterize a solar simulator. A solar simulator is used because it provides illumination that approximates the intensity and spectral distribution of natural sunlight and it also provides a controllable indoor test facility. This simulator is using halogen lamps as the source of light and is used to accurately measure the I-V characteristics of various PV cells and modules under STC. The simulator can also be used to measure the I-V characteristics when the temperature, irradiance and spectrum are varied. The final paper will present the design and a detailed characterization of the simulator. Initial STC measurements of various PV technologies will be presented.






Prof. Edson L. Meyer e-mail:emeyer@ufh.ac.za University of Fort Hare



Primary authors