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Research Papers

Design, Construction, and Characterization of an Adjustable 70 kW High-Flux Solar Simulator

[+] Author and Article Information
Jinliang Xu

State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power
System With Renewable Energy Sources,
North China Electric Power University,
Beijing 102206, China
e-mail: xjl@ncepu.edu.cn

Cheng Tang, Yongpan Cheng, Zijin Li, Hui Cao, Xiongjiang Yu, Yuzhang Li, Yanjuan Wang

The Beijing Key Laboratory of
Multiphase Flow and Heat Transfer,
North China Electric Power University,
Beijing 102206, China

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 12, 2015; final manuscript received March 2, 2016; published online May 25, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Carlos F. M. Coimbra.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(4), 041010 (May 25, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1337; doi: 10.1115/1.4033498 History: Received October 12, 2015; Revised March 02, 2016

The design, construction, and characterization of a solar simulator are reported. The solar simulator consists of an optical system, a power source system, an air cooling system, a control system, and a calibration system. Seven xenon short-arc lamps were used, each consuming 10 kW electricity. The lamps were aligned at the reflector ellipsoidal axis. The stochastic Monte Carlo method analyzed the interactions between light rays and reflector surfaces as well as participating media. The seven lamps have a common focal plane. The focal plane diameters can be changed in the range of 60–120 mm with the lamp module traveling the distance in a range of 0–300 mm. The calibration process established a linear relationship between irradiant fluxes and grayscale values. The measures to reduce irradiant flux error and fluctuations were described. The irradiant flux distribution can be changed by varying the power capacities and/or moving the focal plane locations. The peak fluxes are 1.92, 3.16, and 3.91 MW/m2 for 25%, 50%, and 75% of the full power capacity. The peak flux and temperature exceed 4 MW/m2 and 2300 K, respectively, for the full power capacity. A 8 cm thick refractory brick can be melt in 2 min with the melting temperature of about 2300 K when the solar simulator is operating at 70% of the maximum power capacity.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

The assembled group of seven xenon arc lamps: (a) front view and (b) side view—1: xenon lamp with reflector, 2: experimental cabin, 3: stepping motor, 4: trigger of xenon lamp, 5: permanent seat, and 6: duct of cooling air

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Fig. 2

(a) Photo of the xenon short-arc lamp (OSRAM XBO® 10000 W/HS OFR) and (b) luminous intensity distribution curve (the curve is provided by the OSRAM Corporation, Munich, Germany)

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Fig. 3

A refractory brick is being melt by the solar simulator, the melting temperature of the brick is about 2300 K

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Fig. 4

The xenon arc lamp in the reflector: (a) perpendicular arrangement, (b) aligned arrangement, (c) reflected (concentrated to the focal plane) and nonreflected rays (dispersed to the environment) vector

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Fig. 5

Optical layout of lamps and reflectors: (a) front view, (b) side view, and (c) the ellipse coordinate system

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Fig. 6

Effects of truncation diameters and angles on the optical performance

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Fig. 7

(a) The photo of a reflector before the surface treatment and (b) the photo of a reflector after the surface treatment

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Fig. 8

(a) The spot size on the focal plane was changed by the axial location of the lamp/reflector module and (b) each lamp/reflector module was positioned in a guide rail driven by a stepping motor

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Fig. 9

Focal plane locations dependent on inclination angles: (a) focal plane located at plane I at θ = 15 deg, (b) focal plane located at plane II at θ = 14 deg, and (c) the deviation distance from focal plane I versus inclination angle θ

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Fig. 10

The irradiance fluctuations ratios at 50% of the full power capacity: (a) oscillation in the period of 120–144 s and (b) oscillation in the period of 320–342 s

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Fig. 11

Radiative flux distributions in MW/m2: (a) at 25% of the maximum xenon arc lamp power capacity, (b) at 50% of the maximum xenon arc lamp power capacity, (c) at 75% of the maximum xenon arc lamp power capacity

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