Research Papers

Design and Characterization of a 7.2 kW Solar Simulator

[+] Author and Article Information
Antoine Boubault, Julius Yellowhair

Sandia National Laboratories,
P.O. Box 5800, MS-1127,
Albuquerque, NM 87185-1127

Clifford K. Ho

Sandia National Laboratories,
P.O. Box 5800, MS-1127,
Albuquerque, NM 87185-1127
e-mail: ckho@sandia.gov

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received December 30, 2015; final manuscript received March 22, 2017; published online April 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Philippe Blanc. The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 139(3), 031012 (Apr 25, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1457; doi: 10.1115/1.4036411 History: Received December 30, 2015; Revised March 22, 2017

A 7.2 kW (electric input) solar simulator was designed in order to perform accelerated testing on absorber materials for concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. computer-aided design (cad) software integrating a ray-tracing tool was used to select appropriate components and optimize their positioning in order to achieve the desired concentration. The simulator comprises four identical units, each made out of an ellipsoidal reflector, a metal halide lamp, and an adjustable holding system. A single unit was characterized and shows an experimental average irradiance of 257 kW m−2 on a 25.4 mm (1 in) diameter spot. Shape, spot size, and average irradiance are in good agreement with the model predictions, provided the emitting arc element model is realistic. The innovative four-lamp solar simulator potentially demonstrates peak irradiance of 1140 kW m−2 and average irradiance of 878 kW m−2 over a 25.4 mm diameter area. The electric-to-radiative efficiency is about 0.86. The costs per radiative and electric watt are calculated at $2.31 W−1 and $1.99 W−1, respectively. An upgraded installation including a sturdier structure, computer-controlled lamps, a more reliable lamp holding system, and safety equipment yields a cost per electric watt of about $3.60 W−1 excluding labor costs.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Design , Solar energy , Metals
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Fig. 1

Ray optical paths for different source locations. F1 and F2 are the two focal points of the ellipse. Point V is defined as the vertex of the reflector. The distance between F1 and F2 is defined as the interfocal length.

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Fig. 2

Spectral hemispherical reflectivity of silver [9]

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Fig. 3

Spectral intensity of typical Xenon [10] and metal halide arcs (OSRAM data for HMI 2500 W/SE XS) compared to the solar spectrum [11]. The data are normalized to have an average value equal to 1.

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Fig. 4

HMI 1800 W/SE XS metal halide lamp. Total length: ∼200 mm.

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Fig. 5

Optiforms E813-7 reflector with HMI 1800 W/SE XS lamp

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Fig. 6

Four-lamp solar simulator design (upgraded structure)

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Fig. 7

Lamp/reflector assembly concentrating on a coupon

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Fig. 8

Incident flux distribution for one lamp-reflector unit in the nominal configuration (F1S = 0 and F1T = 812.8 mm)

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Fig. 9

Incident flux distribution for one lamp-reflector unit tilted at 31.0 deg (located at top of flux map), in the nominal configuration (F1S = 0 and F1T = 812.8 mm)

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Fig. 10

Incident flux distribution for four lamp-reflector units in the nominal configuration (F1S = 0 and F1T = 812.8 mm)

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Fig. 11

Kendall radiometer mounted on a holding system for irradiance calibration measurement

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Fig. 12

Flux mapping with a camera and a white board at 30 deg tilt angle

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Fig. 13

Simulated and experimental peak and average irradiance over a 25.4 mm (1 in) diameter disk for several focus-to-target distances. The nominal configuration is represented by the vertical line.

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Fig. 14

Incident flux distribution at normal incidence (F1S= 0 and F1T= 800 mm) and normal incidence. The grid seen in the image has size equal to 0.5 in × 0.5 in (12.7 mm × 12.7 mm).

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Fig. 15

Slice plots of the simulated and experimental irradiance depending on the arc diameter (F1S= 0 and F1T= 800 mm)

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Fig. 16

Incident flux distribution with a tilt angle of 30 deg (F1S= 0 and F1T= 800 mm). The grid seen in the image has size equal to 0.5 in × 0.5 in (12.7 mm × 12.7 mm). The lamp unit is located at the top of the flux map.

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Fig. 17

Slice plots of the experimental (experiment) and predicted (model) irradiance for a 30 deg tilted reflector and arc diameter of 6 mm (F1S = 0 and F1T = 800 mm)

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Fig. 18

Combined incident flux distribution from experimental results of four identical lamp/reflector units (F1S = 0 and F1T= 800 mm). The grid seen in the image has size equal to 0.5 in × 0.5 in (12.7 mm × 12.7 mm).

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Fig. 19

Slice plots of the combined (experiment) and predicted (model) irradiance for four lamp-reflector units with an arc diameter of 6 mm (F1S= 0 and F1T = 800 mm)

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Fig. 20

Sandia’s 7.2 kWe solar simulator



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