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.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Steinfeld, A. , and Meier, A. , 2004, “ Solar Fuels and Materials,” Encyclopedia of Energy, Vol. 15, C. Cleveland , ed., Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Kuhn, P. , and Hunt, A. , 1991, “ A New Solar Simulator to Study High Temperature Solid-State Reactions With Highly Concentrated Radiation,” Sol. Energy Mater., 24(1–2), pp. 742–750. [CrossRef]
Hirsch, D. , Zedtwitz, P. V. , Osinga, T. , Kinamore, J. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2003, “ A New 75 kW High-Flux Solar Simulator for High-Temperature Thermal and Thermochemical Research,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 125(1), pp. 117–120. [CrossRef]
Petrasch, J. , Coray, P. , Meier, A. , Brack, M. , Häberling, P. , Wuillemin, D. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2007, “ A Novel 50 kW 11,000 Suns High-Flux Solar Simulator,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 129(4), pp. 405–411. [CrossRef]
Dibowski, H. G. , 2013, “ High-Flux Solar Furnace and Xenon-High-Flux Solar Simulator,” DLR–Institute of Solar Research, Köln, Germany
Krueger, K. R. , Davidson, J. H. , and Lipinski, W. , 2011, “ Design of a New 45 kWe High-Flux Solar Simulator for High-Temperature Solar Thermal and Thermochemical Research,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 133(1), p. 011013. [CrossRef]
Krueger, K. R. , Lipinski, W. , and Davidson, J. H. , 2013, “ Operational Performance of the University of Minnesota 45 kWe High-Flux Solar Simulator,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 135(4), p. 044501. [CrossRef]
Sarwar, J. , Georgakis, G. , LaChance, R. , and Ozalp, N. , 2014, “ Description and Characterization of an Adjustable Flux Solar Simulator for Solar Thermal, Thermochemical and Photovoltaic Applications,” Sol. Energy, 100(2), pp. 179–194. [CrossRef]
Codd, D. S. , Carlson, A. , Rees, J. , and Slocum, A. H. , 2010, “ A Low Cost High Flux Solar Simulator,” Sol. Energy, 84(12), pp. 2202–2212. [CrossRef]
Lambda Research, 2011, “ Trace Pro 7.0,” Lambda Research Corp., Littleton, MA.
Li, Q. , 2011, “ Preliminary Study on Light Source of High Irradiance Solar Simulator,” Master's thesis, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.
Bader, R. , Barbato, M. , Pedretti, A. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2010, “ An Air-Based Cavity Receiver for Solar Trough Concentrators,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 132(3), p. 031017. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
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)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Effects of truncation diameters and angles on the optical performance

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
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



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In