Article

Solar simulator for concentrator photovoltaic systems

Instituto de Energía Solar, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSI Telecomunicación, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Optics Express (Impact Factor: 3.49). 10/2008; 16(19):14894-901. DOI: 10.1364/OE.16.014894
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A solar simulator for measuring performance of large area concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules is presented. Its illumination system is based on a Xenon flash light and a large area collimator mirror, which simulates natural sun light. Quality requirements imposed by the CPV systems have been characterized: irradiance level and uniformity at the receiver, light collimation and spectral distribution. The simulator allows indoor fast and cost-effective performance characterization and classification of CPV systems at the production line as well as module rating carried out by laboratories.

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Available from: César Domínguez, Oct 03, 2014
    • "To exploit the recent improvements in the development of photovoltaic (PV) cells and new materials for solar applications , it is important to test them both in laboratory and with direct exposure to the sun. The optical characterization of PV cells, optical components, and material samples can be performed using solar simulators [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. For measurements on photovoltaic cells [7] the solar simulator usually needs to be suitably modified from a commercial product in order to reduce the output beam size [8] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Outdoor experimentation of solar cells is essential to maximize their performance and to assess utilization requirements and limits. More generally tests with direct exposure to the sun are useful to understand the behavior of components and new materials for solar applications in real working conditions. Insolation and ambient factors are uncontrollable but can be monitored to know the environmental situation of the solar exposure experiment. A parallel characterization of the photocells can be performed in laboratory under controllable and reproducible conditions. A methodology to execute solar exposure tests is proposed and practically applied on photovoltaic cells for a solar cogeneration system. The cells are measured with concentrated solar light obtained utilizing a large Fresnel lens mounted on a sun tracker. Outdoor measurements monitor the effects of the exposure of two multijunction photovoltaic cells to focused sunlight. The main result is the continuous acquisition of the V - I (voltage-current) curve for the cells in different conditions of solar concentration and temperature of exercise to assess their behavior. The research investigates electrical power extracted, efficiency, temperatures reached, and possible damages of the photovoltaic cell.
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    • "Presently, there are very few solar simulators which fulfill such a technical specification. Some of them are presented in [14]-[16] and their collimation angles range approximately between ±0.3° and ±0.5°. Fig. 1. "
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    ABSTRACT: The continuing development and the increasing diffusion of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems highlight the lack of specific international standards in the CPV power rating and characterization field. Presently, the only reference standard for CPV cells and modules is the IEC 62108, which does not impose minimum requirements for solar trackers and simulators used in the qualification process of CPV modules. Nevertheless, the overall quality of CPV tests is strictly associated to the technical specifications of these devices. The aim of this paper is to define optical and radiometric properties of solar simulators and the pointing accuracy of solar trackers, required for testing CPV devices and rating their performance. The results of experimental analyses on real CPV systems have been reported, highlighting the criticalities of indoor and outdoor CPV characterization. Finally an outdoor light soaking test, executed under MPPT conditions, has been proposed for the qualification process of high concentrating photovoltaic devices.
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    • "Besides, in the case of triple-junction solar cells, three lasers should be used for testing each one of them. Another option is the use of a concentration solar simulator, but these devices are still under development [9]. 2. The use of solar cells inside a concentrator. "
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    ABSTRACT: Accelerated testing is a necessary tool in order to demonstrate the reliability of concentration photovoltaic solar cells, devices which is expected to be working not less than 25 years. Many problems arise when implementing high temperature accelerated testing in this kind of solar cells, because the high light irradiation level, at which they work, is very difficult to achieve inside a climatic chamber. This paper presents a novel accelerated testing method for concentrator solar cells, under simulated electrical working conditions (i.e. forward biasing the solar cells at the equivalent current they would handle at 700 suns), that overcomes some of the limitations found in test these devices inside the chamber. The tracked power of the solar cells to 700×, experiences a degradation of 1.69% after 4232 h, in the 130 °C test, and of 2.20% after 2000 h in the 150 °C one. An additional test has been carried out at 150 °C, increasing the current to that equivalent to 1050 suns. This last test shows a power degradation of 4% for the same time.
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