Solar simulator for photovoltaic modules

The solar simulator measures the electrical power of photovoltaic modules and systems. The tests carried out here make it possible to compare different technologies under consistent and controllable conditions and to check the manufacturer’s specifications on guaranteed performance. The flash solar simulator (class “AAA” according to international standard IEC 60904-9) is equipped with a temperature control system for the test conditions and accurately reproduces the light spectrum of the sun. The simulator allows for an accurate measurement of the I-V characteristic (current-voltage curve) of a photovoltaic module under standard conditions (according to IEC 61215 and 61646). This enables the performance of the module to be tested under different irradiation conditions (0–1000 W/m2) and temperature conditions (5–75 °C) and its temperature coefficient to be determined.

In order to expand the test capabilities for photovoltaic modules, the measurements of the solar simulator can be combined with accelerated life tests in a climate chamber. The climate chamber (1.3 x 1.5 x 2.2 m) simulates the environmental conditions to which a photovoltaic module is exposed during its useful life and which accelerate the natural aging process. This makes it possible to determine loss of performance accurately as the service life of the module increases. The test cycles work with a wide variety of temperature and humidity combinations. The climate chamber has space for up to ten standard photovoltaic modules per test series.

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