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Experimental testing method for solar light simulator with an attached evacuated solar collector

Keywords: Solar intensity fluctuations, Solar simulator, Vacuum tube solar collector, Light

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Abstract:

This paper describes a novel solar simulator of high solar irradiation. It consists of an array of 30 halogen lamps of 400W each, covering a gross area of 2.32 m2. A standardized empirical method for solar simulator testing facility based on an experimental performance is presented. A uniform geometrical configuration design for a solar simulator was evaluated by its illuminance distribution to optimize the maximum source-to-target transfer efficiency of irradiative power. Experimental tests were carried out for various distances from the simulator surface. It was determined that the optimal distance between the light surface simulator and the solar collector is about 23 cm at different solar irradiance. The unevenness of solar radiation values were investigated at different points under the simulator facility and the maximum unevenness error percentage was found to be about 9.1%, which is well within the allowable limits of 15% set by British Standards for testing a solar simulator . The performance of an evacuated solar collector with an aperture area of 1.73 m2 to simulate solar insolation during March in the Middle East region was investigated and it was proved that the efficiency of the solar collector was closely correlated with the efficiency data provided by the manufacturer. The design of such a solar light simulator associated with the development of a standardized test procedure can be utilized as a reliable and efficient experimental platform to investigate various solar collectors and materials.

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