Next-generation light sources for solar simulators

Renseignements sur le financement
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Type de subvention: Programme de subventions d'engagement partenariat
  • Année: 2013/14
  • Financement total: $25,000
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Sommaire du projet

Photovoltaic (PV) cell research and manufacturing are rapidly evolving in Ontario. Emerging technologies such as multi-junction cells, organic thin films, and dye-sensitized solar cells all require careful evaluation of their performance. When assessing the performance and verifying the output of solar panels and PV devices, a solar simulator is a requisite piece of equipment. The solar simulator uses a single arc lamp to produce light that has a spectral match, uniformity of irradiance, and temporal stability equivalent to sunlight at high noon on the summer solstice. These traditional lamps can be attenuated to produce outputs from 0.2 - 1.0 suns with the simple turn of a knob. Limitations with these light sources may include: a) short lifetimes (~200 hrs), b) inability to tune spectral output, and c) high power demands and warm-up times necessary to match the solar spectrum.This proposal seeks to address these concerns by developing a new solar simulating light source based on the growing volume of LED (light-emitting diode) technology. LEDs have much better efficiencies and longevity (~50,000 hrs) when compared to other standard light sources, and they have the added advantage of being tuneable with lower thermal outputs. Specifically, this project seeks to design a prototype light source that uses an array of LEDs to produce high quality light that matches the output of the sun.