Solar Simulator Laboratory
Outdoor testing of solar concentrators depends on the season and on the daily weather. The sun intensity in Trondheim during summer time is quite good (often 900 W/M2), as the air is most often clean and dry. The limiting factor is the low number of sun-hours, since we often have cloudy weather and the winter is dark. Heat storages and some heat transfer methods can be tested with artificial heating indoors. For absorber testing, a solar simulator is needed.
An assembly of 7 lamps have been constructed, similar to a setup from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but with stronger lamps:
- R3 Maxi metal halide lamps with HQI-TS 2000 W/D/S bulbs
- The lamps in the hexagonal assembly can be oriented individually
- The whole assembly can be lifted and tilted, to direct the rays at different angles
- 2 KW on each lamps generate a heat, and the lamps are cooled with a fan
A simple cone shaped concentrator can be attached, made of flat MIRO panels (95% reflectance, to provide some reflection effects onto a small area (40 cm diameter). Intensity measurements have been estimated with a thermal method. The intensity is largest at the centre (about 70 kW/m2) and decreases towards the rim (about 50 kW/m2).