A low cost, large area light soaking and testing station

OGULGÖNEN C. G., Kincai S.

3rd Turkish Solar Electricity Conference and Exhibition (SolarTR), Ankara, Turkey, 27 - 29 April 2015, vol.12, pp.1288-1293 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 12
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pssc.201510111
  • City: Ankara
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1288-1293
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Test stations for accelerated aging tests are crucial in the development of commercial solar panel manufacturing technologies. Such test-beds must provide a reasonably uniform flux whose spectral distribution is an acceptable match to the solar spectrum. This work outlines the detailed design on a low cost test system based on metal-halide lamps that can deliver a simulated solar flux of up to 3 suns on a 100 cm by 100 cm square area with an intensity variation of around 15%. A total of 9 metal-halide lamps, each rated at 1000 W, is placed on top an enclosure which has a sample holding table whose distance to the lamps can be adjusted anywhere between 10 cm and 70 cm. A series of fans, blow ambient air over the panels being tested in order to maintain surface temperatures. The system is complemented by the necessary instrumentation to capture IV curves simultaneously for up to 8 solar devices. A model based design strategy is adopted during the construction of the test station in order to predict and optimize the light distribution as well as the thermal behaviour. Sample IV data from commercial thin film Si solar cells are reported to demonstrate the stability of operation. The cost of the entire system is below $ 20,000, with most of the budget going towards the data acquisition hardware. (C) 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim