Next-Generation, LED-based, Adjustable Spectrum, Pulsed Solar Simulator

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


A key step in the manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules is their final test under simulated solar illumination. Manufacture of modules to produce megawatts of solar-generated power requires accurate and rapid testing of tens of thousands of modules. Solar simulators used to perform this testing are commercially available from numerous solar equipment manufacturers including Spire. In spite of many advances in the performance of these simulators, there still remain numerous areas for improvement. Specifically, the three main areas are higher spectral accuracy, user controllability of the spectrum and the optical spatial uniformity at the test plane, and reduced cost-of ownership, maintenance, and downtime. To address these shortcomings, Spire is proposing to develop a next-generation, pulsed solar simulator based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the irradiance source. By utilizing a modular approach, simulators capable of testing solar modules of virtually any size could be made. The high efficiency, long lifetimes and steadily decreasing costs typical of today