Ulster University Logo

Design and commissioning of a virtual image solar simulator for testing thermal collectors

Moss, Roger, Shire, Stan, Eames, Phillip, Henshall, Paul, Hyde, Trevor and Arya, Farid (2018) Design and commissioning of a virtual image solar simulator for testing thermal collectors. Solar Energy, 159 . pp. 234-242. [Journal article]

[img] Text (Open Access funded by EPSRC) - Published Version

URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2017.10.044

DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2017.10.044


A solar simulator has been designed and built for testing prototype (0.5 ×0.5 m) flat plate thermal collectors. An internally reflecting light tube generates multiple virtual images of the four halogen floodlights to ensure uniform illumination. Ray-tracing simulations were used to choose the tube dimensions and maximum allowable clearance. Illumination measurements agree well with these predictions.The visible & near IR spectrum appears to follow a black body curve. In the absence of a “cold sky” IR filter there is a secondary, long wavelength IR spectral component that causes heating of the cover glass on a solar flat plate collector. The cover glass temperature can be maintained at typical outdoor levels using a cooling fan. The design would be well suited to LED illumination.Simulation of solar collector response to this spectrum shows that an efficiency based on pyranometer readings is approximately 1% higher than would be obtained with an AM1.5 spectrum.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Simulator, Spectrum, Collector, Black body
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > School of the Built Environment
Research Institutes and Groups:Built Environment Research Institute > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST)
Built Environment Research Institute
ID Code:39135
Deposited By: Dr Farid Arya
Deposited On:11 Dec 2017 11:43
Last Modified:11 Dec 2017 11:43

Repository Staff Only: item control page