Leveraging over 40 years of experience in light source and power supply design, Newports Oriel® brand is proud to introduce the latest innovation in solar simulators the Oriel Sol3A Class AAA Solar Simulator family.All Oriel Sol3A simulators are certified to IEC 60904-9 Edition 2 (2007), JIS C 8912, and ASTM E 927-05 standards for Spectral Match, Non-Uniformity of Irradiance, and Temporal Instability of Irradiance. By convention, Class AAA is reported with the first letter representing Spectral performance, the second letter Uniformity of Irradiance, and the third letter Temporal Stability. The Oriel Sol3A simulators all use a single lamp design to meet not one or two, but all three performance criteria without compromising the 1 Sun output power, providing true Class AAA performance. Sol3A also integrates a partial sun attenuating device to allow easy variation of the output from .2 - 1.0suns with the simple turn of a knob. The Oriel Sol3A uses a black non-reflective finish to minimize stray light, incorporates captive screws for all panels requiring user access to facilitate lamp replacement, alignment, and filter changes, and incorporates safety interlocks to prevent inadvertent exposure to UV light. The Oriel Sol3A rugged design is backed by the Newport Corporation's world wide organization.
Photovoltaic (PV) cell research and manufacturing are evolving rapidly, with new technologies like thin film processes, tandem junction and multi-junction cells, organic thin films and dye sensitized cells all requiring careful evaluation of their performance. A solar simulator is measured as class A, B, or C for Spectral Match, Non-Uniformity of Irradiance, and Temporal Instability of Irradiance. The Sol3A solar simulators have been designed to meet Class A performance for all 3 of the test requirements, Spectral Match, Non-Uniformity of Irradiance, and Temporal Instability of Irradiance as called out by IEC 60904-9 Edition 2 (2007) edition, JIS C 8912, and ASTM E 927-05.By ensuring measurement uniformity that allows results comparability and traceability, Class AAA systems reduce binning variability of photovoltaic cell testing as compared to so called Class A, Class B or non-classified sources. This performance consistency allows for precise comparison of performance data for researchers engaged in developing novel solar materials.Newport Corporation puts each Oriel Sol3A through rigorous testing for all 3 standards (IEC, STM, and JIS) to insure compliance and supplies a certificate of calibration for all three standards.The integrated attenuator allows for simple variation of the output to facilitate response linearity studies, with the ability to vary the output from 0.2 to 1.0 sun at the turn of a knob, without affecting the spectral response or degrading the lamp life.
Photovoltaic standards mandate that Class AAA solar simulators meet demanding requirements in three key performance areas: spectral match to the solar spectrum, spatial non-uniformity of irradiance, and temporal instability of irradiance. There are three standards that define solar simulator performance.
The standards define the spectral match of a solar simulator as a percentage of the integrated intensity in 6 spectral ranges (listed in Table 2). Any deviation from the specified percentages must then lie within a range that determines the class of the simulator. For Class AAA, this range is 0.75 to 1.25 times the ideal percentage.
The irradiance uniformity over the work area is the most difficult Class AAA requirement to achieve and maintain. Hot spots can lead to significant errors in measured cell efficiency and can cause inaccurate binning of cells. The Class AAA spatial non-uniformity performance standard is designed to minimize the impact of hot spots and has a very stringent requirement of ≤2%. The plot below shows the uniformity of the irradiance across a typical simulator working area. Each unit will come with a plot of irradiance non-uniformity. The working distance ranges for each simulator are listed in Table 3.
Temporal Instability is the third performance parameter of Class AAA standards. It requires that the output light be stable over time in order to ensure that the lamp fluctuations do not distort the measurement of solar cell efficiency. Oriels Sol3A easily meets the requirements for temporal instability as defined by the IEC, ASTM, and JIS standards. The IEC 60904-9 (2007) has the most stringent requirements for short term instability with a maximum allowable level of 0.5%. Figure 4 shows a typical instability response for an Oriel Sol3A utilizing a 50 millisecond data acquisition time.
The illuminator housing provides a safe enclosure for the lamp. Its powder coated flat black finish provides a durable surface that also minimizes stray light. It is equipped with safety interlock systems to ensure operator and system safety. Panels containing user serviceable components use captive screws that require no tools for ease of removal and replacement. Integral fan(s) provide forced air-cooling to maintain optimal lamp, optics and housing temperature. The Sol3A housing utilizes a design which allows the head orientation to produce a downward, sideways or upwards facing beam on the 2x2 or 4x4 models. Contact your Sales Engineer for details.
A Variable Aperture feature is integrated into all Sol3A simulators that provides user variable partial sun illumination capability. The range of attenuation is from 0.25 - 1Sun. Uniformity at partial illumination maintains a minimum Class B uniformity per the IEC, JIS, and ASTM standards. The simple to use dial control provides infinte control of attenuation. Spectral performance and temporal stability maintain Class A performance at any attenuation..
The Oriel Sol3A Solar Simulator includes an upgraded shutter for production-environment operation. The newly designed shutter for the Class AAA systems is a rugged, single-blade shutter designed for >1 million cycles. Historically, our real-world performance has exceeded 10 million cycles on units in the field for many years. The shutter has a minimum exposure time of 200 ms and can be controlled via a contact closure or logic level input, or a convenient push-button switch on the illuminator housing.
The Oriel Sol3A Solar Simulator source is a CW system. This enables testing of all cell materials unlike flash-lamp based systems that are limited by the response time of the material allowing the cell to be soaked at a constant light level prior to testing. The lamp is an ozone-free xenon short arc lamp. We certify each source with the supplied lamp. The lamp is certified to meet the spectral performance for 1000hours, though the lamp may continue to function for up to 2000 hours. For continuous production environments, we suggest purchasing replacement lamps and an alignment palette to ensure Class AAA compliance as lamps are replaced.
The combination of lamp and air mass filter produces the characteristic Class AAA spectra. Our Air Mass 1.5G Filter retains its optical properties under the conditions encountered without degradation of the filter. The filter provided with the 94123A-CPV meets either AM 1.5G or AM 1.0D spectral output standards.
The Oriel regulated power supply incorporates over 40 years of experience in high voltage power supply design to provide constant electrical power to the xenon lamp. The power supply is CE compliant and features universal AC mains operation for use anywhere in the world. Lamp usage can be monitored in accumulated hours from the power supply, because it is important to replace the lamp at the end of its rated life to maintain the minimum 1 sun output and spectral characteristics. The lamps output will significantly decrease and change spectrally with continued use beyond its rated life.
Oriel Sol3A Solar Simulators maintain Class AAA compliance during the rated performance lifetime of the lamp. When the lamp is replaced, the instrument should be realigned to maintain Class AAA compliance. Irradiance uniformity is the most difficult Class AAA requirement to meet and maintain. In order to facilitate the measurements and adjustments necessary to maintain Class A uniformity, the Newport uniformity measurement tool Uniformity Measurement Tool can be used to perform an automated test after lamp alignment following installation or replacement. The use of this tool can significantly reduce the time and effort required to maintain the Sol3A Solar Simulator within Class AAA specifications. * Please contact a Sales Engineer for details.