An Introduction to Solar Simulator Devices


Solar simulators are popular in the photovoltaic industry. These devices provide a controlled way to char- acterize and evaluate photovoltaic devices due to the simple problem of the sun being an inconsistent and periodically unavailable optical source. Though solar simulators are used to characterize photovoltaic devices, they themselves may be characterized based on three categories: spectral match, spatial non-uniformity, and temporal instability. Recent developments in this field have implemented LEDs as an optical source for solar simulators, which outperforms the currently popular xenon arc-lamp. The LED-based solar simulator also carries implications of potential usage in a commercial setting to provide buyers with LED lightbulbs closely mimicking natural light. 

Author Biography

Matt Schembri, McMaster University
Engineering Physics, Level 4


L. Edwards and P. Torcellini. A literature review of the effects of natural light on building occupants. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 47, 2002.

ASTM International. Standard specification for solar simulation for photovoltaic testing. 1, 2010.

Neal W.R. Serreze H.B. Linden, K.J. Adjustable spectrum led solar simulator. SPIE Journal, 9003, 2014.

ASTM International. Standard tables for reference solar spectral irradiances: Direct normal and hemispherical on 37 degree tilted surface. n/a, 1, 2012.

A.H. Kitai. Principles of Solar Cells, LEDs, and Diodes. Wiley, 1 edition, 2011.

Gerald; H. Dehmelt Gabrielse. Observation of inhibited sponta- neous emission. Physical Review Letters, 55, 1985.