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Solar simulator for solar dynamic space power system testingPlanned vacuum tank testing of a solar dynamic space power system requires a solar simulator. Several solar simulators were previously built and used for vacuum tank testing of various space systems. However, the apparent solar subtense angle, i.e., the angular size of the apparent sun as viewed from the experiment, of these solar simulators is too large to enable testing of solar dynamic systems. A new design was developed to satisfy the requirements of the solar dynamic testing. This design provides 1.8 kW/m(sup 2) onto a 4.5M diameter test area from a source that subtends only 1 deg, full cone angle. Key features that enable this improved performance are (1) elimination of the collimating mirror commonly used in solar simulators to transform the diverging beam into a parallel beam; (2) a redesigned lamp module that has increased efficiency; and (3) the use of a segmented reflective surface to combine beams from several individual lamp modules at the pseudosun. Each segment of this reflective surface has complex curvature to control the distribution of light. By developing a new solar simulator design for testing of the solar dynamic system instead of modifying current designs, the initial cost was cut in half, the efficiency was increased by 50 percent reducing the operating costs by one-third, and the volume occupied by the solar simulator was reduced by a factor of 10.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jefferies, Kent S.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1993
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:106393
Meeting Information
1994 ASME International Solar Energy Conference(San Francisco, CA)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 585-03-21
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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