For example here is link to a Xenon lamp solar spectra simulator Xenon lamp AAA Class Solar Simulator. enter image description here

Two spectra are shown in the plot given in the link, one for the AM1.5G reference an other of the solar spectra simulator itself. If one needs to test e.g. an image sensor or a photo-diode signal produced from sunlight in 800 – 1100 nm range what is the benefit of using a solar simulator, since spectra in that band (800 -1000 nm) does not resemble the sunlight spectra at all. Actually it looks like a complete mess after 700 nm, and far from a good fit to the real solar spectra or AM1.5G.

Since other solar simulators I have looked up have a similar spectrum I don’t understand how are they used ? Are they used for testing photo-diodes and image sensors, that is to simulate the signals produced by the certain sunlight spectral bands at all, or I am missing the purpose of solar simulators ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The AM1.5G is the filter you put over the source.! Then 2% error more or less withAAA \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 26 at 0:06

A solar simulator is use to approximate the spectrum of the sun but do so with some control. The biggest reason is if you wanted to simulate cells in all sun conditions, you would have to go to the equator, where the sun is brightest at ~1000W/m^2. A solar simulator allows you to vary the power and take the measurements you need (and you don't have to wait the course of a day either for the sun to dim you can control the lights, or worry about atmospheric conditions.)

When testing satellite solar panels, I used a solar simulator to simulate the power of the sun in space. This ensured that the panels were wired correctly and gave the appropriate output power before sending it up into space. You only need to approximate the spectrum of the sun and get the overall shape right.

I would think more accurate sources are used for photodiode/imagesensors like tunable or uniform light sources.


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