The solar simulator facility is a 'sun-in-a-box', a lab-scale, highly adjustable device that provides concentrated radiation with a spectrum that closely matches that of the sun.
The solar simulator consists of eleven xenon short arc lamps, of 66 kW total power, close-coupled to ellipsoidal aluminium mirrors, that are individually controlled and are able to concentrate the produced radiation on a single spot, with the possibility of operating on two separate spots, where high temperatures can be achieved.
This facility, which is unique in Greece and among a handful worldwide, was developed for the study of candidate materials and process conditions related to solar-thermochemical cycles for water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) splitting for solar fuel generation. The solar simulator is able to achieve temperatures higher than 2000oC in a focal spot of ~60mm diameter and concentrations over 4000 suns.
The solar simulator produces light of similar wavelength and distribution to the solar spectrum and may stand as an "always sunny" test bench, useful in many solar powered applications, allowing experimental tests under a well controlled environment, regardless the weather conditions.
Applications that make use of the solar simulator facility are listed below: