Friday, February 10, 2012

Need help with sun simulator design

I've been doing a fair bit of solar thermal collector testing over the last couple years.  The way I do that is to wait for good steady sun, and then test the new collector design as well as a known baseline design side by side in the same sun conditions.  This works pretty well, but you have to wait for the sun, and you always have to test a baseline collector along with the new collector to account for sun variations.

To make the testing easier, I've been working on an inexpensive indoor sun simulator.  This gadget uses a few high wattage metal halide lamps (like street lights) to reproduce lighting levels similar to the sun on an up to 2 ft by 4 ft test collector.  This setup is looking pretty good, but I'm having trouble coming up with a reflector design  that puts enough of each lamps light output onto the collector.



So, if you have a minute and want to have a look at what the current sun simulator/reflector look like and pass on any ideas for improvements, I'd appreciate the help.

Details on the sun simulator and reflector ...

Gary

2 comments:

  1. I know squat about optics but perhaps a lense or filter of some sort? I would imagine a filter would decrease light output (I imagine a lense would too) below what you're looking for.

    Just a thought.

    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Gary, have you looked at a fresnel lense? I think that is what spotlights and light houses use to focus the light rays all parallel.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for such a good site!

    Andrew

    ReplyDelete

 
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