Experimental and Numerical Characterization of a New 45 kWel Multisource High-Flux Solar Simulator
The performance of a new high-flux solar simulator consisting of 18 × 2.5 kWel radiation modules has been evaluated. Grayscale images of the radiative flux distribution at the focus are acquired for each module individually using a water-cooled Lambertian target plate and a CCD camera. Raw images are corrected for dark current, normalized by the exposure time and calibrated with local absolute heat flux measurements to produce radiative flux maps with 180 µm resolution. The resulting measured peak flux is 1.0–1.5 ± 0.2 MW m−2 per radiation module and 21.7 ± 2 MW m−2 for the sum of all 18 radiation modules. Integrating the flux distribution for all 18 radiation modules over a circular area of 5 cm diameter yields a mean radiative flux of 3.8 MW m−2 and an incident radiative power of 7.5 kW. A Monte Carlo ray-tracing simulation of the simulator is calibrated with the experimental results. The agreement between experimental and numerical results is characterized in terms of a 4.2% difference in peak flux and correlation coefficients of 0.9990 and 0.9995 for the local and mean radial flux profiles, respectively. The best-fit simulation parameters include the lamp efficiency of 39.4% and the mirror surface error of 0.85 mrad.