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Solar simulator enhances testing and training

Researcher next to the solar simulator
Published Feb 13, 2024

The sun has reached KTH in the form of a second test rig for sunlight simulation. The new solar simulator will transform the landscape of PV solar energy testing and training.

The Solar Simulator, also known as the Large Areas Solar Simulator (LASS), replicates natural sunlight with high accuracy. It provides continuous illumination of 1 to 3 Sun equivalents across a 2 square meter area. This allows researchers and students to conduct testing and training indoors, unfettered by weather constraints or time of day.

“The Solar Simulator opens up new avenues for research and education in solar energy. With its simulation capabilities, we can explore the potential of various solar technologies without being limited by external factors like weather or location. It’s a new capability and opportunity for our department,“ says Taras Koturbash, researcher at the Department of Energy Technology.

At its core, the Solar Simulator aims to offer a controlled environment for exploring the potential of various solar technologies. It caters to a wide range of photosensitive materials and processes, including photovoltaics, solar thermal technologies, coatings, and more. Its versatility extends beyond research and development, serving as an invaluable educational tool for students and professionals alike.

One notable initiative is the development of Solarlabs  – a remote lab exercise designed to integrate seamlessly with the Solar Simulator. Solarlabs offers hands-on experience in PV technology.

“Solarlabs will be included in several courses, but also be accessible to students and teachers across KTH and external institutions,” says Taras Koturbash.

Looking ahead, plans are underway to broaden the scope of lab exercises to cover hybrid thermal and concentrated solar power applications.