2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Flux Mapping of a High Flux Solar Simulator

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Todd Otanicar


Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is a form of renewable energy generation that utilizes solar irradiance to create useful heat. The extreme operating conditions under high temperature and solar flux can cause maintenance issues, increase operational costs, and decrease conversion efficiency under varying solar irradiance conditions. A solar simulator can be utilized to model similar conditions to those in CSP energy generation in order to test different materials for solar receivers and heat transfer fluids. Since these experiments must be accurate to CSP conditions, the solar simulator should be characterized for heat flux distribution across the focal plane. A heat flux distribution map will be made of the high flux solar simulator using radiometer readings at locations with varying heat flux on the focal plane, and grayscale images will allow for correlation between flux and brightness using image analysis software. Using this strategy, a heat flux distribution map will be generated from the grayscale images for each of the individual lamps and all four lamps in order to calibrate the lights to a focal point and ensure peak flux is reached within the simulator.

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