Electrical and Computer Engineering | Power and Energy

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Solar cells are a prominent renewable energy source used in the twenty-first century. In order for the technology to grow, research lab equipment is needed to measure and characterizes these cells. This report covers solar simulator devices and proposes an alternative design solution to lessen the cost of solar cell lab equipment. Common household light sources were tested by generating I-V characteristics using an amorphous silicon solar cell. The light bulb that generated the best I-V curve was selected and then tested for the optimal distance between the light source and the solar panel. The alternative solar simulator was then tested at the optimal distance by the generation of I-V characteristics and light spectrum. These results will be compared to an industry-standard solar simulator: the Newport LED Solar Simulator LSH-7320. The experiment conducted in this report and its findings’ intentions are to motivate more research in designing low-cost solar simulators with the hopes of allowing developing countries to start utilizing solar cell technology.