7 May 2010


Spire launches large-area solar simulator for thin-film modules

Spire Corp of Bedford, MA, USA, which provides capital equipment and turnkey production lines for manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, has introduced a 6m x 1.3m solar simulator, with the first unit to be delivered to SoloPower Inc of San Jose, CA, USA, for application to copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic modules.

The SPI-Sun Simulator 6013SLP (6013) is based on Spire's Single Long Pulse (SLP) series. The firm has more than 400 simulators in use worldwide, with users including module qualifying and testing agencies such as UL, TUV, FSEC and the national laboratories in the USA, India, Italy and Korea.

Designed for modules up to 6m in length and 1.3m wide, the solar spectrum of the 6013 is Class A, and its intensity uniformity is +-2%. It has an adjustable pulse length of 20-80ms and an adjustable intensity range of 200-1100W/m2.

"Some thin-film module designs are becoming very long compared to their width, for incorporation into roofing materials. These are very different from traditional crystalline modules,” says Spire’s chairman & CEO Roger Little. “Spire has created the SLP series of simulators to handle a wide variety of module shapes and sizes. We have a leadership market share in solar simulators and we intend to keep it by advancing our equipment to satisfy the needs of the industry."

See related item:

Spire to provide PV module manufacturing line to Solartech

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