Variable spectrum, multi-channel, programmable spectra, dynamic spectra – All terms found while searching for a solar simulator, but what exactly do they mean?
Most solar simulators on the market today ship with what is called a “fixed” spectrum, typically with a AM1.5G match. This means that the intensity of the light can be dimmed, however the spectral profile can’t be changed. Even worse, it actually degrades over time.
With a variable spectrum, both the spectrum and intensity the light emits can be adjusted and changed, making a much more versatile instrument!
The AM1.5G has become the de facto standard for solar measurement. The standards are set by governing bodies such as ASTM, IEC, and JIS and are used to determine the quality and accuracy of the research instruments illumination. (Click for more on Class AAA spectrum.)
However, for many applications the AM1.5G spectra doesn’t make sense. In these cases, it is essential to have the ability to characterize at a different spectrum. For example, in the development of photovoltaic materials for use in orbital satellites, an AM0 spectra should be used in order to perform an accurate test. When developing photo-catalysis systems, they should be just as functional in the northern hemisphere during winter months, as at the equator in the summer months. In order to achieve this, they should be characterized at each relevant spectra and intensity. With a programmable spectra, this is possible.
Traditionally, a lab would require individual instruments or different filters in order to replicate AM1.5G, AM0, AM1, AM2 etc.. Now with variable spectrum technology, a single piece of research equipment can reliably reproduce virtually any naturally occurring spectra (and a large range outside of natural conditions as well!). This decreases overall expenses, all while improving research.
The G2V pico is available in both a Fixed and Variable model. The pico Variable ships with the ability to adjust the spectrum to a user defined geographic location, time, and season. The feature is easily controlled with One-Click Sun™ software.
When choosing a new solar simulator for your lab, a variable spectrum will maximize results and your budget. It is important to take time to consider current and future research to make the right decision. Connect with one of our expert team members at G2V to learn more about our fully programmable variable spectrum.