SORAS LS – Steady-state solar simulator for PV modules

In test laboratories for photovoltaic modules, steady-state solar simulators are mostly used for stabilization tests (MQT 19) and hot-spot tests (MQT 09) according IEC 61215. An initial stabilization is required for all PV modules that undergo a standard test procedure. Each silicon module that undergoes a test procedure needs to be exposed for 10 hours at 1000 W/m², while for thin film modules the exposure time is even longer. As ten modules have to be stabilized for a standard test procedure, we have designed our SORAS LS as a closed box system. This prevents any irradiation from accessing the building and enables working without any personal protection equipment.

For the hot-spot test (MQT 09), besides the closed room concept it is important that the operator has easy access to the front and back site of the module. During the test, it is necessary to shade one cell after each other (this requires front side access) and take infrared pictures (this requires good visibility of the entire back side). Our swiveling module holding system is designed as a door, which enables easy access to the front and back side of the module.

During the shading of the single cells, the standard requires tracing an IV curve for each shaded cell. With our IV curve tracer “IVCT”, it is possible to plot all IV curves in one graph, which eases the process of identifying the most critical cells for hot-spot effects in the module.

Technical specifications

Test area  
   Standard test area 1 m × 2 m
Lamp specifications  
   Lamp type Electrodeless plasma
   Lamp life time 15000 h

Key Facts

  • Steady-state solar simulator
  • Closed room system
  • Easy access to the front and back side of the module
  • Operational 24/7

Software features from IVCT

  • Intuitive graphical user interface for full remote control of the test stand
  • Irradiation sum counter for stabilization tests
  • Adding of calibration values
  • Connection of up to four temperature sensors to the module
  • Automated correction to standard test conditions (STC)
  • Multi-IV curve tracing functions for hot-spot testing
  • Scheduled IV curve tracing in defined time intervals between MPPT