Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 25, 2019
ASTM E927-19

Standard Classification for Solar Simulators for Electrical Performance Testing of Photovoltaic Devices

Standard Classification for Solar Simulators for Electrical Performance Testing of Photovoltaic Devices
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This specification provides the performance requirements and parameters used for classifying both pulsed and steady state solar simulators intended for indoor testing of photovoltaic devices (solar cells or modules), according to their spectral match to a reference spectral irradiance, non-uniformity of spatial irradiance, and temporal instability of irradiance. The classification of a solar simulator is based on the size of the test plane, and does not provide any information about electrical measurement errors that are related to photovoltaic performance measurements obtained with a classified solar simulator.


1.1 This classification provides means for assessing the suitability of solar simulators for indoor electrical performance testing of photovoltaic cells and modules, that is, for measurement current-voltage curves under artificial illumination.

1.2 Solar simulators are classified according to their ability to reproduce a reference spectral irradiance distribution (see Tables G138 and E490), the uniformity of total irradiance across the test plane, and the stability of total irradiance over time.

1.3 A solar simulator usually consists of three major components: (1) light source(s) and associated power supplies; (2) optics and filters required to modify the irradiance at the test plane; and (3) controls to operate the simulator, including irradiance adjustment.

1.4 This classification is applicable to both pulsed and steady-state solar simulators.

1.5 Many solar simulators also include integral data acquisition systems for photovoltaic performance testing; these data acquisition systems are outside of the scope of this classification.

1.6 Light sources for weathering, durability, or conditioning of photovoltaic devices are outside of the scope of this classification.

1.7 This classification is not applicable to solar simulators intended for testing photovoltaic concentrator devices.

1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.9 The following precautionary caveat pertains only to the hazards portion, Section 6, of this classification. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.10 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E44.09
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/E0927-19
ICS Code: 27.160