The design, construction, and characterization of a solar simulator are reported. The solar simulator consists of an optical system, a power source system, an air cooling system, a control system, and a calibration system. Seven xenon short-arc lamps were used, each consuming 10 kW electricity. The lamps were aligned at the reflector ellipsoidal axis. The stochastic Monte Carlo method analyzed the interactions between light rays and reflector surfaces as well as participating media. The seven lamps have a common focal plane. The focal plane diameters can be changed in the range of 60–120 mm with the lamp module traveling the distance in a range of 0–300 mm. The calibration process established a linear relationship between irradiant fluxes and grayscale values. The measures to reduce irradiant flux error and fluctuations were described. The irradiant flux distribution can be changed by varying the power capacities and/or moving the focal plane locations. The peak fluxes are 1.92, 3.16, and 3.91 MW/m2 for 25%, 50%, and 75% of the full power capacity. The peak flux and temperature exceed 4 MW/m2 and 2300 K, respectively, for the full power capacity. A 8 cm thick refractory brick can be melt in 2 min with the melting temperature of about 2300 K when the solar simulator is operating at 70% of the maximum power capacity.

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