The simulation of natural sunlight is achieved using several different methods according to the area of the spectrum it is required to test, in order to check the damage caused by the differing frequencies of solar rays. The reference applications are the accelerated aging of the equipment under the effects of the radiation combined with other environmental phenomena such as:
These can be summarised as follows:
- Metal halide lamps able to cover the whole spectrum of the sun's radiation
- Ultraviolet lamps to test the equipment against damage due to UV rays
- Infrared lamps to check the device flaws due to the heating of solar radiation
The reference standards in this field are the DIN 75220 in the automotive sector and the MIL STD 810 F for military tests.
The plant was designed by ACS Environmental Test Division to carry out tests according to MIL-STD-810 F Method 505.4 and the purpose was to determine the heating effects of direct solar radiation on materials.
Procedure 2 - Steady state:
- Degradation from solar energy may be attributable particularly to the UV portion of the solar spectrum.
Examples of deterioration caused by actnic effects are:
- Fading of fabric or plastic colour or paints
- Deterioration of natural and synthetic elastomers and polymers through photochemical reactions initiated by shorter wavelength radiation.
Main parts of the plant:
- Solar simulation chamber made of a metallic frame and insulation cover panels (8,5x16,5x10 m DxPxH)
- 12x5m irradiating area, having no. 91 HMI (metal halide) lamps controlled by an electronic ballast
- Oleodynamic lifting system to move the irradiating lamps
- Test room thermoregulation system
- Remote controlling system by WINKRATOS software
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