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Optimization and Control Laboratory

The Energy Systems Integration Facility's Optimization and Control Laboratory provides state-of-the-art characterization and testing capabilities for assessing the optical surface quality and optical performance of solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.

Photo of a researcher testing a CSP receiver test stand in the Optical Characterization Laboratory.

Key Infrastructure and Services

  • Video Scanning Hartman Optical Tester (VSHOT) system, enabling rapid, high-accuracy measurements of reflector shapes
  • Solar Optical Fringe Alignment Slope Technique (SOFAST) system, enabling precise measurement of mirror surface slope and collector performance
  • Continuous Solar Simulator and Light Soaking Chamber, providing simulated sunlight exposure for steady-state testing of PV modules
  • Large environmental chamber
  • Large thermal cycling chambers
  • AC/DC connections to the Research Electrical Distribution Bus (REDB)

Types of Research

  • Structural analysis and testing to support detailed concentrated solar power (CSP) concentrator system design
  • Durability of collector coatings and reflector materials for advanced designs
  • Accelerated weathering of CSP components to determine useful lifetime
  • Testing of advanced materials and geometrics for receiver tubes
  • Hardware-in-the-loop testing of advanced power blocks and/or thermal storage units

Recent Projects

Developing and testing iUnit building efficiency

Assessing and testing Verizon radio power supply HVAC

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