A solar simulator is a device that provides illumination approximating natural sunlight. The simulator is widely used to provide a controllable indoor test facility under laboratory conditions for the testing of solar cells. The solar simulator market is expected to be valued at USD 8.44 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% between 2017 and 2022. Some of the key factors driving this market growth are the growing demand for photovoltaics (PV) and the increasing demand from renewable energy industries.
Solar simulators are used in the development and manufacturing of PV, cosmetics, paints and coatings, UV protective fabrics and textiles, and others. While solar simulators have been deployed for many years in testing and measurement environments, OEMs are looking for next-generation solar simulators with advanced sources of light and control systems that would offer versatility, high performance, and cost reduction to optimize product yields and minimize operating costs. High-volume applications such as PV rely heavily on solar simulators for research and development (R&D), test, and manufacturing. PV cell/module and material testing application are expected to hold the major size of the solar simulator market and is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2017 and 2022. The growing PV requirements from utility, residential, and nonresidential applications are directly expected to drive the solar simulator market growth.
Class AAA solar simulator is the most preferred solar simulator for PV cell/module testing among the manufacturers, as it provides higher accuracy and efficiency over other types of solar simulators. Companies such as Newport Corporation (US), Abet Technologies Inc. (US), Solar Light Company (US), and Sciencetech Inc. (Canada) are involved in the manufacture of class AAA solar simulator, because of its popularity in the testing of PV cells and modules in the solar industry.
The solar simulator market for xenon arc lamp is expected to grow at the highest rate between 2017 and 2022. The rapid growth of this segment is attributed to the proven technology, reliable output, and better spectrum, needed for illuminating the sample being tested. Mostly, xenon arc lamps are used in the solar industry for testing PV cells and modules. The growing PV market is expected to drive the market for xenon arc lamp during the forecast period.