Helios 3198

The Helios 3198 Solar Simulator for CPV provides an indoor CPV module power measurement and classification capability for both laboratory and production line use. The simulator is the end result of 10 years of research and development by the IES-UPM into CPV indoor measurement requirements and techniques, and provides an integrated solution to the complex problems of indoor CPV test: the need for highly collimated light, a large illuminated area, and special attention to spectral balancing for multi-junction cells.

SAV-HELIOS 3198 system draft

SAV-HELIOS 3198 system draft


Solar Added Value has industrialized this solar simulator technology, creating a test equipment product that is robust and easy to use and install. The system includes both the lighting system and the I-V curve tracing electronics, as well as a custom design control software package that can be adapted to the needs of each customer, including such functions as module sorting, automatic test, and database integration.


Basic requirements for in-door CPV modules testing

The key challenge to in-door CPV measurement is obtaining a light source that is very similar to the sun, both in spectrum and angular size. Because of the limited angular acceptance of CPV modules, highly collimated light must be used. The SAV-HELIOS® 3198 has a collimation angle that approaches the angular size of the sun, allowing it to detect defects in the alignment of a module optics in a realistic and scientific manner. The 2 meter beam of light produced by the proprietary collimating optic of the SAV-HELIOS® 3198 is uniform spatially, and may be used to to characterize the I-V curve of any concentration technology. The spectrum is matched to AM1.5D but balanced with especial attention accurate measurement of modern III-V multi-junction cells.

Because of the various size and form factors of different CPV modules, the system setup with versatile, with the lamp placed at the collimator focus (on-axis) for smaller modules, and moved to an off-axis position to allow the entire 2m area illuminated area to be used for larger modules or more flexibility.

HELIOS 3198 system configuration options

HELIOS 3198 system configuration options


SAV-HELIOS 3198 Solar Simulator Technical Characteristics

Flash Illumination System:
  • Adjustable Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI): 750-1000 W/m2
  • Illuminated Area: Φ2m
  • Spatial Non-uniformity: ±5%
  • Collimation Angle: ± 0.4.
  • Spectrum: AM1.5D equivalent
  • Spectrum tuned for the III-V multijunction cells.
  • Fast recharge: 120 modules/hour
Measurement Software Functions:
  • Voltage ranges: 0-400V
  • Current ranges: 0-16A

  • Dedicated Software with the following features:
    • Calculation of IV Parameters (ISC, VOC, PMP, IMP, VMP, FF, Eff)

    • Translation of IV Curves to Standard Test Conditions
    • Module Sorting according to any IV parameter
    • 3 User Levels (Operator, User, & Expert)
Customization Options:
  • Integration with Spectro-Heliometer ICU-3J35 for spectral monitoring.
  • Integration of bar code reader and label printer.
  • Automated testing options for integration with production line control systems.
  • Additional engineering services available for specific needs.


SAV-HELIOS 3198: Experience

The SAV-HELIOS® 3198 is the only CPV solar simulator currently operating in multiple laboratories and CPV systems manufacturers worldwide. Its versatility has made it a indispensable tool both for research and development as well as CPV module production line use.



The ICU-3J35 SPECTROHELIOMETER measures the effective irradiance in the spectral zones corresponding to the top, middle, and bottom subcells of a lattice-matched GaInP / GaInAs / Ge triple-junction solar cell.

The ICU-3J35 can be used to monitor the spectral content of solar radiation in a way that is meaningful for predicting performance of such cells, or of concentrator systems that use them and has been developed by the Instituto de Energía Solar (IES-UPM) in Madrid.

Spectro-Heliometer ICU-3J35

Spectro-Heliometer ICU-3J35

Spectro-Heliometer Datasheet Graph



The sensor has been calibrated under real sun conditions by comparison with a reference sensor under clear sky conditions simultaneously to the reference sensor.

Calibration is traceable to balloon flight standards.



With a field of view limited to 5.7º, TRI-BAND SPECTROHELIOMETER measures only the direct beam solar irradiance, thanks to the collimation tube and the specific apertures. It therefore must be mounted on a Solar Tracker and pointed at the sun at all time. The TRI-BAND SPECTROHELIOMETER is designed to be easily installed in any tracker configuration, either mounted flat to a plane perpendicular to the solar vector, or mounted atop an existing normal insolation pyroheliometer.



  • Measure of spectral radiation effects from the sun or light sources.
  • Prediction of current mismatch between subcells of a lattice-matched GaInP / GaInAs / Ge triple-junction solar cell

Helios 3030

The HELIOS 3030-XX range of testers allows for a rapid classification of CPV cells, receivers, and components. The 3030 has been developed specifically for high-speed high-concentration characterization of III-V multi-junction solar cells, and allows for a variable irradiance of between 10 and 100 W/cm2 (equivalent to 1000X at Standard Test Conditions). At the same time, the 3030-XX can be used for measurement of conventional silicon cells.

The HELIOS 3030-XX range of solar simulators can be configured on request to support the measurement of the following CPV and PV components:

  • Cell-On-Carrier (CoC): Composed of a high-concentration solar cell pre-mounted on a substrate with connectors and bypass diode.
  • CPV Receiver: Composed of a CoC already integrated with a secondary optical element (SOE) and possibly heat dissipation elements.
  • Mono-modules: Composed of a CPV receiver pre-mounted to the primary optics to form a single unit, if your manufacturing strategy includes such a sub-assembly.
  • Conventional Silicon Solar cells: At low concentration or normal solar irradiance.

Depending on the measurement format, custom optics will be included. The Helios 3030-XX is designed not only for laboratory use, but for high-speed automatic testing, and is capable of measuring and classifying multiple cells in a single high-speed flash pulse.

SAV provides custom engineering services and can provide a test solution that meets customer needs and is integrated with their production line.