E4360 Modular Solar Array Simulators

Data Sheets

  • Accurate simulation of any type of solar array
  • Small size: up to 2 outputs in 2U of rack space
  •  High output power – up to 600 W per output
  • Fast I-V curve change and fast recovery switching time
  • Easy to simulate environmental conditions
  •  LAN, USB, and GPIB interfaces standard
  • Fully compliant to LXI Class C specifications
  • Custom turn-key system or individual instruments available

Solar Array Simulation

Satellite test applications

Solar panels consisting of multiple solar cells provide power to satellites. They have unique I-V characteristics. Since the output power varies with environmental conditions (temperature, irradiation) and operational conditions (eclipse, spin), a specialized power supply such as the solar array simulator (SAS) must be used for making accurate tests and veryifying the satellite power system.

Residential photovoltaic (PV) test applications

Solar panels are also used in residential power systems to provide power to homes. Each solar panel output can be connected to a microinverter that converts the DC solar panel output into AC for use in the home. To test microinverters, a solar array simulator is used to verify that the microinverter will track the maximum power point under various environmental conditions (such as sunny conditions, cloudy conditions, shadowing, and different temperatures) and to ensure that the microinverter is reliable and efficient.

As the trend moves toward higher power solar panels and more efficient inverters, there is a need for a specialized DC power source that is reliable, repeatable, scalable, cost effective, and available off the shelf.

Satellite manufacturers need to verify the design of the power bus regulator on the ground. Microinverter and DC power optimizer designers need to verify accu­racy and efficiency of the device to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Keysight Solar Array Simulator

The Keysight Technologies, Inc. E4360 Modular Solar Array Simulator (SAS) is a dual output programmable dc power source that simulates the output characteristics of a solar array. The E4360 SAS is primarily a current source with very low output capacitance and is capable of quickly simulating the I-V curve of different arrays under different conditions (ex. temperature, age etc.). It provides up to 2 outputs and up to 1200 W in a small 2U-high mainframe.

Whether you build your own test system requiring instrument only or if you want a full turn-key system with all the instruments and software integrated and installed – Keysight gives you the flexi­bility you need. The E4360 SAS is readily available as an off-the-shelf instrument and also is available from Keysight integrated into a full turn-key solar array simulator system configured to your exact specification.

Multiple simulation modes

The E4360 SAS provides three operating modes, Simulator (SAS), Table and Fixed modes. To accurately simulate the I-V cure of a solar array, use SAS or table modes. When a standard power supply is needed, use fixed mode.

Fast I-V curve changes

The E4360 offers fast curve changes to enable better simulation of solar arrays under various environmental conditions, like eclipse and spin. The resolution of the I-V curve can be set to optimize the I-V curve for resolution or fast curve change. In simulation (SAS) mode and table mode, you can select high resolution which uses a 4,096 point table to generate a smoother I-V curve within 350 msec. For fast I-V curve generation, you can select the 256 point table that quickly generates an I-V curve within 30 msec. All the E4360 SAS in the system can be synchronized to change their I-V curves at the same time using the hardware trigger, such that I-V curves can be changed on up to 100 outputs within 30 msec or 350 msec based on resolution setting

Server control

The server control allows access to the system by multiple applications and an internet browser web monitor for viewing the status of the system.

The server control utilizes a client-server model, enabling a remote PC to communicate with the SAS system PC. Through the use of dual Ethernet cards in the PC running the server control, clients can access the SAS system remotely. Placing the SAS system on its own private network simplifies system maintenance and new system development allowing system configurations to be duplicated.

Universal AC input

The E4360 has a universal input that operates from 100-240 Vac, 50/60/400 Hz. There are no switches to set or fuses to change when switching from one voltage standard to another. The ac input employs power factor correction. In order to get full output power when a mainframe is configured with two modules, it must be connected to an ac input of ≥ 180 Vac; else output power will be limited to 600 W.

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