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When the new state-of-the-art emissions testing center in California needed the best solution to simulate natural sunlight on a hot summer day, EYE Applied Optix already had the answer. The turn-key solar simulation array system was designed, delivered, and installed earlier this year to The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) new research facility.

CARB will utilize the solar simulation array system to conduct SC03 emissions testing on any light- or medium-duty vehicles up to 14,000 pounds by creating a heat load on the test vehicle. The radiant energy intensity produced by the solar array system is a very close match to natural sunlight at the surface of the earth which closely resembles real-world conditions.

EYE Applied Optix customized CARB’s solar simulation array system to consist of 264 lamps that are mounted in an overhead array fastened to the ceiling of the test cell. The area of the system is 7.6 m * 3.0 m which is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The power supply and main control panel are located in a mezzanine above the test room within 150 feet of the lighting array. An auxiliary control panel is also located within the operator’s control room adjacent to the test cell. Safety features including E-stops are built into the system and will be integrated into the main laboratory safety control system.

During the SC03 exhaust emissions testing, the subject vehicle is placed on a dynamometer (wheel roller system) and the vehicle is run through the SC03 driving schedule. In addition, a large fan is located at the front of the vehicle to replicate real-world wind speed while operating the vehicle in the test cell. The solar simulation array system is then operated to emulate the heat load while the vehicle’s air conditioning system is on. Exhaust emissions are measured and analyzed to verify compliance of the test vehicle with the SC03 emissions limits.

Through a competitive bid, the Solar Simulation Array System of EYE Applied Optix was selected and the EYE Applied Optix team worked closely with CARB’s staff in various aspects of project from evaluating engineering designs to reviewing factory and on-site acceptance testing data. The EYE Applied Optix solar simulation array system provides a uniform radiant energy intensity with the optimum lighting performance. This energy-efficient and user-friendly system enables the operator(s) to customize the lighting configurations to accommodate various vehicle sizes ranging from subcompact vehicles to large pick-up trucks and cargo vans.

The new facility is part of the Southern California Consolidation Project initiated by CARB in order to build a single, remarkable, and world-class facility to continue its mission to drive down emissions for Californians.

The energy efficiency of the solar simulation array is part of the overall emphasis on energy efficiency at the facility itself. Once fully operational, the California Air Resources Board’s new Southern California Headquarters will be the largest Zero Net Energy laboratory facility in North America. This installation is one of many innovative features providing clear examples of the ability to perform energy intensive tasks, while still meeting the rigorous goals of a Zero Net Energy facility.

EYE Lighting International of North America (ELINA) is a leading manufacturer of lamps, fixtures, and illumination systems that serves the horticultural, commercial/utility and scientific/industrial markets from a 105,000 square foot manufacturing facility near Cleveland, Ohio.

ELINA is a subsidiary of Iwasaki Electric Co. Ltd., a Tokyo based lighting technology company focused on designing and manufacturing lighting products and light-applied system solutions.

The Applied Optix division focuses on designing and building scientific and industrial applied light spectrum systems.