University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Photovoltaic design and characterization of devices, modules, and systems for solar and photonic power applications.

Areas of expertise

The SUNLAB is a research group at the University of Ottawa, devoted to the advancement of solar power, photonic nanostructures, and power systems. Housed at the Nexus for Quantum Technologies Institute in the Advanced Research Complex, the SUNLAB includes world-class equipment and instrumentation for characterization of semiconductor materials and photovoltaic devices and systems under carefully calibrated conditions, including outdoor test capabilities with multiple high-precision two-dimensional tracker systems. Researchers at the SUNLAB perform optoelectronic simulation and modelling of high-efficiency photovoltaic devices and modules, developing next-generation designs for high performance and low cost. The SUNLAB has a long track-record of successful collaborations with industrial, academic  and governmental partners, and welcomes new collaborations.

Research services
  • 1-sun, highly-colimated continuous-illumination solar simulator measurements, low-concentration continuous-illumination solar simulator measurements
  • High-concentration continuous-illumination solar simulator measurements
  • High-concentration flash solar simulator measurements
  • Photoluminescence and electroluminescence measurements
  • External and internal quantum efficiency measurements, including specular and diffuse reflectivities
  • Outdoor solar module test site, including two-dimensional trackers and full solar resource characterization
  • Photonic power converter characterization system
  • Design of optoelectronic devices, optical systems, and thermal systems
  • Photovoltaic system energy yield calculations, including flat panel, bifacial, and concentrator systems
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Clean technology
  • Energy
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Manufacturing and processing
Extreme-concentration Alpha Omega Gen3 flash solar simulatorThe Gen 3 is an Indoor flash artificial sun that generates up to 5000 times the intensity of the sun over a uniform beam of 1.5×2.5 cm2, measuring the entire IV curve over a 500-μs duration.
One-sun, highly-collimated Oriel Sol3A® continuous-illumination solar simulatorThe Oriel Sol3A is an indoor continuous-wave artificial sun that generates variable intensity up to 1.2 times the intensity of the sun over a 30×30 cm2 beam, suitable for characterizing solar cells with and without concentrating optics.
Low-concentration Newport/Oriel continuous-illumination solar simulatorThis indoor continuous-wave artificial sun generates 1 to 150 times the intensity of the sun over a uniform 5×5 cm2 beam for the characterization of photovoltaic devices.
Extended -wavelength-range external and internal quantum efficiency systemThis is equipment to measure the spectral response of a single- or multi-junction photovoltaic device over a wavelength range of 300 to 1800 nm, with electrical and optical biasing.
Extended-range and low-light-level electroluminescence, photovoltage and photoluminescence measurementsThis equipment is used to study the excitation of semiconductors and semiconductor devices, such as solar cells, under intensity-controlled laser light and precise electrical biasing.
Two-dimensional sun-tracking photovoltaic systems for researchThese are test sites for the characterization of photovoltaic devices and their systems under outdoor conditions, used to perform cross-correlation between different geographic regions, including equipment to measure solar panel I-V curves.
PyrheliometerOutdoor instruments to measure the direct solar irradiance. 
PyranometersOutdoor instrument to measure the global solar irradiance.
Weather stationOutdoor instruments monitor weather conditions that affect the performance of photovoltaic devices and systems.
Spectroradiometers Perform spectral data collection from different sources of light over a wide range of wavelengths from 300 to 2500 nm.
SolaSIMOutdoor instrument to reconstruct the solar spectrum over the 280 to 4000 nm range.
Synopsys TCAD SentaurusComputer simulation software. Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD). Numerical modelling software for solar cell and optoelectronic device design, optimization and analysis, used to simulate device response under diverse conditions and specifications.
COMSOL Multiphysics®Computer simulation software.
CrosslightComputer simulation software.
ZemaxComputer simulation software.
HSPICEComputer simulation software.
MATLABComputer simulation software.
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