Saf Health Work.  2017 Sep;8(3):237-245. 10.1016/

Hazards Caused by UV Rays of Xenon Light Based High Performance Solar Simulators

  • 1German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V.), Institute of Solar Research, Cologne, Germany.


Solar furnaces are used worldwide to conduct experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of solar–chemical processes with the aid of concentrated sunlight, or to qualify high temperature-resistant components. In recent years, high-flux solar simulators (HFSSs) based on short-arc xenon lamps are more frequently used. The emitted spectrum is very similar to natural sunlight but with dangerous portions of ultraviolet light as well. Due to special benefits of solar simulators the increase of construction activity for HFSS can be observed worldwide. Hence, it is quite important to protect employees against serious injuries caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in a range of 100 nm to 400 nm.
The UV measurements were made at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne and Paul-Scherrer-Institute (PSI), Switzerland, during normal operations of the HFSS, with a high-precision UV-A/B radiometer using different experiment setups at different power levels. Thus, the measurement results represent UV emissions which are typical when operating a HFSS. Therefore, the biological effects on people exposed to UVR was investigated systematically to identify the existing hazard potential.
It should be noted that the permissible workplace exposure limits for UV emissions significantly exceeded after a few seconds. One critical value was strongly exceeded by a factor of 770.
The prevention of emissions must first and foremost be carried out by structural measures. Furthermore, unambiguous protocols have to be defined and compliance must be monitored. For short-term activities in the hazard area, measures for the protection of eyes and skin must be taken.


Keywords; solar furnace; solar simulator; ultraviolet light; xenon short arc lamp
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