NREL’s Ultra-Accelerated Weathering System (UAWS) selectively reflects and concentrates natural sunlight ultraviolet irradiance below 475 nm onto exposed samples to provide accelerated weathering of materials while keeping samples within realistic temperature limits. This paper will explain the design and implementation of the UAWS which allow it to simulate the effect of years of weathering in weeks of exposure. Exposure chamber design and instrumentation will be discussed for both a prototype UAWS used to test glazing samples as well as a commercial version of UAWS. Candidate polymeric glazing materials have been subjected to accelerated exposure testing at a light intensity level of up to 50 UV suns for an equivalent outdoor exposure in Miami, FL exceeding 15 years. Samples include an impact modified acrylic, fiberglass, and polycarbonate having several thin UV-screening coatings. Concurrent exposure is carried out for identical sample sets at two different temperatures to allow thermal effects to be quantified along with resistance to UV.

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