7/29/13

Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10

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System Description Heliostats Receiver / Tower Field Layout System Thermal Performance Energy Losses System Performance Models SCRAM
The reader should realize that the material presented below represents the state-of-the-art for central
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7/29/13

Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10

www.powerfromthesun.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10.html

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7/29/13

Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10

Figure 10.1 (a) Backside of the heliostat used at the Solar One central receiver pilot plant in Barstow, CA. (b) A photograph of the front of a Solar One heliostat (Both are courtesy of Southern California Edison Co.)

Another heliostat design concept, not so widely developed, uses a thin reflective plastic membrane stretched over a hoop. This design must be protected from the weather but requires considerable less expenditure in supports and the mechanical drive mechanism because of its light weight. Membrane renewal and cleaning appear to be important considerations with this design. The reflective surface is mounted or supported on a pedestal that permits movement about the azimuth and elevation axis. Movement about each axis is provided by a fractional-horsepower motor through a gearbox drive. These motors receive signals from a central control computer that accurately points the reflective surface normal halfway between the sun and the receiver. The equation for this half angle was developed in Chapter 8 as Equation (8.49). The elevation and azimuth angles of a heliostat are given in Equations (8.52) and (8.53), respectively. Heliostat Errors. A perfectly flat heliostat would produce an image on the receiver the size of the heliostat
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1) where α and A are the sun’s altitude and azimuth angles. calculated by using Equation (10. giving the east and west fields an average efficiency in between the high and the low. heliostats west of the tower will have a high efficiency and those east of the tower. e. An expression for calculation of the cosine of this half angle has been developed as Equation (8. Incorporating the appropriate tower and heliostat position coordinates defined in Figure 8. heliostat A in the north field has a much greater cosine efficiency than does heliostat B. we have (10.49).7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10. This figure also shows that the heliostats opposite the sun are the most efficient. and z.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. a poorer efficiency. For the noontime sun condition shown. has been plotted in Figure 10.html 10/31 . The opposite occurs in the afternoon.7 for three sun altitude angles. respectively.powerfromthesun. and n are the orthogonal coordinates from a point on the tower at the height of the heliostat mirrors as depicted in Figure 8.20. www.20. In the morning. This is why most of the heliostats in a typical heliostat field (for an omnidirectional receiver) will be north of the tower. Field cosine efficiency.1).6 The cosine effect for two heliostats in opposite directions from the tower.

7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 www.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10.html 11/31 .powerfromthesun.

In some de signs as Solar One in Barstow. 1978). www. the south field heliostats are used only to preheat the water.7 The cosine efficiency of heliostats at different field locations for three sun altitude angles. This is done because of the reduced flux being reflected to this part of the receiver.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. which is subsequently turned into superheated steam in the rest of the receiver. Again the north field dominance can be seen. Averaged over the entire year.8.powerfromthesun.html 12/31 . Figure 10. the cosine efficiency of a field resembles that shown in Figure 10.8 Annual average cosine efficiency at Barstow. California.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10. CA (Holl.

25 (Battleson.powerfromthesun.3) where HM and WM are the height and width of the heliostat. The average heliostat packing density from optimized ray trace analyses of shadowing and blocking is typically in the range of 0. al.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. The radial spacing ΔR and the azimuthal spacing ΔA. The angle θL is the altitude angle to the receiver from the heliostat location of interest and may be calculated as www. 1981). 1978) have produced a means of determining spacing and average field density for preliminary field layouts. defined in Figure 10.2) and (10.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10.10. respectively as depicted in Figure 10.10 The radial stagger heliostat layout pattern developed by the University of Houston. (1981) for highreflectance heliostats (about 90 percent) in large fields as (10.html 14/31 . Optimized heliostat layouts developed at the University of Houston (Lipps and Vant-Hull. Heliostat packing density is the ratio of mirror area to field area.9.2 to 0. are given by Dellin et.

html 15/31 . Figure 10. the radial spacing increases dramatically. it may not be possible to maintain the azimuthal spacing defined in Equation (10. is the ratio of mirror area to overall heliostat area. the mirror density. When this is the case.4) where r is the normalized distance from the tower to the heliostat location measured in “tower heights . The process of laying out a heliostat field consists of segmenting the land area around the tower into a number of concentric zones. Heliostats near the inner ring of the zone may produce mechanical interference or unacceptable blocking or shad owing. whereas the azimuthal spacing decreases to the point where the heliostats at a particular radial distance have one heliostat width between them (ΔA = 2).12 shows the decrease in local field density as distance from the tower increases.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10.3) are used to determine the average or central radial stagger pattern within these zones.5) where DM. If large zones are selected. This may be calculated as (10.5) is used to calculate the local field density. Note that for the heliostats farther from the tower. and Equation (10. Figure 10. every fourth heliostat is normally removed from a ring in what is called a slip plane and the radial stagger pattern is restarted.3). www.powerfromthesun. Equations (10.” The local field density is the ratio of mirror area to land area at a particular point in the field.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 (10.2) and (10.2) and (10.11 shows the spacing predicted by Equations (10.3) for all rings.

www.11 Heliostat spacing for a field using the radial stagger layout pattern.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10.html 16/31 .net/Book/chapter10/chapter10.powerfromthesun.

12 Local heliostat density as predicted by Equation (10. For a clear day with 23-km visibility.7) Although these expressions were derived for a specific site altitude.powerfromthesun. larger fields are envisioned in the near future where atmospheric attenuation will be even more significant. www.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10. the atmospheric transmittance is (10. Many factors in field layout suggest that the field should extend far to the north of a very high tower. however.44 km (1440 ft). Atmospheric transmittance has been approximated by Vittitoe and Biggs (1978) for a clear day (23-km visibility) and a hazy day (5-km visibility). Atmospheric Transmittance.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. The effect of atmospheric attenuation is presented graphically in Figure 10. One major limitation on the distance a heliostat is placed away from the tower is the attenuation of the reflected beam as it travels from the heliostat to the receiver. the atmospheric transmittance is (10.html 17/31 .13. they are strongly dependent on the aerosol distribution at ground level (visibility) and only slightly dependent on site altitude. For a hazy day with only 5-km visibility.5) for radial-stagger field layouts.6) where S is the slant range from heliostat to receiver in kilometers. The maximum slant range for Solar One is 0.

Any increase in power would require heliostats to be farther away from the tower. These include spillage and receiver thermal loss as well as cost algorithms for the tower. A number of case studies have been performed that reflect optimum field layouts for the components studied (Battleson. Optimization Studies. The shape of the optimum field depends on the power level of the plant. The height of the receiver tower for these fields falls into a range such as that shown in Figure 10.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10.14. 1981). other performance tradeoffs are required to produce an optimum field. As the distance from heliostat to tower increases. This forces the placement of heliostats to the east and west of the tower in locations with lower cosine efficiency but less attenuation loss. atmospheric attenuation reduces the efficiency of the far-field heliostats. the optimum field layout becomes a field surrounding the tower. For large plants with power levels above 500 MW (thermal).13 Atmospheric transmittance for a clear and a hazy atmosphere. www. In addition to cosine loss and atmospheric attenuation.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10. For small systems of less than 100 MW (thermal).powerfromthesun. The field designs resulting from these studies are shown in Figure 10.15.html 18/31 . piping. single or multiple north fields appear to be most economical. and receiver.

1981). atmospheric attenuation. and other system performance parameters (Battleson.15 Range of optimum receiver tower heights for systems with different power levels (Battleson. Figure 10. 1981).net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. www.html 19/31 . tower cost.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 Figure 10.powerfromthesun.14 Optimum field shape defined by cosine loss.

Fixed Parameters.powerfromthesun. Figure 10. Modification of either of these would require multiple runs of DELSOL2 to generate a new set of surface fit coefficients Ci.17. which are specified in program statements 4020 through 4100.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. SCRAM1.3 ft) × 7. The mirrors do not have to cover the entire heliostat area. A major simplification is introduced by recognizing that all the terms in the field efficiency. Program SCRAM1 needs to be run only once for a particular heliostat field. scale geometrically with tower height except for atmospheric attenuation. The heliostat specified in this model has a rectangular reflecting surface 7. which is treated separately.html 25/31 . Both the heliostat design configuration and the method of field layout are fixed for the SCRAM model presented here. Program SCRAM2 reads the data in XFILE along with sun angle and solar irradiance data to calculate the overall system performance.17 Program configuration for SCRAM. Therefore. canted mirrors. This sequence is shown in Figure 10.7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 losses are contained in the field efficiency and that the assumptions used to evaluate receiver thermal efficiency are less reliable. receiver efficiency is computed directly and the algorithms used may be modified as a clearer understanding of receiver thermal losses develops. Program SCRAM has been divided into two parts for operational ease. Program SCRAM1 writes the values of this array on a disc naming the file XFILE. The first part. tower height is used as the unit length throughout the calculation until the final evaluation of the total power reflected toward the receiver is made. generates an array Xij that is done only once for a specific heliostat field.4 m (24. In the resulting model. Tracking errors and www.4 m with focused.k.j.

and mirror waviness and panel alignment errors are both assumed to be 1.75 mrad.0 mrad.3 gives the program locations of these variables. The size and shape of the field can be varied.net/Book/chapter10/chapter10. The field is divided into JMX segments with ANG(I) (in radians) specifying the azimuth of the center line of each segment from north. The size and shape of the heliostat field must be defined in SCRAM1 in terms of radial segments as shown in Figure 10. Table 10. SCRAM1 Input. For the field pictured. Figure 10.powerfromthesun. Table 10.3). (1981).18 Heliostat field definition scheme for program SCRAM. Input Parameters for Program SCRAM Variable SCRAM1 www.2) and (10. JMX =13. The canting and focusing values are the default values given in Section II of Dellin et al.html 26/31 Units Statement .7/29/13 Power From The Sun :: Chapter 10 foundation motion are both assumed to be 0. The field layout method specified for this model uses the radial stagger pattern with the University of Houston spacing parameters defined in Equations (10.18. The distance from the tower to the innermost ring of heliostats in tower heights is RI(I). The program variables defining a field are shown.3. and the distance to the outermost ring is RO(I).