Development and Performance of a Digital Image Radiometer for Heliostat Evaluation at Solar One

[+] Author and Article Information
J. B. Blackmon

McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co., Huntington Beach, Calif. 92647

J. Sol. Energy Eng 107(4), 315-321 (Nov 01, 1985) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3267699 History: Received November 01, 1984; Online November 11, 2009


A review is presented of the development, performance, and operation of a digital image radiometer (DIR) used to evaluate and enhance heliostat optical and tracking performance at the Solar One 10 MWe pilot plant at Daggett, Calif. The system, termed the beam characterization system (BCS), is based on digitizing, calibrating, and computer-processing video images of heliostat-reflected beams displayed on four 30- by 40-ft targets located on the tower beneath the receiver. Additionally, the radiance distribution of the sun is simultaneously recorded by a separate, specially modified solar-tracking video camera. The basic theory and analytical techniques used to determine beam centroid error (i.e., heliostat pointing errors), the actual incident beam power, spillage power off the receiver, and solar radiance distribution are described. The computer system is presented including the automatic data acquisition mode, the interface with the heliostat array controller (HAC), and the data acquisition system (DAS). Data display for plant operator purposes and additional data acquired and stored for more detailed engineering evaluations are discussed. Advanced applications of the DIR such as determination of total incident flux on a receiver from a field of heliostats, reflectance monitoring, and measurement of atmospheric attenuation are presented.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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