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Technical Briefs

Design of the Heliostat Field of the CSIRO Solar Tower

[+] Author and Article Information
Philipp Schramek

 Philipp Schramek Energy Consulting, Mühlbergstrasse 26, D-82319 Starnberg, Germanyphilipp@schramek-online.de

David R. Mills

 Ausra Inc., 303 Ravendale Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043

Wes Stein

 CSIRO Energy Technology, P.O. Box 330, Newcastle NSW 2300, Australia

Peter Le Lièvre

 Chromasun Inc., 1050 N. 5th St., Suite 10, San Jose, CA 95112

The polar side is for the northern hemisphere, north of the tower and south for the southern hemisphere. In many publications, a heliostat field on the polar side of the tower was called a north field, but this would be only correct for the northern hemisphere. Since we use the example of the design of a heliostat field in Australia in this paper, the more general expressions polar side and equatorial side of the tower are used.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(2), 024505 (Apr 09, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3097269 History: Received November 14, 2006; Revised October 05, 2007; Published April 09, 2009

A close-packed heliostat field of more than 800m2 reflector area has been installed by Solar Heat and Power for the CSIRO solar tower at the Energy Centre in Newcastle, Australia. The heliostat field has been designed with significantly greater field packing density than normally associated with heliostat fields. It can be shown that even though a heliostat field with a high ground coverage exhibits more blocking and shading, a higher annual performance can be achieved up to a certain point. The optimum ground coverage calculated for the CSIRO solar tower configuration is in the range of 53%. Other heliostat field designs usually have ground coverage below 30%. The annual optical performance of the CSIRO field per square meters of reflector is about 9% higher than a radial stagger field of 30% ground coverage for a research tower, which was optimized to have the highest performance for the time frame from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Solar tower and SHP-heliostat field at the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle, Australia

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Figure 2

SHP-heliostat with a size of 1.84×2.44 m2 with tower

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Figure 3

Variation in the annual average performance in watt of a single freestanding SHP-heliostat (4.5 m2) for different positions relative to a receiver in the position (0,0) 15 m above the heliostats at 34 deg southern hemisphere. The inner circle shows a circular area of 800 m2; the outer circle shows the area over which in the final design the heliostats with reflector area of 800 m2 are spread.

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Figure 4

Relative annual average performance of freestanding SHP-heliostats depending on the radial distance from the location with the best performance, 10 m on the polar side (this case south) of the receiver. The thin lines represent the radii of the circle in Fig. 3.

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Figure 5

Three different oversized field patterns and their annual average blocking and blocking and shading behaviors: circular-, 244×244-, and stretched EW-pattern

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Figure 6

Close-up of the oversized field based on the EW stretched pattern showing the best 179 heliostats each highlighted by a circle. These 179 heliostats represent the final heliostat field design for the CSIRO field in Newcastle, which fits in a circle with a radius of about 22 m.

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Figure 7

The heliostat field of the best 179 heliostats based on a radial stagger pattern. In this figure the size of the circles represent the space needed by each heliostat to not collide with a neighboring heliostat.

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Figure 8

The annual average performance of an optimized heliostat field of 179 heliostats based on a specific heliostat field pattern and the annual average blocking and shading behaviors depending on the ground coverage

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