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Research Papers

A New Fast Ray Tracing Tool for High-Precision Simulation of Heliostat Fields

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Belhomme1

 German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany; German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics Solar Research, Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA), 04200 Tabernas, Spainboris.belhomme@dlr.de

R. Pitz-Paal, P. Schwarzbözl, S. Ulmer

 German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany; German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics Solar Research, Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA), 04200 Tabernas, Spain

1

Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(3), 031002 (Jun 10, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3139139 History: Received April 22, 2008; Revised September 23, 2008; Published June 10, 2009

A completely new ray tracing software has been developed at the German Aerospace Center. The main purpose of this software is the flux density simulation of heliostat fields with a very high accuracy in a small amount of computation time. The software is primarily designed to process real sun shape distributions and real highly resolved heliostat geometry data, which means a data set of normal vectors of the entire reflecting surface of each heliostat in the field. Specific receiver and secondary concentrator models, as well as models of objects that are shadowing the heliostat field, can be implemented by the user and be linked to the simulation software subsequently. The specific architecture of the software enables the provision of other powerful simulation environments with precise flux density simulation data for the purpose of entire plant simulations. The software was validated through a severe comparison with measured flux density distributions. The simulation results show very good accordance with the measured results.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Measured (left) and simulated (MIRVAL ) flux density distribution of a heliostat of the Cesa-1 field

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Figure 2

Data volume of an entire geometry data set of different heliostat fields and data densities

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Figure 3

Partial element of a heliostat reflecting surface

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Figure 4

Heliostats with enveloping bounding spheres

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Figure 5

Computation time in s for STRAL and MIRVAL , and the resulting multiple of computation speed

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Figure 6

Sketch of general measurement setup

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Figure 7

Example of a regular stripe pattern reflected in a heliostat at night

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Figure 8

Subset of involved heliostats of the Cesa-1 field

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Figure 9

Local deviation δji between the reference (measured) and the simulated level curve and the corresponding length lji of the curve segment.

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Figure 10

Overlay of the measured and simulated flux density distribution of heliostat H502 (14:39 local time); a significant deviation due to an incorrect heliostat position of the blocking heliostat H402 can be considered in the lower right part of the distribution (left figure), where as it is not remarkable in the cross-sectional view of the distributions (right figure)

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Figure 11

Overlay of the measured and simulated flux density distributions at 14:39 (local time), CSR 5%

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Figure 12

Overlay of the measured and simulated flux density distributions at 10:31 (local time), CSR 5%

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