Research Papers

A Novel Portable Device to Measure Transmittance and Reflectance of Parabolic Trough Receiver Tubes in the Field

[+] Author and Article Information
Guillermo Espinosa-Rueda

Abengoa Solar New Technologies, S.A.,
Seville 41014, Spain
e-mail: guillermo.espinosa.rueda@gmail.com

Noelia Martinez-Sanz

Abengoa Solar New Technologies, S.A.,
Madrid 28046, Spain
e-mail: noelia.martinez@abengoa.com

David Izquierdo-Nuñez

Centro Universitario de la Defensa,
Zaragoza 50090, Spain
e-mail: d.izquierdo@unizar.es

Marta Osta-Lombardo

Grupo de Tecnologías Fotónicas,
Instituto Universitario de Investigación
en Ingeniería de Aragón,
University of Zaragoza,
Zaragoza 50018, Spain
e-mail: mosta@unizar.es

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received November 18, 2015; final manuscript received August 4, 2016; published online September 2, 2016. Assoc. Editor: M. Keith Sharp.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(6), 061003 (Sep 02, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1393; doi: 10.1115/1.4034444 History: Received November 18, 2015; Revised August 04, 2016

The performance of parabolic trough (PT) receiver tubes (RTs) has a direct impact on concentrated solar power (CSP) plant production. As a result, one major need of operation and maintenance (O&M) in operating plants is to monitor the state of the receiver tube as a key element in the solar field. In order to fulfill this necessity, Abengoa Solar has developed the first existing portable device for measuring the transmittance and reflectance of parabolic trough receiver tubes directly in the field. This paper offers a description of the technical features of the instrument and reviews the issues related to its usability as a workable portable device in operating solar fields. To evaluate its performance, laboratory studies have been carried out using two patterns to determine the accuracy and standard deviation of the measurements, obtaining excellent results. This information is complemented with data collected by O&M using this instrument in solar power plants. Studies have been carried out to determine the effect of both rainfall and artificial cleaning on the increase of transmittance. These values are then compared to those obtained from hand-cleaning, and show important differences. The results are discussed in this paper.

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Fig. 1

Device measuring properties of a receiver tube

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Fig. 2

Mini-Incus device optical sets to measure transmittance and reflectance of the receiver tube

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Fig. 3

Alignment system to quantify displacement of absorber tube to the glass envelope center

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Fig. 4

(a) Laboratory set of references; (b) field set of references

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Fig. 5

Spline interpolation to build up the curve from 365 to 1950 nm

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Fig. 6

Extrapolation to build up the curve from 300 to 2500 nm

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Fig. 12

Monitoring of global plant transmittance during summer with washing by dilution

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Fig. 11

Evolution of receiver tubes' reflectance during the winter campaign

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Fig. 10

Evolution of the global plant transmittance during the winter campaign

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Fig. 9

Reflectance measurements taken by the portable device are compared to those recorded by a Pelkin Elmer

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Fig. 8

Transmittance measurements taken by the portable device are compared to those recorded by a Pelkin Elmer

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Fig. 7

(a) Distribution of 600 measurements of transmittance taken with the Mini Incus on the same receiver for different conditions. (b) Distribution of 600 measurements of reflectance taken with the Mini Incus on the same receiver for different conditions.

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Fig. 13

Transmittance evolution for each of the discriminated groups of troughs



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