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research-article

Multivariate closed control loop methodology for heliostat aiming manipulation in solar central receiver systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Jesus Garcia

Department of Mechanical Engineering. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia
jesusmg@uninorte.edu.co

Yen C. Soo Too

CSIRO Energy Centre, Mayfield West, NSW 2304, Australia
yenchean@csiro.au

Ricardo Vasquez Padilla

School of Environment, Science and Engineering. Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, 2480, Australia
ricardo.vasquez.padilla@scu.edu.au

Andrew Beath

CSIRO Energy Centre, Mayfield West, NSW 2304, Australia
andrew.beath@csiro.au

Jin-Soo Kim

CSIRO Energy Centre, Mayfield West, NSW 2304, Australia
jin-soo.kim@csiro.au

Marco E. Sanjuan

Department of Mechanical Engineering. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia
msanjuan@uninorte.edu.co

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039255 History: Received July 24, 2017; Revised December 19, 2017

Abstract

Maintaining receiver's thermal stresses below the material limits is one of the issues that need careful attention in solar thermal towers. Thermal stresses depend on heliostats' aiming points over the central receiver and available direct solar radiation at any instant. Since this technology relies on an unavoidable time-changing resource, aiming points need to be properly manipulated to avoid excessive thermal stresses. This paper proposes a new aiming point strategy based on a multiple-input multiple-output model predictive control (MPC) approach. It shows an alternative approach by introducing an agent-based group behaviour over heliostats' subsets, which makes possible either concentrating or dispersing solar radiation as required by the MPC algorithm. Simulated results indicate that it is feasible to develop a closed-loop control procedure that distributes solar irradiance over the central receiver according to the predefined heat flux limits. The performance of the proposed approach is also compared with results found in the available literature that uses a different methodology.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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