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Research Papers

On Analyzing the Optical Performance of Solar Central Tower Systems on Hillsides Using Biomimetic Spiral Distribution

[+] Author and Article Information
Suhil Kiwan

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Jordan University of Science and Technology,
Irbid 22110, Jordan
e-mail: kiwan@just.edu.jo

Saif Al Hamad

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Jordan University of Science and Technology,
Irbid 22110, Jordan
e-mail: smalhamad15@eng.just.edu.jo

1Corresponding author.

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 February 4, 2018; final manuscript received August 1, 2018; published online September 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Marc Röger.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(1), 011010 (Sep 14, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1050; doi: 10.1115/1.4041101 History: Received February 04, 2018; Revised August 01, 2018

The optical performance of solar central tower (CT) systems on hillsides of mountain areas is investigated based on the biomimetic spiral heliostat field distribution algorithm. The optical efficiencies and the field characteristics of different hillside solar field configurations are examined. The effect of various geometric parameters such as hillside tilt angle and the location of the receiver on the optical efficiency of the field are investigated and documented. The study is based on generating a 25 MWth power plant at the location of Sierra Sun Tower in California, USA, using Planta Solar 10 (PS10) heliostats' parameters. This study is performed numerically using a specially developed code using matlab software. The biomimetic spiral distribution pattern and the particle swarm optimization (PSO) method were used to obtain optimum solar fields. The spiral distribution shape factors were optimized for pursuing maximum annual weighted field efficiency. It is found that the annual optical weighted field efficiency for hillside solar fields is always lower than that for a flat field for same receiver height. On the other hand, the field land area for small hillside-slopes is smaller than that of a flat field area. It is found that there is an optimum field tilt angle where the land area is minimum. The minimum field area for the system studied in this paper was associated with (15 deg) field tilt angle. Furthermore, it was found that as the tower height increases the annual optical field weighted efficiency increases until it reaches a peak value. It was also found that, the closer the tower to the beginning of the heliostat field, the higher the field efficiency with less number of heliostats and less land area.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

System layout side view

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Fig. 2

Global coordinate system and solar vector

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Fig. 3

Solar incident and reflected angle “θ”

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Fig. 4

Receiver tilt angle definition

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Fig. 5

Vectors for the process of updating PSO particle position

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Fig. 6

Flowchart of the optimization procedure

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Fig. 7

Shading efficiency versus shade range

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Fig. 8

Schematic representation for field tilt angle variation; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 9

Variation of optical efficiencies for optimal heliostat field with field tilt angle; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 10

Effect of field tilt angle on the number of heliostats; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 11

Effect of field tilt angle on the maximum heliostat field elevation; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 12

Effect of field tilt angle on field area; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 13

Perpendicular view for (a) 0 deg filed and (b) 15 deg field; HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT

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Fig. 14

Schematic representation for receiver height variation; Dmin = 0.75* HT and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 15

Variation of optical efficiencies for optimal heliostat field with tower height; Dmin = 0.75* HT and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 16

Effect of tower height on the maximum heliostat field elevation; Dmin = 0.75* HT and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 17

Effect of tower height on number of heliostats; Dmin = 0.75* HT and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 18

Effect of tower height on field area; Dmin = 0.75* HT and θtilt=15 deg

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Fig. 19

Schematic representation for Dmin variation; HT = 285 m and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 20

Variation of optical efficiencies for optimal heliostat field with distance between tower and heliostat field; HT = 285 m and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 21

Effect of distance between tower and heliostat field on number of heliostats; HT = 285 m and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 22

Effect of distance between tower and the beginning of the heliostat field on the maximum heliostat field elevation; HT = 285 m and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 23

Effect of distance between tower and heliostat field on field area; HT = 285 m and θtilt = 15 deg

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Fig. 24

Variation of the annual weighted efficiency with the heliostat-receiver altitude angles (for flat field and 15 deg tilted field, HT = 55 m and Dmin = 0.75* HT)

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