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Title: SolarPILOT: A power tower solar field layout and characterization tool

Abstract

This paper develops and demonstrates a new SolarPower tower Integrated Layout and Optimization Tool (SolarPILOT). The tool uses the analytical flux image Hermite series approximation originally implemented in the DELSOL3 software developed by Sandia National Laboratory in the early 1980s. By applying the analytical model to individual heliostat images rather than large groups or zones of heliostats, SolarPILOT can characterize a wide variety of heliostat field layouts. The individual heliostat modeling approach increases computational expense in comparison with DELSOL3, so SolarPILOT implements a number of improvements to the analytical approximation method to improve model accuracy and computational efficiency. This paper discusses several of these methods, including dynamic heliostat grouping to reduce the expense of intercept factor evaluation, approximation of annual productivity with a subset of time steps throughout the year, polygon clipping to accurately calculate inter-heliostat shadowing and blocking, receiver and tower geometry optimization, and a trigonometric image transformation technique that ensures model accuracy for small heliostats. SolarPILOT also integrates a Monte-Carlo ray tracing engine (SolTrace), providing improved receiver optical modeling capability, a user-friendly front end for geometry definition, and side-by-side validation of the analytical algorithms.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1461367
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1545389
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5500-66106
Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 171; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; SolarPILOT; power tower; heliostat layout; pptical characterization; simulation optimization

Citation Formats

Wagner, Michael J., and Wendelin, Tim. SolarPILOT: A power tower solar field layout and characterization tool. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2018.06.063.
Wagner, Michael J., & Wendelin, Tim. SolarPILOT: A power tower solar field layout and characterization tool. United States. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2018.06.063.
Wagner, Michael J., and Wendelin, Tim. Sun . "SolarPILOT: A power tower solar field layout and characterization tool". United States. doi:10.1016/j.solener.2018.06.063. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1461367.
@article{osti_1461367,
title = {SolarPILOT: A power tower solar field layout and characterization tool},
author = {Wagner, Michael J. and Wendelin, Tim},
abstractNote = {This paper develops and demonstrates a new SolarPower tower Integrated Layout and Optimization Tool (SolarPILOT). The tool uses the analytical flux image Hermite series approximation originally implemented in the DELSOL3 software developed by Sandia National Laboratory in the early 1980s. By applying the analytical model to individual heliostat images rather than large groups or zones of heliostats, SolarPILOT can characterize a wide variety of heliostat field layouts. The individual heliostat modeling approach increases computational expense in comparison with DELSOL3, so SolarPILOT implements a number of improvements to the analytical approximation method to improve model accuracy and computational efficiency. This paper discusses several of these methods, including dynamic heliostat grouping to reduce the expense of intercept factor evaluation, approximation of annual productivity with a subset of time steps throughout the year, polygon clipping to accurately calculate inter-heliostat shadowing and blocking, receiver and tower geometry optimization, and a trigonometric image transformation technique that ensures model accuracy for small heliostats. SolarPILOT also integrates a Monte-Carlo ray tracing engine (SolTrace), providing improved receiver optical modeling capability, a user-friendly front end for geometry definition, and side-by-side validation of the analytical algorithms.},
doi = {10.1016/j.solener.2018.06.063},
journal = {Solar Energy},
number = C,
volume = 171,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

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