The optical performance of a novel solar concentrator consisting of a 400 spherical heliostat array and a linked two-axis tracking system is analyzed using the Monte Carlo ray-tracing technique. The optical efficiency and concentration ratio are compared for four different heliostat linkage configurations, including linkages of 1 × 1, 1 × 2, 2 × 2, 4 × 4, and 5 × 5 heliostats for 7-hour operation and the selected months of June and December. The optical performance of the concentrator decreases with the increasing number of heliostats in the individual groups due to increasing optical inaccuracies. In June, the best-performing linked configuration, in which 1 heliostat in the east-west direction and 2 heliostats in the north-south direction are linked, provides a monthly-averaged 7-hour optical efficiency and average concentration ratio of 79% and 511 suns, respectively. In December, the optical efficiency and the average concentration ratio decreases to 61% and 315 suns, respectively.
Optical Analysis of a Heliostat Array With Linked Tracking
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 30, 2012; final manuscript received February 2, 2013; published online April 29, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Akiba Segal.
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Dunham, M. T., Kasetty, R., Mathur, A., and Lipiński, W. (April 29, 2013). "Optical Analysis of a Heliostat Array With Linked Tracking." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2013; 135(3): 034501. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023593
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