Optical simulation of a central receiver system: Comparison of different software tools

Year: 2018

Authors: Jafrancesco D., Cardoso J., Mutuberria A., Leonardi E., Les I., Sansoni P., Francini F., Fontani D.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-INO National Institute of Optics, Largo E. Fermi, 6, Firenze 50125, Italy; Laboratorio Nacional de Energia e Geologia IP, Estrada do Paço do Lumiar, 22, 1649-038 Lisboa, Portugal; Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables, Ciudad de la Innovación 7, 31621 Sarriguren, Navarra, España; CRS4, PST Polaris, Edificio 1, 09010 Pula, CA, Italy

Abstract: Heliostat field layout design is a critical task in solar tower power plant construction due to its impact in the final plant efficiency and cost. The complexity of these systems and the high number of parameters to define during the field design stage demand the use of suitable simulation tools to compare different design options and
evaluate the final performance of the heliostat field. This work concerns a comparison of some of the most common tools used for the heliostat field layout design and analysis, aiming to help Concentrating Solar Power researchers and industry by providing more information regarding the tools comparative results and features. A brief review of available tools is presented, including an extended description of some of them – Tonatiuh, SolTrace, TracePro and CRS4-2. A qualitative comparison of these four tools is performed focusing on functionality and usability. A quantitative comparison is done providing simulation results for a test-case, the SPSS-CRS facility located at Plataforma Solar de Almeria in Spain. In general, the results for total power and maximum irradiance are in good agreement across most tools. The total power values are very close for Tonatiuh, SolTrace and CRS4-2. Apart from the designer preferences, the choice of the most suitable tool depends on the specific application and requirements.


Volume: 94      Pages from: 792  to: 803

More Information: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under grant agreement no. 609837 . This work was developed with the project STAGE-STE “Scientific and Technological Alliance for Guaranteeing the European Excellence in concentrating Solar Thermal Energy”.
KeyWords: Computer aided software engineering; Solar energy, Central receiver system; Concentrating solar power; Heliostat field; Optical modeling; Simulation, Computer software
DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2018.06.028

Citations: 38
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