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Optimal Heliostat Layout in Solar Fields Disclosure Number: IPCOM000226027D
Publication Date: 2013-Mar-20

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This paper presents a method of developing an optimal heliostat layout in solar fields respective to one or more solar towers.

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Optimal Heliostat Layout in Solar Fields

Eyal Rozenman and Udi Eilat

This paper presents a method of developing an optimal heliostat layout in solar fields respective to one or more solar towers.


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    Insolation can be used by a solar thermal power system to generate solar steam and/or for heating a fluid, such as a molten salt or a gas, which may subsequently be used in the production of electricity. A solar thermal power system employing a single solar tower is shown below in FIG. 1. The system can include a solar tower, which has a target that receives reflected sunlight from a solar field, which at least partially surrounds the solar tower.

           FIG. 1 - A solar power system with a single solar tower
The solar tower can have a height of 100 meters or more (in some examples a tower

may exceed 150 meters). The target of the insolation can be a solar energy receiver system, which can include an insolation receiving surface of one or more solar receivers configured to transmit heat energy of the insolation to a working fluid or heat transfer fluid flowing therethrough. The target may include one or more separate solar receivers (e.g., an evaporating solar receiver and a superheating solar receiver) arranged at the same or different heights or positions and/or serving different functions. The target or receiver can include, but is not limited to, a photovoltaic assembly, a steam-generating assembly, a steam superheater, a steam reheater, molten salt receivers, air receivers, helium receivers, particle receivers, or any other assembly for heating a solid or fluid, a biological growth assembly for growing biological matter (e.g., for producing a biofuel), or any other target configured to convert insolation into useful energy and/or work. A secondary reflector can be disposed in the tower


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and the target (e.g., solar receiver) located at or near ground level. The secondary reflector can receive the reflected insolation from the solar field and then reflect it down to the target.

    The solar field can include a plurality of heliostats, each of which is configured to direct insolation at a target on the solar tower. The heliostats within the solar field can adjust their orientation to track the sun as it moves across the sky, thereby continuing to reflect insolation onto one or more aiming points associated with the target. A heliostat can include either a single mirror or a mirror assembly of one or more mirrors that can rotate in tandem in rigid body rotation. The heliostat may have one or two rotational degrees of freedom. Although only two individual heliostats are shown in FIG. 1, actual systems may include several thousand heliostats. For example, a solar field can include over 50,000 heliostats deployed in over an area of approximately four km2 or greater.

    The heliostat density and/or arrangement are not necessarily consistent throughout the solar field. Rather, heliostat density can vary depending upon locat...