Abstract

The effects of random waviness, curvature, and tracking error of plane-mirror heliostats in a rectangular array around a central-receiver solar power system are determined by subdividing each mirror into 484 elements, assuming the slope of each element to be representative of the surface slope average at its location, and summing the contributions of all elements and then of all mirrors in the array. Total received power and flux density distribution are computed for a given sun location and set of array parameter values. Effects of shading and blocking by adjacent mirrors are included in the calculation. Alt-azimuth mounting of the heliostats is assumed. Representative curves for two receiver diameters and two sun locations indicate a power loss of 20% for random waviness, curvature, and tracking error of 0.1° rms, 0.002 m−1, and 0.5°, 3σ, respectively, for an 18.2-m diam receiver and 0.3° rms, 0.005 m−1, and greater than 1°, respectively, for a 30.4-m diam receiver.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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