Development of an Elevation–Fresnel Linked Mini-Heliostat Array

Isaías Moreno-Cruz,Juan Carlos Castro,Omar Álvarez-Brito,Hilda B. Mota-Nava,Guillermo Ramírez-Zúñiga,José J. Quiñones-Aguilar and Camilo A. Arancibia-Bulnes


Heliostats are critical components of solar tower technology and different strategies have been proposed to reduce their costs; among them diminishing their size to reduce wind loads or linking nearby heliostats mechanically, to reduce the overall number of actuators. This document aims to describe the development of a linked array of mini-heliostats which move together in an elevation–Fresnel configuration. This configuration consists of an array of mirrors rotating around linked parallel axes, in a linear Fresnel style with an added elevation mechanism allowing all axes to incline simultaneously in the plane North–South–Zenith; that is equivalent to an array of N linked mini-heliostats moved by only two drives instead of 2N. A detailed analytical study of the Sun-tracking performance of this kind of heliostat arrays was carried out, and an 8-mirror prototype based on optical and mechanical analyses was designed, built and tested. Even though the mirrors are flat, the array produced a rather compact radiative flux distribution on the receiver. The flux distribution is compatible with a slope error of the order of 1 mrad. Peak and mean concentration ratios reached 6.89 and 3.94, respectively

Development of an Elevation–Fresnel Linked Mini-Heliostat Array

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