Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) dish systems use a parabolic dish to concentrate sunlight, providing heat for a thermodynamic cycle to generate shaft power and ultimately, electricity. Currently, leading contenders use a Stirling cycle engine with a heat absorber surface at about 800°C. The concentrated light passes through an aperture, which controls the thermal losses of the receiver system. Similar systems may use the concentrated light to heat a thermochemical process. The concentrator system, typically steel and glass, provides a source of fuel over the service life of the system, but this source of fuel manifests as a capital cost up front. Therefore, it is imperative that the cost of the reflector assembly is minimized. However, dish systems typically concentrate light to a peak of as much as 13,000 suns, with an average geometric concentration ratio of over 3000 suns. Several recent dish-Stirling systems have incorporated reflector facets with a normally-distributed surface slope error (local distributed waviness) of 0.8 mrad RMS (1-sigma error). As systems move toward commercialization, the cost of these highly accurate facets must be assessed. However, when considering lower-cost options, any decrease in the performance of the facets must be considered in the evaluation of such facets. In this paper, I investigate the impact of randomly-distributed slope errors on the performance, and therefore the value, of a typical dish-Stirling system. There are many potential sources of error in a concentrating system. When considering facet options, the surface waviness, characterized as a normally-distributed slope error, has the greatest impact on the aperture size and therefore the thermal losses. I develop an optical model and a thermal model for the performance of a baseline system. I then analyze the impact on system performance for a range of mirror quality, and evaluate the impact of such performance changes on the economic value of the system. This approach can be used to guide the evaluation of low-cost facets that differ in performance and cost. The methodology and results are applicable to other point- and line-focus thermal systems including dish-Brayton, dish-Thermochemical, tower systems, and troughs.
- Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
Cost/Performance Tradeoffs for Reflectors Used in Solar Concentrating Dish Systems
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Andraka, CE. "Cost/Performance Tradeoffs for Reflectors Used in Solar Concentrating Dish Systems." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer, Fluids Engineering, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences. ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 2. Jacksonville, Florida, USA. August 10–14, 2008. pp. 505-513. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ES2008-54048
Download citation file: