A new method is described to determine irradiance distributions on receivers and targets from heliostats or other collectors for concentrating solar power applications. The method uses a CCD camera, and, unlike previous beam characterization systems, it does not require additional sensors, calorimeters, or flux gauges on the receiver or target. In addition, spillage can exist (the beam does not need to be contained within the target). The only additional information required besides the digital images recorded from the CCD camera is the direct normal irradiance and the reflectivity of the receiver. Methods are described to calculate either an average reflectivity or a reflectivity distribution for the receiver using the CCD camera. The novel feature of this new PHLUX method is the use of recorded images of the sun to scale both the magnitude of each pixel value and the subtended angle of each pixel. A test was performed to evaluate the PHLUX method using a heliostat beam on the central receiver tower at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility in Albuquerque, NM. Results showed that the PHLUX method was capable of producing an accurate flux map of the heliostat beam with a relative error in the peak flux of 2%.

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