The design methodology for the determination of the optimal heliostat field designs is presented in detail for a small solar central receiver. The optimization process is reviewed. Cost and performance models are discussed. To illustrate the design process a representative small solar central receiver system is optimized. Cost factors were developed from current prices. The individual heliostat design and cost data were taken from the design of the ten megawatt-electric Barstow Pilot Plant design. A north field configuration, steel guyed tower and a tilted, circular aperture, cavity receiver were utilized. It is demonstrated that solar central receiver systems are more cost effective at higher power levels, above those considered here. But this fact has nothing to do with relative cost effectiveness of competing small, stand-alone, power systems.

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