A completely new ray tracing software has been developed at the German Aerospace Center. The main purpose of this software is the flux density simulation of heliostat fields with a very high accuracy in a small amount of computation time. The software is primarily designed to process real sun shape distributions and real highly resolved heliostat geometry data, which means a data set of normal vectors of the entire reflecting surface of each heliostat in the field. Specific receiver and secondary concentrator models, as well as models of objects that are shadowing the heliostat field, can be implemented by the user and be linked to the simulation software subsequently. The specific architecture of the software enables the provision of other powerful simulation environments with precise flux density simulation data for the purpose of entire plant simulations. The software was validated through a severe comparison with measured flux density distributions. The simulation results show very good accordance with the measured results.
A New Fast Ray Tracing Tool for High-Precision Simulation of Heliostat Fields
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Belhomme, B., Pitz-Paal, R., Schwarzbözl, P., and Ulmer, S. (June 10, 2009). "A New Fast Ray Tracing Tool for High-Precision Simulation of Heliostat Fields." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. August 2009; 131(3): 031002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3139139
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