This paper presents FluxTracer, an advanced open source computer tool to assist in the analysis, design, and optimization of solar concentrators and receivers. FluxTracer is a postprocessor for Monte Carlo ray tracers used to simulate the optical behavior of solar concentrating systems. By postprocessing the rays generated by the ray tracer, FluxTracer can partition into volumetric pixels (voxels) a region of interest in three-dimensional (3D) space defined by the user and compute for each voxel the radiant power density of the concentrated solar radiation. Depending upon the set of rays provided by the ray tracer, it may be able to integrate the radiant power density in every voxel over time. The radiant energy density analysis described is just one of the analyses that FluxTracer can carry out on the set of rays generated by the ray tracer. This paper presents the main analyses that FluxTracer can provide. It also presents examples of how the information provided by FluxTracer can be used to assist in the analysis, design, and optimization of solar concentrators and receivers. FluxTracer is the first of a series of components of an open-source computational framework for the analysis, design, and optimization of solar concentrators and receiver, being developed by The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Australian National University (ANU).
FluxTracer: A Ray Tracer Postprocessor to Assist in the Design and Optimization of Solar Concentrators and Receivers
Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received September 27, 2018; final manuscript received November 20, 2018; published online January 8, 2019. Guest Editors: Tatsuya Kodama, Christian Sattler, Nathan Siegel, Ellen Stechel.
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Blanco, M., Constantinou, M., Corsi, C., Grigoriev, V., Milidonis, K., Panagiotou, C. F., Papanicolas, C. N., Pye, J., and Votyakov, E. (January 8, 2019). "FluxTracer: A Ray Tracer Postprocessor to Assist in the Design and Optimization of Solar Concentrators and Receivers." ASME. J. Sol. Energy Eng. April 2019; 141(2): 021015. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4042127
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