Concentrated solar thermalProject Optimisation of Central Receivers for Advanced Power Cycles
The CSIRO managed a project that aimed to develop an ‘Integrated Central Receiver System Model’ capable of optimising the design of both the heliostat field and solar receiver for high-temperature CSP systems. The project also investigated the quality and durability of heliostat components and established a life cycle cost model for heliostats.
The project aimed to develop an “Integrated Central Receiver System Model” capable of optimising the design of both the heliostat field and solar receiver for high-temperature CSP systems. The project also investigated the quality and durability of heliostat components and established a life cycle cost model for heliostats. The outcomes of the activities were used to demonstrate the optimised design of a high-temperature CSP system, to create a public version of the optimisation software with a graphical user interface, and for sensitivity studies on the impact of the heliostat to the performance and economics of the system. An outline of the project achievements is provided below.
Various heliostat component testings (accelerated linear actuator test, accelerated mirror reflectivity degradation test, wind effect test for heliostat tracking error, mirror shape degradation analysis), have been designed, performed, and are also under continuous data collection. The investigated or estimated heliostat quality were used for simulating its impact on the system performance. A heliostat cost model has been developed and life cycle heliostat costs of different designs have been estimated.
Heliosim-ICRSM is a plugin for CSIRO’s Workspace software that that provides the full capability of the “Integrated Central Receiver System Model” developed in this project. By combining a GPU accelerated ray tracing engine that allows surface meshes description of complex receiver geometries, with a detailed heat transfer model including surface-to-source radiation exchange and CFD simulation of convective cooling, Heliosim-ICRSM provides a unique capability for optimising and simulating the heliostat field and receiver components of a CSP facility. As a case study, the optimised design for a 10 MWt sodium receiver system has been demonstrated. Heliosim-PI, a standalone software package with a graphical interface, has been also developed as a version of the integrated model that will be publicly disseminated. In addition, a second public standalone software package, Heliosim-NSEC, has been developed to provide a tool for quickly performing ray tracing simulations of CSIRO’s experimental facility in Newcastle. Windows, Linux and Mac installers for all three software packages have been uploaded to the CSIRO Data Access Portal. Heliosim-PI and Heliosim-NSEC will be made publicly accessible following completion of the supporting documentation and passing an internal CSIRO review for publicly available material. Heliosim-ICRSM will be retained for use within CSIRO and by authorised project partners.
Through various sensitivity studies with various tools including Heliosim-ICRSM, high-level guidelines (in terms of expected performance increase and acceptable cost increase) for heliostat development have been provided. Regarding receiver design recommendations, upper performance boundaries for two high temperature receivers (liquid Sodium and sCO2 receivers) have been provided along with relevant sensitivity studies.