Journal article

Modelling of the receiver transient flux distribution due to cloud passages on a solar tower thermal power plant

As more and more solar tower thermal power plants are being operated, built or planned, effort is put both on the development and research to bring costs down and increase the plant efficiency. In those plants, the central receiver is one of the key components, accounting for a large investment share. Receivers have to sustain strong thermal stresses caused by irradiation transients, mainly due to cloud passages. To avoid premature failures, increase the receiver cyclic life, and allow longer daily operation periods, an anticipation of the most likely or the worst situations is required. First the calculation of the receiver incident flux distribution is performed, second the cloud and cloud passage characteristics are identified for a given location, third the most likely case is simulated by covering and uncovering the heliostat field, then a worst case configuration is presented, and finally a strategy for the start-up/shut-down of the heliostats is proposed. The value of terms such as the heat flux peak, the maximal flux gradient, the fastest flux transient and total power transients are needed to choose the control strategies regarding heliostat orientation and the receiver operation, as well as the elimination of some bad plant layouts during the design phase.


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