Comparison of two sun tracking methods in the application of a heliostat field

Y. T. Chen*, A. Kribus, B. H. Lim, C. S. Lim, K. K. Chong, J. Karni, R. Buck, A. Pfahl, T. P. Bligh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The basic mathematics and structure of heliostat have remained unchanged for many decades. Following the challenge first made by Ries et al., the non-imaging focusing heliostat recently proposed by Chen et al. provides an alternative in the field of concentrated solar energy. This paper investigates the performance of a heliostat field composed of the newly proposed heliostats. In contrast to the dynamic curvature adjustment proposed in our previous work for a solar furnace, a fixed asymmetric curvature is used here with the spinning-elevation tracking method. This restriction is intended to equalize the manufacture cost of the new heliostat with that of traditional heliostats with azimuth-elevation tracking and spherical curvature. Fixing the curvature results in only partial aberration correction, compared to full correction using the dynamic adjustment of curvature. Nevertheless, the case studies presented in this paper show that the new heliostat design can reduce the receiver spillage loss by 10-30%, and provide a much more uniform performance without large variations with time of day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-644
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


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