Towards large-scale solar energy systems with peak concentrations of 20,000 suns

Abraham Kribus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The heliostat field plays a crucial role in defining the achievable limits for central receiver system efficiency and cost. Increasing system efficiency, thus reducing the reflective area and system cost, can be achieved by increasing the concentration and the receiver temperature. The concentration achievable in central receiver plants, however, is constrained by current heliostat technology and design practices. The factors affecting field performance are surface and tracking errors, astigmatism, shadowing, blocking and dilution. These are geometric factors that can be systematically treated and reduced. We present improvements in collection optics and technology that may boost concentration (up to 20,000 peak), achievable temperature (2,000 K), and efficiency in solar central receiver plants. The increased performance may significantly reduce the cost of solar energy in existing applications, and enable solar access to new ultra-high-temperature applications, such as: future gas turbines approaching 60% combined cycle efficiency; high-temperature thermo-chemical processes; and gas-dynamic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventNonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 27 Jul 199727 Jul 1997


  • Astigmatism
  • Central receiver
  • Dilution
  • Heliostats
  • Stationary collectors
  • Tracking


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