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US20090107485: CALIBRATION AND TRACKING CONTROL OF HELIOSTATS IN A CENTRAL TOWER RECEIVER SOLAR POWER PLANT
49 Claims, 14 Drawings
A suntracking system for a central receiver solar power plant includes a heliostat field for reflecting sunlight to a receiver, cameras directed toward at least a subset of the heliostats, and a controller. The cameras are configured to produce images of sunlight reflected from multiple heliostats. The heliostats include a mirrored surface having a settable orientation and have a geometry modeled by a set of parameters. A method of estimating heliostat parameters for open-loop suntracking includes acquiring pointing samples by setting the direction of reflection of the heliostats and detecting concurrent sunlight reflections into the cameras. The method uses the acquired pointing samples and surveyed locations of the cameras to estimate the heliostat parameters. The method accurately maintains the sun's reflection directed toward the receiver open-loop utilizing the estimated tracking parameters.
- 1. A suntracking system for a central receiver solar power plant, comprising:
a heliostat field comprising heliostats for reflecting sunlight to a receiver;
cameras directed toward at least a subset of the heliostats and configured for producing images of the heliostats; and
a controller configured for processing the images, controlling the heliostats, and estimating parameters of the heliostats for tracking the sun open-loop.
- 24. A method for estimating heliostat parameters for open-loop suntracking in a central receiver solar power plant, the plant comprising a plurality of heliostats for reflecting sunlight to a receiver and a plurality of cameras, each heliostat's geometry modeled by a set of parameters, each heliostat comprising a mirrored surface having an orientation settable by a configuration, each camera directed toward at least a subset of the heliostats and configured for producing images of the heliostats, the method comprising:
acquiring heliostat pointing samples utilizing the cameras directed at the heliostats;
estimating heliostat tracking parameters utilizing the pointing samples; and
maintaining the sun's reflection directed toward the receiver open-loop utilizing the estimated tracking parameters.
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