Ph.D. thesis on solar resource estimates

The Ph.D. thesis concerns the solar resource estimate in Solar Tower Power Plants (STPPs). In STPPs, a heliostat field focuses the solar radiation on a receiver located at the top of a tower. Before reaching and after reflected by the heliostats, the solar radiation interacts with the atmosphere and with the ground surface. The atmosphere is composed of molecules which scatter the solar radiation, with particles in suspension called aerosols, which present highly variable optical properties.

The objective of the Ph.D. thesis is to estimate all the interactions between the solar radiation on one hand, and the atmosphere, the ground surface and any objects on the other hand, to provide the best estimate of the solar resource in a STPP. Figure 1 shows that the atmosphere can be responsible of production loss (see the ASoRA project). The Figure also shows that not only heliostats direct the solar radiation to the receiver, but also the atmosphere and the ground surface. For this work, the SMART-G code is adapted to compute not only the radiative transfer in the atmosphere but also the impact of a heliostat field, and to integrate all solar radiation reaching a receiver.

Figure 1 : Role of both the atmosphere and the ground surface on solar resource in a STPP. The blue arrow shows solar beam reaching the receiver (R) from the heliostat (H) without interactions with the atmosphere and the ground surface. The red arrows show some effects of the atmospheric scattering. The green arrow shows that the ground surface can also contribute to send solar radiation to the receiver.

Tutoring: Hygeos and LOA
Contact at Hygeos: Mustapha Moulana