Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 1415–1424 | Cite as

Cosine Efficiency Distribution with Reduced Tower Shadowing Effect in Rotating Heliostat Field

  • Messaoud BouamraEmail author
  • Mustapha Merzouk
Research Article - Mechanical Engineering


Of all concentrating solar power technologies available today; the solar tower power plant is placed in the foreground and may become the preferred technology. In the present work, an algorithm, which gives us the cosine efficiency distribution of preliminary design of rotating heliostat field of solar tower power plant in the northern hemisphere, is presented. A regular radial staggered configuration is used. The variable radial distance between consecutives rows is computed considering the blocking factor constant for the entire solar field. A comparative performance analysis is developed between the existing PS 10 solar power plant in Spain, and the reconfigured one using the technology of rotating solar field concept. The study includes the cosine efficiency and the tower shadowing effect. The reconfigured model of PS10 is believed to be more promising than of the original one, in case it is adapted to suit the same technology.


Shadowing effect Cosine efficiency Solar power tower Rotating heliostat field Performance 

List of symbols

\({\delta }\)

Solar declination angle (\(^{\circ }\))

\(\alpha _{\mathrm{s}} \)

Solar altitude angle (\(^{\circ }\))

\(\omega _{\mathrm{s}} \)

Hour angle (\(^{\circ }\))

\(\Delta R\)

Local radial increment (m)


Width–height ration of the heliostat


Height of the heliostat (m)

\(\Delta R_{\mathrm{min}} \)

Minimum allowable local increment of the radius between consecutive rows (m)

\(\vec {t}\)

Unit vector pointing to the receiver surface

\(H_\mathrm{t} \)

Tower optical height

\({\varPsi }_{\mathrm{max}}\)

Maximum angular direction (\(^{\circ }\))

\(R_{\mathrm{region}} \)

Radius for the first row of such heliostat region (m)

\(\varepsilon _{\mathrm{T}} \)

Elevation angle of the heliostat unit vector pointing from the center of the heliostat surface to the receiver

\({\eta }_{\mathrm{cos}} \)

Cosine efficiency

\({n}_\mathrm{d} \)

Day of the year

\(\phi \)

Latitude angle of heliostat field (\(^{\circ }\))

\(\gamma _{\mathrm{s}} \)

Solar azimuth angle (\(^{\circ }\))

\(f_{\mathrm{b}} \)

Blocking factor

\(\omega \)

Incidence angle (\(^{\circ }\))

\(L_{\mathrm{s}} \)

Length of the tower shaded area


Tower height

\(\vec {s}\)

Unit vector pointing to the sun

\(\vec {n}\)

Unit normal of the surface of the heliostat

\(\Delta \alpha _{\mathrm{T}} \)

Azimuth angle increment (\(^{\circ }\))

\(\hbox {DHs}\)

Diagonal of the heliostat considering a safety distance (m)

\(\hbox {ds}\)

Separation distance factor between the adjacent heliostats


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MechanicsBlida University 1, Fundamental and Applied Physics Laboratory (FundAPL)BlidaAlgeria
  2. 2.Renewable Energies DepartmentBlida University 1BlidaAlgeria

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