Analysis of Aerodynamic Loads on Heliostats at Operation Position Using Large Eddy Simulation and the Consistent Discrete Random Flow Generation Method

R. L. Duran, J. F. Hinojosa*, V. M. Maytorena, S. Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study utilizes the large eddy simulation model (LES) and a synthetic method based on the Fourier technique called consistent discrete random flow generation (CDRFG) to analyze the peak aerodynamic loads on heliostats due to the atmospheric boundary layer. With the CDRFG technique, key flow parameters, including mean velocity profile, turbulent intensities, integral length scales, and turbulent spectra generated in wind tunnels, can be replicated while also satisfying the divergence-free condition. A three-facet heliostat with an elevation angle of α = 45 deg and the rear aligned to the inflow was analyzed. The heliostat behaves like a lifting surface in this orientation, accentuating the aerodynamic effect. The methodology proposed in this study can accurately reproduce flow statistics and predict the peak loads. Compared to experimental data, differences of 2.62% for drag, 7.43% for lift, and 11.0% for overturning were observed. Furthermore, the simulation reveals the generation of wingtip vortices on the sides of the heliostat, which contribute to the aerodynamic load. Overall, this technique has been demonstrated to be effective in replicating the atmospheric boundary layer and predicting the aerodynamic coefficients of heliostats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041003
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Volume146
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 by ASME.

Keywords

  • atmospheric boundary layer (ABL)
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • fluid flow
  • heliostat
  • large eddy simulation
  • renewable energy
  • solar tower power plant

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