Computer Simulation of Shading and Blocking: Discussion of Accuracy and Recommendations

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    A field of heliostats suffers losses caused by shading and blocking by neighboring heliostats. The complex geometry of multiple shading and blocking events suggests that a processing code is needed to update the boundary vector for each shading or blocking event. A new version, RSABS, (programmer's manual included) simulates the split-rectangular heliostat. Researchers concluded that the dominanterror for the given heliostat geometry is caused by the departure from planarity of the neighboring heliostats. It is recommended that a version of the heliostat simulation be modified to include losses due to nonreflective structural margins, if they occur. Heliostat neighbors should be given true guidance rather than assumed to be parallel, and the resulting nonidentical quadrilateral imagesshould be processed, as in HELlOS, by ignoring overlapping events, rare in optimized fields.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages44
    StatePublished - 1992

    Bibliographical note

    Work performed by University of Houston, Houston, Texas

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-253-4281


    • blocking
    • computer simulations
    • heliostats
    • shading
    • split-rectangular heliostat


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