HELIOCOMM: Wireless Controls State-of-the-Art Report

Eirini Tsiropoulou, Aisha Rahman, Md Sadman Siraj, Matthew Muller (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report introduces the concept of wireless controls in heliostat-based concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) systems. Specifically, the need for wireless communications to be implemented within the heliostat-based CSP systems is identified versus the existing approaches that follow wireline connections which suffer from high installation, operation, and maintenance cost. Furthermore, this report analyzes the most recent advances in the field of developing wireless controls in heliostat-based CSP systems, which are highlighted to be in their infancy given the primitive wireless networking solutions that they currently utilize and test. The main contribution of this report is the introduction of a novel HELIOCOMM system that supports the wireless controls in heliostat-based CSP systems by exploiting the next generation networking technology of integrated access and backhaul. Furthermore, the proposed HELIOCOMM system performs an artificial intelligent clustering approach of the heliostats and clusterhead selection and develops an entropy-based routing model to enable the heliostats to communicate with the central station by considering their energy availability and network traffic. Also, towards efficiently exploiting the limited resources in the developed wireless communication system, a resource allocation module is introduced that performs the maximization of the energy efficiency of each heliostat by minimizing its corresponding experienced end-to-end latency to communicate with the central station, while performing an intelligent bandwidth splitting in the access and backhaul wireless links. The overall architecture is presented, and its individual building components are discussed in detail.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Work performed by the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5K00-88431


  • concentrating solar power
  • heliostat


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