Sensitivity Analysis on Optical Performance of a Novel Linear Fresnel Concentrating Solar Power Collector

Guangdong Zhu, Nicholas Kincaid, Greg Mungas, Nick Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


A novel, low-cost linear Fresnel collector for concentrating solar power applications is being developed by Hyperlight Energy (Hyperlight) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Hyperlight is currently deploying their linear Fresnel collector technology in a half-acre pilot loop near Brawley, California. The optical performance of a concentrating solar power collector represents the largest loss in the efficiency of the overall system. The ability to accurately model the complex optical interactions of a collector becomes essential in successfully implementing a new collector technology. This study presents a detailed sensitivity analysis of the optical performance of Hyperlight linear Fresnel technology, characterizing the effects of potential optomechanical error sources on collector performance. Optical models are implemented in SolTrace, a Monte-Carlo ray-tracing software developed at NREL. First, SolTrace is used to analyze collector sensitivity to individual optomechanical error perturbations in both the primary reflectors and the receiver assembly. Then, a high-fidelity optomechanical error model is adopted to capture the realistic performance of the installed Hyperlight linear Fresnel collector. The sensitivity analysis can provide insightful guidance to inform the tightening and relaxation of tolerances during manufacturing and implementation of a new collector technology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-72299


  • Concentrating solar power
  • Linear Fresnel
  • Optical efficiency
  • Optomechanical error


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity Analysis on Optical Performance of a Novel Linear Fresnel Concentrating Solar Power Collector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this