Wind Load Analysis of a New Linear Fresnel Receiver Assembly Design

Guangdong Zhu, Janna Martinek, Greg Mungas, Nicholas Kramer, Abhishek Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


A linear Fresnel collector includes a low-profile reflector array and a receiver assembly with one or more absorber tubes and an optional secondary reflector. This combined optical system concentrates sunlight and converts it into thermal energy. The design of a receiver assembly is critical to the performance of a linear Fresnel collector. A position deviation of a few centimeters for the receiver assembly can result in notably reduced performance, thus leading to a direct loss in revenue associated with thermal power production. Wind load is one of the most significant environmental factors that can alter the optical - and therefore thermal - performance of a solar power system due to displacements after installation. At the same time, an over-designed receiver assembly may add unnecessary construction cost to a typically high-cost-constrained system. Thus, wind load analysis is particularly important when considering optimal engineering design of a receiver assembly and its supporting structure to cost-effectively mitigate the impacts of wind. In this study, a detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is adopted to derive the wind load of a commercial linear Fresnel receiver assembly. This wind load is then used as a reference to optimize the detailed engineering design. The CFD model is first carefully developed and benchmarked within a critical regime toward turbulence. The drag force, lift force, and vortex-shedding frequencies are derived at both the operating and survival wind-speed limits for target project deployment locations. The wind load analysis results provide a valuable reference for future engineering design and prototyping.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number053703
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-68491


  • computational fluid dynamics
  • drag force
  • linear fresnel
  • receiver assembly
  • turbulence
  • vortex shedding
  • wind load


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