Optimization of Blockage on Solar Panel Systems and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Systems
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIt is well-established that renewable energy is produced from sources that do not deplete or can be replenished within a human’s lifetime. Collecting solar energy through solar panels faces a significant utilization efficiency problem. As collectors direct to collect solar energy, solar panels are sometimes blocked by other surrounding solar panels because of sunlight shifting angles. Other surrounding heliostats also block heliostats to reflect sunlight in concentrated solar power systems as sunlight shifting angles. For these reasons, it is essential to estimate the mutual blocking rate and find the optimum row-spacing for a solar panel field or geometrical layout for a heliostat field. The available literature regarding mutual blocking analysis or optimizations of a solar field usually discusses an algorithm of estimating mutual blocking rate with many abstract calculations or a series of geometrical layouts under fixed conditions. But this paper presents a straightaway geometric algorithm that collaborated with MATLAB to approach the mutual blocking rate, accompanied by the amount of monthly/yearly energy collected. Also, it demonstrates different optimizing thoughts based on utilization efficiency and the cost of energy collected for the solar panel in a solar field to optimize the row spacing. Moreover, it also provides this algorithm’s wide range of applications for heliostats in a CSP system to estimate the mutual blocking rate. In this context, the distance ratio (Ds Ratio), as an optimizing value about row spacing, is defined the ratio of the distance between two solar panels and the width of the solar panel. A MATLAB computer model was created to simulate these situations and find the optimum Ds Ratios based on the mutual blocking analysis. The yearly energy harvested from a solar panels field simulated at Tucson in 2019 can be estimated. And developed model estimated instantaneous blockage of a heliostat in a CSP system anytime and anywhere. The results showed that blockage could almost be avoided at setting a Ds Ratio of 1.83 for a solar panels field at Tucson with an average solar panels utilization efficiency of 99.5%. Also, the Ds ratio of 1.15 is the most optimal value to build a solar panels field with the lowest economic cost and utilization rate of 94.8% in Tucson. These results gave suggestions to those investors who consider the solar panels blockage to build a lar solar panels field. These results can also provide estimated heliostat blockage to researchers to optimize a CSP system’s heliostat layout.
Degree ProgramGraduate College