DOI: 10.3390/en16166000 ISSN:

Structural Performance-Based Design Optimisation of a Secondary Mirror for a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plant

Lucio Pinello, Massimo Fossati, Marco Giglio, Francesco Cadini, Carla Bevilacqua, Mario Cilento, Fulvio Bassetti, Raffaello Magaldi
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a receiver, to heat a fluid and store thermal energy, at high temperature and energy density, to produce dispatchable heat and/or electricity. The secondary mirror is a critical component in the optical system of certain Solar Power Tower plants (SPT), as it redirects the concentrated sunlight from the primary mirror onto the receiver, which can be arranged at ground level. In this study, we propose a design optimisation for the secondary mirror of a CSP plant. The design optimisation method consists of two steps. The first step involves the use of the finite element simulation software Abaqus 2022 to analyse the structural performance of the secondary mirror under thermal loads and wind. The second step consists of the use of simulation results to identify the combination of design parameters and best performances, with respect to both design constraints and structural safety. This is carried out by developing an algorithm that selects those configurations which satisfy the constraints by using safety coefficients. The proposed optimisation method is applied to the design of a potential configuration of a secondary mirror for the beam-down of the CSP Magaldi STEM® technology, although the methodology can be extended to other components of CSP plants, such as primary mirrors and receivers, to further enhance the structural performance of these systems.

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