Wind loads on heliostats and parabolic dish collectors: Final subcontractor report

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A major intent of this study was to define wind load reduction factors for parabolic dish solar collectors within a field protected by upwind collectors, wind protective fences, or other blockages. This information will help researchers improve the economy of parabolic collector support structures and drive mechanisms. The method used in the study was to generalize wind load data obtained during tests on model collectors placed in a modeled atmospheric wind in a boundary-layer wind tunnel. A second objective of the study was to confirm and document a sensitivity in load to level of turbulence, or gustiness, in the approaching wind. A key finding was that wind-load reduction factors for forces (horizontal and vertical) were roughly similar to those for flat heliostats, with some forces significantly less than those for flat shapes. However, load reductions for moments showed a smaller load reduction, particularly for the azimuth moment. The lack of load reduction could be attributed to collector shape, but specific flow features responsible for and methods to induce a load reduction were not explored. 62 figs., 13 tabs.

Solar Energy Research Inst., Golden, CO (USA)
Technology Testing & Certification
Technical Report
Peterka, J.A.; Tan, Z.; Bienkiewicz, B.; Cermak, J.E.