How They Calibrate the Mirrors for the eSolar Concentrated Solar Power Tower

eSolar Concentrated Solar Power Tower

Power Tower ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – BURBANK, California. – September 2014. – eSolar®, leading provider of modular power tower technology, presented two cutting-edge technologies during the 2014 SolarPACES conference, held Sept. 16-19 in Beijing, China.

eSolar Senior Systems Engineer Maximilian Zavodny discussed the company’s precise, parallel, and high-throughput Artificial Light Calibration (ALC) System on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 12:10 a.m. CST (China Standard Time) in the “General Topics in CSP” session.  For use with its high-density, small-mirrored Solar Collector System (SCS), ALC has already demonstrated its efficacy at eSolar’s Sierra SunTower facility in Lancaster, CA.

“We’ve been calibrating tens of thousands of heliostats with high parallelism since the beginning,” said Rick Huibregtse, SVP, Engineering.

With this latest system, we can calibrate at night—when we’re not taking heliostats away from their daily energy production—and perform critical nightly tests to ensure our high system up-time capabilities are met.

eSolar also presented rigorous, statistical models that allow for the analysis and verification of CSP subsystem performance.  eSolar VP, Systems Engineering Mike Slack also discussed the models and their effectiveness during the “CSP Systems” session on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 11:10 a.m. CST.  In the progressing CSP industry, agreed-upon standards for performance characterization are still lacking.

Two key performance analysis problems were covered:

(A) predicting solar collector and receiver combined thermal output and

(B) measuring heliostat tracking accuracy for tower CSP.  Both modeling approaches have been tested at eSolar’s Sierra SunTower and results indicative of their accurate performance characterization are presented.

eSolar CEO, John Van Scoter, added

We’re paving the way for CSP technologies to set targets based on agreed-upon standards. Ultimately, executing on core technology delivery for which we have precise and accurate models of performance will be how our industry succeeds.  These models enable a better understanding of project risk for customers, equipment suppliers, and project financiers to achieve lower costs and better outcomes for upcoming opportunities in CSP.

eSolar’s papers from SolarPACES 2013 have been published this summer and are freely available from ELSEVIER’s Energy Procedia:

About eSolar

eSolar was founded in 2007 to develop modular and scalable solar thermal power plant technology. The eSolar solution marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with advanced computer software engineering yielding break-through cost reductions for the solar collector system. eSolar’s highly efficient power tower design meets the demand for reliable, dispatchable and cost competitive solar power, and is well-suited for non-power generating markets, such as enhanced oil recovery, water desalination and industrial process heat applications. eSolar is based in Burbank, California.

For more information, please visit

Published by David on September 10, 2014

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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