The Efficiency of Heliotropic Receiver Assessed through Modelling and Simulation

A. Tzachanis and N. Ninos (Greece)


Modelling, Simulation, Solar Tracking Systems, Efficiency


Heliotropic systems are widely used for increasing the performance of solar PV-arrays or solar collectors, especially the ones with two axes of rotation. Such an automated system is normally not cheap, reliable and easy to construct. Therefore an estimation of its energy efficiency compared with a stationary system is considered as useful and important for a technical and/or economical decision. As a solution to this issue, our paper presents a simulation model designed and developed to perform comparative assessments between the heliotropic and the stationary option. The algorithm, based on the simulation of the time variable solar flux, predicts and compares the expected energy income between the two axis rotating and the stationary solution. The simulated shape of the daily solar radiation intensity incident on both systems is then correlated with the prevailing sunshine hours of the considered area, resulting to an estimation of the energy surplus provided by the tracking receiver. An application of the developed simulation technique for the area of central Greece has shown that on a daily basis, the efficiency difference between the two systems varies significantly throughout the year reaching a maximum up to 63,35%. On the contrary, the annual average of the predicted energy gain provided by the tracking receiver can increase only up to 29,14% compared to the stationary solution.

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