Concerning solar flux densities during the operation of a concentrated solar power tower plant, their uneven distribution on a central receiver not only leads to abrupt variations of thermal gradient on the receiver surface but also makes it possible for the receiver to break down. Specific to such problems, a “concentrating-receiver” coupling system of a 1 MWe concentrated solar power tower plant in Yanqing was selected as the research object. On this basis, a spliced heliostat model was firstly established in this paper. The model was used to investigate solar flux distribution on the receiver surface. Considering that heliostats in different positions make diverse contributions to receiver surface energy and the incidence cosines of adjacent heliostats are similar to each other, a new grouping method for heliostat fields was subsequently proposed; moreover, focal point selection criteria were designed for the receiver surface according to solar spot sizes. Finally, an optimized dispatch and operation strategy was established based on the genetic algorithm for the heliostat field. Therefore, a standard deviation of solar flux distribution can be minimized. To verify the reliability of the established model and the proposed strategy, a small-scale heliostat field was adopted to check the simulation results by means of experiments. It has been demonstrated that a heliostat field subjected to optimized dispatch makes solar flux densities distribute more uniformly on the receiver surface. Hence, the safe and steady operation of the receiver is guaranteed.
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