High-flux solar furnaces distributed throughout the world have been designed and constructed individually, i.e., on a one-by-one basis because there are several possible optical configurations that must take into account the geographical location and the maximum power to be attained. In this work, three ray-tracing models were developed to simulate the optical paths travelled by sun rays in solar furnaces of high concentration using as an example, the solar furnace SF60 of the Plataforma Solar de Almería, in Spain. All these simulation models are supported by mathematical constructions, which are also presented. The first model assumes a random distribution of sun rays coming from a concentrator with spherical curvature. The second model assumes that a random distribution of parallel rays coming from the heliostat is reflected by a concentrator with spherical curvature. Finally, the third model considers that the random parallel rays are reflected by a concentrator with a paraboloid curvature. The three models are all important in optical geometry, although the paraboloid model is more adequate to optimize solar furnaces. The models are illustrated by studying the influence of mirror positioning and shutter attenuation. Additionally, ray-tracing simulations confirmed the possibility to attain homogenous distribution of flux by means of double reflexion using two paraboloid surfaces.
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