This study examines the effectiveness of mesh grids in heliostat field perimeter fences and edge-mounted devices for heliostat wind load reduction. Two experimental studies were conducted: (1) the effect of mesh porosity and non-dimensional longitudinal distance of a perimeter fence upstream on the forces on a heliostat, and (2) the effect of mesh porosity and non-dimensional height-chord ratio of a heliostat edge-mounted mesh device on the heliostat loads. The experiments were conducted using an instrumented heliostat model positioned in the atmospheric test section of the Adelaide Wind Tunnel. It was found that perimeter mesh fences reduce peak loads by up to 50% and edge-mounted porous mesh devices reduce peak loads by up to 30% at the expense of increasing loads at different elevation angles. The porosity and height-chord ratio of an edge-mounted mesh were found to be important parameters influencing the maximum drag and lift reductions in operating and stow positions. The results of this work show the potential of mesh grids for reducing wind load on heliostats, and the importance of conducting a detailed techno-economic analysis on mesh grids throughout a heliostat field. The application of mesh grids on commercial-scale heliostats requires a further evaluation of the reduction of heliostat wind loads and thus cost of a field through mitigation of the incoming ABL turbulence and wake-induced turbulence from upstream heliostats.
Emes, M. J., Jafari, A., & Arjomandi, M. (2022). A feasibility study on the application of mesh grids for heliostat wind load reduction. Solar Energy, 240, 121-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2022.05.033