This technology calculates the field efficiency of potential heliostat field positions, in order to converge on an ideal eventual placement. The following process is repeated iteratively for multiple candidate positions, at an increasing level of accuracy as higher potential regions are found.
For each potential position, the tool simplifies the overall calculation by averaging over the efficiency of sample points within the field. At each sample point, factors considered in the efficiency calculation are the cosine efficiency (determined by the relative angle of the heliostat to the sun and to the receiver), potential blocking of the sun from surrounding hills, and an approximation of the blocking from neighbouring heliostats. These efficiencies are calculated across the whole year, in order to determine efficiency over the different positions of the sun.