Techno-Economic Analysis of Central Receiver Plants According to the Optical Error of the Solar Field




Heliostat Field, Optical Error, LCOE


Among the concentrated solar power technologies (CSP), the central receiver (CR) technology is the most promissing to achieve the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and the one expected to play one of the major roles in the energetic mix in the next years. For that purpose, succesful CR projects are needed, starting by the contruction and erection of a reliable heliostat field that fulfils its design specifications. In this work, the loss of energy production and the consequently rise of LCOE is investigated as function of the optical error of the heliostats. For that, a reference CR plant is defined in which the heliostat field layout and the receiver are optimized to collect the maximum annual energy. An aiming strategy is also implemented to obtain more realistic results. For instance, for a reasonable deviation of about 40-50% compared to the optical reference error, the annual collected energy can drop to a considerable 5%.


Download data is not yet available.


A. A. Rizvi, et al. “A review and classification of layouts and optimization techniques used in design of heliostat fields in solar central receiver systems”. Solar Energy, 218, 296-311, April 2021, doi:

M. Röger, “SolarPACES Guideline for heliostat performance testing”, draft version 0.991. August, 2018.

E. Leonardi, et al. “Techno-economic heliostat field optimization: Comparative analysis of different layouts”. Solar Energy, 180, 601-607, March 2019, doi:

P. Schöttl, et al., “Novel sky discretization method for optical annual assessment of solar tower plants”. Solar Energy, 138, 36-46, November 2016, doi:

F. W. Lipps and L. L. Vant-Hull, “Programmer's manual for the University of Houston computer code RCELL: cellwise optimization for the solar central receiver project” (No. DOE/SF/10763-T5; SAN-0763-1). Houston Univ., TX (USA). Energy Lab. 1980.

F. J. Collado and J. Guallar, “A two-parameter aiming strategy to reduce and flatten the flux map in solar power tower plants”. Solar Energy, 188, 185-189, August 2019, doi:

P. L. Leary and J. D. Hankins, “User's guide for MIRVAL: a computer code for comparing designs of heliostat-receiver optics for central receiver solar power plants”, No. SAND-77-8280). Sandia National Lab.(SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States), 1979.

P. Ineichen and R. Perez, “A New airmass independent formulation for the Linke turbidity coefficient”. Solar Energy, vol 73, pp. 151-157, September 2002, doi:

Solar radiation data




How to Cite

Les, I., Mutuberria, A., Bernardos, A., & Sanchez, M. (2024). Techno-Economic Analysis of Central Receiver Plants According to the Optical Error of the Solar Field. SolarPACES Conference Proceedings, 1.

Conference Proceedings Volume


Measurement Systems, Devices, and Procedures