Optimal energy use of the collector tube in solar power tower plant


Heat transfer and exergy transfer analysis are performed for the collector tube.

An optimization model is proposed to obtain the maximum available energy.

The gravitational search algorithm is used to solve the proposed objective function.

The feasibility of the proposed optimization model is numerically validated.


As one of the most important parts of the solar power tower plant, the receiver plays an important role in the high-efficiency operation of the solar power tower system. Obtaining the maximum available energy in the receiver is highly desired in real-world operations. In this paper heat transfer and exergy transfer methods are used to model the energy transfer process in a collector tube. Different from common analysis methods, in order to ensure the molten salt to obtain the maximum available energy, an objective function is proposed to convert the task into a constrained optimization problem. The gravitational search (GS) algorithm is employed to search for the optimal solution of the proposed objective function. Numerical results indicate that the proposed optimization method can find the optimal operation parameters under different conditions. The heat transfer and exergy transfer characteristics along the collector tube under the optimal working condition are revealed, which quantifies the available energy along the collector tube, as well as reveals the location of energy degradation in the tube. The research findings will provide a beneficial reference for the effective use of the solar energy.


  • Heat transfer;
  • Exergy transfer;
  • Optimization;
  • Energy use;
  • Gravitational search algorithm

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