01875nas a2200217 4500000000100000008004100001653001600042653002900058653002000087653002000107100003000127700001600157700002000173700001900193245010200212856007200314300001000386490000700396520124000403022001401643 2016 d10aSolar tower10aHeliostat field boundary10aPacking density10aEnergy contours1 aGopalakrishnan Srilakshmi1 aN.S. Suresh1 aN.C. Thirumalai1 aM.A. Ramaswamy00aA novel approach to determine the non-dimensional heliostat field boundary for solar tower plants uhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213138816300418 a26-370 v173 aSolar tower technology has gained considerable momentum over the past decade. In a solar tower plant, the power collected by the heliostat field is strongly coupled to the height of the tower and its location with respect to the field. This paper provides a methodology to fix the boundary of the field (non-dimensionalised with respect to the tower height). While developing this methodology, it was realised that one needs to have an estimation of the nominal variation of packing density with non-dimensional distance of the heliostat from the tower base. Packing density is fixed during the design of the field. A nominal variation of packing density was obtained by studying three existing plants which use radial staggered field patterns. This packing density data was used to arrive at contours of equal annual energy per unit land area (el). This approach was then evaluated qualitatively and verified quantitatively with non-dimensional solar fields of existing plants. Based on these comparisons, it is suggested that for preliminary analysis, a seed value of el=0.16MWh/m2 may be used as a nominal value to set the field boundary. The significance of coupling of the solar field boundary with tower height is also discussed. a2213-1388