In this paper, the problem of optimizing the heliostats field configuration of a Solar Power Tower system with heliostats of different sizes is addressed. Maximizing the efficiency of the plant, i.e., optimizing the energy generated per unit cost, leads to a difficult high dimensional optimization problem (of variable dimension) with an objective function hard to compute and non-convex constraints as well. An heuristic algorithm greedy-based is proposed to solve the problem. The numerical experiments show the advantages of combining heliostats of different sizes, in particular, if different prices apply, which is a very reasonable assumption.
Institute of Mathematics of University of Seville (IMUS), May/2014.