Experimental Study for the Development of a Wireless Communication System in a Solar Central Tower Facility
Systems transforming solar energy into electrical power have emerged as a viable source of clean, renewable energy. Solar power tower technology is a good example of this type of system, which consists of several mobile mirrors, called heliostats, which reflect the sun's radiation to the same point, located on top of a tower at the center of heliostat field, for collection or transformation into another type of energy. The so-called Hermosillo’s Solar Platform (Plataforma Solar de Hermosillo, PSH, in Spanish) is a facility constituted with several heliostats, its aim and scope is for research purposes. In this paper, the implementation of a wireless communication system based on intelligent nodes is proposed in order to allow the communication and control of the heliostats in PSH. Intelligent nodes transmit information from one point to another, and can perform other actions that allow them to adapt to the conditions and limitations of a field of heliostats, thus achieving effective communication system. After deployment of the nodes in the heliostats, tests were conducted to measure the effectiveness of the communication, and determine the feasibility of using the proposed technologies. The test results were always positive, exceeding expectations held for its operation in the field of heliostats. Therefore, it was possible to validate the efficiency of the wireless communication system to be implemented in PSH, allowing communication and control of the heliostats.
Solar energy, heliostat, wireless communication, intelligent node.