Polarimetry-based solar field inspection

The main objective of this project is to apply polarimetric imaging techniques to CSP collector and receiver inspections and develop polarimetric drone cameras (via integrating polarimetric imagers onto drones) for autonomous field inspection in CSP plants. (1) It combines intensity and polarization information of optical images to realize high speed and accurate detection of heliostat edges and corners, which can be used for quick evaluation of heliostat optical errors based on optical models developed for heliostats[1]. It is particularly important for the CSP plants, where the heliostat canting, tracking and aiming may be far less than ideal, to ultimately reduce optical loss due to canting and tracking errors and increase energy efficiency up to > 1% (best-effort performance[2]). (2) The autonomous detection of soiling conditions and defects can greatly improve the efficiency in scheduling heliostat washing and repair, and as a result, can potentially increase the solar-weighted heliostat reflectance and the collector optical efficiency up to 4%[3]. (3) For the optimal system performance, we also developed chip-integrated full-stokes polarimetric imaging sensors with scalable nanomanufacturing method.

A list of related publications:

  1. Zuo, Jiawei, Ashutosh Bangalore Aravinda Babu, Mo Tian, Jing Bai, Shinhyuk Choi, Hossain Mansur Resalat Faruque, Sarah Holloway, Michael N. Kozicki, Chao Wang, and Yu Yao. “Metasurface-based Mueller Matrix Microscope.” submitted. https://arxiv.org/abs/2310.20131
  2. Choi, Shinhyuk, Jiawei Zuo, Nabasindhu Das Yu Yao, and Chao Wang. “Scalable nanoimprint manufacturing of multi-layer hybrid metasurface device.” under review. https://arxiv.org/abs/2312.14297
  3. Jiawei Zuo, Jing Bai, Shinhyuk Choi, Ali Basiri, Xiahui Chen, Chao Wang, Yu Yao, “Chip-Integrated metasurface Full-Stokes Polarimetric CMOS Imaging Sensor”,  Light Sci Appl 12, 218 (2023). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41377-023-01260-w.
  4. Rafique, Md Zubair Ebne, Hossain Mansur Resalat Faruque, Ahmed Hassan, Mo Tian, Nabasindhu Das, and Yu Yao. “Field Deployable Mirror Soiling Detection Based on Polarimetric Imaging.” In SolarPACES Conference Proceedings, vol. 1. 2022.
  5. Tian, Mo, Neel Desai, Jing Bai, Randy Brost, Daniel Small, David Novick, Julius Yellowhair, Md Zubair Ebne Rafique, Vishnu Pisharam, and Yu Yao. “Toward Autonomous Field Inspection of CSP Collectors with a Polarimetric Imaging Drone.” In SolarPACES Conference Proceedings, vol. 1. 2022.

[1] FEA/CFD/ray-tracing models are used to evaluate heliostat optical performance. Andraka, Charles E., et al. Sandia Capabilities for the Measurement, Characterization, and Analysis of Heliostats for CSP. No. SAND2013-5492. Sandia National Lab (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States), 2013.

[2] Here we consider the fact that the optical errors account for >1% energy loss in CSP plants, according to DE-FOA-0002064 (page 47)

[3] Here we consider the fact that the mirror soiling condition accounts for 4~5% energy loss in CSP plants, according to DE-FOA-0002064 (page 47)