A Solar Thermal Demonstration Power Plant with a high concentration central volumetric air receiver was built at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS). The plant was based on the Beam Down/Tower Reflector concept with a secondary Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CPC). Initial solar tests were carried out during 2001 in order to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale central solar receiver. The receiver was tested initially under low and medium solar power inputs. Thermal output power of 210 kW and air outlet temperature of 580 °C were measured. The evaluation of solar power input into the receiver was based on a ray tracing program. More tests, with a refurbished solar field, were planned for 2004. In order to validate the calculated input power it was decided to measure the solar power directly at the receiver’s inlet. Water calorimetric measurement was selected as the preferred method. A 450 mm diameter cylindrical calorimeter was selected, designed and manufactured by Rotem’s engineers. The calorimeter was installed during March 2004. Measurements were taken successfully during the next weeks, with various heliostats’ combinations. The measured solar power values were compared to calculations with the ray tracing program. The results show that a good agreement could be achieved between the two by adjustment of the Beam Quality parameter. However, the results also showed that the actual inlet power to the receiver could not be expected to exceed 350–400 kW. Based on these results, further tests with the receiver were suspended. The calorimeter is used at the WIS as a calibration tool for further projects run on the same platform.

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