# Thermal Solar power plant in Coal mines

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Categories: Tutorials

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Purpose/Goal | Application of Thermal Solar power plant system in surface coal mines. These mines have terraced morphology and this main feature is used for creation of natural like concave mirror. Panels reflect sun rays towards the tank on top of tower, filled with water or other liquid. Because of this morphology, tower is not a disruption to the landscape.

This script is rather an observation of geometry than an analyzing or designing.

References |

Full script |

Steps | First thing is to insert .dwg plan of mine into rhino. Then create circle as a final boundary of model. Set those curves to grasshopper geometry curves and with Surface split, you create separate surfaces of terraces, as you can see in the panel.

From list of created separate surfaces of terraces we chose only one surface, in this case the first one. (List Item). Then we find the center of this surface.

Center of first surface defines the start point of the receiver tower. I chose to have polygonal floorplan of tower, with radius of 7m and with 8 segments. Then using series along axis Z (step is height of tower), we use Move for the polygon. Loft connects curves with surfaces, then Cap holes and Materialize. And you have a tower.

Receiver is a batter tank, in my case cylindrical. Cylinder is defined by a circle with starting point as a tower. The circle is moved on top of tower, using Series with start same as height of tower. This makes our Receiver always on top of tower, when we change the height of the tower. Then again Loft and Cap holes and Materialize. Then use Volume to find the centroid of created Receiver object.

We proceed to terrain. Created surfaces of terraces have center points ascending along X axis. I use this to Sort list. This basically turns X axis into Z axis and with Series we can move each surface into its terrace position. Every surface ascends by 12m.

Now we just extrude surfaces by 12 m creating mass model of terraced mine terrain.

Again choose only one parameter from list, the boundary surface. Extrude it so you create edge of model.

Now we define top surfaces of extruded terraces.

In drafting software, I prepared rows for panel heliostat positions. Import such a thing into Rhino and set multiple curves into grasshopper.

Divide the rows by length according to heliostat size and define points for placing heliostat mirrors.

Move points in the Z directions, because Heliostats are couple meters above ground.

Create point in Rhino and set it in Grasshopper, creating our Sun. We create two vectors. 1th vector from Sun to panel positions. 2nd vector from Receiver center to panel positions. Then we deconstruct those vectors to get theirs XYZ values. Those values are put into Average, creating a middle vector based on arithmetic mean. Those vectors define our plane for panels.

Create panels using rectangle on a planes defined earlier. Then create surface and materialize.

Result |