Flux maps and detailed output in SAM 30/1/2015

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Xavi
Flux maps and detailed output in SAM 30/1/2015

Hi,
In the older version of SAM (up to v 2014/1/14), one could accede to the detailed output of the simulation in a temporary file by Shift+F9. In the current version of SAM this temporary file is no longer available by Shift+F9. Is there any way to accede these detailed simulation outputs in v 2015/1/30?
Likewise, receiver flux maps could be accessed in the old SAM version in the Shift+F9 plus PTGen to generate the intermediate outputs from DELSOL. I understand in the new version SolarPILOT is used instead of DELSOL. Is it possible to have access in the new SAM version to the solar flux information produced by SolarPILOT?
Thanks

Paul Gilman

Hello,

As you note, it is not possible to see the flux map data in SAM 2014.11.24 and later versions. We hope to make that possible in a future version. For now here is a workaround solution that is somewhat tedious, but will introduce you to the SAM Software Development Kit (SDK).

The SDK's SDKtool is a program that allows you to run the SSC modules that SAM uses for simulations. It has tools for viewing a module's input and output variables, running the module, and a script editor for writing LK scripts to set input variable values, run the modules, and perform other tasks. For a complete description of SDKtool, see the SSC Guide that comes with the SDK.

Here's how to use SDK tool to see the flux maps from your SAM power tower simulations:

  1. Download the SAM SDK and extract the ZIP archive.
  2. In the SDK folder, find the subfolder for your operating system (win64, win32, osx64, or linux64) and run the sdktool executable file to start SDKtool.
  3. The notification bar at the bottom of the SDKtool window should show the path to the SSC library.
    If it says "SSC dynamic library not loaded," click Choose SSC library and navigate to the folder containing the library. See the SSC Guide Section 6.2 for details. You can either use the SSC library that comes with the SDK, or use the library in your SAM installation folder.
  4. In SAM, run a simulation for your power tower case.
  5. Press Shift-F5 on your keyboard.
    This creates LK files with all of the inputs in the SAM case. You can ignore the file(s) for the financial model.
  6. In SDKtool, click Script Editor and then Open to open the LK file.
  7. Click Run in the script editor. This runs the script and populates the data container with the input variables from your SAM file. Click Data Container to see a list of the variables and their values.
  8. Click Module Browser, and choose tcsmolten_salt from the list of modules at the bottom of the window (in the drop-down list under Copy table to clipboard, not in the list of available modules):
    Choose SSC module in SDKtool
    Alternatively, in the script editor, you can add the line
      run('tcsmolten_salt');
    to the end of the LK script generated by SAM to run the module directly from the LK script and skip Step 9.
  9. Click Run in the module browser (the Run button at the bottom of the window, shown in the screenshot in Step 8 above).
  10. Go to the data container, and find the flux map variables listed below. To view a variable's values, double-click its name in the list. To export the values to a document, use your mouse to select the values in the table, and then press Control-C on your keyboard to copy the values, and then in the document, press Control-V to paste them.
  • flux_lookup: Each row is the circumferential flux distribution at a given time.
  • sunpos_eval: The sun position as an azimuth-zenith pair at each time.
  • eff_lookup: The total optical efficiency at each time as an azimuth-zenith-efficiency triplet.

Best regards,
Paul.

kjkattke

Paul,

I also would like to access SolarPilot flux maps and field efficiency results.

I worked through your example, but the variable names in ssc-tcsmoltensalt.lk do not match the variable name in the SCC module tcsmolten_salt. For example, the weather file is stored as "solar_resource_file" in ssc-tcsmoltensalt.lk and "file_name" in the SCC module tcsmolten_salt. And, the ssc-tcsmoltensalt.lk file does not contain inputs for heliostat width and height which are needed to perform a field optimization.

There is a sample LK script on SAMs Sample Files page that runs SolarPilot with a SAM script. In that example, SolarPilot is a stand-alone SCC module. In the SDK, I do not have a SolarPilot module.

I am using v2015.1.30 of both the SDK and SAM.
One note is when I use "Shift + F5" to create the .lk file, a Simulation dialog box opens and I get a green status bar that moves all the way to complete. But, the dialog box never closes. The status bar is at 100% and it says Simulating flux maps. Maybe SAM is getting stuck in an infinite loop.

Paul Gilman

The problem may be that you are using different versions of the SSC library in SDKtool and SAM. First of all, be sure that you are using the latest version of SAM. In SAM click Help, and then in the Help window, click About. The Version 2015.1.30, SSC Version 41 March 30, 2015.

Then, please try loading the SSC module from your SAM installation folder into SDKtool as follows, starting after Step 3 of my instructions above:

  1. In the module browser, click Choose SSC library.
  2. Navigate to the SAM installation folder (c:\SAM\2015.1.30 by default), and then to either the x64 or win32 folder as appropriate for your Windows operating system.
  3. Choose the ssc.dll file.

Then continue with Steps 4 through 10.

Does that solve the problem?

Best regards,
Paul.

kjkattke

Paul,

I d0 find the SCC module "solarpilot" when I load the scc.dll in c:\SAM\2015.1.30\win32.

I can run the solarpilot module, but it does not populate the variable: opteff_table which stores the field efficiency matrix. After running, opteff_table is a [1,1] matrix with a value of 0. Similarly, opteff_azimuths and opteff_zeniths are both matrices of size [1,1] with a value of 0.

Solarpilot is running because it does populate the heliostat positions matrix correctly.

How can I run the solarpilot SCC module such that I populate the field efficiency matrix?

Thank you,
Kyle

Xavi

Thanks for this Paul,
Is there any planned date for an update incorporating these capabilities?

Paul Gilman

The molten salt power tower model in SAM 2016.3.14 and later versions report the following new output variables. They appear on the Data tab of the Results page under "Matrix Data", and are also available as variables via LK script:

Flux map intensities (flux_maps_out)
Solar field optical efficiencies (eta_map_out)
Heliostat position tables (helio_positions)

Best regards,
Paul.

Monteleone91

The field efficiency matrix is available as output variable of programme SolarPILOT?

Paul Gilman

In SAM, the SolarPILOT field efficiency matrix is available on the Data tables tab as described above.

In the standalone version of SolarPILOT, you can also find that matrix and other data.

Best regards,
Paul.

Monteleone91

If I don't use SAM but only SolarPILOT, the field efficiency matrix is available?

Paul Gilman

Yes. The field optical efficiency table is an output of SolarPILOT.

Best regards,
Paul.

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