U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Hazard Analyses of Glint and Glare from Concentrating Solar Power Plants

Because of the increased interest in deploying concentrating solar power systems, glint and glare from concentrating solar collectors and receivers is receiving increased attention as a potential hazard or distraction for motorists, pilots, and pedestrians. This paper provides a summary of previous analyses to evaluate glint and glare from concentrating solar power plants. In addition, a review of the physiology, optics, and damage mechanisms associated with ocular radiation is provided.

A summary of safety metrics and standards is also compiled from the literature to evaluate the potential hazards of calculated irradiances from glint and glare. Previous safety metrics have focused on prevention of permanent eye damage (e.g., retinal burn). New metrics are introduced in this paper for temporary flash blindness, which can occur at irradiance values several orders of magnitude lower than the irradiance values required for irreversible eye damage.

September, 2009
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Clifford K. Ho, Cheryl M. Ghanbari, and Richard B. Diver (SNL)