I work in the field of solar thermal power plants and have a question concerning photo-realistic ray tracing.
So far we use simple Monte Carlo raytracers to calculate the efficiency of solar thermal power plants.
Herefore sun rays are reflected at mirrors and focussed on absorbing structures (cylinders filled with oil, water,...)
Since the raytracing tools we using to date are really simple, I thought of using a sophisticated raytracing kernel.
The approach so far is
- the sun is modelled as a disc, its rays are not parallel, rays from the outer rim
have other angles, the frequency of the rays is set concerning the shape of the sun
- each sun ray contributes a specific amount of energy
- the reflective elments absorb ~ 5% of the rays
- the reflective element's surfaces contributes an error to the angle of the reflected ray
- the sun rays reaching one specific area, the absorbing area, are multiplied by their
energy and the in combination with their intersection of that area a energy flux figure
Here is an image showing the principle: http://tracer.berlios.de/images/tower_gui.png
Is such a "ray-centered" procedure possible using an unmodified version of Embree or
other similar raytracing kernels? Does one have access to the ray properties and its
intersections with a selected surfaces?