In this paper, different approaches are considered to calculate the cosine factor which is utilized in Campo code to expand the heliostat field layout and maximize its annual thermal output. Furthermore, three heliostat fields containing different number of mirrors are taken into consideration. Cosine factor is determined by considering instantaneous and time-average approaches. For instantaneous method, different design days and design hours are selected. For the time average method, daily time average, monthly time average, seasonally time average, and yearly time averaged cosine factor determinations are considered. Results indicate that instantaneous methods are more appropriate for small scale heliostat field optimization. Consequently, it is proposed to consider the design period as the second design variable to ensure the best outcome. For medium and large scale heliostat fields, selecting an appropriate design period is more important. Therefore, it is more reliable to select one of the recommended time average methods to optimize the field layout. Optimum annual weighted efficiency for heliostat fields (small, medium, and large) containing 350, 1460, and 3450 mirrors are 66.14%, 60.87%, and 54.04%, respectively.