A program for autonomous heliostat capabilities
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A Program for Autonomous Heliostat Capabilities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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A Program for Autonomous Heliostat Capabilities. Osama Asif Jonas Heller Sati Hsu Houston Jonathan Liu Jeremy Mekdhanasarn. Useful for Solar Thermal Energy Systems .

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A Program for Autonomous Heliostat Capabilities

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A Program for Autonomous Heliostat Capabilities

Osama Asif

Jonas Heller

Sati Hsu Houston

Jonathan Liu

Jeremy Mekdhanasarn

Useful for Solar Thermal Energy Systems

    In general, solar power generation involves the conversion of solar energy to electrical energy. This can be implemented through different technologies such as photovoltaics or heating a transfer fluid to produce steam to run a generator, for example. In some solar power generation systems one or more heliostats may be used to reflect solar radiation onto a collection point to enhance overall efficiency. Typically, each heliostat is controlled to track the sun and maintain reflection of the solar radiation on the collection point throughout the day. The solar radiation received at the collection point may be converted using any known technology. Typical conversion methods include thermal conversion using solar-generated steam or other working fluids, or direct conversion to electricity using photovoltaic cells.     On larger scales, solar power generation from concentrated sunlight may employ fields of multiple heliostats for solar energy collection. Each heliostat typically requires power distribution in order to drive the motor positioners and data communication in order to facilitate sun tracking control.


Solar Thermal Energy

Solar thermal energy is technology for harnessing the energy from the sun and converting it to thermal energy. This can eventually procured into electricity through different routes. One of the most popular and effective means of this conversion is through the heliostat.

A heliostat is a mirror based device which tracks the movement of the sun in a fixed direction, typically the thermal energy which is generated is directed onto a thermal receiver. This is expensive material!

Disadvantages of Existing Solutions

Human Maintenance 

  • The system is turned off and on a specific times - not necessarily when there is feasible capture possible. That is, generation times are not specific to the Gregorian Calendar

     Wireless Communication Rather than Direct

    Environmental Conditions   

  • The system is not programed to adjust for live-weather conditions that can damage the material. As most systems are built in the desert, it is important to provide protections from the extreme weather conditions. 

Our invention addresses theseproblems by...

  • Maximizing the solar-thermal energy generated from the heliostate on a day-to-day basis

  • Self-protecting features in times of extreme weather conditions

    Automation removes the last component of human maintenance, thereby maximizing energy production and eliminating human assigned error. 

Prior Art and Research

  • "The Autonomous Helisotat" US20040231660 Nakamura, Katsushige (Tokyo, JP)

  • “Autonomous Heliostat for Solar Power Plant” 20090260619 Canady &Lortz LLP – The Boeing Company

  • Heliostat cost reduction study – University of New Mexico

  • Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power: Technologies, Costs and Development By Werner Vogel, Henry Kalb

Prior Art and Research Cont.

  • 20090114211 Automated Solar Tracking SystemMay, 2009 Homyk et al

  • 20090235920 Light tracking sensor and sunlight tracking system thereof September, 2009 Wang

  • 20040159318 Solar radiation concentrator and method of concentrating solar radiation August, 2004 Kinoshita

  • 20090229597 Solar servo control tracking device September, 2009 Choi et al.

  • 20090183730 Spherical Heliostat July, 2009 Knight

  • 20070074716 Multiple motor operation using solar power April, 2007 Mc Nulty et al.

Our Heliostat Program Will be...

  • Programmed to Gregorian Calendar so that maximum potential energy is generated without manual interface.

  • GIS and GPS enabled toprepare heliostats for weather changes.

Immensely Beneficial!

Autonomous Action at Sun-rise

Current System of Application



What is claimed is:1. A program for maximizing the productivity of a heliostat through applications in A. maximizing potential thermal energy based upon sunrise and sunset data through the Gregorian CalendarB. self-protecting features based for extreme weather conditions based upon real, live-weather conditions,

Claims (continued)

2. Whereby a heliostat comprises a reflective surface for reflecting at least a first portion of received solar radiation to a collection device; a positioning mechanism coupled to the reflective surface for positioning the reflective surface; a controller for controlling the positioning mechanism to reflect at least the first portion of the received solar radiation to the collection device; and a solar power supply for converting a second portion of the received solar radiation to electrical power provided to the positioning mechanism and the controller.

Claims (continued)

3. The program with applications in claim 1, wherein the thermal energy will be effectively programmed to start its daily operation based upon sunrise in the Gregorian Calendar  4. The program with applications in claim 1, wherein the thermal energy will be effectively programmed to end its daily operation based upon sunset in the the Gregorian Calendar

Claims (continued)

5. The program with applications in claim 1, wherein the heliostat will be shut off and shield its protective apparatus in event of sudden extreme weather conditions (i.e.-desert winds, frost, etc.)


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