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The EcoBox > How We Work > Student Projects > Heliostat


We need:

  • A heliostat to mirror sunlight back down to the ecobox from up on the hill. 
Related resources: - they sell one for about $3k - lots of resources, including a tracking/motor control unit for about $250:
Their kit is here- parts worth reviewing:
This whole site should be reviewed. Note that this system changes the angle with one motor, and rotates the assembly with another.

Lots of resources at red rock solar: 

One tracker product from europe:

A homemade system

Some useful math for mirror tracking:

Practical solar has one of the nicer off the shelf systems.
We called them in early 2011 and they are out of the game indefinitely.

Note that their trackers rotate on 2 axis around a nice box in the center of a 3/3 grid with 8 mirrors, leaving the central grid for the motors.

There are also systems like this that use cables-

some are actually in frames, and the panels move like blinds:

some ideas that would allow for another movement system:

There are many youtube vids on heliostats.

My gut says copy the simply solar design- several small mirrors on a 3x3 or 4x4 or bigger grid. Use the window motors from cars we have access to, as well as the small 12v batteries (we have a lot of these, and they seem to be standard).  

Use a controller from, and pivot the whole thing on a rear-wheel axle of a car, mounted in cement.

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