Low-Cost Heliostat Development
HiTek Services, under the Baseload CSP FOA, is conducting fundamental parametric analyses of the optimum heliostat size and developing a novel low-cost heliostat design.
There are four tasks under this award:
- Develop a means to determine the optimum size range of the heliostat, in terms of the applied forces and moments, manufacturing learning curve effects, O&M, and optical efficiency. The outcome of this task will be a spreadsheet analysis tool for parametrically determining heliostat costs that are appropriately allocated into categories with inputs for a specific design.
- Construct a prototype glass-fiberglass reflector with built-in compressive loads that greatly resist breakage. The outcome of this task will be test results on performance.
- Design a drive unit based on a high-efficiency staged sprocket-chain configuration that has a lower cost and longer life than conventional gear drives. The outcome of this task will be a drive unit that meets the load requirements for the size range predicted by the parametric analysis for the optimum heliostat size.
- Create a low-cost, long-life tracking control subsystem. The outcome of this task will be a prototype control system and performance test data.
This project targets three heliostat sub-components to reduce the overall costs of these systems. Innovative approaches are being applied to develop the following:
- A more break-resistant reflector using glass-fiberglass
- A drive configuration based on sprockets and chains rather than gears
- Lower resolution encoders that provide the necessary precision for a long-life tracking control subsystem.
Quarterly Progress Reports