An Automatic Heliostat for Non-Stationary Target
are widely used to concentrate sunlight for solar thermal power generation. However, in
nearly all cases, the targets for heliostats are fixed. This thesis describes the
design, fabrication, control, and testing of a new heliostat system that reflects
sunlight onto a moving target for the purpose of melting snow and ice. One novel aspect
of the system is that it uses one ... read more"Pixy" intelligent infrared camera for tracking the
sun and a separate Pixy for tracking the target. For automated operation, we devised a
scheme consisting of two working modes. The first mode is the searching mode, in which
the two Pixy cameras search for the sun and the moving ground target respectively in
predefined routes. The second mode is the reflecting mode, which the Pixys continuously
track the sun and the target to provide direction information. Using information from
cameras, the controller controls the two gear motors to regulate the azimuth and the
elevation of the mirror to direct the sun onto the target. Tests in a simulated
environment demonstrate that the heliostat reflects the sun onto the target with minimal
errors under appropriate conditions.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2017.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: William Messner.
Committee: Jason Rife, and Usman Khan.
Keyword: Mechanical engineering.read less