Solar Collectors With Heliostats

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    The Movement of the Mirrors

    • After information about the latitude, longitude and the time of day are entered into the computer, heliostatically controlled solar mirrors point themselves at the sun when it comes up in the morning and follow it within a degree of accuracy all the way across the sky. Computer software can account for small errors, such as the slight shift caused by the refraction of the atmosphere near the horizon.

    The Target

    • The mirrors of the heliostatically controlled solar array focus the light of the sun on a target that may hold a water circulation system or solar electricity cells. Each mirror will produce approximately 1 kilowatt of power for each square meter of mirrored surface.

    Safety Precautions

    • The computer is programmed to move the mirrors of the array to a safe position if they overheat. The mirrors will also be moved to a park position in case of a fault or alarm within the system. The computer sequences the mirrors within the array, moving only one at a time, saving energy.

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