Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A New Heliostat for an Innovative New Application

There is an interesting new heliostat being offered for a low enough price to be of interest for building home systems.  The heliostat is made by Light Manufacturing Heliostats.

The heliostat has an area of 2.3 sm (25 sqft) .  The mirror is a stretched, reflectorized film to keep the cost and weight down.  Prices from about $1300.

Details on the Light Manufacturing Heliostat here....

The same company offers a unique application that uses their heliostats to provide heat for rotational molding of plastic parts (like large water tanks).  This solar thermal rotational molding system appears to be simple and cost effective, and (to me) represents some truly innovative thinking in bringing solar to a large industrial processes in a very energy efficient and cost effective way.

Diagram of solar thermal rotational molding system.
In the system, multiple heliostats focus their beams on the mold to provide the large amount of heat needed for the process.  The heliostats can support multiple molds by simply refocusing the heliostat beams on mold as needed.

The first video on this page provides a rundown on how the heliostat heated rotational molding setup works...

Heliostats can be put to many innovative uses -- I've assembled a few of them here...

Be sure to look at this one at the link above:
"ROME (Reuters) - A village in the Italian Alps is finally basking in winter sunlight thanks to a giant mirror installed on a mountain top to reflect the sun's rays into the main square."


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