Concentrated solar thermalProject Novel Concepts for Low Cost Small Heliostats in Remote Installations
This report details the Novel Concepts for Low Cost Small Heliostats in Remote Installations.
The Project set out to investigate a range of concepts for reducing heliostat costs, with a focus on remote Australian environments. The technologies of interest were:
- A cost model for heliostats that incorporates cost associated with heliostat installations in remote locations
- A version of the CSIRO heliostat that was optimised for automotive manufacturing methods and minimum installation labour to bring down the cost
- A small heliostat concept using Rioglass Solar sandwich panel facets
- A novel direct drive linear actuator that has zero wear
- A novel system of cameras that can calibrate and control small heliostats that are up to 1.6km away, and could theoretically measure the entire heliostat field at the same time.
- Improvements to heliostat actuators, electronics and foundation designs to reduce capital costs.
By working with automotive component manufacturer Diver Consolidated Industries (DCI), CSIRO was able to design and cost an automated assembly line for the version 3 CSIRO heliostat, showing that economies of scale could reduce the cost of the version 3 heliostat by 50-60% when compared to the cost of small volumes of heliostats deployed in research facilities like the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle.