Project Goals & Participants
Key goals of this project, which have not varied over the duration of the project, comprise the following:
Conduct trade studies and component / subassembly tests to evolve a preferred subscale prototype design for a lightweight, low-cost inflatable-structure heliostat.
Refine the design as necessary, then construct a prototype which will enable achievement of test objectives.
Test the prototype with respect to the ability of the heliostat pointing system to accurately aim the heliostat without distorting the reflective surface.
Test the prototype with respect to beam shape and size (concentration) on a simulated target.
Test the prototype with respect to pointing accuracy and beam shape in the presence of environmental factors, particularly wind and gusts.
Evaluate the ability of the prototype to survive undamaged under adverse environmental conditions such as high winds or precipitation.
Develop a preliminary design for a production heliostat, which applies the technology demonstrated by the prototype.
Develop and document conclusions and recommendations for further work needed for the commercialization of this low-cost inflatable-structure heliostat technology, and for thereby enabling cost-effective large-scale solar thermal power generation.
November 24, 2002