Heliostat Beams Sun into your Home

Heliostat Beams Sun into your Home

Trent Johnson
May 26, 2009

Natural sunlight is always a great way to light and heat your home. The heliostat by Practical Solar takes a different approach than Solatube, and uses a computer to track the sun in order to reflect its energy into your home.

The heliostat is an array of mirrors that connects to a computer to track the sun. The sun's energy is concentrated on the target, and dispensed into a building that would not ordinarily receive sunlight. When the sun is shining, one Practical Solar heliostat can provide 600 watts of thermal energy and 65,000 lux of visible light (this is as much thermal energy as a space heater on a medium setting and as much visible light as forty 100-watt light bulbs).

The system consists of any number of heliostats and one control system (connects to a computer). There are a handful of materials that must be supplied by the consumer, including reflectors. Each individual heliostat is individually programmed and controlled by the software and can be programmed to focus on different targets simultaneously or to a common target to concentrate the solar power. A timer function can change which target is being powered, and when.

The system, while not cheap, is less than I expected. A control system is $345 and each heliostat is $995.

Via Practical Eco.

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