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Proceedings Paper

Five MW Solar Thermal Test Facility Heliostat Focus And Alignment System
Author(s): Lloyd P. Oldham
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Paper Abstract

A unique system has been developed to focus and align the nearly 8000 mirrors for our nation's first Central Receiver Solar Thermal Test Facility, located at Albuquerque, New Mexico. The computer controlled system utilizes a laser light source which is scanned over a 61 inch diameter collimating mirror to simulate a collimated solar beam. The collimator and laser source are mounted on a microprocessor controlled precision pointing mount with 0.1 milliradian pointing accuracy. Control of the system is achieved through a vehicle mounted terminal plugged directly into the control electronics of the heliostat undergoing alignment. The simulated solar beam is reflected from the heliostat mirror and imaged onto a retro-reflective target screen. The screen is observed by an integrating video system over the period of a complete laser scan. Alignment is achieved through computer simulation of the sun/heliostat/receiver geometry for a selectable time and day of the year. This paper gives an overview of the Solar Thermal Test Facility and a detailed description of the Focus and Alignment System.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 October 1977
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0114, Optics Applied to Solar Energy Conversion, (31 October 1977); doi: 10.1117/12.955620
Show Author Affiliations
Lloyd P. Oldham, Martin Marietta Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0114:
Optics Applied to Solar Energy Conversion
A. I. Mlavsky; Roland Winston, Editor(s)

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