Group 1 – PONDERO

Team Members

Lisa Aberg, Hunter Bitner, Alex Carr, Kyle Cunningham, Kristen Frederick, Brett Kaniper, Darren Keane


To achieve the hedgehog concept of creating an innovative heliostat design that minimizes reflective area per module while maximizing solar power output, the Pondero was created. The design of this heliostat has unique features including ball and socket joints, a wire and spool system, and detachable reflectors for ease of cleaning and maintenance. There is one ball and socket joint per reflector which, along with the wire and spool system, allows the reflector to rotate along both the elevation axis and the azimuth axis, which are the optimal axes of rotation for focusing of solar rays. The heliostat uses six motors to achieve this rotation for four mirrors, minimizing cost while ensuring that the most desired rotation is achieved. The ball and socket joint and wires also allow for the reflector to be removed and easily cleaned. The circular reflector plates can be placed into a large dishwasher for cleaning, allowing for the water to be recycled and saving both resources and money. This makes the design, whose purpose is to facilitate the use of renewable energy, especially environmentally friendly. The heliostat, in its recovery position, can withstand a windspeed of 152 mph with a safety factor of 2. This is roughly double the recorded maximum speed experienced in Las Vegas of 75MPH. At normal operating conditions, the Heliostat will be able to withstand a windspeed of 35 MPH with a safety of 2.

Pitch Video


Final Video