Conor Bowman, Emilee Briscoe, Ria Fettig, Giovanni Gorgatti, Colby Ross, Nolan Test, Josh Valdivia
An international proposal to reduce the cost of heliostats for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants has been launched to improve the economic viability of renewable energy. Hyperion was based on a Hedge-Hog concept that provides clean energy at an affordable cost. Hyperion consists of four subsystems: reflector, structural, actuation, and electronics. Each Hyperion module consists of 6 individually actuated reflectors made of borosilicate glass protected with a silicon-oxide coating. The reflectors adhere to a plate sitting on a u-joint for movement on both the azimuth and altitude angle. The reflectors are supported by the u-joint, and two pneumatic actuators are attached to a steel plate bolted to a concrete slab. Along with the pneumatic actuators are solenoids to control fluid pressure from the central pump of the CSP. A central computer on the central tower uses a solar-positioning algorithm to determine the position of the sun and sends data via Wi-Fi to onboard micro-controllers on each individual heliostat module. The onboard microcontroller actuates the solenoids to move the mirror and collect data from the distance sensors. Distance sensors on the pneumatic actuators are used to determine position to ensure that the Hyperion module can track the sun with an error of 𝜃 ± .25°. A protective flexible boot will cover the pneumatic actuators, and a PPE box will cover the electronics for a weather-resistant design. Hyperion is a simple and elegant design that is robust, affordable, and easy to manufacture.