Group 2 – HELIOS

Team Members

Cloe Groulx, Derek Colon, Alex Aldazabal, Rachel Jones, Ryan Flickinger, Ethan Lasseigne, Dario Calle


Group 2’s design of the heliostat excels in minimizing production cost per module to create a field for concentrating solar-thermal power. The concept generated is the high efficiency light intensifying optical system, also called HELIOS. The hedgehog concept centers around utilizing off-the-shelf parts to assemble a heliostat module with minimal moving components to reduce the cost of production and increase accessibility. The heliostat module was designed around a simplistic modular design and PVC framework to achieve a lightweight structure with a high range of motion and small footprint capable of withstanding extreme wind conditions, constant UV exposure, and severe temperatures. The design concept is composed of five subassemblies: the base, support framework, reflector panels, rotation mechanism, and solar tracking. The base is made of 6061-aluminum angle stock and concrete to maintain a low center of mass and provide strong resistance to wind forces. The support framework is composed of PVC to minimize cost while also being durable against natural elements. The reflector panels are made from 1 cm thick float glass to make replacement low cost and infrequent. The rotation mechanism utilizes four stepper motors for reflector panel elevation and one stepper motor for support frame rotation. The controller is mounted to the base of the heliostat module and is primarily tasked with tracking the sun. Additionally, the controller tracks the angular position of each reflector panel and can reset itself daily. The overall concept is designed for longevity, low-cost manufacturability, and enduring the extreme weather of the American southwest.

Pitch Video


Final Video