Nickolas Belanger, Ricardo Garcia, Mu He, Kyle Karamihalis, Jonathan Mitzenmacher, Zihong Ye
ReflecTile is a heliostat module that utilizes four rotatable reflective panels; each Panel has two servo motors for movement across two axes. A large universal joint and two smaller universal joints are both connected to pushrods to aid in this movement. The panel assembly consists of a mylar sheet with a protective acrylic layer on top, which keeps the Mylar protected while still retaining its high reflectivity and minimizing material costs. The mounting and rotational system allows 60 degrees of rotation in either direction independently for each Panel Assembly. Thanks to its use of universal joints and servos, which are our Hedgehog Concept, The ReflecTile features high-accuracy solar tracking while keeping maintenance costs low through its highly modular design. Due to ReflecTile’s unique panel support system, panels can be installed without the use of tools, allowing for easy replacement over the product life with simple, inexpensive routine maintenance, which makes our design unique. The module is supported by an adjustable CPVC base structure, which has a higher heat resistance than typical PVC, making this material ideal for the desert climate of the installation site. Not only that, but it also effectively seals water and pests from the module’s electrical components while retaining high overall structural stability. The electrical components are housed in a plastic box attached to the CPVC. The components consist of one ESP32 controller and one lever converter to act as a voltage transformer.