Ben Curley, Nick Hansen, Stefan Kieszkowski, Chris Supik
The Quadflector is a modular reflector with four heliostats, each with an individual axis of rotation (roll) and all unified in motion in one tandem axis of rotation (pitch). Throughout the design of the Quadflector, the preservation of ease of assembly and maintenance was determined to be paramount in the distinction of the Quadflector from other competing designs. To achieve this, an open face design was implemented: allowing an operator direct access to each of the main components. Through use of a mirror mount, expired reflectors can be replaced rapidly. The placement of the drive belt enables easy installation and replacement without complicated disassembly of other system components. The appropriately weather resistant components are mounted in such a way that accumulation of rainwater and dust particles is not impactful to the continued operation of the module. To achieve the desired accuracy (0.8°), the selected stepper motor driver provides a resolution of 0.1125° to the pitch of the reflectors, and the servo motors chosen (with the selected gear ratio) provide a resolution of 0.6° in the roll direction of the reflectors: combining to a total positional error of 0.61°. The open-source software used to determine optimal positioning of each heliostat, based on the provided solar tracking data, delivers an optimized thermal output per module. To reach the desired solar concentration on the central tower, a field of 1,067 Quadflector modules is required.