Team Members

Alexandra Canul, Minjae Kang, Dana Kendall, Robert Oglesby, Carlos Ortiz, Jose Rivas, Maxwell Schreiber


The Solar Pill prototype design has a hedgehog concept, or main design focus, of ease to 3D print. This design is compact with a maximum volume (L X W X H) of 9.1”x 6.1” x 9.6” and a main body volume of 6.5” x 4.7’x 9.3”. Each piece of the heliostat design was created to be printed with minimum amounts of filler material by making use of fillets and lofted bases. There are no necessary manufactured parts outside of the 3D printed parts and off the shelf fasteners, saving in overall design cost. This will also help the model to be scalable to a larger heliostat that would use injection molded parts. Furthermore, the controls schema implemented is easily scalable to large fields of heliostats. The heliostat is easy to assemble and, with a gear reduction of 4:1, allows for user control of azimuth and elevation angles within 0.45 degrees. It’s curved, sleek profile is aerodynamic and visually appealing, as appearance is a common criticism of solar energy modules to everyday citizens. All NEMA 17 stepper motors and epicyclic gear trains are housed inside of the heliostat to protect the components from environmental factors like rain, wind, dirt, and other types of inclement weather. The overall prototype cost, outside of motors and the mirror itself, is $50.62, roughly half of the allowed prototype budget for this course.

Pitch Video


Final Video