Jake Anderer, Charles Datko, Kevin Diaz, Erika Joa, Joseph Miller, Akshay Ramakrishnan, Darianna Samson
Nature has evolved for millions of years to solve some of the world’s most complex engineering problems. Team 13 is passionate about nature and the implementation of its genius into designs. ‘The Hive Stat’ features a hexagonal reflective surface, designed after a beehive, to promote optimal tessellation between modules. The five major subsystems of the design can be classified as ground mounting, structure, angle actuation, controls, and reflective surface. Ground mounting is accomplished by expansion bolts, inspired by the mechanics of tree roots, which anchor into the ground by expanding once established. The structure body is a hollow Aluminum pillar, designed after a tree trunk, which maintains a minimal footprint, causing no shading of the surfaces to allow the reflective surface optimal solar radiation opportunity. The heliostat optimizes solar energy capture by repositioning the array with actuators to track the sun throughout the day. In this design, angle actuation is accomplished by the combination of a saddle joint and two linear actuators, mounted onto the pillar perpendicularly. The saddle joint is similar to the human opposable thumb joint, allowing for simultaneous motion across two axes. Control of the machine is accomplished by a computer with pre–coded solar location data. Lastly, the hexagonal surface is reflective due to mirrors that are clipped onto the hexagon and adhered. The Hive–Stat provides a low–cost design with high optical efficiency and a simple installation process. Nature has already selected these design systems, here they are simply implemented to form a heliostat.