Team Members

Kaden Bauer, Adrianna DeBoer, Mark Itkin, Bridgette Ortiz, Joshua Owens, Jack Spillman, Kate Todd


We are Electric Sunflower Technologies. Our Hedgehog Concept is to design a small–scale heliostat with a minimal part to heliostat ratio, which will increase simplicity, decrease cost, and maintain functionality. The design we chose is comprised of four small heliostat modules each with a 0.25?2 collection area. The structure consists of two concrete blocks of different heights, with each step housing two heliostats. With our “step and stagger” design, we eliminate shading and allow for tight spacing between modules. The motion consists of two systems each controlling a separate degree of freedom. In one axis, a worm and helical gear system driven by a small gearmotor rotates the heliostat 360° while ensuring minimal loading on the motor. For the other, the reflective surface is rotated using a lightweight motor and high reduction gear train, increasing control and range of motion. With these two mechanisms, this design is able to track the sun effectively throughout the day, on any day of the year. The frame for the reflective surface consists of pressure–treated wooden beams, which can last for more than 20 years while being more cost–effective than metal alternatives. The reflective surface itself is composed of four small, annealed glass mirrors that help reduce dispersion losses and required maintenance. We believe the combination of smaller heliostats with unconventional materials makes our design the most simple and effective.

Pitch Video